Statement of Additional Information

Delaware Group​® Equity Funds IV

 

Nasdaq ticker symbols

Delaware Healthcare Fund

Class A

DLHAX

Class C

DLHCX

Class R

DLRHX

Institutional Class

DLHIX

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

Class A

DSGDX

Class C

DSGEX

Class R

DSGFX

Institutional Class

DSGGX

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

Class A

DFCIX

Class C

DEEVX

Class R

DFRIX

Institutional Class

DFDIX

Class R6

DFZRX

July 29, 2022

As amended and restated November 2, 2022

 

P.O. Box 9876, Providence, RI 02940-8076 (regular mail)

4400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581-1722 (overnight courier service)

For a Prospectus, Performance, and Information on Existing Accounts: 800 523-1918
For Dealer Services (Broker/Dealers only): 800 362-7500

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) supplements the information contained in the current prospectuses (each a “Prospectus” and collectively, the “Prospectuses”), each dated July 29, 2022, as they may be amended from time to time, for Delaware Healthcare Fund, Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund, and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund (each, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”).

This SAI should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses. This SAI is not itself a prospectus but is, in its entirety, incorporated by reference into the Prospectuses.

The Prospectuses may be obtained through our website at delawarefunds.com/literature; by writing or calling your financial advisor; or by contacting the Funds’ distributor, Delaware Distributors, L.P. (the “Distributor”), at the above addresses, or by calling the above phone numbers. Please do not send any correspondence to 100 Independence, 610 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354. The Funds’ financial statements, the notes relating thereto, the financial highlights, and the report of the independent registered public accounting firm are incorporated by reference from each Fund's annual report (“Annual Report”) into this SAI. An Annual Report will accompany any request for this SAI. An Annual Report can be obtained, without charge, by calling 800 523-1918.

 

AI-016 10/22 


 


 

This SAI describes the Funds, which are series of Delaware Group​® Equity Funds IV (the “Trust”). The Funds offer Class A, Class C, and Class R shares (collectively, the “Retail Classes”). Additionally, Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund offers Class R6 shares. Each Fund also offers an Institutional Class (collectively, the “Institutional Classes,” and together with the Class R6 shares and the Retail Classes, the “Classes”). All references to “shares” in this SAI refer to all classes of shares (each share class, the “Class”) of the Funds, except where noted. The Funds’ investment manager is Delaware Management Company (the “Manager”), a series of Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust (a Delaware Statutory trust).

Organization

The Trust was originally organized as a Maryland corporation in 1985 and was subsequently re-domiciled as a Delaware statutory trust on December 17, 1999.

In 2015, Delaware Healthcare Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund changed their fiscal year end from September to March.

Classification

The Trust is an open-end management investment company.

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund are diversified funds as defined by the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The 1940 Act requires a “diversified” fund, with respect to 75% of the value of its total assets, to invest (1) no more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets in the securities of any one issuer and (2) in no more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer. This limitation generally requires a diversified fund to invest in securities issued by a minimum of 16 issuers. Delaware Healthcare Fund is a “nondiversified” fund as defined by the 1940 Act. A nondiversified portfolio is believed to be subject to greater risk because adverse effects on an investment held by the Fund may affect a larger portion of its overall assets and subject it to greater risks and volatility.

Investment Objectives

Each Fund’s investment objectives are described in the Prospectuses.

Fundamental Investment Restrictions

Each Fund has adopted the following restrictions that cannot be changed without approval by the holders of a “majority” of the Fund’s outstanding shares, which is a vote by the holders of the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the voting securities present in person or by proxy at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy; or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities. The percentage limitations contained in the restrictions and policies set forth herein apply at the time of purchase of securities.

Each Fund shall not:

1. Make investments that will result in the concentration (as that term may be defined in the 1940 Act, any rule or order thereunder, or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) staff interpretation thereof) of its investments in the securities of issuers primarily engaged in the same industry, provided that this restriction does not limit: (i) Delaware Healthcare Fund from concentrating its investments in the healthcare and medical industries; or (ii) the Funds from investing in obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or in tax-exempt obligations.

2. Borrow money or issue senior securities, except as the 1940 Act, any rule or order thereunder, or SEC staff interpretation thereof, may permit.

3. Underwrite the securities of other issuers, except that the Fund may engage in transactions involving the acquisition, disposition, or resale of its portfolio securities, under circumstances where it may be considered an underwriter under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”).

4. Purchase or sell real estate, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments and provided that this restriction does not prevent the Fund from investing in issuers which invest, deal, or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or interests therein, or investing in securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein.

5. Purchase or sell physical commodities, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments and provided that this restriction does not prevent the Fund from engaging in transactions involving futures contracts and options thereon or investing in securities that are secured by physical commodities.

6. Make personal loans or loans of its assets to persons who control or are under common control with a Fund, except as the 1940 Act, any rule or order thereunder, or SEC staff interpretation thereof, may permit. This restriction does not prevent a Fund from, among other things, purchasing debt obligations, entering into repurchase agreements, loaning its assets to broker/dealers or institutional investors, or investing in loans, including assignments and participation interests.


 

Investment Objectives, Restrictions, and Policies

Nonfundamental Investment Restrictions

In addition to the fundamental investment policies and investment restrictions described above, and the various general investment policies described in the Prospectuses, each Fund will be subject to the following investment restriction, which is considered nonfundamental and may be changed by the Trust’s Board of Trustees (“Board”) without shareholder approval: Each Fund may not invest more than 15% of its net assets in securities that it cannot sell or dispose of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value that the Fund has valued the investment.

In applying each Fund’s concentration policy (i.e., investing more than 25% of its net assets in the securities of issuers primarily engaged in the same industry): (i) utility companies will be divided according to their services, for example, gas, gas transmission, electric, and telephone will each be considered a separate industry; (ii) financial service companies will be classified according to the end users of their services, for example, automobile finance, bank finance, and diversified finance will each be considered a separate industry; and (iii) asset-backed securities will be classified according to the underlying assets securing such securities.

In addition, in applying Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund's and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund’s policy on concentration, each Fund will divide the technology sector into various sub-categories (e.g., computers, Internet, software, and telecommunication services). For purposes of Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund's and the Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund’s concentration policy, each Fund intends to comply with the SEC staff position that securities issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by any single foreign government are considered to be securities of issuers in the same industry.

Except for the Funds’ policy with respect to borrowing, any investment restriction or limitation that involves a maximum percentage of securities or assets shall not be considered to be violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after an acquisition of securities or a utilization of assets and such excess results therefrom.

Portfolio Turnover

Portfolio trading will be undertaken principally to accomplish each Fund’s respective investment objective. The Funds are free to dispose of portfolio securities at any time, subject to complying with the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”), and the 1940 Act, when changes in circumstances or conditions make such a move desirable in light of each Fund’s respective investment objective. The Funds will not attempt to achieve or be limited to a predetermined rate of portfolio turnover. Such turnover always will be incidental to transactions undertaken with a view to achieving each Fund’s respective investment objective.

The portfolio turnover rate tells you the amount of trading activity in a Fund’s portfolio. A turnover rate of 100% would occur, for example, if all of a Fund’s investments held at the beginning of a year were replaced by the end of the year, or if a single investment were frequently traded. The turnover rate also may be affected by cash requirements from redemptions and repurchases of a Fund’s shares. A high rate of portfolio turnover in any year may increase brokerage commissions paid and could generate taxes for shareholders on realized investment gains. In investing to achieve its investment objective, a Fund may hold securities for any period of time.

For the fiscal years ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, the Funds’ portfolio turnover rates were as follows:

             

Fund

 

2022

   

2021

 

Delaware Healthcare Fund

 

1%

   

22%

 

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

 

115%

   

118%

 

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

 

81%

   

79%

 

The Funds’ strategies and risks are described in the Prospectuses. Certain additional information is provided below. The following discussion supplements the description of the Funds’ investment strategies and risks that are included in the Prospectuses. The Funds’ investment strategies are nonfundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval.

Bonds

The Funds may invest in fixed income securities. Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund may invest up to 20% of their respective assets in debt securities and bonds and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund may invest up to 15% of this portion in high yield, noninvestment-grade bonds if the Manager believes that doing so would help meet the Fund’s investment objective; the Fund, however, does not currently anticipate investing, on a regular basis, a significant amount in such fixed income securities.

In general, a debt security represents a loan of money to the issuer by the purchaser of the security. A debt security typically has a fixed payment schedule that obligates the issuer to pay interest to the lender and to return the lender’s money over a certain time period. Some debt securities, such as zero-coupon bonds, do not make regular interest payments but are issued at a discount to their principal or maturity value. Debt securities include a variety of fixed income obligations, including, but not limited to, corporate bonds, government securities, municipal securities, convertible securities, mortgage-backed securities, and asset-backed securities. Debt securities include investment grade, below-investment-grade (commonly referred to as “junk bonds”), and unrated bonds. Debt securities are subject to a variety of risks, such as interest rate risk, default risk, call/prepayment risk, inflation risk, credit risk, and, in the case of foreign


 

bonds, country risk and currency risk. The reorganization of a debt issuer under the federal bankruptcy laws may result in the issuer’s debt securities being cancelled without repayment, repaid only in part, or repaid in part or in whole through an exchange thereof for any combination of cash, debt securities, convertible securities, equity securities, or other instruments or rights in respect of the same issuer or a related entity.

Borrowing

Delaware Healthcare Fund may maintain a negative cash balance with its custodian, which is considered a form of borrowing or leverage. If the Fund maintains a negative cash balance and its investments decrease in value, the Fund’s losses will be greater than if the Fund did not maintain a negative cash balance. The Fund is required to pay interest to the custodian on negative cash balances.

The 1940 Act and the SEC’s current rules, exemptions, and interpretations thereunder, permit a Fund to borrow up to one-third of the value of its total assets (including the amount borrowed, but less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities) from banks. A Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to such borrowings and to reduce the amount of its respective borrowings (within three days excluding Sundays and holidays) to restore such coverage if it should decline to less than 300% due to market fluctuations or otherwise. In the event that a Fund is required to reduce its borrowings, it may have to sell portfolio holdings, even if such sale of the Fund’s holdings would be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint. Investment securities will not be purchased while a Fund has an outstanding borrowing.

In addition to borrowings that are subject to 300% asset coverage and are considered by the SEC to be permitted “senior securities,” a Fund is also permitted under the 1940 Act to borrow for temporary purposes an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of its total assets at the time when the loan is made. A loan will be presumed to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within 60 days and is not extended or renewed.

Convertible Securities

A portion of the Funds’ assets may be invested in convertible securities. Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund may invest in convertible bonds, preferred stocks, and convertible preferred stock, provided that these investments, when aggregated with the Fund’s investments in debt securities and bonds, do not exceed 25% of the Fund’s assets.

A convertible security is generally a debt obligation, preferred stock, or other security that may be converted within a specified period of time into a certain amount of common stock of the same or of a different issuer. The conversion may occur at the option of the investor in or issuer of the security, or upon a predetermined event. A convertible security typically provides a fixed income stream and the opportunity, through its conversion feature, to participate in the capital appreciation resulting from a market price advance in its underlying common stock. As with a straight fixed income security, a convertible security tends to increase in market value when interest rates decline and decrease in value when interest rates rise. Like common stock, the value of a convertible security also tends to increase as the market value of the underlying stock rises, and it tends to decrease as the market value of the underlying stock declines. Because both interest rate and market movements can influence its value, a convertible security is usually not as sensitive to interest rate changes as a similar fixed income security, nor is it as sensitive to changes in share price as its underlying stock. Convertible securities are also subject to risks that affect debt securities in general.

Although less than an investment in the underlying stock, the potential for gain on an investment in a convertible security is greater than for similar nonconvertible securities. As a result, a lower yield is generally offered on convertible securities than on otherwise equivalent nonconvertible securities. There is no guarantee that a Fund will realize gains on a convertible security in excess of the foregone yield it accepts to invest in such convertible security.

A convertible security is usually issued either by an operating company or by an investment bank. When issued by an operating company, a convertible security tends to be senior to the company’s common stock, but may be subordinate to other types of fixed income securities issued by that company. When a convertible security issued by an operating company is “converted,” the operating company often issues new stock to the holder of the convertible security. However, if the convertible security is redeemable and the parity price of the convertible security is less than the call price, the operating company may pay out cash instead of common stock.

If the convertible security is issued by an investment bank or other sponsor, the security is an obligation of and is convertible through the issuing investment bank. However, the common stock received upon conversion is that of a company other than the investment bank or sponsor. The issuer of a convertible security may be important in determining the security’s true value. This is because the holder of a convertible security will have recourse only to the issuer.

Convertible preferred stock. A convertible preferred stock is usually treated like a preferred stock for a Fund’s financial reporting, credit rating, investment policies, and limitations purposes. A preferred stock is subordinated to all debt obligations in the event of insolvency, and an issuer’s failure to make a dividend payment is generally not an event of default entitling the preferred shareholder to take action. A preferred stock generally has no maturity date, so its market value is dependent on the issuer’s business prospects for an indefinite period of time. Distributions from preferred stock are dividends, rather than interest payments, and are usually treated as such for tax purposes. Investments in convertible preferred stock, as compared to the debt obligations of an issuer, generally increase a Fund’s exposure to the credit risk of the issuer and market risk generally, because convertible preferred stock will fare more poorly if the issuer defaults or markets suffer.

Risks. An investment in a convertible security may involve risks. A Fund may have difficulty disposing of such securities because there may be a thin trading market for a particular security at any given time. Reduced liquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and a Fund’s ability to dispose of a security when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event, such as the deterioration in the creditworthiness of an issuer. Reduced liquidity in the secondary market for certain securities may also make it more difficult for a Fund to obtain market quotations based on actual trades


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

for purposes of valuing the Fund’s portfolio. Although a Fund intends to acquire convertible securities that the Manager considers to be liquid (i.e., those securities that the Manager determines may be sold on an exchange, or an institutional or other substantial market), there can be no assurances that this will be achieved. Certain securities and markets can become illiquid quickly, resulting in liquidity risk for a Fund. A Fund may also encounter difficulty valuing convertible securities due to illiquidity or other circumstances that make it difficult for the Fund to obtain timely market quotations based on actual trades for convertible securities.

Depositary Receipts

The Funds may invest in foreign companies through the purchase and sale of sponsored or unsponsored American depositary receipts (“ADRs”) and Delaware Healthcare Fund may invest in sponsored and unsponsored European depositary receipts (“EDRs”), and global depositary receipts (“GDRs”) that are actively traded in the United States.

Many securities of foreign issuers are represented by ADRs, GDRs, and EDRs (collectively, “depositary receipts”). Generally, depositary receipts in registered form are designed for use in the US securities market and depositary receipts in bearer form are designed for use in securities markets outside the US. ADRs evidence ownership of, and represent the right to receive, securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or trust company or a foreign correspondent bank. Prices of ADRs are quoted in US dollars, and ADRs are traded in the US on exchanges or over-the-counter. While ADRs do not eliminate all the risks associated with foreign investments, by investing in ADRs rather than directly in the stock of foreign issuers, a Fund will avoid currency and certain foreign market trading risks during the settlement period for either purchases or sales. In general, there is a large, liquid market in the US for ADRs quoted on a national securities exchange. The information available for ADRs is subject to the accounting, auditing, and financial reporting standards of the US market or exchange on which they are traded, which standards are generally more uniform and more exacting than those to which many foreign issuers may be subject.

EDRs and GDRs are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a foreign or a US corporation. EDRs and GDRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. The underlying shares are held in trust by a custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer’s home country. If the issuer’s home country does not have developed financial markets, a Fund could be exposed to the credit risk of the custodian or financial institution and greater market risk.

The depository bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest and corporate actions. A Fund would be expected to pay a share of the additional fees, which it would not pay if investing directly in the foreign securities. A Fund may experience delays in receiving its dividend and interest payments or exercising rights as a shareholder.

Depositary receipts may reduce some but not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in the securities of foreign issuers. Depositary receipts are still subject to the political and economic risks of the underlying issuer’s country and are still subject to foreign currency exchange risk. Depositary receipts will be issued under sponsored or unsponsored programs. In sponsored programs, an issuer has made arrangements to have its securities traded in the form of depositary receipts. In unsponsored programs, the issuer may not be directly involved in the creation of the program. Although regulatory requirements with respect to sponsored and unsponsored programs are generally similar, in some cases it may be easier to obtain financial information about an issuer that has participated in the creation of a sponsored program. There may be an increased possibility of untimely responses to certain corporate actions of the issuer, such as stock splits and rights offerings, in an unsponsored program. Accordingly, there may be less information available regarding issuers of securities underlying unsponsored programs and there may not be a correlation between this information and the market value of the depositary receipts. If a Fund’s investment depends on obligations being met by the arranger as well as the issuer of an unsponsored program, the Fund will be exposed to additional credit risk.

Derivatives Instruments

The Funds may invest in some or all of the following types of derivatives instruments: forward foreign currency contracts, futures, and options, all of which are described in more detail in this section of the SAI.

Generally, derivatives are financial instruments whose values depend on or are derived from the value of one or more underlying assets, reference rates, indices, or other market factors (a “reference instrument”) and may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies, commodities, or related indices. Derivatives instruments allow a Fund to gain or reduce exposure to the value of a reference instrument without actually owning or selling the instrument.

The Funds may value derivatives instruments at market value, notional value, or full exposure value (i.e., the sum of the notional amount for the contract plus the market value). The manner in which certain securities or other instruments are valued by the Funds may differ from the manner in which those investments are valued by other types of investors.

Exclusion from commodity pool operator definition. The Manager has claimed an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) with respect to the Funds under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and, therefore, is not subject to CFTC registration or regulation as a CPO. In addition, the Manager, although registered as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) with the CFTC, provides commodity interest trading advice to the Funds as if the Manager was exempt from CTA registration in reliance on applicable rules of the CFTC.

The terms of the CPO exclusion require a Fund, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include commodity futures, commodity options, and certain swaps, which in turn include nondeliverable currency forwards, as further described


 

below. Because the Manager intends to comply with the terms of the CPO exclusion with respect to the Funds, each Fund may, in the future, need to adjust its investment strategies, consistent with its investment goal, to limit its investments in these types of instruments. The Funds are not intended as vehicles for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options, or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Manager’s reliance on the CPO exclusion, the Manager’s provision of services as an exempt CTA or a Fund, its investment strategies, or this SAI.

Generally, the exclusion from CPO definition and regulation on which the Manager relies requires a Fund to meet one of the following tests for its commodity interest positions, other than positions entered into for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined in the rules of the CFTC): either (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the Funds’ positions in commodity interests may not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Funds’ portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of the Funds’ commodity interest positions, determined at the time the most recent such position was established, may not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Funds’ portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of these trading limitations, a Fund may not be marketed as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options, or swaps markets. If, in the future, a Fund can no longer satisfy these requirements, the Manager would withdraw the notice claiming an exclusion from the definition of a CPO for the Fund, and the Manager would be subject to registration and regulation as a CPO with respect to the Fund, in accordance with CFTC rules that apply to CPOs of registered investment companies. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the Manager’s compliance with comparable SEC requirements. However, as a result of CFTC regulation, a Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses.

Developing government regulation of derivatives. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, CFTC, and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits, and the suspension of trading.

It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. However, it is possible that developments in government regulation of various types of derivatives instruments may prevent the Funds from using or limit the Funds’ use of these instruments effectively as a part of their investment strategy, and could adversely affect the Funds’ ability to achieve their investment goal(s). The Manager will continue to monitor developments in this area. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to a Fund, may increase the cost of the Funds’ investments and cost of doing business.

Foreign Investments

Each Fund may invest in securities of foreign companies. Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund will not invest, at the time of purchase, more than 20% of its nets assets in foreign securities (other than securities of Canadian issuers registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”) or, as described above, in certain depositary receipts) and more than 10% of its net assets in emerging markets securities. Delaware Healthcare Fund may invest, at the time of purchase, up to 50% of its total assets in non-US companies and up to 25% of its total assets in companies located in emerging markets.

Overview. Investors should consider carefully the substantial risks associated with investing in the securities of certain governments and companies located in, or having substantial operations in, foreign countries, which are in addition to the usual risks inherent in domestic investments. As with US securities, the value of foreign securities is affected by general economic conditions and individual issuer and industry earnings prospects. Investments in depositary receipts also involve some or all of the risks described below.

There is the possibility of cessation of trading on foreign exchanges, expropriation, nationalization of assets, confiscatory or punitive taxation, withholding and other foreign taxes on income or other amounts, foreign exchange controls (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a given country), restrictions on removal of assets, political or social instability, military action or unrest, or diplomatic developments that could affect investments in securities of issuers in foreign nations. There is no assurance that the Manager will be able to anticipate these potential events. In addition, the value of securities denominated in foreign currencies and of dividends and interest paid with respect to such securities will fluctuate based on the relative strength of the US dollar compared to such foreign currencies.

There may be less publicly available information about foreign issuers that is comparable to the reports and ratings published about issuers in the US. Foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting or financial reporting standards. Auditing practices and requirements may not be comparable to those applicable to US issuers. Certain countries’ legal institutions, financial markets, and services are less developed than those in the US or other major economies. A Fund may have greater difficulty voting proxies, exercising shareholder rights, securing dividends and obtaining information regarding corporate actions on a timely basis, pursuing legal remedies, and obtaining judgments with respect to foreign investments in foreign courts than with respect to domestic issuers in US courts. The costs associated with foreign investments, including withholding taxes, brokerage commissions, and custodial costs, are generally higher than with US investments.

Certain countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons, or limit the amount of investment by foreign persons in a particular company. Some countries limit the investment of foreign persons to only a specific class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous terms than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. Although securities subject to such restrictions may be marketable abroad, they may be less liquid than foreign securities of the same class that are not subject to such restrictions. In some countries the repatriation of investment income, capital, and proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in or a refusal to grant any required governmental registration or approval for repatriation.


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

From time to time, trading in a foreign market may be interrupted. Foreign markets also have substantially less volume than the US markets and securities of some foreign issuers are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable US issuers. A Fund, therefore, may encounter difficulty in obtaining market quotations for purposes of valuing its portfolio and calculating its net asset value (“NAV”).

In many foreign countries, there is less government supervision and regulation of stock exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the US, which may result in greater potential for fraud or market manipulation. Foreign over-the-counter markets tend to be less regulated than foreign stock exchange markets and, in certain countries, may be totally unregulated. Brokerage commission rates in foreign countries, which generally are fixed rather than subject to negotiation as in the US, are likely to be higher. Foreign security trading, settlement, and custodial practices (including those involving securities settlement where assets may be released prior to receipt of payment) are often less developed than those in US markets, may be cumbersome, and may result in increased risk or substantial delays. This could occur in the event of a failed trade or the insolvency of, or breach of duty by, a foreign broker/dealer, securities depository, or foreign subcustodian.

To the extent that a Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or country, the Fund will have more exposure to economic risks related to such region or country than a fund whose investments are more geographically diversified. Adverse conditions or changes in policies in a certain region or country can affect securities of other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated but are otherwise connected. In the event of economic or political turmoil, a deterioration of diplomatic relations or a natural or man-made disaster in a region or country where a substantial portion of a Fund’s assets are invested, the Fund may have difficulty meeting a large number of shareholder redemption requests.

The holding of foreign securities may be limited by a Fund to avoid investment in certain Passive Foreign Investment Companies (“PFICs”).

Developing markets or emerging markets. Investments in companies domiciled or with significant operations in developing market or emerging market countries may be subject to potentially higher risks than investments in developed countries. These risks include, among others (i) less social, political, and economic stability; (ii) smaller securities markets with low or nonexistent trading volume, which result in greater illiquidity and greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies which may restrict a Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation, including less transparent and established taxation policies; (v) less developed regulatory or legal structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; (vi) the absence, until recently in many developing market countries, of a capital market structure or market-oriented economy; (vii) more widespread corruption and fraud; (viii) the financial institutions with which a Fund may trade may not possess the same degree of financial sophistication, creditworthiness, or resources as those in developed markets; and (ix) the possibility that recent favorable economic developments in some developing market countries may be slowed or reversed by unanticipated economic, political, or social events in such countries.

In addition, many developing market countries have experienced substantial and, during some periods, extremely high rates of inflation, for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain countries. Moreover, the economies of some developing market countries may differ unfavorably from the US economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, currency depreciation, debt burden, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency, and balance of payments position. The economies of some developing market countries may be based on only a few industries, and may be highly vulnerable to changes in local or global trade conditions.

Settlement systems in developing market countries may be less organized than in developed countries. Supervisory authorities may also be unable to apply standards which are comparable with those in more developed countries. There may be risks that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities belonging to a Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the settlement systems. Market practice may require that payment be made prior to receipt of the security which is being purchased or that delivery of a security must be made before payment is received. In such cases, default by a broker or bank (the “counterparty”) through whom the relevant transaction is effected might result in a loss being suffered by a Fund. A Fund seeks, where possible, to use counterparties whose financial status reduces this risk. However, there can be no certainty that the Fund will be successful in eliminating or reducing this risk, particularly as counterparties operating in developing market countries frequently lack the substance, capitalization, and/or financial resources of those in developed countries. Uncertainties in the operation of settlement systems in individual markets may increase the risk of competing claims to securities held by or to be transferred to a Fund. Legal compensation schemes may be nonexistent, limited, or inadequate to meet a Fund’s claims in any of these events.

Securities trading in developing markets presents additional credit and financial risks. A Fund may have limited access to, or there may be a limited number of, potential counterparties that trade in the securities of developing market issuers. Governmental regulations may restrict potential counterparties to certain financial institutions located or operating in the particular developing market. Potential counterparties may not possess, adopt, or implement creditworthiness standards, financial reporting standards, or legal and contractual protections similar to those in developed markets. Currency and other hedging techniques may not be available or may be limited.

The local taxation of income and capital gains accruing to nonresidents varies among developing market countries and may be comparatively high. Developing market countries typically have less well-defined tax laws and procedures and such laws may permit retroactive taxation so that a Fund could in the future become subject to local tax liabilities that had not been anticipated in conducting its investment activities or valuing its assets.

Many developing market countries suffer from uncertainty and corruption in their legal frameworks. Legislation may be difficult to interpret and laws may be too new to provide any precedential value. Laws regarding foreign investment and private property may be weak or nonexistent. Investments in developing market countries may involve risks of nationalization, expropriation, and confiscatory taxation. For example, the Communist governments of a number of


 

Eastern European countries expropriated large amounts of private property in the past, in many cases without adequate compensation, and there can be no assurance that similar expropriation will not occur in the future. In the event of expropriation, a Fund could lose all or a substantial portion of any investments it has made in the affected countries. Accounting, auditing, and reporting standards in certain countries in which a Fund may invest may not provide the same degree of investor protection or information to investors as would generally apply in major securities markets. In addition, it is possible that purported securities in which a Fund invested may subsequently be found to be fraudulent and as a consequence the Fund could suffer losses.

Finally, currencies of developing market countries are subject to significantly greater risks than currencies of developed countries. Some developing market currencies may not be internationally traded or may be subject to strict controls by local governments, resulting in undervalued or overvalued currencies and associated difficulties with the valuation of assets, including a Fund’s securities, denominated in that currency. Some developing market countries have experienced balance of payment deficits and shortages in foreign exchange reserves. Governments have responded by restricting currency conversions. Future restrictive exchange controls could prevent or restrict a company’s ability to make dividend or interest payments in the original currency of the obligation (usually US dollars). In addition, even though the currencies of some developing market countries, such as certain Eastern European countries, may be convertible into US dollars, the conversion rates may be artificial to the actual market values and may be adverse to a Fund’s shareholders.

Foreign governmental and supranational debt securities. Investments in debt securities of foreign governmental or supranational issuers are subject to all the risks associated with investments in US and foreign securities and certain additional risks.

Foreign government debt securities, sometimes known as sovereign debt securities, include debt securities issued, sponsored, or guaranteed by: governments or governmental agencies, instrumentalities, or political subdivisions located in emerging or developed market countries; government owned, controlled, or sponsored entities located in emerging or developed market countries; and entities organized and operated for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers.

A supranational entity is a bank, commission, or company established or financially supported by the national governments of one or more countries to promote reconstruction, trade, harmonization of standards or laws; economic development; and humanitarian, political, or environmental initiatives. Supranational debt obligations include: Brady Bonds; participations in loans between emerging market governments and financial institutions; and debt securities issued by supranational entities such as the World Bank, Asia Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and the European Economic Community.

Foreign government debt securities are subject to risks in addition to those relating to debt securities generally. Governmental issuers of foreign debt securities may be unwilling or unable to pay interest and repay principal, or otherwise meet obligations, when due and may require that the conditions for payment be renegotiated. As a sovereign entity, the issuing government may be immune from lawsuits in the event of its failure or refusal to pay the obligations when due. The debtor’s willingness or ability to repay in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its non-US reserves, the availability of sufficient non-US exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the issuing country’s economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders, such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, and the political considerations or constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Governmental debtors also will be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments or multinational agencies and the country’s access to, or balance of, trade. Some governmental debtors have in the past been able to reschedule or restructure their debt payments without the approval of debt holders or declare moratoria on payments, and similar occurrences may happen in the future. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which a Fund may collect in whole or in part on debt subject to default by a government.

Foreign currency exchange rates. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates will affect the US dollar market value of securities denominated in such foreign currencies and any income received or expenses paid by a Fund in that foreign currency. This may affect a Fund’s share price, income, and distributions to shareholders. Some countries may have fixed or managed currencies that are not free-floating against the US dollar. It will be more difficult for the Manager to value securities denominated in currencies that are fixed or managed. Certain currencies may not be internationally traded, which could cause illiquidity with respect to a Fund’s investments in that currency and any securities denominated in that currency. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets. A Fund endeavors to buy and sell foreign currencies on as favorable a basis as practicable. Some price spread in currency exchanges (to cover service charges) may be incurred, particularly when a Fund changes investments from one country to another or when proceeds of the sale of securities in US dollars are used for the purchase of securities denominated in foreign currencies. Some countries may adopt policies that would prevent a Fund from transferring cash out of the country or withhold portions of interest and dividends at the source.

Certain currencies have experienced a steady devaluation relative to the US dollar. Any devaluations in the currencies in which a Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. Where the exchange rate for a currency declines materially after a Fund’s income has been accrued and translated into US dollars, the Fund may need to redeem portfolio securities to make required distributions. Similarly, if an exchange rate declines between the time the Fund incurs expenses in US dollars and the time such expenses are paid, a Fund will have to convert a greater amount of the currency into US dollars in order to pay the expenses.

Investing in foreign currencies for purposes of gaining from projected changes in exchange rates further increases a Fund’s exposure to foreign securities losses.

The Funds do not consider currencies or other financial commodities or contracts and financial instruments to be physical commodities (which include, for example, oil, precious metals, and grains). Accordingly, the Funds interpret the fundamental restriction related to commodities to permit them (subject to their investment goals and general investment policies) to invest directly in foreign currencies and other financial commodities and to purchase, sell, or enter


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

into foreign currency futures contracts and options thereon, forward foreign currency contracts, foreign currency options, currency, commodity- and financial instrument-related swap agreements, hybrid instruments, interest rate, securities-related or foreign currency-related futures contracts or other currency-, commodity- or financial instrument-related derivatives, subject to compliance with any applicable provisions of the federal securities or commodities laws. The Funds also interpret their fundamental restriction regarding purchasing and selling physical commodities to permit the Funds to invest in exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) or other entities that invest in physical and/or financial commodities.

Forward Foreign Currency Contracts

The Funds may engage in forward foreign currency contracts. The Funds may use forward foreign currency contracts to hedge currency risks, to facilitate transactions in foreign securities, and to hedge against a decline in the value of existing investments denominated in foreign currency. The Funds’ dealings in forward foreign currency contracts will be limited to hedging involving either specific transactions or Fund positions.

The Funds value their assets daily in US dollars, but do not intend to convert the value of their foreign holdings into US dollars on a daily basis. The Funds will, however, from time to time, purchase or sell foreign currencies and/or engage in forward foreign currency contracts in order to facilitate or expedite settlement of Fund transactions and to minimize currency value fluctuations. The Funds may conduct their forward foreign currency contracts on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market or through entering into contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (i.e., a “forward foreign currency” contract or “forward” contract), and investors should be aware of the costs of currency conversion.

When a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated in a foreign currency, or when it anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of dividends or interest payments on a security that it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the US dollar price of the security or the US dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for a fixed amount of dollars for the purchase or sale of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, a Fund will be able to protect itself against a possible loss resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between the US dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

Additionally, when the Manager believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the US dollar, a Fund may enter into a forward foreign currency contract for a fixed amount of dollars, to sell the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of the securities of the Fund denominated in such foreign currency.

The Funds may use forward foreign currency contracts to manage currency risks and to facilitate transactions in foreign securities. The following discussion summarizes the principal currency management strategies involving forward contracts that could be used by the Funds.

In connection with purchases and sales of securities denominated in foreign currencies, the Funds may enter into forward foreign currency contracts to fix a definite price for the purchase or sale in advance of the trade’s settlement date. This technique is sometimes referred to as a “settlement hedge” or “transaction hedge.” The Manager expects to enter into settlement hedges in the normal course of managing the Funds’ foreign investments. A Fund could also enter into forward foreign currency contracts to purchase or sell a foreign currency in anticipation of future purchases or sales of securities denominated in a foreign currency, even if the specific investments have not yet been selected by the Manager.

The Funds may also use forward foreign currency contracts to hedge against a decline in the value of existing investments denominated in a foreign currency. For example, if a Fund owned securities denominated in pounds sterling, it could enter into a forward foreign currency contract to sell pounds sterling in return for US dollars to hedge against possible declines in the pound’s value. Such a hedge (sometimes referred to as a “position hedge”) would tend to offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations, but would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors. A Fund could also hedge the position by selling another currency expected to perform similarly to the pound sterling — for example, by entering into a forward foreign currency contract to sell euros in return for US dollars. This type of hedge, sometimes referred to as a “proxy hedge,” could offer advantages in terms of cost, yield, or efficiency, but generally will not hedge currency exposure as effectively as a simple hedge into US dollars. Proxy hedges may result in losses if the currency used to hedge does not perform similarly to the currency in which the hedged securities are denominated.

Under definitions adopted by the CFTC and the SEC, nondeliverable forwards are considered swaps, and therefore are included in the definition of “commodity interests.” A nondeliverable forward is a cash-settled, short-term forward foreign currency contract on a thinly traded or nonconvertible foreign currency, where the profit or loss at the time of the settlement date is calculated by taking the difference between the agreed upon exchange rate and the spot rate at the time of settlement, for an agreed upon notional amount of funds. Although nondeliverable forwards have historically been traded in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) market, as swaps they may in the future be required to be centrally cleared and traded on public facilities. Currency and cross currency forwards that qualify as deliverable forwards are not regulated as swaps for most purposes, and are not included in the definition of “commodity interests.” However these forwards are subject to some requirements applicable to swaps, including reporting to swap data repositories, documentation requirements, and business conduct rules applicable to swap dealers.

Risks of forward foreign currency contracts. The successful use of these transactions will usually depend on the Manager’s ability to accurately forecast currency exchange rate movements. Should exchange rates move in an unexpected manner, a Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, or it may realize losses. In addition, these techniques could result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, for example, due to bankruptcy or insolvency of the counterparty. While a Fund uses only counterparties that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement


 

counterparties may become limited. Moreover, investors should bear in mind that a Fund is not obligated to actively engage in hedging or other currency transactions. For example, a Fund may not attempt to hedge its exposure to a particular foreign currency at a time when doing so might avoid a loss.

Forward foreign currency contracts may limit potential gain from a positive change in the relationship between the US dollar and foreign currencies. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in poorer overall performance for a Fund than if it had not engaged in such contracts. Moreover, there may be an imperfect correlation between a Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities denominated in a particular currency and the currencies bought or sold in the forward foreign currency contracts entered into by the Fund. This imperfect correlation may cause a Fund to sustain losses that will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

Futures and Options on Futures

Each Fund may enter into contracts for the purchase or sale for future delivery of securities or foreign currencies. Each Fund may enter into such futures contracts to protect against the adverse effects of fluctuations in interest or foreign exchange rates without actually buying or selling the securities or foreign currency. With respect to options on futures contracts, when the Funds are not fully invested, they may purchase a call option on a futures contract to hedge against a market advance.

Futures contracts. Generally, a futures contract is a standard binding agreement to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying reference instrument, such as a specific security, currency or commodity, at a specified price at a specified later date. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. The purchase or sale of a futures contract will allow a Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying reference instrument without having to buy the actual instrument.

The underlying reference instruments to which futures contracts may relate include non-US currencies, interest rates, stock and bond indices, and debt securities, including US government debt obligations. In most cases the contractual obligation under a futures contract may be offset, or “closed out,” before the settlement date so that the parties do not have to make or take delivery. The closing out of a contractual obligation is usually accomplished by buying or selling, as the case may be, an identical, offsetting futures contract. This transaction, which is effected through a member of an exchange, cancels the obligation to make or take delivery of the underlying instrument or asset. Although some futures contracts by their terms require the actual delivery or acquisition of the underlying instrument or asset, some require cash settlement.

Futures contracts may be bought and sold on US and non-US exchanges. Futures contracts in the US have been designed by exchanges that have been designated “contract markets” by the CFTC and must be executed through a futures commission merchant (“FCM”), which is a brokerage firm that is a member of the relevant contract market. Each exchange guarantees performance of the contracts as between the clearing members of the exchange, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Futures contracts may also be entered into on certain exempt markets, including exempt boards of trade and electronic trading facilities, available to certain market participants. Because all transactions in the futures market are made, offset, or fulfilled by an FCM through a clearinghouse associated with the exchange on which the contracts are traded, a Fund will incur brokerage fees when it buys or sells futures contracts.

The Funds generally buy and sell futures contracts only on contract markets (including exchanges or boards of trade) where there appears to be an active market for the futures contracts, but there is no assurance that an active market will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. An active market makes it more likely that futures contracts will be liquid and bought and sold at competitive market prices. In addition, many of the futures contracts available may be relatively new instruments without a significant trading history. As a result, there can be no assurance that an active market will develop or continue to exist.

When a Fund enters into a futures contract, it must deliver to an account controlled by the FCM (that has been selected by the Fund), an amount referred to as “initial margin” that is typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in the market value of a contract over a fixed period. Initial margin requirements are determined by the respective exchanges on which the futures contracts are traded and the FCM. Thereafter, a “variation margin” amount may be required to be paid by a Fund or received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts, depending upon changes in the marked-to-market value of the futures contract. The account is marked-to-market daily and the variation margin is monitored by the Manager and the Funds’ custodian on a daily basis. When the futures contract is closed out, if a Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If a Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If a Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain are paid to the Fund.

Some futures contracts provide for the delivery of securities that are different than those that are specified in the contract. For a futures contract for delivery of debt securities, on the settlement date of the contract, adjustments to the contract can be made to recognize differences in value arising from the delivery of debt securities with a different interest rate from that of the particular debt securities that were specified in the contract. In some cases, securities called for by a futures contract may not have been issued when the contract was written.

Risks of futures contracts. The Funds’ use of futures contracts is subject to the risks associated with derivatives instruments generally. In addition, a purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses to a Fund in excess of the amount that the Fund delivered as initial margin. Because of the relatively low margin deposits required, futures trading involves a high degree of leverage; as a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss, or gain, to a Fund. In addition, if a Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements or


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

close out a futures position, it may have to sell securities from its portfolio at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. Adverse market movements could cause a Fund to experience substantial losses on an investment in a futures contract.

There is a risk of loss by a Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a futures contract. The assets of a Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, a Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty.

A Fund may not be able to properly hedge or effect its strategy when a liquid market is unavailable for the futures contract the Fund wishes to close, which may at times occur. In addition, when futures contracts are used for hedging, there may be an imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the underlying reference instrument on which the futures contract is based and movements in the prices of the assets sought to be hedged.

If the Manager’s investment judgment about the general direction of market prices or interest or currency exchange rates is incorrect, a Fund’s overall performance will be poorer than if it had not entered into a futures contract. For example, if a Fund has purchased futures to hedge against the possibility of an increase in interest rates that would adversely affect the price of bonds held in its portfolio and interest rates instead decrease, the Fund will lose part or all of the benefit of the increased value of the bonds which it has hedged. This is because its losses in its futures positions will offset some or all of its gains from the increased value of the bonds.

The difference (called the “spread”) between prices in the cash market for the purchase and sale of the underlying reference instrument and the prices in the futures market is subject to fluctuations and distortions due to differences in the nature of those two markets. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to initial deposit and variation margin requirements. Rather than meeting additional variation margin requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions that could distort the normal pricing spread between the cash and futures markets. Second, the liquidity of the futures markets depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery of the underlying instrument. To the extent participants decide to make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced, resulting in pricing distortion. Third, from the point of view of speculators, the margin deposit requirements that apply in the futures market are less onerous than similar margin requirements in the securities market. Therefore, increased participation by speculators in the futures market may cause temporary price distortions. When such distortions occur, a correct forecast of general trends in the price of an underlying reference instrument by the Manager may still not necessarily result in a profitable transaction.

Futures contracts that are traded on non-US exchanges may not be as liquid as those purchased on CFTC-designated contract markets. In addition, non-US futures contracts may be subject to varied regulatory oversight. The price of any non-US futures contract and, therefore, the potential profit and loss thereon, may be affected by any change in the non-US exchange rate between the time a particular order is placed and the time it is liquidated, offset or exercised.

The CFTC and the various exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” on the maximum net long or net short position that any person, such as a Fund, may hold or control in a particular futures contract. Trading limits are also imposed on the maximum number of contracts that any person may trade on a particular trading day. An exchange may order the liquidation of positions found to be in violation of these limits and it may impose other sanctions or restrictions. The regulation of futures, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law.

Futures exchanges may also limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. This daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and does not limit potential losses because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. For example, futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses.

Options on futures contracts. Options on futures contracts trade on the same contract markets as the underlying futures contract. When a fund buys an option, it pays a premium for the right, but does not have the obligation, to purchase (call) or sell (put) a futures contract at a set price (called the exercise price). The purchase of a call or put option on a futures contract, whereby the Fund has the right to purchase or sell, respectively, a particular futures contract, is similar in some respects to the purchase of a call or put option on an individual security or currency. Depending on the premium paid for the option compared to either the price of the futures contract upon which it is based or the price of the underlying reference instrument, the option may be less risky than direct ownership of the futures contract or the underlying reference instrument. For example, a fund could purchase a call option on a long futures contract when seeking to hedge against an increase in the market value of the underlying reference instrument, such as appreciation in the value of a non-US currency against the US dollar.

The seller (writer) of an option becomes contractually obligated to take the opposite futures position if the buyer of the option exercises its rights to the futures position specified in the option. In return for the premium paid by the buyer, the seller assumes the risk of taking a possibly adverse futures position. In addition, the seller will be required to post and maintain initial and variation margin with the FCM. One goal of selling (writing) options on futures may be to receive the premium paid by the option buyer.

For more general information about the mechanics of purchasing and writing options, see “Options” below.

Risks of options on futures contracts. A Fund’s use of options on futures contracts is subject to the risks related to derivatives instruments generally. In addition, the amount of risk a Fund assumes when it purchases an option on a futures contract is the premium paid for the option plus related transaction


 

costs. The purchase of an option also entails the risk that changes in the value of the underlying futures contract will not be fully reflected in the value of the option purchased. The seller (writer) of an option on a futures contract is subject to the risk of having to take a possibly adverse futures position if the purchaser of the option exercises its rights. If the seller were required to take such a position, it could bear substantial losses. An option writer has potentially unlimited economic risk because its potential loss, except to the extent offset by the premium received, is equal to the amount the option is “in-the-money” at the expiration date. A call option is in-the-money if the value of the underlying futures contract exceeds the exercise price of the option. A put option is in-the-money if the exercise price of the option exceeds the value of the underlying futures contract.

Illiquid and Restricted Investments

Each Fund is permitted to invest up to 15% of its respective net assets in illiquid investments. For purposes of a Fund’s 15% limitation, illiquid investment means any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment, as determined pursuant to the 1940 Act and applicable rules and regulations thereunder. Illiquid investments, for purposes of this policy, include repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven calendar days.

Each Fund may purchase privately placed debt and other securities whose resale is restricted under applicable securities laws. Such restricted securities generally offer a higher return than comparable registered securities but involve some additional risk since they can be resold only in privately negotiated transactions or after registration under applicable securities laws. The registration process may involve delays which could result in a Fund obtaining a less favorable price on a resale.

Each Fund may invest in restricted securities, including securities eligible for resale without registration pursuant to Rule 144A (“Rule 144A Securities”) under the 1933 Act. Rule 144A exempts many privately placed and legally restricted securities from the registration requirements of the 1933 Act and permits such securities to be freely traded among certain institutional buyers such as the Funds. Restricted securities generally offer a higher return potential than comparable registered securities but involve some additional risk since they can be resold only in privately negotiated transactions or after registration under applicable securities laws. The registration process may involve delays which would result in a Fund obtaining a less favorable price on a resale.

The Manager is responsible for the day-to-day functions of determining whether or not individual Rule 144A Securities are liquid for purposes of a Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid investments. The Manager considers the following factors in determining the liquidity of a Rule 144A Security: (i) the frequency of trades and trading volume for the security; (ii) whether at least three dealers are willing to purchase or sell the security and the number of potential purchasers; (iii) whether at least two dealers are making a market in the security; and (iv) the nature of the security and the nature of the marketplace trades (e.g., the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers, and the mechanics of transfer).

If the Manager determines that a Rule 144A Security which was previously determined to be liquid is no longer liquid and, as a result, a Fund’s holdings of illiquid investments exceed its limit on investment in such investments, the Manager will determine what action shall be taken to ensure that the Fund continues to adhere to such limitation.

Investment Companies

Each Fund may invest in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, SEC rules thereunder and exemptions thereto.

With respect to unaffiliated funds in which a Fund may invest, Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act requires that, as determined immediately after a purchase is made, (i) not more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company, (ii) not more than 10% of the value of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in securities of investment companies as a group, and (iii) not more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company will be owned by the Fund. A Fund will limit its investments in unaffiliated funds in accordance with the Section 12(d)(1)(A) limitations set forth above, except to the extent that any rules, regulations or no-action or exemptive relief under the 1940 Act permit the Fund’s investments to exceed such limits in unaffiliated underlying funds. To the extent that a Fund invests in another investment company, because other investment companies pay advisory, administrative and service fees that are borne indirectly by investors, such as the Fund, there may be duplication of investment management and other fees.

Each Fund may invest in securities issued by closed-end funds, subject to any of its investment policies. If a Fund invests in shares issued by leveraged closed-end funds, it will face certain risks associated with leveraged investments. Investments in closed-end funds are subject to additional risks. For example, the price of the closed-end fund’s shares quoted on an exchange may not reflect the NAV of the securities held by the closed-end fund, and the premium or discount the share prices represent versus NAV may change over time based on a variety of factors, including supply of and demand for the closed-end fund’s shares, that are outside the closed-end fund’s control or unrelated to the value of the underlying portfolio securities. If a Fund invests in the closed-end fund to gain exposure to the closed-end fund’s investments, the lack of correlation between the performance of the closed-end fund’s investments and the closed-end fund’s share price may compromise or eliminate any such exposure.

To the extent that a Fund invests in an ETF, the market value of the ETF shares may differ from their NAV because the supply and demand in the market for ETF shares at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the underlying securities. Also, ETFs that track particular indices typically will be unable to match the performance of the index exactly due to the ETFs’ operating expenses and transaction costs.


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

Mortgage-Backed Securities (“MBS”)

Delaware Healthcare Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”).

Overview. MBS, also referred to as mortgage securities or mortgage-related securities, represent an ownership interest in a pool of mortgage loans, usually originated by mortgage bankers, commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions to finance purchases of homes, commercial buildings, or other real estate. The individual mortgage loans are packaged or “pooled” together for sale to investors. These mortgage loans may have either fixed or adjustable interest rates. A guarantee or other form of credit support may be attached to an MBS to protect against default on obligations.

As the underlying mortgage loans are paid off, investors receive principal and interest payments, which “pass-through” when received from individual borrowers, net of any fees owed to the administrator, guarantor, or other service providers. Some MBS make payments of both principal and interest at a range of specified intervals; others make semiannual interest payments at a predetermined rate and repay principal at maturity (like a typical bond).

MBS are based on different types of mortgages, including those on commercial real estate or residential properties. The primary issuers or guarantors of MBS have historically been Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Other issuers of MBS include commercial banks and other private lenders.

Ginnie Mae is a wholly owned US government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ginnie Mae guarantees the principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by Ginnie Mae (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers). Ginnie Mae also guarantees the principal and interest on securities backed by pools of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (the “FHA”), or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”). Ginnie Mae’s guarantees are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of MBS nor do they extend to the value of a Fund’s shares which will fluctuate daily with market conditions.

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored corporation, but its common stock is owned by private stockholders. Fannie Mae purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions, and mortgage bankers. Pass-through securities issued by Fannie Mae are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by Fannie Mae, but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.

Freddie Mac was created by Congress in 1970 for the purpose of increasing the availability of mortgage credit for residential housing. It is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks but now its common stock is owned entirely by private stockholders. Freddie Mac issues Participation Certificates (“PCs”), which are pass-through securities, each representing an undivided interest in a pool of residential mortgages. Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal, but PCs are not backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.

Although the MBS of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, the Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by purchasing limited amounts of their respective obligations. The yields on these MBS have historically exceeded the yields on other types of US government securities with comparable maturities due largely to their prepayment risk. The US government, in the past, provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but no assurance can be given that the US government will continue to do so.

On September 6, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. As the conservator, FHFA succeeded to all rights, titles, powers, and privileges of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and of any stockholder, officer, or director of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA selected a new chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Also, the US Treasury entered into a Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement imposing various covenants that severely limit each enterprise’s operations.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to operate as going concerns while in conservatorship and each remains liable for all of its obligations, including its guaranty obligations associated with its MBS. The FHFA has the power to repudiate any contract entered into by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to FHFA’s appointment as conservator or receiver, including the guaranty obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Accordingly, securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will involve a risk of nonpayment of principal and interest.

MBS that are issued or guaranteed by the US government, its agencies or instrumentalities, are not subject to a Fund’s industry concentration restrictions, set forth under “Fundamental Investment Policies,” by virtue of the exclusion from that test available to securities issued or guaranteed by the US government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities. In the case of privately issued MBS, a Fund categorizes, where possible, the securities by the issuer’s industry for purposes of the Fund’s industry concentration restrictions.

Additional risks. In addition to the special risks described below, MBS are subject to many of the same risks as other types of debt securities. The market value of MBS, like other debt securities, will generally vary inversely with changes in market interest rates, declining when interest rates rise and rising when interest rates decline. MBS differ from conventional debt securities in that most MBS are pass-through securities. This means that they typically provide investors with periodic payments (typically monthly) consisting of a pro rata share of both regular interest and principal payments, as well as unscheduled early prepayments, on the underlying mortgage pool (net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities and any applicable loan servicing fees). As a result, the holder of the MBS (i.e., a Fund) receives scheduled payments of principal and interest and may receive unscheduled principal payments representing prepayments on the underlying mortgages. The rate of prepayments on the underlying mortgages generally increases as interest rates decline, and when a Fund reinvests the payments and any unscheduled prepayments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is


 

lower than the rate on the existing MBS. For this reason, pass-through MBS may have less potential for capital appreciation as interest rates decline and may be less effective than other types of US government or other debt securities as a means of “locking in” long-term interest rates. In general, fixed rate MBS have greater exposure to this “prepayment risk” than variable rate securities.

An unexpected rise in interest rates could extend the average life of an MBS because of a lower than expected level of prepayments or higher than expected amounts of late payments or defaults. In addition, to the extent MBS are purchased at a premium, mortgage foreclosures and unscheduled principal prepayments may result in some loss of the holder’s principal investment to the extent of the premium paid. On the other hand, if MBS are purchased at a discount, both a scheduled payment of principal and an unscheduled prepayment of principal will increase current and total returns and will accelerate the recognition of income that, when distributed to shareholders, will generally be treated as ordinary income. Regulatory or tax changes may also adversely affect the MBS market as a whole.

Guarantees. The existence of a guarantee or other form of credit support on an MBS usually increases the price that a Fund pays for the security. There is always the risk that the guarantor will default on its obligations. When the guarantor is the US government, there is minimal risk of guarantor default. However, the risk remains if the credit support or guarantee is provided by a private party or a US government agency or sponsored enterprise. Even if the guarantor meets its obligations, there can be no assurance that the type of guarantee or credit support provided will be effective at reducing losses or delays to investors, given the nature of the default. A guarantee only assures timely payment of interest and principal, not a particular rate of return on a Fund’s investment or protection against prepayment or other risks. The market price and yield of the MBS at any given time are not guaranteed and are likely to fluctuate.

Options

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund may purchase put and call options and engage in the writing of covered call options and secured put options, Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund may write call options (without limit) and purchase put options on a covered basis only, and Delaware Healthcare Fund may purchase call options or put options. The Funds may purchase or write options on securities, securities indices, and currencies. The Funds will not engage in option writing strategies for speculative purposes. Each Fund intends to purchase put options in order to protect against a decline in the market value of the underlying security below the exercise price less the premium paid for the option (“protective puts”). The Funds also may purchase and write put and call options on foreign currencies (traded on US and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter) for hedging purposes to protect against declines in the US dollar value of foreign securities held by the Funds and against increases in the US dollar cost of such securities to be acquired. Call options on foreign currency written by the Funds will be covered, which means that the Funds will own the underlying foreign currency. The Funds may invest in options that are either exchange listed or traded over-the-counter. Options written by the Funds will normally have expiration dates between one and nine months from the date written. Certain over-the-counter options may be illiquid. Thus, it may not be possible to close options positions and this may have an adverse impact on a Fund’s ability to effectively hedge its securities. Each Fund will not invest more than 15% of its assets in illiquid investments.

Overview. An option is a contract that gives the purchaser of the option, in return for the premium paid, the right to buy an underlying reference instrument, such as a specified security, currency, index, or other instrument, from the writer of the option (in the case of a call option), or to sell a specified reference instrument to the writer of the option (in the case of a put option) at a designated price during the term of the option. The premium paid by the buyer of an option will reflect, among other things, the relationship of the exercise price to the market price and the volatility of the underlying reference instrument; the remaining term of the option, supply, demand, or interest rates; and/or currency exchange rates. An American style put or call option may be exercised at any time during the option period while a European style put or call option may be exercised only upon expiration or during a fixed period prior thereto. Put and call options are traded on national securities exchanges and in the OTC market.

Options traded on national securities exchanges are within the jurisdiction of the SEC or other appropriate national securities regulator, as are securities traded on such exchanges. As a result, many of the protections provided to traders on organized exchanges will be available with respect to such transactions. In particular, all option positions entered into on a national securities exchange in the US are cleared and guaranteed by the Options Clearing Corporation, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Furthermore, a liquid secondary market in options traded on a national securities exchange may be more readily available than in the OTC market, potentially permitting a Fund to liquidate open positions at a profit prior to exercise or expiration, or to limit losses in the event of adverse market movements. There is no assurance, however, that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not temporarily render the capabilities of the Options Clearing Corporation inadequate, and thereby result in the exchange instituting special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of a Fund’s orders to close out open options positions.

Purchasing call and put options. As the buyer of a call option, a Fund has a right to buy the underlying reference instrument (e.g., a currency or security) at the exercise price at any time during the option period (for American style options). A Fund may enter into closing sale transactions with respect to call options, exercise them, or permit them to expire. For example, a Fund may buy call options on underlying reference instruments that it intends to buy with the goal of limiting the risk of a substantial increase in their market price before the purchase is effected. Unless the price of the underlying reference instrument changes sufficiently, a call option purchased by a Fund may expire without any value to the Fund, in which case the Fund would experience a loss to the extent of the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs.

As the buyer of a put option, a Fund has the right to sell the underlying reference instrument at the exercise price at any time during the option period (for American style options). As with a call option, a Fund may enter into closing sale transactions with respect to put options, exercise them or permit them to expire. A Fund may buy a put option on an underlying reference instrument owned by the Fund (a protective put) as a hedging technique in an attempt to protect against an anticipated decline in the market value of the underlying reference instrument. Such hedge protection is provided only during the life of the


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

put option when a Fund, as the buyer of the put option, is able to sell the underlying reference instrument at the put exercise price, regardless of any decline in the underlying instrument’s market price. A Fund may also seek to offset a decline in the value of the underlying reference instrument through appreciation in the value of the put option. A put option may also be purchased with the intent of protecting unrealized appreciation of an instrument when the Manager deems it desirable to continue to hold the instrument because of tax or other considerations. The premium paid for the put option and any transaction costs would reduce any short-term capital gain that may be available for distribution when the instrument is eventually sold. Buying put options at a time when the buyer does not own the underlying reference instrument allows the buyer to benefit from a decline in the market price of the underlying reference instrument, which generally increases the value of the put option.

If a put option were not terminated in a closing sale transaction when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying reference instrument remains equal to or greater than the exercise price during the life of the put option, the buyer would not make any gain upon exercise of the option and would experience a loss to the extent of the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs. In order for the purchase of a put option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying reference instrument must decline sufficiently below the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs.

Writing call and put options. Writing options may permit the writer to generate additional income in the form of the premium received for writing the option. The writer of an option may have no control over when the underlying reference instruments must be sold (in the case of a call option) or purchased (in the case of a put option) because the writer may be notified of exercise at any time prior to the expiration of the option (for American style options). Whether or not an option expires unexercised, the writer retains the amount of the premium. Writing “covered” call options means that the writer owns the underlying reference instrument that is subject to the call option. A Fund will write call options on a covered basis only.

If a Fund writes a covered call option, any underlying reference instruments that are held by the Fund and subject to the call option will be earmarked on the books of the Fund as segregated to satisfy its obligations under the option. A Fund will be unable to sell the underlying reference instruments that are subject to the written call option until the Fund either effects a closing transaction with respect to the written call, or otherwise satisfies the conditions for release of the underlying reference instruments from segregation. As the writer of a covered call option, a Fund gives up the potential for capital appreciation above the exercise price of the option should the underlying reference instrument rise in value. If the value of the underlying reference instrument rises above the exercise price of the call option, the reference instrument will likely be “called away,” requiring a Fund to sell the underlying instrument at the exercise price. In that case, a Fund will sell the underlying reference instrument to the option buyer for less than its market value, and the Fund will experience a loss (which will be offset by the premium received by the Fund as the writer of such option). If a call option expires unexercised, a Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium received. If the market price of the underlying reference instrument decreases, the call option will not be exercised and a Fund will be able to use the amount of the premium received to hedge against the loss in value of the underlying reference instrument. The exercise price of a call option will be chosen based upon the expected price movement of the underlying reference instrument. The exercise price of a call option may be below, equal to (at-the-money), or above the current value of the underlying reference instrument at the time the option is written.

As the writer of a put option, a Fund has a risk of loss should the underlying reference instrument decline in value. If the value of the underlying reference instrument declines below the exercise price of the put option and the put option is exercised, the Fund, as the writer of the put option, will be required to buy the instrument at the exercise price, which will exceed the market value of the underlying reference instrument at that time. A Fund will incur a loss to the extent that the current market value of the underlying reference instrument is less than the exercise price of the put option. However, the loss will be offset in part by the premium received from the buyer of the put. If a put option written by a Fund expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium received.

Closing out options (exchange-traded options). As the writer of an option, if a Fund wants to terminate its obligation, the Fund may effect a “closing purchase transaction” by buying an option of the same series as the option previously written. The effect of the purchase is that the clearing corporation will cancel a Fund’s position. However, a writer may not effect a closing purchase transaction after being notified of the exercise of an option. Likewise, the buyer of an option may recover all or a portion of the premium that it paid by effecting a “closing sale transaction” by selling an option of the same series as the option previously purchased and receiving a premium on the sale. There is no guarantee that either a closing purchase or a closing sale transaction may be made at a time desired by a Fund. Closing transactions allow a Fund to terminate its positions in written and purchased options. A Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium received from writing the original option (in the case of written options) or is more than the premium paid by the Fund to buy the option (in the case of purchased options). For example, increases in the market price of a call option sold by a Fund will generally reflect increases in the market price of the underlying reference instrument. As a result, any loss resulting from a closing transaction on a written call option is likely to be offset in whole or in part by appreciation of the underlying instrument owned by a Fund.

Over-the-counter (“OTC”) options. Like exchange-traded options, OTC options give the holder the right to buy from the writer, in the case of OTC call options, or sell to the writer, in the case of OTC put options, an underlying reference instrument at a stated exercise price. OTC options, however, differ from exchange-traded options in certain material respects.

OTC options are arranged directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation or exchange. Consequently, there is a risk of nonperformance by the dealer, including because of the dealer’s bankruptcy or insolvency. While a Fund uses only counterparties, such as dealers, that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited. Because there is no exchange, pricing is typically done based on information from market makers or other dealers. OTC options are available for a greater variety of underlying reference instruments and in a wider range of expiration dates and exercise prices than exchange-traded options.


 

There can be no assurance that a continuous liquid secondary market will exist for any particular OTC option at any specific time. A Fund may be able to realize the value of an OTC option it has purchased only by exercising it or entering into a closing sale transaction with the dealer that issued it. When a Fund writes an OTC option, it generally can close out that option prior to its expiration only by entering into a closing purchase transaction with the dealer with which the Fund originally wrote the option. A Fund may suffer a loss if it is not able to exercise the option (in the case of a purchased option) or enter into a closing sale transaction on a timely basis.

Risks of options. A Fund’s options investments involve certain risks, including general risks related to derivatives instruments. There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time, and a Fund may have difficulty effecting closing transactions in particular options. Therefore, a Fund would have to exercise the options it purchased in order to realize any profit, thus taking or making delivery of the underlying reference instrument when not desired. A Fund could then incur transaction costs upon the sale of the underlying reference instruments. Similarly, when a Fund cannot effect a closing transaction with respect to a put option it wrote, and the buyer exercises, the Fund would be required to take delivery and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of the underlying reference instruments purchased. If a Fund, as a covered call option writer, is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying reference instrument until the option expires, it delivers the underlying instrument upon exercise, or it segregates enough liquid assets to purchase the underlying reference instrument at the marked-to-market price during the term of the option. When trading options on non-US exchanges or in the OTC market, many of the protections afforded to exchange participants will not be available. For example, there may be no daily price fluctuation limits, and adverse market movements could therefore continue to an unlimited extent over an indefinite period of time.

The effectiveness of an options strategy for hedging depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying reference instruments correlate with price movements in the relevant portion of a Fund’s portfolio that is being hedged. In addition, a Fund bears the risk that the prices of its portfolio investments will not move in the same amount as the option it has purchased or sold for hedging purposes, or that there may be a negative correlation that would result in a loss on both the investments and the option. If the Manager is not successful in using options in managing a Fund’s investments, the Fund’s performance will be worse than if the Manager did not employ such strategies.

Preferred Securities

Each Fund may invest in preferred securities. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividend and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default (such as a covenant default or filing of a bankruptcy petition) or other noncompliance by the issuer with the terms of the preferred stock. Often, however, on the occurrence of any such event of default or noncompliance by the issuer, preferred stockholders will be entitled to gain representation on the issuer’s board of directors or increase their existing board representation. In addition, preferred stockholders may be granted voting rights with respect to certain issues on the occurrence of any event of default.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund may invest in REITs.

REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in income-producing real estate or in mortgages and loans collateralized by real estate. “Equity” REITs are real estate companies that own and manage income-producing properties such as apartments, hotels, shopping centers, or office buildings. The income, primarily rent from these properties, is generally passed on to investors in the form of dividends. These companies provide experienced property management and generally concentrate on a specific geographic region or property type. “Mortgage” REITs make loans to commercial real estate developers and earn income from interest payments. A hybrid REIT combines the characteristics of Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs, generally by holding both ownership interest and mortgage interests in real estate. Although not required, the Manager anticipates that under normal circumstances the Funds will invest primarily in Equity REITs. Although the REIT structure originated in the US, a number of countries around the world have adopted, or are considering adopting, similar REIT and REIT-like structures.

For US federal tax law purposes, to qualify as a REIT, a company must derive at least 75% of its gross income from real estate sources (rents, mortgage interest, or gains from the sale of real estate assets), and at least 95% from real estate sources, plus dividends, interest, and gains from the sale of securities. Real property, mortgage loans, cash, and certain securities must comprise 75% of a company’s assets. In order to qualify as a REIT, a company must also make distributions to shareholders aggregating annually at least 90% of its REIT taxable income.

REIT risks. A Fund’s investments in REITs present certain further risks that are unique and in addition to the risks associated with investing in the real estate industry in general. Equity REITs may be affected by any changes in the value of the underlying properties owned by the REITs and other factors and their prices tend to go up and down, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. REITs are not diversified and are subject to the risks of financing projects. A REIT’s performance depends on the types and locations of the properties it owns and on management skills. A decline in rental income may occur because of extended vacancies, increased competition from other properties, tenants’ failure to pay rent, or poor management. REITs whose underlying assets include US long-term healthcare properties, such as nursing, retirement and assisted living homes, may be impacted by US federal regulations concerning the healthcare industry. A REIT’s performance also depends on the company’s ability to finance property purchases and renovations and manage its cash flows.

REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks — when interest rates decline, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed-rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed-rate obligations can be expected to


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

decline. In contrast, as interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgage loans are reset periodically, yields on a REIT’s investments in such loans will gradually align themselves to reflect changes in market interest rates, causing the value of such investments to fluctuate less dramatically in response to interest rate fluctuations than would investments in fixed-rate obligations.

Because REITs typically are invested in a limited number of projects or in a particular market segment, REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in a limited volume, and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than other securities. Loss of status as a qualified REIT under the US federal tax laws could adversely affect the value of a particular REIT or the market for REITs as a whole.

Repurchase Agreements

Each Fund may, from time to time, enter into repurchase agreement transactions which are at least 102% collateralized by US government securities.

Under a repurchase agreement, a Fund agrees to buy securities guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by the US government or its agencies or instrumentalities from a qualified bank or broker/dealer and then to sell the securities back to the bank or broker/dealer on an agreed upon date (generally less than seven days) at a higher price, which reflects currently prevailing short-term interest rates. Entering into repurchase agreements allows a Fund to earn a return on cash in the Fund’s portfolio that would otherwise remain uninvested. The bank or broker/dealer must transfer to a Fund’s custodian, as collateral, securities with an initial market value of at least 102% of the dollar amount paid by the Fund to the counterparty. The Manager will monitor the value of such collateral daily to determine that the value of the collateral equals or exceeds the repurchase price.

Repurchase agreements may involve risks in the event of default or insolvency of the bank or broker/dealer, including possible delays or restrictions upon a Fund’s ability to sell the underlying securities and additional expenses in seeking to enforce the Fund’s rights and recover any losses. A Fund will enter into repurchase agreements only with parties who meet certain creditworthiness standards, i.e., banks or broker/dealers that the Manager has determined, based on the information available at the time, present no serious risk of becoming involved in bankruptcy proceedings within the time frame contemplated by the repurchase agreement. Although a Fund seeks to limit the credit risk under a repurchase agreement by carefully selecting counterparties and accepting only high-quality collateral, some credit risk remains. The counterparty could default, which may make it necessary for a Fund to incur expenses to liquidate the collateral. In addition, the collateral may decline in value before it can be liquidated by a Fund. A repurchase agreement with more than seven days to maturity may be considered an illiquid investment and may be subject to a Fund’s investment restriction on illiquid investments.

Delaware Funds by Macquarie​® (each a “Delaware Fund” and collectively, “Delaware Funds”) have obtained an exemption (the “Order”) from the joint-transaction prohibitions of Section 17(d) of the 1940 Act to allow Delaware Funds jointly to invest cash balances. A Fund may invest cash balances in a joint repurchase agreement in accordance with the terms of the Order and subject generally to the conditions described above.

Securities Lending

Each Fund may loan up to 25% of its assets to qualified broker/dealers or institutional investors for their use relating to short sales or other security transactions.

A Fund, along with funds in the Delaware Funds, may lend its securities pursuant to a security lending agreement (“Lending Agreement”) with The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”). At the time a security is loaned, the borrower must post collateral equal to the required percentage of the market value of the loaned security, including any accrued interest. The required percentage is: (i) 102% with respect to US securities and foreign securities that are denominated and payable in US dollars; and (ii) 105% with respect to foreign securities. With respect to each loan if, on any business day, the aggregate market value of securities collateral plus cash collateral held is less than the aggregate market value of the securities which are the subject of such loan, the borrower will be notified to provide additional collateral by the end of the following business day which, together with the collateral already held, will be not less than the applicable initial collateral requirements for such security loan. If the aggregate market value of securities collateral and cash collateral held with respect to a security loan exceeds the applicable initial collateral requirement, upon the request of the borrower, BNY Mellon must return enough collateral to the borrower by the end of the following business day to reduce the value of the remaining collateral to the applicable initial collateral requirement for such security loan. As a result of the foregoing, the value of the collateral held with respect to a loaned security may be temporarily more or less than the value of the security on loan.

The investment guidelines permit each separate account to hold certain securities that would be considered eligible securities for a money market fund. Cash collateral received is generally invested in government securities; certain obligations issued by government sponsored enterprises; repurchase agreements collateralized by US Treasury securities; certain obligations issued by the central government of any Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country or its agencies, instrumentalities or establishments; obligations of supranational organizations, commercial paper, notes, bonds and other debt obligations; certificates of deposit, time deposits and other bank obligations; and asset-backed securities.

A Fund can also accept US government securities and letters of credit (non-cash collateral) in connection with securities loans. In the event of default or bankruptcy by the lending agent, realization and/or retention of the collateral may be subject to legal proceedings. In the event the borrower fails to return loaned securities and the collateral received is insufficient to cover the value of the loaned securities and provided such collateral shortfall is not the result of investment losses, the lending agent has agreed to pay the amount of the shortfall to a Fund or, at the discretion of the lending agent, replace the loaned securities. A Fund continues to record dividends or interest, as applicable, on the securities loaned and is subject to changes in value of the securities loaned that may occur during the term of the loan. A Fund has the right under the Lending Agreement to recover the securities from the borrower on demand. With respect to security loans collateralized by non-cash collateral, a Fund receives loan premiums paid by the borrower. With respect to security loans


 

collateralized by cash collateral, the earnings from the collateral investments are shared among a Fund, the security lending agent, and the borrower. A Fund records security lending income net of allocations to the security lending agent and the borrower.

Short-Term Debt Instruments and Temporary Investments

Each Fund may invest in money market securities (the types of which are discussed below) for liquidity and cash management purposes or if the Manager determines that securities meeting a Fund’s investment objective and policies are not otherwise readily available for purchase. For temporary defensive purposes during periods when the Manager determines that conditions warrant, a Fund may increase this percentage up to 100%. For purposes of these policies, money market securities include (i) short-term US government securities, including custodial receipts evidencing separately traded interest and principal components of securities issued by the US Treasury; (ii) commercial paper rated in the highest short-term rating category by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), such as Standard & Poor's (S&P) or Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody's), or determined by the Manager to be of comparable quality at the time of purchase; (iii) short-term bank obligations (certificates of deposit, time deposits, and bankers’ acceptances) of US domestic banks, foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks, and commercial banks with assets of at least $1 billion as of the end of their most recent fiscal year; and (iv) repurchase agreements involving such securities. Each of these types of money market securities is discussed in more detail below.

US Government Securities. Examples of types of US government obligations in which a Fund may invest include US Treasury obligations and the obligations of US government agencies such as Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Farm Credit Banks, Federal Land Banks, the Federal Housing Administration, Farmers Home Administration, Export-Import Bank of the US, Small Business Administration, Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, General Services Administration, Student Loan Marketing Association, Central Bank for Cooperatives, Freddie Mac, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Maritime Administration, and other similar agencies. Whether backed by the full faith and credit of the US Treasury or not, US government securities are not guaranteed against price movements due to fluctuating interest rates.

US Treasury Obligations. US Treasury obligations consist of bills, notes, and bonds issued by the US Treasury and separately traded interest and principal component parts of such obligations that are transferable through the federal book-entry system known as Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities (“STRIPS”) and Treasury Receipts (“TRs”).

 

Receipts. Interests in separately traded interest and principal component parts of US government obligations that are issued by banks or brokerage firms and are created by depositing US government obligations into a special account at a custodian bank. The custodian holds the interest and principal payments for the benefit of the registered owners of the certificates or receipts. The custodian arranges for the issuance of the certificates or receipts evidencing ownership and maintains the register. TRs and STRIPS are interests in accounts sponsored by the US Treasury. Receipts are sold as zero coupon securities.

 

US Government Zero Coupon Securities. STRIPS and receipts are sold as zero coupon securities, that is, fixed income securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons. Zero coupon securities are sold at a (usually substantial) discount and redeemed at face value at their maturity date without interim cash payments of interest or principal. The amount of this discount is accreted over the life of the security, and the accretion constitutes the income earned on the security for both accounting and tax purposes. Because of these features, the market prices of zero coupon securities are generally more volatile than the market prices of securities that have similar maturity but that pay interest periodically. Zero coupon securities are likely to respond to a greater degree to interest rate changes than are non-zero coupon securities with similar maturity and credit qualities.

 

US Government Agencies. Some obligations issued or guaranteed by agencies of the US government are supported by the full faith and credit of the US Treasury, others are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the Treasury, while still others are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. Guarantees of principal by agencies or instrumentalities of the US government may be a guarantee of payment at the maturity of the obligation so that in the event of a default prior to maturity there might not be a market and thus no means of realizing on the obligation prior to maturity. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of these securities or to the value of a Fund’s shares.

 

Commercial Paper. Commercial paper is the term used to designate unsecured short-term promissory notes issued by corporations and other entities. Maturities on these issues vary from a few to 270 days. A Fund may invest in short-term promissory notes issued by corporations that, at the time of purchase, are rated P-1 and/or A-1. Commercial paper ratings P-1 by Moody’s and A-1 by S&P are the highest investment grade category.

Obligations of Domestic Banks, Foreign Banks and Foreign Branches of US Banks. A Fund may invest in obligations issued by banks and other savings institutions. Investments in bank obligations include obligations of domestic branches of foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks. Such investments in domestic branches of foreign banks and foreign branches of domestic banks are not covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and may involve risks that are different from investments in securities of domestic branches of US banks. These risks may include future unfavorable political and economic developments, possible withholding taxes on interest income, seizure or nationalization of foreign deposits, currency controls, interest limitations, or other governmental restrictions that might affect the payment of principal or interest on the securities held by a Fund. Additionally, these institutions may be subject to less stringent reserve requirements and to different accounting, auditing, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements than those applicable to domestic branches of US banks. Bank obligations include the following:

Bankers’ Acceptances. Bankers’ acceptances are bills of exchange or time drafts drawn on, and accepted by, a commercial bank. Corporations use bankers’ acceptances to finance the shipment and storage of goods and to furnish dollar exchange. Maturities are generally six months or less.

 


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

Certificates of Deposit. Certificates of deposit are interest-bearing instruments with a specific maturity. They are issued by banks and savings and loan institutions in exchange for the deposit of funds and normally can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity. Unless they can be traded on a secondary market, certificates of deposit with penalties for early withdrawal may be considered illiquid.

 

Time Deposits. Time deposits are nonnegotiable receipts issued by a bank in exchange for the deposit of funds. Like a certificate of deposit, they earn a specified rate of interest over a definite period of time; however, they cannot be traded in the secondary market. Time deposits with a withdrawal penalty or that mature in more than seven days may be considered to be illiquid investments.

 

Small to Medium-Sized Companies

The Funds may invest in equity securities of small to medium-sized companies. These stocks have historically been more volatile in price than larger capitalization stocks, such as those included in the S&P 500​® Index. This is because, among other things, smaller companies have a lower degree of liquidity and tend to have a greater sensitivity to changing economic conditions. These companies may have narrow product lines, markets or financial resources, or may depend on a limited management group. In addition, these companies are typically subject to a greater degree of change in their earnings and prospects. The companies’ securities may trade less frequently and have a smaller trading volume. The securities may be traded only in the over-the-counter markets or on a regional securities exchange. In addition to exhibiting greater volatility, smaller capitalization securities may, to some degree, fluctuate independently of the stocks of larger capitalization companies. For example, the stocks of smaller capitalization companies may decline in price as the price of larger company stocks rise, or vice versa.

US Government Securities

US government securities include obligations of, or guaranteed by, the US federal government, its agencies, instrumentalities, or sponsored enterprises. Some US government securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the US government. These include US Treasury obligations and securities issued by Ginnie Mae. A second category of US government securities is those supported by the right of the agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise to borrow from the US government to meet its obligations. These include securities issued by Federal Home Loan Banks.

A third category of US government securities is those supported by only the credit of the issuing agency, instrumentality, or sponsored enterprise. These include securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the event of a default, an investor like a Fund would only have legal recourse to the issuer, not the US government. Although the US government has provided support for these securities in the past, there can be no assurance that it will do so in the future. The US government has also made available additional guarantees for limited periods to stabilize or restore a market in the wake of an economic, political, or natural crisis. Such guarantees, and the economic opportunities they present, are likely to be temporary and cannot be relied upon by a Fund. Any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the US government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities.

Warrants

Delaware Healthcare Fund may purchase warrants and similar rights.

Warrants and similar rights are privileges issued by corporations enabling the owners to subscribe to and purchase a specified number of shares of the corporation at a specified price during a specified period of time. The purchase of warrants involves the risk that the Fund could lose the purchase value of a warrant if the right to subscribe to additional shares is not exercised prior to the warrant’s expiration. Also, the purchase of warrants involves the risk that the effective price paid for the warrant added to the subscription price of the related security may exceed the value of the subscribed security’s market price such as when there is no movement in the level of the underlying security.

When-Issued and Delayed-Delivery Securities

Each Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued or delayed-delivery basis. In such transactions, instruments are purchased with payment and delivery taking place in the future in order to secure what is considered to be an advantageous yield or price at the time of the transaction. Delivery of and payment for these securities may take up to a month after the date of the purchase commitment, although in some cases it may take longer. The payment obligation and the interest rates that will be received are each fixed at the time the Fund enters into the commitment and no interest accrues to the Fund until settlement. Thus, it is possible that the market value at the time of settlement could be higher or lower than the purchase price if the general level of interest rates has changed.

Zero Coupon and Payment-In-Kind Bonds

The Funds may invest in zero coupon bonds or payment-in-kind bonds.

The credit risk factors pertaining to lower-rated securities also apply to lower-rated zero coupon, deferred interest, and payment-in-kind bonds. These bonds carry an additional risk in that, unlike bonds that pay interest throughout the period to maturity, a Fund will realize no cash until the cash payment date and, if the issuer defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment.

Zero coupon, deferred interest, and payment-in-kind bonds involve additional special considerations. Zero coupon or deferred interest securities are debt obligations that do not entitle the holder to any periodic payments of interest prior to maturity or a specified date when the securities begin paying current interest (the “cash payment date”) and therefore are generally issued and traded at a discount from their face amounts or par values. The discount varies


 

depending on the time remaining until maturity or cash payment date, prevailing interest rates, liquidity of the security, and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The discount, in the absence of financial difficulties of the issuer, typically decreases as the final maturity or cash payment date of the security approaches. The market prices of zero coupon securities are generally more volatile than the market prices of securities that pay interest periodically and are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than do non-zero coupon or deferred interest securities having similar maturities and credit quality. Current federal income tax law requires that a holder of a zero coupon security report as income each year the portion of the original issue discount on the security that accrues that year, even though the holder receives no cash payments of interest during the year.

Payment-in-kind bonds are securities that pay interest through the issuance of additional bonds. A Fund will be deemed to receive interest over the life of these bonds and be treated as if interest were paid on a current basis for federal income tax purposes, although no cash interest payments are received by the Fund until the cash payment date or until the bonds mature. Accordingly, during periods when a Fund receives no cash interest payments on its zero coupon securities or deferred interest or payment-in-kind bonds, it may be required to dispose of portfolio securities to meet the distribution requirements and these sales may be subject to the risk factors discussed above. A Fund is not limited in the amount of its assets that may be invested in these types of securities.

Cybersecurity Risk

With the increased use of technologies such as the internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, the Funds and their service providers may have become more susceptible to operational and related risks through breaches in cybersecurity. A cybersecurity incident may refer to intentional or unintentional events that allow an unauthorized party to gain access to Fund assets, customer data, or proprietary information, or cause a Fund or Fund service providers (including, but not limited to, the Manager, distributor, fund accountants, custodian, transfer agent, and financial intermediaries) to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. A cybersecurity incident could, among other things, result in the loss or theft of customer data or funds, customers or employees being unable to access electronic systems (denial of services), loss or theft of proprietary information or corporate data, physical damage to a computer or network system, or remediation costs associated with system repairs.

Any of these results could have a substantial adverse impact on a Fund and its shareholders. For example, if a cybersecurity incident results in a denial of service, Fund shareholders could lose access to their electronic accounts and be unable to buy or sell Fund shares for an unknown period of time, and employees could be unable to access electronic systems to perform critical duties for the Fund, such as trading, NAV calculation, shareholder accounting or fulfillment of Fund share purchases and redemptions. Cybersecurity incidents could cause a Fund or Fund service provider to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures, or financial loss of a significant magnitude and could result in allegations that a Fund or Fund service provider violated privacy and other laws.

Similar adverse consequences could result from cybersecurity incidents affecting issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, counterparties with which a Fund engages in transactions, governmental and other regulatory authorities, exchange and other financial market operators, banks, brokers, dealers, insurance companies, and other financial institutions and other parties. Risk management systems and business continuity plans seek to reduce the risks associated with cybersecurity in the event there is a cybersecurity breach, but there are inherent limitations in these systems and plans, including the possibility that certain risks may not have been identified, in large part because different or unknown threats may emerge in the future. Furthermore, the Funds do not control the cybersecurity systems and plans of the issuers of securities in which the Funds invest or the Funds’ third party service providers or trading counterparties or any other service providers whose operations may affect the Funds or their shareholders.

As an open-end management investment company, the Trust has delegated its operational activities to third-party service providers, subject to the oversight of the Board. Because the Trust operates its business through third-party service providers, it does not itself have any operational or security systems or infrastructure that are potentially subject to cyber attacks. The third-party service providers that facilitate the Trust’s business activities, including, but not limited to, fund management, custody of Trust assets, fund accounting and financial administration, and transfer agent services, could be sources of operational and informational security risk to the Trust and its shareholders, including from breakdowns or failures of the third-party service providers’ own systems or capacity constraints. A failure or breach of the operational or security systems or infrastructure of the Trust’s third-party service providers could disrupt the Trust’s operations, result in the disclosure or misuse of confidential or proprietary information, and cause losses. Although the Trust and its third-party service providers have business continuity plans and other safeguards in place, the operations of the Trust’s third-party service providers may be adversely affected by significant disruption of the service providers’ operating systems or physical infrastructure that support the Trust and its shareholders.

The proliferation of new technologies, the use of the Internet and telecommunications technologies to conduct business, as well as the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, hackers, terrorists, activists, and others, have significantly increased the information security risks to which the Trust’s third-party service providers are subject. The third-party service providers rely on digital technologies, computer and email systems, software, and networks to conduct their business and the business of the Trust. The Trust’s third-party service providers have robust information security procedures; however, their technologies may become the target of cyber attacks or information security breaches that could result in the unauthorized release, gathering, monitoring, misuse, loss, or destruction of the Trust’s or its shareholders’ confidential and other information, or otherwise disrupt the business operations of the Trust or its third-party service providers. Although to date the Trust has not experienced any material losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches, there can be no assurance that the Trust or its third-party service providers will not suffer such losses in the future.

Disruptions or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Trust’s third-party service providers, or cyber attacks or security breaches of the networks, systems, or devices that the Trust’s third-party service providers use to service the Trust’s operations, could result in financial losses, the inability of Trust shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational


 

Investment Strategies and Risks

damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. The business continuity policies and procedures that the Trust and its third-party service providers have established seek to identify and mitigate the types of risk to which the Trust and its third-party service providers are subject. As with any risk-management system, there are inherent limitations to these business continuity policies and procedures as there may exist, or develop in the future, risks that have not been anticipated or identified.

IBOR Transition Risk

The London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) is the average offered rate for various maturities of short-term loans between major international banks who are members of the British Bankers Association (“BBA”). LIBOR was a common benchmark interest rate index used to make adjustments to variable-rate loans and was used throughout global banking and financial industries to determine interest rates for a variety of borrowing arrangements and financial instruments (such as debt instruments and derivatives). Regulators in the United States and the United Kingdom alleged that certain banks engaged in manipulative acts in connection with their submissions to the BBA. LIBOR manipulation would raise the risk of a fund of being adversely impacted if a fund received a payment based upon LIBOR and such manipulation of LIBOR resulted in lower resets than would have occurred had there been no manipulation.

In addition to LIBOR, a fund may have investments linked to other interbank offered rates (“IBORs”). Other IBORs, such as the Euro Overnight Index Average (EONIA), are also the subject of regulatory reform or discontinuation. Over the past several years, various regulators and industry bodies have worked together to identify alternative reference rates (“ARRs”) to replace LIBOR and assist with the transition to the new ARRs. The majority of LIBOR rates were phased out at the end of 2021. The most common tenors of USD LIBOR (overnight and 1-, 3-, 6- and 12- month) will cease publication as of June 30, 2023.

There remains uncertainty and risks related to converting certain longer-term securities and transactions to a new ARR. For example, there can be no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any ARRs or financial instruments in which a fund invests that utilize ARRs will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that these instruments will have the same volume or liquidity. While some instruments tied to LIBOR or a similar rate may include a replacement rate in the event these rates are discontinued, not all instruments have such fallback provisions and the effectiveness of such replacement rates remains uncertain. The cessation of LIBOR or similar rates could affect the value and liquidity of investments tied to these rates, especially those that do not include fallback provisions. The effect of a transition away from the IBORs may also result in a reduction in the effectiveness of certain hedging transactions and increased volatility in markets that currently rely on an IBOR to determine interest rates. The use of alternative reference rate products may also impact investment strategy performance. Due to the uncertainty regarding the future utilization of LIBOR and similar rates and the nature of any replacement rate, the potential effect of a transition away from these rates on a fund or the financial instruments in which the fund invests cannot yet be determined.

Natural Disaster/Epidemic Risk

Natural or environmental disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other severe weather-related phenomena generally, and widespread disease, including pandemics and epidemics, have been and can be highly disruptive to economies and markets, adversely impacting individual companies, sectors, industries, markets, currencies, interest and inflation rates, credit ratings, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value of a fund’s investments. Given the increasing interdependence among global economies and markets, conditions in one country, market, or region are increasingly likely to adversely affect markets, issuers, and/or foreign exchange rates in other countries. These disruptions could prevent a fund from executing advantageous investment decisions in a timely manner and could negatively impact the fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. Any such event(s) could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of a fund.

Each Fund has adopted a policy generally prohibiting the disclosure of portfolio holdings information to any person until after 30 calendar days have passed. The Trust posts a list of each Fund’s portfolio holdings monthly, with a 30-day lag, on each Fund’s website, delawarefunds.com. In addition, on a 10-day lag, we also make available on the website a month-end summary listing of the number of each Fund’s securities, country and asset allocations, and top 10 securities and sectors by percentage of holdings for each Fund. This information is available publicly to any and all shareholders free of charge once posted on the website or by calling 800 523-1918.

Other entities, including institutional investors and intermediaries that distribute the Funds’ shares, are generally treated similarly and are not provided with the Funds’ portfolio holdings in advance of when they are generally available to the public.

The Funds may, from time to time, provide statistical data derived from publicly available information to third parties, such as shareholders, prospective shareholders, financial intermediaries, consultants, and ratings and ranking organizations.

Third-party service providers and affiliated persons of the Funds are provided with the Funds’ portfolio holdings only to the extent necessary to perform services under agreements relating to the Funds. In accordance with the policy, third-party service providers who receive nonpublic portfolio holdings information on an ongoing basis are: the Manager’s affiliates (Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust, Delaware Investments Fund Services Company, and the Distributor), the Funds’ independent registered public accounting firm, the Funds’ custodian, the Funds’ legal counsel, the Funds’ financial printer (DG3), and the Funds’ proxy voting service. These entities are obligated to keep such information confidential.


 

Third-party rating and ranking organizations and consultants who have signed agreements (“Nondisclosure Agreements”) with the Funds or the Manager may receive portfolio holdings information more quickly than the 30-day lag. The Nondisclosure Agreements require that the receiving entity hold the information in the strictest confidence and prohibit the receiving entity from disclosing the information or trading on the information (either in Fund shares or in shares of the Funds’ portfolio securities). In addition, the receiving party must agree to provide copies of any research or reports generated using the portfolio holdings information in order to allow for monitoring of use of the information. Neither the Funds, nor the Manager, nor any affiliate, receives any compensation or consideration with respect to these agreements.

To protect the shareholders’ interests and to avoid conflicts of interest, Nondisclosure Agreements must be approved by a member of the Manager’s Legal Department and Compliance Department and any deviation in the use of the portfolio holdings information by the receiving party must be approved in writing by the Funds’ Chief Compliance Officer prior to such use.

The Board will be notified of any substantial changes to the foregoing procedures. The Board also receives an annual report from the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer that, among other things, addresses the operation of the Trust’s procedures concerning the disclosure of portfolio holdings information.


 

Trustees and officers

The business and affairs of the Trust are managed under the direction of its Board of Trustees. Certain officers and Trustees of the Trust hold identical positions in Delaware Funds. The Trust’s Trustees and principal officers are noted below along with their birthdates and their business experience for the past five years. The Trustees serve for indefinite terms until their resignation, death, or removal.

As of June 30, 2022, the officers and Trustees of the Trust directly owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of each Class of each Fund

Name, Address,
and Birthdate

Position(s) Held with the Trust

Length of Time Served​1

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee

Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years

Other Directorships Held by Trustee During the Past Five Years

Interested Trustee

Shawn K. Lytle2
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

February 1970

President, Chief Executive Officer, and Trustee

President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2015

Trustee since September 2015

128

Macquarie Asset Management Public Investments3 (2015‑Present)—Global Head of Macquarie Asset Management Public Investments (2019‑Present); Head of Americas of Macquarie Group (2017‑Present)

None

Independent Trustees

Jerome D. Abernathy
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

July 1959

Trustee

Since January 2019

128

Stonebrook Capital Management, LLC (financial technology: macro factors and databases)—Managing Member (1993‑Present)

None

Thomas L. Bennett
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

October 1947

Trustee

Trustee since March 2005

Chair from March 2015 to August 2022

128

Private Investor (2004‑Present)

None

Ann D. Borowiec
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

November 1958

Trustee

Since March 2015

128

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (1987‑2013)—Chief Executive Officer, Private Wealth Management (2011‑2013)

Banco Santander International (2016‑2019)

Santander Bank, N.A. (2016‑2019)

Joseph W. Chow
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

January 1953

Trustee

Since January 2013

128

Private Investor (2011‑Present)

None


 

Name, Address,
and Birthdate

Position(s) Held with the Trust

Length of Time Served1

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee

Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years

Other Directorships Held by Trustee During the Past Five Years

H. Jeffrey Dobbs
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

May 1955

Trustee

Since April 20194

128

KPMG LLP (2002‑2015)—Global Sector Chairman, Industrial Manufacturing (2010‑2015)

TechAccel LLC (2015‑Present)

PatientsVoices, Inc. (2018‑Present)

Valparaiso University Board (2012‑Present)

Ivy Funds Complex (2019‑2021)

John A. Fry
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

May 1960

Trustee

Since January 2001

128

Drexel University—President (2010‑Present)

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (2020‑Present)

FS Credit Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (2018‑Present)

vTv Therapeutics Inc. (2017‑Present)

Community Health Systems (2004‑Present)

Drexel Morgan & Co. (2015‑2019)

Joseph Harroz, Jr.
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

January 1967

Trustee

Since November 19984

128

University of Oklahoma—President (2020‑Present); Interim President (2019‑2020); Vice President and Dean, College of Law (2010‑2019)

Brookhaven Investments LLC (commercial enterprises) —Managing Member (2019‑Present)

St. Clair, LLC (commercial enterprises) —Managing Member (2019‑Present)

OU Medicine, Inc. (2020‑Present)

Big 12 Athletic Conference (2019‑Present)

Valliance Bank (2007‑Present)

Ivy Funds Complex (1998‑2021)


 

Management of the Trust

Name, Address,
and Birthdate

Position(s) Held with the Trust

Length of Time Served1

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee

Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years

Other Directorships Held by Trustee During the Past Five Years

Sandra A.J. Lawrence
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

September 1957

Trustee

Since April 20194

128

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (2005‑2019) —Chief Administrative Officer (2016‑2019)

Brixmor Property Group Inc. (2021‑Present)

Sera Prognostics Inc. (biotechnology) (2021‑Present)

Recology (resource recovery) (2021‑Present)

Evergy, Inc., Kansas City Power & Light Company, KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, Westar Energy, Inc. and Kansas Gas and Electric Company (related utility companies) (2018‑Present)

National Association of Corporate Directors (2017‑Present)

Ivy Funds Complex (2019‑2021)

American Shared Hospital Services (medical device) (2017‑2021)

Westar Energy (utility) (2004‑2018)

Frances A. Sevilla-Sacasa
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

January 1956

Trustee

Since September 2011

128

Banco Itaú International—Chief Executive Officer (2012‑2016)

Florida Chapter of National Association of Corporate Directors (2021‑Present)

Callon Petroleum Company (2019‑Present)

Camden Property Trust (2011‑Present)

New Senior Investment Group Inc. (2021)

Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. (2018‑2019)


 

Name, Address,
and Birthdate

Position(s) Held with the Trust

Length of Time Served1

Number of Funds in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee

Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years

Other Directorships Held by Trustee During the Past Five Years

Thomas K. Whitford
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

March 1956

Chair and Trustee

Trustee since January 2013

Chair since August 2022

128

PNC Financial Services Group (1983‑2013)—Vice Chairman (2009‑2013)

HSBC USA Inc. (2014‑Present)

HSBC North America Holdings Inc. (2013‑Present)

HSBC Finance Corporation (2013‑2018)

Christianna Wood
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

August 1959

Trustee

Since January 2019

128

Gore Creek Capital, Ltd.—Chief Executive Officer and President (2009‑Present)

The Merger Fund (2013‑2021), The Merger Fund VL (2013‑2021), WCM Alternatives: Event-Driven Fund (2013‑2021), and WCM Alternatives: Credit Event Fund (2017‑2021)

Grange Insurance (2013‑Present)

H&R Block Corporation (2008‑Present)

Janet L. Yeomans
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

July 1948

Trustee

Since April 1999

128

3M Company (1995‑2012)—Vice President and Treasurer (2006‑2012)

Okabena Company (2009‑2017)

Officers

Position(s) Held with the Trust

Length of Time Served​1

Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past Five Years

David F. Connor​5
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

December 1963

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

Senior Vice President since May 2013; General Counsel since May 2015; Secretary since October 2005

David F. Connor has served in various capacities at different times at MAM.

Daniel V. Geatens​5
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

October 1972

Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Senior Vice President since December 2020; Treasurer since October 2007

Daniel V. Geatens has served in various capacities at different times at MAM.

Richard Salus
100 Independence,
610 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354

October 1963

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since November 2006

Richard Salus has served in various capacities at different times at MAM.


 

Management of the Trust

 

1

“Length of Time Served” refers to the time since the Trustee or officer began serving one or more of the Trusts in the Delaware Funds complex.

2

Shawn K. Lytle is considered to be an “Interested Trustee” because he is an executive officer of the Manager. Mr. Lytle was appointed as Trustee of the Trust effective April 30, 2021.

3

Macquarie Asset Management is the marketing name for certain companies comprising the asset management division of Macquarie Group, including the Funds’ Manager, principal underwriter, and transfer agent.

4

Includes time served on the Board of Ivy Funds prior to the date when Ivy Funds joined the Delaware Funds complex.

5

David F. Connor and Daniel V. Geatens serve in similar capacities for the six portfolios of the Optimum Fund Trust, which have the same investment manager, principal underwriter, and transfer agent as the Funds. Mr. Geatens also serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the Optimum Fund Trust, and he is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for Macquarie Global Infrastructure Total Return Fund Inc., which has the same investment manager as the Funds.

The following table shows each Trustee's ownership of shares of the Funds and of shares of all Delaware Funds as of December 31, 2021, unless otherwise noted.

Name

Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Funds

Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities* in All Registered Investment Companies Overseen by Trustee in Family of Investment Companies

Interested Trustee

 

 

Shawn K. Lytle

$50,001-$100,000 Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

Over $100,000

Independent Trustees

 

 

Jerome D. Abernathy

$10,001-$50,000 Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

$50,001-$100,000

Thomas L. Bennett

$1-$10,000 Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

Over $100,000

Ann D. Borowiec

Over $100,000 (Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund)

Over $100,000

Joseph W. Chow

Over $100,000 (Delaware Healthcare Fund)

Over $100,000

H. Jeffrey Dobbs

None

Over $100,000

John A. Fry

None

Over $100,000

Joseph Harroz, Jr.

None

Over $100,000

Sandra A.J. Lawrence

None

Over $100,000

Frances A. Sevilla-Sacasa

None

Over $100,000

Thomas K. Whitford (Chair)

None

Over $100,000

Christianna Wood

Over $100,000 (Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund)

Over $100,000

Janet L. Yeomans

None

Over $100,000

 

*

The ranges for equity securities ownership by each Trustee are: none; $1-$10,000; $10,001-$50,000; $50,001-$100,000; or over $100,000.

The following table describes the aggregate compensation received by each Trustee from the Trust and the total compensation received from Delaware Funds for which he or she served as a Trustee for the Trust’s last fiscal year. Only the Trustees of the Trust who are not “interested persons” as defined by the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”) receive compensation from the Trust.


 

 

Trustee

Aggregate Compensation from the Trust

Pension or Retirement Benefits Accrued as Part of Fund Expenses

Total Compensation from the Investment Companies in the Delaware Funds Complex*

Jerome Abernathy

$17,268

none

$385,750

Thomas L. Bennett1

$23,520

none

$526,250

Ann D. Borowiec

$15,189

none

$338,750

Joseph W. Chow

$17,295

none

$383,750

H. Jeffrey Dobbs

$3,435

none

$95,250

John A. Fry

$16,477

none

$368,250

Joseph Harroz, Jr.

$3,063

none

$85,250

Sandra A.J. Lawrence

$3,435

none

$95,250

Frances A. Sevilla-Sacasa

$16,424

none

$363,250

Thomas K. Whitford (Chair)2

$18,343

none

$415,250

Christianna Wood

$17,268

none

$385,750

Janet L. Yeomans

$17,700

none

$395,750

 

*

Each Independent Trustee/Director receives: (i) an annual retainer fee of $265,000 for serving as a Trustee/Director for the investment companies in the Delaware Funds by Macquarie family of funds (128 funds in the complex) for which they serve, plus $14,000 per meeting for attending each Board Meeting in person held on behalf of all investment companies in the complex; and (ii) a $5,000 fee for attending each telephonic board meeting. The committee members and committee/board chairs also receive the following fees: (i) members of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Audit Committee, and Investments Committees will receive additional compensation of up to $6,000 for each Committee meeting attended; (ii) the Chair for each of the Audit Committee, the Investments Committees, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee receives an annual retainer of $30,000; and (iii) the Board Chair will receive an additional annual retainer of $130,000.

1

Thomas L. Bennett served as Board Chair until August 2022.

2

Thomas K. Whitford has been Board Chair since August 2022.

Board Leadership Structure

Common Board of Trustees/Directors: The business of the Trust is managed under the direction of its Board. The Trustees also serve on the Boards of all the other investment companies that comprise Delaware Funds. The Trustees believe that having a common Board for all funds in the complex is efficient and enhances the ability of the Board to address its responsibilities to each fund in the complex. The Trustees believe that the common board structure allows the Trustees to leverage their individual expertise and that their judgment is enhanced by being Trustees of all of the funds in the complex.

Board Chair: Mr. Whitford is the Board’s Chair. As fund governance best practices have evolved, more and more fund boards have opted to have an independent trustee serve as chair. Among other reasons, the Board selected Mr. Whitford as Chair due to his substantial financial industry experience and his tenure on the Board. As the Chair, Mr. Whitford, in consultation with Fund management, legal counsel, and the other Trustees, proposes Board agenda topics, actively participates in developing Board meeting agendas, and ensures that appropriate and timely information is provided to the Board in connection with Board meetings. Mr. Whitford also conducts meetings of the Independent Trustees. He also generally serves as a liaison among outside Trustees, Fund officers, and legal counsel, and is an ex officio member of each Board committee.

Size and composition of Board: The Board is currently comprised of thirteen Trustees. Twelve of the thirteen Trustees are independent. The Trustees believe that the current size of the Board is conducive to Board interaction, dialogue, and debate, resulting in an effective decision-making body. The Board comprises Trustees with a variety of professional backgrounds. The Board believes that the skill sets of its members are complementary and add to the overall effectiveness of the Board. The Trustees regard diversity as an important consideration in the present composition of the Board and the selection of qualified candidates to fill vacancies on the Board. In order to ensure that Board membership will be refreshed from time to time, the Board has adopted a mandatory retirement age of 75 for Trustees. As a result, a Trustee may serve until December 31 of the calendar year in which such Trustee reaches the age of 75. At the discretion of the other Trustees, active service for a particular Trustee may be extended for a limited period of time beyond a Trustee’s normal retirement date.

Committees: The Board has established several committees, each of which focuses on a particular substantive area and provides reports and recommendations to the full Board. The committee structure enables the Board to manage efficiently and effectively the large volume of information relevant to the Board’s oversight of the Trust. The committees benefit from the professional expertise of their members. At the same time, membership on a committee enhances the expertise of its members and benefits the overall effectiveness of the Board.

The Board has the following committees:

Audit Committee: This committee monitors accounting and financial reporting policies, practices, and internal controls for the Trust. It also oversees the quality and objectivity of the Trust’s financial statements and the independent audit thereof, and acts as a liaison between the Trust’s independent registered


 

Management of the Trust

public accounting firm and the full Board. The Trust’s Audit Committee consists of the following Independent Trustees: Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, Chair; Thomas K. Whitford (ex officio);  H. Jeffrey Dobbs; John A. Fry; Sandra A. J. Lawrence; and Thomas L. Bennett (ex officio). The Audit Committee held six meetings and two telephonic meetings during the Trust’s last fiscal year.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee: This committee recommends Board nominees, fills Board vacancies that arise in between meetings of shareholders, and considers the qualifications and independence of Board members. The committee also monitors the performance of counsel for the Independent Trustees. The committee will consider shareholder recommendations for nomination to the Board only in the event that there is a vacancy on the Board. Shareholders who wish to submit recommendations for nominations to the Board to fill a vacancy must submit their recommendations in writing to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Attention: General Counsel, c/o Delaware Funds at 100 Independence, 610 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354. Shareholders should include appropriate information on the background and qualifications of any persons recommended (e.g., a resume), as well as the candidate’s contact information and a written consent from the candidate to serve if nominated and elected. Shareholder recommendations for nominations to the Board will be accepted on an ongoing basis and such recommendations will be kept on file for consideration when there is a vacancy on the Board. The committee consists of the following Independent Trustees: Ann D. Borowiec, Chair; Jerome D. Abernathy; John A. Fry; Thomas L. Bennett (ex officio); and Thomas K. Whitford (ex officio). The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee held four meetings and one telephonic meeting during the Trust’s last fiscal year.

In reaching its determination that an individual should serve or continue to serve as a Trustee of the Trust, the committee considers, in light of the Trust’s business and structure, the individual’s experience, qualifications, attributes, and skills (the “Selection Factors”). No one Selection Factor is determinative, but some of the relevant factors that have been considered include: (i) the Trustee’s business and professional experience and accomplishments, including prior experience in the financial services industry or on other boards; (ii) the ability to work effectively and collegially with other people; and (iii) how the Trustee’s background and attributes contribute to the overall mix of skills and experience on the Board as a whole. Below is a brief summary of the Selection Factors that relate to each Trustee as of the date of this SAI.

Jerome D. Abernathy — Mr. Abernathy has over 30 years of experience in the investment management industry. In selecting him to serve on the Board, the Independent Trustees noted and valued his extensive experience as a chief investment officer, director of research, trader, and analytical proprietary trading researcher. Mr. Abernathy received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Howard University and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Abernathy has served on the Board since January 2019.

Thomas L. Bennett — Mr. Bennett has over 30 years of experience in the investment management industry, particularly with fixed income portfolio management and credit analysis. He has served in senior management for a number of money management firms. Mr. Bennett has also served as a board member of another investment company, an educational institution, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies. He has an M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Bennett has served on the Board since March 2005 and previously served as the Board’s Chair from March 2015 to August 2022.

Ann D. Borowiec — Ms. Borowiec has over 25 years of experience in the banking and wealth management industry. Ms. Borowiec also serves as a board member on several nonprofit organizations. In nominating her to the Board in 2015, the Independent Trustees found that her experience as a Chief Executive Officer in the private wealth management business at a leading global asset manager and private bank, including the restructuring of business lines and defining client recruitment strategies, complemented the skills of existing board members. The Independent Trustees also found that her experience would provide additional oversight skill in the area of fund distribution. Ms. Borowiec holds a B.B.A. from Texas Christian University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. Ms. Borowiec has served on the Board since March 2015.

Joseph W. Chow — Mr. Chow has over 30 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry. In electing him in 2013, the Independent Trustees found that his extensive experience in business strategy in non-US markets complemented the skills of existing Board members and also reflected the increasing importance of global financial markets in investment management. The Independent Trustees also found that Mr. Chow’s management responsibilities as a former Executive Vice President of a leading global asset servicing and investment management firm as well as his experience as Chief Risk and Corporate Administration Officer would add helpful oversight skills to the Board’s expertise. Mr. Chow holds a B.A. degree from Brandeis University and M.C.P. and M.S. in Management degrees from MIT. Mr. Chow has served on the Board since January 2013.

H. Jeffrey Dobbs — Mr. Dobbs has more than 35 years of experience in the automotive, industrial manufacturing, financial services and consumer sectors. He also has served as a partner in a public accounting firm. Mr. Dobbs also has multiple years of service as a Trustee on the Board of Ivy Funds prior to the time Ivy Funds joined the Delaware Funds complex. Mr. Dobbs holds a degree in accounting from Valparaiso University. The Independent Trustees concluded that Mr. Dobbs is suitable to act as Trustee because of his extensive work in the global professional services industry, as well as his educational background.

John A. Fry — Mr. Fry has over 30 years of experience in higher education. He has served in senior management for three major institutions of higher learning including serving as president of a leading research university. Mr. Fry has also served as a board member of many nonprofit organizations and several for-profit companies. Mr. Fry has extensive experience in overseeing areas such as finance, investments, risk-management, internal audit, and information technology. He holds a B.A. degree in American Civilization from Lafayette College and an M.B.A. from New York University. Mr. Fry has served on the Board since January 2001.

Joseph Harroz, Jr. — Mr. Harroz serves as the President of a state university, and also serves as a Director of a bank. He also has served as President and Director of a publicly-traded company, as Interim President and General Counsel to a state university system and as Dean of the College of Law of that state university. Mr. Harroz holds a B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Harroz has multiple


 

years of service as a Trustee on the Board of Ivy Funds prior to the time Ivy Funds joined the Delaware Funds complex. The Independent Trustees concluded that Mr. Harroz is suitable to serve as Trustee because of his educational background, his work experience and the length of his service as a Trustee on the Board of Ivy Funds.

Sandra A.J. Lawrence — Ms. Lawrence has been a member and chair of the boards of several public corporations, closely-held corporations and charitable organizations. She also has more than 16 years of experience serving on the boards of public companies, including as Audit Committee Chair and Nominating/Governance Committee Chair, and has served as a chief financial officer and on investment and finance committees. She served as President of Stern Brothers, a municipal bond house, where she held NASD Series licenses 7, 24 and 63. Ms. Lawrence also has multiple years of service as a Trustee on the Board of Ivy Funds prior to the time Ivy Funds joined the Delaware Funds complex. Ms. Lawrence holds an A.B. from Vassar College, as well as master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School. The Independent Trustees concluded that Ms. Lawrence is suitable to serve as Trustee because of her work experience, financial background, academic background and service on corporate and charitable boards.

Frances A. Sevilla-Sacasa — Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa has over 30 years of experience in banking and wealth management. In electing her in 2011, the Independent Trustees found that her extensive international wealth management experience, in particular, complemented the skills of existing Board members and also reflected the increasing importance of international investment management not only for dollar-denominated investors but also for investors outside the US. The Independent Trustees also found that Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa’s management responsibilities as the former President and Chief Executive Officer of a major trust and wealth management company would add a helpful oversight skill to the Board’s expertise, and her extensive nonprofit Board experience gave them confidence that she would make a meaningful, experienced contribution to the Board of Trustees. Finally, in electing Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa to the Board, the Independent Trustees valued her perceived dedication to client service as a result of her overall career experience. Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa holds B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Miami and Thunderbird School of Global Management, respectively. Ms. Sevilla-Sacasa has served on the Board since September 2011.

Thomas K. Whitford — Currently the Board’s Chair, Mr. Whitford has over 35 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry, and served as Vice Chairman of a major banking, asset management, and residential mortgage banking institution. In electing him in 2013, the Independent Trustees found that Mr. Whitford’s senior management role in wealth management and experience in the mutual fund servicing business would provide valuable current management and financial industry insight, in particular, and complemented the skills of existing Board members. The Independent Trustees also found that his senior management role in integrating company acquisitions, technology, and operations and his past role as Chief Risk Officer would add a helpful oversight skill to the Board’s expertise. Mr. Whitford holds a B.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts and an M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Whitford has served on the Board since January 2013.

Christianna Wood — Ms. Wood has over 35 years of experience in the investment management industry. In selecting her to serve on the Board, the Independent Trustees noted and valued her significant portfolio management, corporate governance and audit committee experience. Ms. Wood received a B.A. in economics from Vassar College and an M.B.A. in finance from New York University. Ms. Wood has served on the Board since January 2019.

Janet L. Yeomans — Ms. Yeomans has over 28 years of business experience with a large global diversified manufacturing company, including service as Treasurer for this company. In this role, Ms. Yeomans had significant broad-based financial experience, including global financial risk-management, investments, and mergers and acquisitions. She served as a board member of a for-profit company and also is a current board member of a hospital and a public university system. She holds degrees in mathematics and physics from Connecticut College, an M.S. in mathematics from Illinois Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Ms. Yeomans has served on the Board since April 1999.

Shawn K. Lytle — Mr. Lytle has over 20 years of experience in the investment management industry. He has been the Global Head of Macquarie Asset Management since January 2019 and Head of Americas ‑ Macquarie Group since December 2017 and he is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s business. He joined the firm as President of Macquarie Asset Management ‑ Americas in 2015. Prior to that time, Mr. Lytle served in various executive management, investment management, and distribution positions at two major banking institutions. He holds a B.A. degree from The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Mr. Lytle has served on the Board since September 2015. Mr. Lytle serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and he is a member of the board of governors for the Investment Company Institute (ICI). In November 2017, Mr. Lytle was named to the Black Enterprise list of “Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.”

Committee of Independent Trustees: This committee develops and recommends to the Board a set of corporate governance principles and oversees the evaluation of the Board, its committees, and its activities. The committee comprises all of the Trust’s Independent Trustees. The Committee of Independent Trustees held four meetings during the Trust’s last fiscal year.

Investments Committees: The primary purposes of the Investments Committees are to: (i) assist the Board at its request in its oversight of the investment advisory services provided to the Trust by the Manager as well as any sub-advisors; (ii) review all proposed advisory and sub-advisory agreements for new funds or proposed amendments to existing agreements and to recommend what action the full Board and the Independent Trustees should take regarding the approval of all such proposed agreements; and (iii) review reports supplied by the Manager regarding investment performance, portfolio risk and expenses and to suggest changes to such reports. Investments Committee A consists of the following Independent Trustees: Joseph W. Chow, Chair; Jerome D. Abernathy; Joseph Harroz, Jr.; Christianna Wood; Thomas L. Bennett (ex officio); and Thomas K. Whitford (ex officio). Investments Committee B consists of the following Independent Trustees: Janet L. Yeomans, Chair; Christianna Wood; Sandra A.J. Lawrence; H. Jeffrey Dobbs; Thomas L. Bennett (ex officio), and Thomas K. Whitford (ex officio). Each Investments Committee held five meetings during the Trust’s last fiscal year.


 

Management of the Trust

Board role in risk oversight: The Board performs a risk oversight function for the Trust consisting, among other things, of the following activities:
(1) receiving and reviewing reports related to the performance and operations of the Trust; (2) reviewing, approving, or modifying as applicable, the compliance policies and procedures of the Trust; (3) meeting with portfolio management teams to review investment strategies, techniques and the processes used to manage related risks; (4) addressing security valuation risk in connection with its review of fair valuation decisions made by Fund management pursuant to Board-approved procedures; (5) meeting with representatives of key service providers, including the Manager, the Distributor, the Funds’ transfer agent, the custodian and the independent public accounting firm of the Trust, to review and discuss the activities of the Trust’s series, and to provide direction with respect thereto; (6) engaging the services of the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer to test the compliance procedures of the Trust and its service providers; and (7) requiring management’s periodic presentations on specified risk topics.

The Trustees perform this risk oversight function throughout the year in connection with each quarterly Board meeting. The Trustees routinely discuss certain risk-management topics with Fund management at the Board level and also through the standing committees of the Board. In addition to these recurring risk-management discussions, Fund management raises other specific risk-management issues relating to the Funds with the Trustees at Board and committee meetings. When discussing new product initiatives with the Board, Fund management also discusses risk — either the risks associated with the new proposals or the risks that the proposals are designed to mitigate. Fund management also provides periodic presentations to the Board to give the Trustees a general overview of how the Manager and its affiliates identify and manage risks pertinent to the Trust.

The Audit Committee looks at specific risk-management issues on an ongoing basis. The Audit Committee is responsible for certain aspects of risk oversight relating to financial statements, the valuation of the Trust’s assets, and certain compliance matters. In addition, the Audit Committee meets with the Manager’s internal audit and risk-management personnel on a quarterly basis to review the reports on their examinations of functions and processes affecting the Trust.

The Board’s other committees also play a role in assessing and managing risk. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Committee of Independent Trustees play a role in managing governance risk by developing and recommending to the Board corporate governance principles and, in the case of the Committee of Independent Trustees, by overseeing the evaluation of the Board, its committees, and its activities. The Investments Committees play a significant role in assessing and managing risk through their oversight of investment performance, investment process, investment risk controls, and fund expenses.

Because risk is inherent in the operation of any business endeavor, and particularly in connection with the making of financial investments, there can be no assurance that the Board’s approach to risk oversight will be able to minimize or even mitigate any particular risk. The Funds are designed for investors that are prepared to accept investment risk, including the possibility that as yet unforeseen risks may emerge in the future.

The Trust, the Manager, and the Distributor have adopted Codes of Ethics in compliance with the requirements of Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act, which govern personal securities transactions. Under the Codes of Ethics, persons subject to the Codes are permitted to engage in personal securities transactions, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Funds, subject to the requirements set forth in Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act and certain other procedures set forth in the applicable Code of Ethics. The Codes of Ethics are on public file with, and are available from, the SEC.

The Trust has formally delegated to the Manager the responsibility for making all proxy voting decisions in relation to portfolio securities held by the Funds. If and when proxies need to be voted on behalf of the Funds, the Manager and any Macquarie affiliates advising the Funds (collectively, “Macquarie Asset Management Public Investments”) will vote such proxies pursuant to Macquarie Asset Management Public Investment’s (“MPI”) Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures (the “Procedures”). MPI has established a Proxy Voting Committee (the “Committee”), which is responsible for overseeing MPI’s proxy voting process for the Funds. One of the main responsibilities of the Committee is to review and approve the Procedures to ensure that the Procedures are designed to allow MPI to vote proxies in a manner consistent with the goal of voting in the best interests of the Funds.

In order to facilitate the actual process of voting proxies, MPI has contracted with proxy advisory firms to analyze proxy statements on behalf of the Funds and MPI’s other clients and provide MPI with research recommendations on upcoming proxy votes in accordance with the Procedures. The Committee is responsible for overseeing the proxy advisory firms’ services. If a proxy has been voted for the Funds, the proxy advisory firm will create a record of the vote. By no later than August 31 of each year, information (if any) regarding how the Funds voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recently

disclosed 12-month period ended June 30 is available without charge (i) through the Funds’ website at http://www.delawarefunds.com/proxy; and (ii) on the

Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

When determining whether to invest in a particular company, one of the factors MPI may consider is the quality and depth of the company’s management. As a result, MPI believes that recommendations of management on any issue (particularly routine issues) should be given a fair amount of weight in determining how proxy issues should be voted. Thus, on many issues, MPI’s votes are cast in accordance with the recommendations of the company’s management. However, MPI may vote against management’s position when it runs counter to MPI’s specific Proxy Voting Guidelines (the “Guidelines”), and MPI will also vote against management’s recommendation when MPI believes such position is not in the best interests of the Funds.


 

As stated above, the Procedures also list specific Guidelines on how to vote proxies on behalf of the Funds. Some examples of the Guidelines are as follows: (i) generally vote for shareholder proposals asking that a majority or more of directors be independent; (ii) generally vote for management or shareholder proposals to reduce supermajority vote requirements, taking into account: ownership structure; quorum requirements; and vote requirements; (iii) votes on mergers and acquisitions should be considered on a case-by-case basis; (iv) generally vote re-incorporation proposals on a case-by-case basis; (v) votes with respect to equity-based compensation plans are generally determined on a case-by-case basis; (vi) generally vote for proposals requesting that a company report on its policies, initiatives, oversight mechanisms, and ethical standards related to social, economic, and environmental sustainability, unless company already provides similar reports through other means or the company has formally committed to the implementation of a reporting program based on Global Reporting Initiative guidelines or a similar standard; and (vii) generally vote for management proposals to institute open market share repurchase plans in which all shareholders may participate on equal terms.

Because the Trust has delegated proxy voting to MPI, the Funds are not expected to encounter any conflict of interest issues regarding proxy voting and therefore does not have procedures regarding this matter. However, MPI does have a section in its Procedures that addresses the possibility of conflicts of interest. Most of the proxies which MPI receives on behalf of its clients are voted in accordance with the Procedures. Since the Procedures are pre-determined by the Committee, application of the Procedures by MPI’s portfolio management teams when voting proxies after reviewing the proxy and research provided by the proxy advisory firms should in most instances adequately address any potential conflicts of interest. If MPI becomes aware of a conflict of interest in an upcoming proxy vote, the proxy vote will generally be referred to the Committee or the Committee’s delegates for review. If the portfolio management team for such proxy intends to vote in accordance with the proxy advisory firm’s recommendation pursuant to our Procedures, then no further action is needed to be taken by the Committee. If MPI’s portfolio management team is considering voting a proxy contrary to the proxy advisory firm’s research recommendation under the Procedures, the Committee or its delegates will assess the proposed vote to determine if it is reasonable. The Committee or its delegates will also assess whether any business or other material relationships between MPI and a portfolio company (unrelated to the ownership of the portfolio company’s securities) could have influenced an inconsistent vote on that company’s proxy. If the Committee or its delegates determines that the proposed proxy vote is unreasonable or unduly influenced by a conflict, the portfolio management team will be required to vote the proxy in accordance with the proxy advisory firm’s research recommendation or abstain from voting.

Investment Manager

The Manager, located at 100 Independence, 610 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354, furnishes investment management services to the Funds, subject to the supervision and direction of the Board. The Manager also provides investment management services to all of the other Delaware Funds. Affiliates of the Manager also manage other investment accounts. While investment decisions for the Funds are made independently from those of the other funds and accounts, investment decisions for such other funds and accounts may be made at the same time as investment decisions for the Funds. The Manager pays the salaries of all Trustees, officers, and employees who are affiliated with both the Manager and the Trust. In the course of discharging its non-portfolio management duties under the advisory contract, the Manager may delegate to affiliates.

Together, the Manager and the other subsidiaries of Macquarie Management Holdings, Inc. (“MMHI”) manage, as of June 30, 2022, approximately $208.5 billion in assets, including mutual funds, separate accounts, and other investment vehicles. The Manager is a series of Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust (a Delaware statutory trust), which is a subsidiary of MMHI. MMHI is a subsidiary, and subject to the ultimate control, of Macquarie Group Limited (“Macquarie”). Macquarie is a Sydney, Australia-headquartered global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. “Macquarie Asset Management” is the marketing name for certain companies comprising the asset management division of Macquarie Group Limited.

The Manager and its affiliates own the name “Delaware Group​®.” Under certain circumstances, including the termination of the Trust’s advisory relationship with the Manager or its distribution relationship with the Distributor, the Manager, and its affiliates could cause the Trust to remove the words “Delaware Group” from its name.

The Funds’ Investment Management Agreement (“Investment Management Agreement”) may be renewed each year only so long as such renewal and continuance are specifically approved at least annually by the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of each Fund, and only if the terms of, and the renewal thereof, have been approved by the vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Trust who are not parties thereto or interested persons of any such party, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Investment Management Agreement is terminable without penalty on 60 days’ notice by the Trustees of the Trust or by the Manager. The Investment Management Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment.

As compensation for the services rendered under the Investment Management Agreement, the Funds shall pay the Manager an annual management fee as a percentage of average daily net assets equal to:


 

Investment Manager and Other Service Providers

 

Fund

Management Fee (annual rate as a percentage of average daily net assets)

Delaware Healthcare Fund

0.85% on the first $500 million
0.80% on the next $500 million
0.75% on the next $1.5 billion
0.70% on assets in excess of $2.5 billion

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

0.75% on the first $500 million
0.70% on the next $500 million
0.65% on the next $1.5 billion
0.60% on assets in excess of $2.5 billion

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

0.75% on the first $500 million
0.70% on the next $500 million
0.65% on the next $1.5 billion
0.60% on assets in excess of $2.5 billion

During the last three fiscal years, the Funds paid the following investment management fees to the Manager:

Fund

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2021

March 31, 2020

Delaware Healthcare Fund

$8,737,191 earned
$8,737,191 paid
$0 waived

$9,634,541 earned
$9,634,541 paid
$0 waived

$8,120,036 earned
$8,120,036 paid
$0 waived

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

$1,607,810 earned
$1,607,810 paid
$0 waived

$906,592 earned
$899,899 paid
$6,693 waived

$270,394 earned
$143,514 paid
$126,880 waived

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

$28,708,127 earned $28,708,127 paid
$0 waived

$24,028,479 earned
$24,028,479 paid
$0 waived

$11,993,987 earned
$11,993,987 paid
$0 waived

Except for those expenses borne by the Manager under the Investment Management Agreement, and the Distributor under the Distribution Agreement, each Fund is responsible for all of its own expenses. Among others, such expenses include each Fund’s proportionate share of certain administrative expenses; investment management fees; transfer and dividend disbursing fees and costs; accounting services; custodian expenses; federal and state securities registration fees; proxy costs; and the costs of preparing prospectuses and reports sent to shareholders.

Sub-Advisors

The Manager has also entered into Sub-Advisory Agreements on behalf of the Funds with Macquarie Investment Management Global Limited and Macquarie Funds Management Hong Kong Limited, each of which is an affiliate of the Manager (“Affiliated Sub-Advisor”). Pursuant to the terms of the relevant Sub-Advisory Agreement, the investment sub-advisory fee is paid by the Manager to each Affiliated Sub-advisor based on the extent to which an Affiliated Sub-Advisor provides services to the Fund. During the Funds’ last fiscal year, the Manager did not pay compensation to the Affiliated Sub-Advisors for services rendered under the Sub-Advisory Agreements.

Macquarie Investment Management Global Limited, (MIMGL), is located at 50 Martin Place, Sydney, Australia. MIMGL is an affiliate of the Manager and a part of Macquarie Asset Management (MAM). MAM is the marketing name for certain companies comprising the asset management division of Macquarie Group Limited. As of March 31, 2021, MAM managed more than $279.0 billion in assets for institutional and individual clients. Although the Manager has principal responsibility for the Manager’s portion of the Fund, the Manager may seek investment advice, quantitative support, and recommendations from MIMGL and the Manager may also permit MIMGL to execute Fund security trades on behalf of the Manager and exercise investment discretion for securities in certain markets where the Manager believes it will be beneficial to utilize MIMGL’s specialized market knowledge.

Macquarie Funds Management Hong Kong Limited (MFMHKL), located at Level 18, One International Finance Centre, One Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong. MFMHKL is an affiliate of the Manager and a part of MAM. Although the Manager has principal responsibility for the Manager’s portion of the Fund, the Manager may permit MFMHKL to execute Fund security trades on behalf of the Manager.

Distributor

The Distributor, Delaware Distributors, L.P., located at 100 Independence, 610 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354, serves as the national distributor of the Funds’ shares under a Distribution Agreement dated May 15, 2003, as amended and restated January 4, 2010, and further amended and restated on February 25, 2016. The Distributor is an affiliate of the Manager and bears all of the costs of promotion and distribution, except for payments by the Retail Classes under their respective Rule 12b-1 Plans. The Distributor is an indirect subsidiary of MMHI and, therefore, of Macquarie. The Distributor has agreed to use its best efforts to sell shares of the Funds. See the Prospectuses for information on how to invest. Shares of the Funds are offered on a


 

continuous basis by the Distributor and may be purchased through authorized investment dealers or directly by contacting the Distributor or the Trust. The Distributor also serves as the national distributor for the Delaware Funds. The Board annually reviews fees paid to the Distributor.

During the Funds’ last three fiscal years, the Distributor received net commissions from each Fund on behalf of its Class A shares, after reallowances to dealers, as follows:

Delaware Healthcare Fund Class A Shares

Fiscal Year Ended

Total Amount of Underwriting Commissions

Amounts Reallowed to Dealers

Net Commission to Distributor

March 31, 2022

$391,710

$328,482

$63,228

March 31, 2021

$1,205,129

$1,015,347

$189,782

March 31, 2020

$1,061,761

$868,254

$193,507

 

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund Class A Shares

Fiscal Year Ended

Total Amount of Underwriting Commissions

Amounts Reallowed to Dealers

Net Commission to Distributor

March 31, 2022

$186,711

$156,346

$30,365

March 31, 2021

$322,209

$272,072

$50,137

March 31, 2020

$10,121

$8,673

$1,448

 

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund Class A Shares

Fiscal Year Ended

Total Amount of Underwriting Commissions

Amounts Reallowed to Dealers

Net Commission to Distributor

March 31, 2022

$872,253

$739,949

$132,304

March 31, 2021

$2,666,250

$2,256,013

$410,237

March 31, 2020

$1,158,938

$978,232

$180,706

During the Funds’ last three fiscal years, the Distributor received, in the aggregate, limited contingent deferred sales charge (“Limited CDSC”) payments with respect to Class A shares and contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) payments with respect to Class C shares as follows:

Fiscal Year Ended

Class A

Class C

Delaware Healthcare Fund

 

 

March 31, 2022

$2,727

$6,432

March 31, 2021

$22

$15,281

March 31, 2020

$6,406

$24,911

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

 

 

March 31, 2022

$17,566

$5,257

March 31, 2021

N/A

$14

March 31, 2020

$1,448

N/A

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

 

 

March 31, 2022

$44,228

$44,700

March 31, 2021

$16,591

$30,503

March 31, 2020

$9,554

$12,456

Transfer Agent

Delaware Investments Fund Services Company (“DIFSC”), an affiliate of the Manager, is located at 100 Independence, 610 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2354, and serves as the Funds’ shareholder servicing, dividend disbursing, and transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”) pursuant to a Shareholder Services Agreement. The Transfer Agent is an indirect subsidiary of MMHI and, therefore, of Macquarie. The Transfer Agent also acts as shareholder servicing, dividend disbursing, and transfer agent for the other Delaware Funds. The Transfer Agent is paid a fee by the Funds for providing these services consisting of an asset-based fee and certain out-of-pocket expenses. The Transfer Agent will bill, and the Funds will pay, such compensation monthly. Omnibus and networking fees charged by financial intermediaries and subtransfer agency fees are passed on to and paid directly by the Funds. The Transfer Agent’s compensation is fixed each year and approved by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees.

Each Fund has authorized, in addition to the Transfer Agent, one or more brokers to accept purchase and redemption orders on its behalf. Such brokers are authorized to designate other intermediaries to accept purchase and redemption orders on behalf of each Fund. For purposes of pricing, each Fund will be deemed to have received a purchase or redemption order when an authorized broker or, if applicable, a broker’s authorized designee, accepts the order.


 

Investment Manager and Other Service Providers

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc. (“BNYMIS”) provides subtransfer agency services to the Funds. In connection with these services, BNYMIS administers the overnight investment of cash pending investment in the Funds or payment of redemptions. The proceeds of this investment program are used to offset the Funds’ transfer agency expenses.

Fund Accountants

The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”), 240 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10286-0001, provides fund accounting and financial administration services to the Funds. Those services include performing functions related to calculating the Funds’ NAVs and providing financial reporting information, regulatory compliance testing, and other related accounting services. For these services, the Funds pay BNY Mellon an asset-based fee, subject to certain fee minimums plus certain out-of-pocket expenses and transactional charges. DIFSC provides fund accounting and financial administration oversight services to the Funds. Those services include overseeing the Funds’ pricing process, the calculation and payment of fund expenses, and financial reporting in shareholder reports, registration statements, and other regulatory filings. DIFSC also manages the process for the payment of dividends and distributions and the dissemination of Fund NAVs and performance data. For these services, the Funds pay DIFSC an asset-based fee, subject to certain fee minimums, plus certain out-of-pocket expenses, and transactional charges. The fees payable to BNY Mellon and DIFSC under the service agreements described above will be allocated among all funds in the Delaware Funds on a relative NAV basis.

During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020, 2021, and 2022, the Funds paid the following amounts to BNY Mellon for fund accounting and financial administration oversight services: $471,608, $738,670, and $1,021,650 respectively.

During the fiscal years ended March 31, 2020, 2021, and 2022, the Funds paid the following amounts to DIFSC for fund accounting and financial administration oversight services: $109,977, $180,949, and $212,341 respectively.

Securities Lending Agent

The Board has approved each Fund’s participation in a securities lending program. Under the securities lending program, BNY Mellon serves as the Funds’ securities lending agent (“Securities Lending Agent”).

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, the income earned by the Funds as well as the fees and/or compensation paid by the Funds pursuant to the Lending Agreement between the Trust with respect to the Funds and the Securities Lending Agent were as follows:

 

Delaware
Healthcare Fund

Delaware
Small Cap
Growth Fund

Delaware
Smid Cap
Growth Fund

Gross income earned by a Fund from securities lending activities

$0

$0

$0

Fees and/or compensation paid by a Fund for securities lending activities and related services

 

 

 

Fees paid to Securities Lending Agent from revenue split

$0

$0

$0

Fees paid for any cash collateral management service (including fees deducted from a pooled cash collateral reinvestment vehicle) not included in revenue split

$0

$0

$0

Administrative fees not included in revenue split

$0

$0

$0

Indemnification fees not included in revenue split

$0

$0

$0

Rebate (paid to borrower)

$0

$0

$0

Other fees not included above

$0

$0

$0

Aggregate fees/compensation paid by a Fund for securities lending activities

$0

$0

$0

Net income from securities lending activities

$0

$0

$0

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, the Securities Lending Agent provided the following services to the Funds in connection with their securities lending activities: (i) entering into loans subject to guidelines or restrictions provided by the Funds; (ii) establishing and maintaining collateral accounts; (iii) monitoring daily the value of the loaned securities and collateral; (iv) seeking additional collateral as necessary from borrowers, and returning collateral to borrowers; (v) receiving and holding collateral from borrowers, and facilitating the investment and reinvestment of cash collateral in accordance with the Funds' guidelines; (vi) negotiating loan terms; (vii) selecting securities to be loaned subject to guidelines or restrictions provided by the Funds; (viii) recordkeeping and account servicing; (ix) monitoring dividend and proxy activity relating to loaned securities; and (x) arranging for return of loaned securities to the Funds at loan termination.


 

Custodian

BNY Mellon is the custodian of each Fund’s securities and cash. As custodian for the Funds, BNY Mellon maintains a separate account or accounts for each Fund; receives, holds, and releases portfolio securities on account of each Fund; receives and disburses money on behalf of each Fund; and collects and receives income and other payments and distributions on account of each Fund’s portfolio securities. BNY Mellon also serves as the Funds’ custodian for their investments in foreign securities.

Legal Counsel

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP serves as the Trust’s legal counsel.

Delaware Management Company

Other Accounts Managed

The following chart lists certain information about types of other accounts for which each portfolio manager is primarily responsible as of March 31, 2022 unless otherwise noted. Any accounts managed in a personal capacity appear under “Other Accounts” along with the other accounts managed on a professional basis.

 

No. of Accounts

Total Assets Managed

No. of Accounts with Performance-Based Fees

Total Assets in Accounts with Performance-Based Fees

Liu-Er Chen
Registered investment companies
Other pooled investment vehicles
Other accounts

6
2
5

$7.7 billion
$452.4 million
$1.0 billion

0
0
0

$0
$0
$0

Alex Ely
Registered investment companies
Other pooled investment vehicles
Other accounts

4
0
6

$4.9 billion
$0
$163.9 million

0
0
1

$0
$0
$48.0 million

Description of Material Conflicts of Interest

Individual portfolio managers may perform investment management services for other funds or accounts similar to those provided to the Funds and the investment action for each such other fund or account and the Funds may differ. For example, an account or fund may be selling a security, while another account or fund may be purchasing or holding the same security. As a result, transactions executed for one fund or account may adversely affect the value of securities held by another fund, account, or the Funds. Additionally, the management of multiple other funds or accounts may give rise to potential conflicts of interest, as a portfolio manager must allocate time and effort to multiple funds or accounts and the Funds. A portfolio manager may discover an investment opportunity that may be suitable for more than one account or fund. The investment opportunity may be limited, however, so that all funds or accounts for which the investment would be suitable may not be able to participate. The Manager has adopted procedures designed to allocate investments fairly across multiple funds and accounts.

One of the accounts managed by the portfolio managers as set forth in the table above has a performance-based fee. This compensation structure presents a potential conflict of interest because the portfolio managers have an incentive to manage these accounts so as to enhance performance, to the possible detriment of other accounts for which the Manager does not receive a performance-based fee. A portfolio manager’s management of personal accounts also may present certain conflicts of interest. While the Manager’s Code of Ethics is designed to address these potential conflicts, there is no guarantee that it will do so.

Compensation Structure

Each portfolio’s manager’s compensation consists of the following:

Base Salary — Each named portfolio manager receives a fixed base salary. Salaries are determined by a comparison to industry data prepared by third parties to ensure that portfolio manager salaries are in line with salaries paid at peer investment advisory firms.

Bonus Emerging Markets Equity (Chen). The portfolio manager is eligible to receive an annual cash bonus. The bonus pool is determined by the revenues associated with the products the portfolio manager manages. Macquarie Asset Management keeps a percentage of the revenues and the remaining percentage of revenues (minus appropriate expenses associated with relevant product and the investment management team) creates the “bonus pool” for the product. Various members of the team have the ability to earn a percentage of the bonus pool with the most senior contributor generally


 

Portfolio Managers

having the largest share. The pool is allotted based on subjective factors (50%) and objective factors (50%). The primary objective factor is the 1-, 3-, and 5-year performance of the funds managed relative to the performance of the appropriate Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (formerly, Lipper Inc.) (“Broadridge”) peer groups and the performance of institutional composites relative to the appropriate indices. Three- and five-year performance are weighted more heavily and there is no objective award for a fund whose performance falls below the 50th percentile for a given time period.

Individual allocations of the bonus pool are based on individual performance measurements, both objective and subjective, as determined by senior management.

Bonus — U.S. Growth Equity (Ely). The portfolio manager is eligible to receive an annual cash bonus. The bonus pool is determined by the revenues associated with the products a portfolio manager manages. Macquarie Asset Management keeps a percentage of the revenues and the remaining percentage of revenues (minus appropriate expenses associated with relevant product and the investment management team) creates the “bonus pool” for the product. Various members of the team have the ability to earn a percentage of the bonus pool with the most senior contributor generally having the largest share. The pool is allotted based on subjective factors (50%) and objective factors (50%). The primary objective factor is the 1-, 3-, and 5-year performance of the funds managed relative to the performance of the appropriate Broadridge peer groups and the performance of institutional composites relative to the appropriate indices. Three- and five-year performance is weighted more heavily and there is no objective award for a fund whose performance falls below the 50th percentile for a given time period.

Individual allocations of the bonus pool are based on individual performance measurements, both objective and subjective, as determined by senior management.

Portfolio managers participate in retention programs, including the Macquarie Asset Management Public Investments Notional Investment Plan and the Macquarie Group Employee Retained Equity Plan, for alignment of interest purposes.

Macquarie Asset Management Public Investments Notional Investment Plan — A portion of a portfolio manager’s retained profit share may be notionally exposed to the return of certain funds within MAM Funds pursuant to the terms of the Macquarie Asset Management Public Investments Notional Investment Plan. The retained amount will vest in equal tranches over a period ranging from four to five years after the date of investment (depending on the level of the employee).

Macquarie Group Employee Retained Equity Plan — A portion of a portfolio manager’s retained profit share may be invested in the Macquarie Group Employee Retained Equity Plan (“MEREP”), which is used to deliver remuneration in the form of Macquarie equity. The main type of award currently being offered under the MEREP is units comprising a beneficial interest in a Macquarie share held in a trust for the employee, subject to the vesting and forfeiture provisions of the MEREP. Subject to vesting conditions, vesting and release of the shares occurs in a period ranging from four to five years after the date of investment (depending on the level of the employee).

Other Compensation — Portfolio managers may also participate in benefit plans and programs available generally to all similarly situated employees.

Ownership of Fund Shares 

As of June 30, 2022, the portfolio managers beneficially owned shares of the Funds, as described below. If no information is shown below for a portfolio manager, the portfolio manager did not own shares of any Fund. 

Portfolio Manager

Fund

Dollar Range of Fund Shares Owned1,2

Liu-Er Chen

Delaware Healthcare Fund

Over $1 million directly;
over $1 million notionally3

W. Alexander Ely

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

$100,001= $500,000 directly;
$500,001- $1 million notionally3

 

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

$500,001 - $1 million directly;
$500,001 - $1 million notionally3

 

1

The ranges for Fund share ownership by portfolio managers are: None; $1-$10,000; $10,001-$50,000; $50,001-$100,000; $100,001-$500,000; $500,001-$1 million; or over $1 million.

2

Includes Fund shares beneficially owned by portfolio manager and immediate family members sharing the same household.

3

The compensation of certain of the portfolio managers under the Macquarie Investment Management Notional Investment Plan (as described above) may include amounts that correspond to a hypothetical investment that directly tracks the return of the Fund that the portfolio manager manages. In the table, this indirect exposure to the applicable Fund's returns is referred to as shares owned notionally. The portfolio managers who are so compensated experience the same investment returns that are experienced by shareholders of such Fund.

The Manager selects broker/dealers to execute transactions on behalf of the Funds for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities on the basis of its judgment of their professional capability to provide the service. The primary consideration in selecting broker/dealers is to seek those broker/dealers who will provide best execution for the Funds. Best execution refers to many factors, including the price paid or received for a security, the commission charged, the promptness and reliability of execution, the confidentiality and placement accorded the order, and other factors affecting the overall benefit obtained by the account on the transaction. Some trades are made on a net basis where the Funds either buy securities directly from the dealer or sell them to the dealer. In


 

these instances, there is no direct commission charged but there is a spread (the difference between the buy and sell price), which is the economic equivalent of a commission. When a commission is paid, the Funds pay reasonable brokerage commission rates based upon the professional knowledge of the Manager’s trading department as to rates paid and charged for similar transactions throughout the securities industry. In some instances, a Fund pays a minimal share transaction cost when the transaction presents no difficulty.

During the last three fiscal years, the aggregate dollar amounts of brokerage commissions paid by the Funds were as follows:

 

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2021

March 31, 2020

Delaware Healthcare Fund

$99,161

$236,564

$391,911

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

$237,687

$101,277

N/A

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

$1,884,597

$1,588,105

$1,570,236

Subject to applicable requirements, such as seeking best execution and Rule 12b-1(h) under the 1940 Act, the Manager may allocate out of all commission business generated by all of the funds and accounts under its management, brokerage business to broker/dealers who provide brokerage and research services. These services may include providing advice, either directly or through publications or writings, as to the value of securities, the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities, and the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities; furnishing of analyses and reports concerning issuers, securities, or industries; providing information on economic factors and trends; assisting in determining portfolio strategy; providing computer software used in security analysis; and providing portfolio performance evaluation and technical market analyses. Such services are used by the Manager in connection with its investment decision-making process with respect to one or more mutual funds and separate accounts managed by it, and may not be used, or used exclusively, with respect to the mutual fund or separate account generating the brokerage.

As provided in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Funds’ Investment Management Agreement, higher commissions are permitted to be paid to broker/dealers who provide brokerage and research services than to broker/dealers who do not provide such services, if such higher commissions are deemed reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided. Although transactions directed to broker/dealers who provide such brokerage and research services may result in the Funds paying higher commissions, the Manager believes that such commissions are reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided. In some instances, services may be provided to the Manager that constitute in some part brokerage and research services used by the Manager in connection with its investment decision-making process and constitute in some part services used by the Manager in connection with administrative or other functions not related to its investment decision-making process. In such cases, the Manager will make a good faith allocation of brokerage and research services and will pay out of its own resources for services used by the Manager in connection with administrative or other functions not related to its investment decision-making process. In addition, so long as a Fund is not disadvantaged, other than the potential for additional commissions/equivalents, portfolio transactions that generate commissions or their equivalent can be allocated to broker/dealers that provide services directly or indirectly to a Fund and/or to other Delaware Funds. Subject to best execution, commissions/equivalents allocated to brokers providing such services may or may not be generated by the funds receiving the service. In such instances, the commissions/equivalents would be used for the advantage of a Fund or other funds and not for the advantage of the Manager.

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, brokerage commissions of $48,684, $126,506 and $967,297 based on portfolio transactions of $190,904,341, $490,032,524 and $6,849,021,856 were directed to brokers for brokerage and research services provided to Delaware Healthcare Fund, Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund, respectively.

As of March 31, 2022, the Funds did not hold securities of their regular broker/dealers, as defined in Rule 10b-1 under the 1940 Act, or such broker/dealers’ parents.

The Manager may place a combined order for two or more accounts or funds engaged in the purchase or sale of the same security if, in its judgment, joint execution is in the best interest of each participant and will meet the requirement to seek best execution. Transactions involving commingled orders are allocated in a manner deemed equitable to each account or fund. When a combined order is executed in a series of transactions at different prices, each account participating in the order may be allocated an average price obtained from the executing broker. It is believed that the ability of the accounts to participate in volume transactions will generally be beneficial to the accounts and funds. Although it is recognized that, in some cases, the joint execution of orders could adversely affect the price or volume of the security that a particular account or fund may obtain, it is the opinion of the Manager and the Board that the advantages of combined orders outweigh the possible disadvantages of separate transactions.

Consistent with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) rules, and subject to seeking best execution, the Manager may place orders with broker/dealers that have agreed to defray certain Fund expenses, such as custodian fees.

The Funds have the authority to participate in a commission recapture program. Under the program and subject to seeking best execution (as described in the first paragraph of this section), the Funds may direct certain security trades to brokers who have agreed to rebate a portion of the related brokerage commission to the Funds in cash. Any such commission rebates will be included as a realized gain on securities in the appropriate financial statements of the Funds. The Manager and its affiliates have previously acted, and may in the future act, as an investment manager to mutual funds or separate accounts affiliated with the administrator of the commission recapture program. In addition, affiliates of the administrator act as consultants in helping institutional clients choose investment managers and may also participate in other types of businesses and provide other services in the investment management industry.


 

Capitalization

The Trust currently has authorized, and allocated to each Class of each Fund, an unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest with no par value. All shares are, when issued in accordance with the Trust’s registration statement (as amended from time to time), governing instruments and applicable law, fully paid, and nonassessable. Shareholders do not have preemptive rights. All shares of a Fund represent an undivided proportionate interest in the assets of such Fund. Shareholders of the Funds’ Institutional Class and Class R6 shares (if applicable) may not vote on any matter that affects the Retail Classes’ distribution plans under Rule 12b-1. Similarly, as a general matter, shareholders of the Retail Classes may vote only on matters affecting their respective Class, including the Retail Classes’ Rule 12b-1 Plans that relate to the Class of shares that they hold. However, a Fund’s Class C shares may vote on any proposal to increase materially the fees to be paid by such Fund under the Rule 12b-1 Plan relating to its Class A shares. Except for the foregoing, each share Class has the same voting and other rights and preferences as the other Classes of a Fund. General expenses of each Fund will be allocated on a pro rata basis to the classes according to asset size, except that expenses of the Retail Classes’ Rule 12b-1 Plans will be allocated solely to those Classes and Class R6 shares will not be allocated any expenses related to service fees, sub-accounting fees, and/or subtransfer agency fees paid to brokers, dealers, or other financial intermediaries.

On September 25, 2014, all remaining Class B shares of the Funds (except Delaware Healthcare Fund, which did not offer Class B shares and Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund, which had not yet commenced operations) were converted to Class A shares of their corresponding Fund.

Noncumulative Voting

The Trust’s shares have noncumulative voting rights, meaning that the holders of more than 50% of the shares of the Trust voting for the election of Trustees can elect all of the Trustees if they choose to do so, and, in such event, the holders of the remaining shares will not be able to elect any Trustees.

General Information

Shares of the Funds are offered on a continuous basis by the Distributor and may be purchased through authorized financial intermediaries or directly by contacting the Trust. The Trust reserves the right to suspend sales of Fund shares, and reject any order for the purchase of Fund shares if, in the opinion of management, such rejection is in a Fund’s best interest. The minimum initial investment generally is $1,000 for Class A shares and Class C shares. Subsequent purchases of such Classes generally must be at least $100. The initial and subsequent investment minimums for Class A shares will be waived for purchases by officers, Trustees, and employees of any Delaware Fund, the Manager, or any of the Manager’s affiliates if the purchases are made pursuant to a payroll deduction program. There are no minimum purchase requirements for Class R, Class R6 and Institutional Class shares (except those purchased through an automatic investment plan), but certain eligibility requirements must be met.

You may purchase only up to $1 million of Class C shares of each Fund at one time. Orders that exceed $1 million or more will be rejected. See “Investment Plans” below for purchase limitations applicable to retirement accounts. An investor should keep in mind that reduced front-end sales charges apply to investments of $50,000 or more in Class A shares, and that Class A shares are subject to lower annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses than Class C shares and generally are not subject to a CDSC.

Financial intermediaries are responsible for transmitting orders promptly. Each Fund reserves the right to reject any order for the purchase of its shares if in the opinion of management such rejection is in the Fund’s best interest. If a purchase is canceled because your check is returned unpaid, you are responsible for any loss incurred. Each Fund can redeem shares from your account(s) to reimburse itself for any loss, and you may be restricted from making future purchases in any Delaware Fund. Each Fund reserves the right to reject purchase orders paid by third-party checks or checks that are not drawn on a domestic branch of a US financial institution. If a check drawn on a foreign financial institution is accepted, you may be subject to additional bank charges for clearance and currency conversion.

Each Fund also reserves the right, following shareholder notification, to charge a service fee on nonretirement accounts that, as a result of redemption, have remained below the minimum stated account balance for a period of three or more consecutive months. Holders of such accounts may be notified of their insufficient account balance and advised that they have until the end of the current calendar quarter to raise their balance to the stated minimum. If the account has not reached the minimum balance requirement by that time, the Funds may charge a $9 fee for that quarter and each subsequent calendar quarter until the account is brought up to the minimum balance. No fees will be charged without proper notice, and no CDSC will apply to such assessments.

In addition, each Fund reserves the right, upon 60 days’ written notice, to involuntarily redeem accounts that remain under the minimum initial purchase amount as a result of redemptions. An investor making the minimum initial investment may be subject to involuntary redemption without the imposition of a CDSC or Limited CDSC if he or she redeems any portion of his or her account.

Minimum purchase and minimum balance requirements do not apply to accounts participating in advisory or asset-allocation programs covered by financial intermediaries. Certain accounts held in omnibus or programs covered by certain intermediaries may be opened with less than the minimum stated account balance and may maintain balances that are below the minimum stated account balance without incurring a service fee or being subject to involuntary redemption.


 

FINRA has adopted amendments to its Conduct Rules, relating to investment company sales charges. The Trust and the Distributor intend to operate in compliance with these rules.

Certificates representing shares purchased are not ordinarily issued. Certificates were previously issued for Class A and Institutional Class shares of Delaware Healthcare Fund and Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund. However, purchases not involving the issuance of certificates are confirmed to the investor and credited to the shareholder’s account on the books maintained by the Transfer Agent. The investor will have the same rights of ownership with respect to such shares as if certificates had been issued. An investor will be permitted to obtain a certificate in certain limited circumstances that are approved by an appropriate officer of the Funds. No charge is assessed by the Trust for any certificate issued. The Funds do not intend to issue replacement certificates for lost or stolen certificates, except in certain limited circumstances that are approved by an appropriate officer of the Funds. In those circumstances, a shareholder may be subject to fees for replacement of a lost or stolen certificate, under certain conditions, including the cost of obtaining a bond covering the lost or stolen certificate. Please contact the Trust for further information. Investors who hold certificates representing any of their shares may only redeem those shares by written request. The investor’s certificate(s) must accompany such request.

Contact your financial intermediary for specific information regarding the availability and suitability of various account options described throughout this SAI. Contact your financial intermediary for specific information with respect to the financial intermediary’s policies regarding minimum purchase and minimum balance requirements and involuntary redemption, which may differ from what is described throughout this SAI.

Comparison of Share Classes

The alternative purchase arrangements of Class A shares and Class C shares permit investors to choose the method of purchasing shares that is most suitable for their needs given the amount of their purchase, the length of time they expect to hold their shares and other relevant circumstances. Investors should determine whether, given their particular circumstances, it is more advantageous to purchase Class A shares and incur a front-end sales charge and annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses of up to a maximum of 0.25% of the average daily net assets of Class A shares of a Fund, or to purchase Class C shares and have the entire initial purchase amount invested in a Fund with the investment thereafter subject to a CDSC and annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses. Class C shares are subject to a CDSC if the shares are redeemed within 12 months of purchase. Class C shares are subject to annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses of up to a maximum of 1.00% of average daily net assets of the Class, 0.25% of which is a service fee to be paid to the Distributor, dealers, or others for providing personal service and/or maintaining shareholder accounts. Class C shares that automatically convert to Class A shares at the end of approximately 8 years after purchase will be subject to Class A shares’ annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses.

The higher Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses on Class C shares will be offset to the extent a return is realized on the additional money initially invested upon the purchase of such shares. However, there can be no assurance as to the return, if any, that will be realized on such additional money. In addition, the effect of any return earned on such additional money will diminish over time.

Class R shares have no front-end sales charge and are not subject to a CDSC, but incur annual Rule 12b-1 expenses of up to a maximum of 0.50%. Class A shares generally are not available for purchase by anyone qualified to purchase Class R shares.

In comparing Class C shares to Class R shares, investors should consider the higher Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses on Class C shares. Investors also should consider the fact that Class R shares do not have a front-end sales charge and, unlike Class C shares, are not subject to a CDSC.

For the distribution and related services provided to, and the expenses borne on behalf of, the Funds, the Distributor and others will be paid, in the case of Class A shares, from the proceeds of the front-end sales charge and Rule 12b-1 Plan fees; in the case of Class C shares, from the proceeds of the Rule 12b-1 Plan fees and, if applicable, the CDSC incurred upon redemption; and in the case of Class R shares, from the proceeds of the Rule 12b-1 Plan fees. Financial intermediaries may receive different compensation for selling the Retail Classes. Investors should understand that the purpose and function of the respective Rule 12b-1 Plans (including for Class R shares) and the CDSC applicable to Class C shares are the same as those of the Rule 12b-1 Plan and the front-end sales charge applicable to Class A shares in that such fees and charges are used to finance the distribution of the respective Classes. See “Plans under Rule 12b-1 for the Retail Classes” below.

Class R6 shares have no upfront sales charge, are not subject to a CDSC, and do not assess a 12b-1 fee. Class R6 shares do not pay any service fees, subaccounting fees, and/or subtransfer agency fees to any unaffiliated brokers, dealers, or other financial intermediaries. Class R6 shares may only be purchased by certain eligible investors. See “Investing in the Fund — Choosing a share class — Class R6” in the Prospectus for information about Class R6 share purchase eligibility.

Dividends, if any, paid on the Retail Classes, Class R6 shares and Institutional Class shares will be calculated in the same manner, at the same time and on the same day and will be in the same amount, except that the additional amount of Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses relating to the Retail Classes will be borne exclusively by such shares. See “Determining Offering Price and Net Asset Value” for more information.

Class A Shares: Purchases of $50,000 or more of Class A shares at the offering price carry reduced front-end sales charges as shown in the table in the Prospectuses, and may include a series of purchases over a 13-month period under a letter of intent signed by the purchaser. See “Special Purchase Features — Class A shares” below for more information on ways in which investors can avail themselves of reduced front-end sales charges and other purchase features.


 

Purchasing Shares

From time to time, upon written notice to dealers, the Distributor may hold special promotions for specified periods during which the Distributor may re-allow to dealers up to the full amount of the front-end sales charge. The Distributor should be contacted for further information on these requirements as well as the basis and circumstances upon which the additional commission will be paid.

Share Class Exchanges

If you wish to transfer your investment between share classes (within the same Fund or between different funds), we generally will process your request as an exchange of the shares you currently hold for shares in the new class or fund. Below is more information about how sales charges are handled for various scenarios.

Exchanges of shares for the same Fund generally will be tax-free for federal income tax purposes. You should consult with your tax advisor regarding the state and local tax consequences of such an exchange of Fund shares.

Each of these exchange privileges is subject to termination and may be amended from time to time.

Exchanging Class A shares for Institutional Class shares

Class A shares purchased by accounts participating (or intending to participate) in certain programs sponsored by and/or controlled by financial intermediaries (“Programs”) may be exchanged by the financial intermediary on behalf of the shareholder for Institutional Class shares of another fund under certain circumstances, depending on such Program’s eligibility to purchase Institutional Class shares of that fund. Such exchange will be on the basis of the NAVs per share, without the imposition of any sales load, fee, or other charge.

Holders of Class A shares that were sold without a front-end sales load but for which the Distributor has paid a commission to a financial intermediary are generally not eligible for this exchange privilege until the applicable CDSC period has expired. The applicable CDSC period is generally two years after the purchase of such Class A shares purchased prior to July 1, 2020 and is generally 18 months after the purchase of such Class A shares purchased on or after July 1, 2020.

Exchanging Class C shares for Class A shares or Institutional Class shares

Class C shares purchased by accounts participating (or intending to participate) in certain Programs may be exchanged by the financial intermediary on behalf of the shareholder for either Class A shares or Institutional Class shares of a Fund under certain circumstances, depending on such Program’s eligibility to purchase either Class A shares or Institutional Class shares of a Fund. Such exchange will be on the basis of the NAVs per share, without the imposition of any sales load, fee, or other charge.

Holders of Class C shares that are subject to a CDSC are generally not eligible for this exchange privilege until the applicable CDSC period has expired. The applicable CDSC period is generally one year after the purchase of such Class C shares.

Exchanging Institutional Class shares for Class A shares

If a shareholder of Institutional Class shares has ceased his or her participation in a Program, or the financial intermediary has determined to utilize Class A shares in the Program or the shareholder transfers to a Program that utilizes Class A shares, the financial intermediary may exchange all such Institutional Class shares for Class A shares of a Fund. Such exchange will be on the basis of the relative NAVs of the shares, without imposition of any sales load, fee, or other charge.

Dealer’s Commission

For initial purchases of Class A shares of $1 million or more, a dealer’s commission may be paid by the Distributor to financial intermediaries through whom such purchases are effected.

In determining a financial intermediary’s eligibility for the dealer’s commission, purchases of Class A shares of other Delaware Funds to which a Limited CDSC applies (see “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge for Certain Redemptions of Class A Shares Purchased at Net Asset Value” under “Redemption and Exchange” below) may be aggregated with those of the Class A shares of another Fund. Financial intermediaries also may be eligible for a dealer’s commission in connection with certain purchases made under a letter of intent or pursuant to an investor’s right of accumulation. Financial intermediaries should contact the Distributor concerning the applicability and calculation of the dealer’s commission in the case of combined purchases.

An exchange from other Delaware Funds will not qualify for payment of the dealer’s commission, unless a dealer’s commission or similar payment has not been previously paid on the assets being exchanged. The schedule and program for payment of the dealer’s commission are subject to change or termination at any time by the Distributor at its discretion.

Delaware Funds no longer offer a dealer’s commission to financial intermediaries on sales eligible for purchase at NAV in Class A shares for retirement plan accounts as described in the Prospectuses.


 

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge — Class C shares

Class C shares are purchased without a front-end sales charge. Class C shares redeemed within 12 months of purchase may be subject to a CDSC of 1.00%. CDSCs are charged as a percentage of the dollar amount subject to the CDSC. The charge will be assessed on an amount equal to the lesser of the NAV at the time of purchase of the shares being redeemed or the NAV of those shares at the time of redemption. No CDSC will be imposed on increases in NAV above the initial purchase price, nor will a CDSC be assessed on redemptions of shares acquired through reinvestment of dividends or capital gains distributions. For purposes of this formula, the “net asset value at the time of purchase” will be the NAV at purchase of Class C shares, even if those shares are later exchanged for shares of another Delaware Fund. In the event of an exchange of the shares, the “net asset value of such shares at the time of redemption” will be the NAV of the shares that were acquired in the exchange. See the Prospectuses for a list of the instances in which the CDSC is waived.

Approximately 8 years after purchase, the investor’s Class C shares will be eligible to automatically convert to Class A shares of the same Fund. See “Automatic Conversion of Class C Shares” below. Such conversion will constitute a tax-free exchange for federal income tax purposes. Investors are reminded that the Class A shares to which Class C shares will convert are subject to Class A shares’ ongoing annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses.

In determining whether a CDSC applies to a redemption of Class C shares, it will be assumed that shares held for more than 12 months are redeemed first followed by shares acquired through the reinvestment of dividends or distributions, and finally by shares held for 12 months or less.

Automatic Conversion of Class C shares

Class C shares held for eight years after purchase are eligible for automatic conversion into Class A shares of the same Fund. Conversions of Class C shares into Class A shares will generally occur monthly during the calendar year, on the 18th day or next business day of each month (each, a “Conversion Date”). If the eighth anniversary after a purchase of Class C shares falls on a Conversion Date, an investor's Class C shares will be converted on that date. If the eighth anniversary occurs between Conversion Dates, an investor's Class C shares will be converted on the next Conversion Date after such anniversary.

The automatic conversion of Class C to Class A shares will be on the basis of the NAV per share, without the imposition of any sales load, fee or other charge. Class C shares of a Fund acquired through a reinvestment of dividends will convert to Class A shares of the Fund pro rata with Class C shares of that Fund not acquired through dividend reinvestment. All such automatic conversions of Class C shares will constitute tax-free exchanges for federal income tax purposes.

For shareholders investing in Class C shares through retirement plans, omnibus accounts, and in certain other instances, a Fund and its agents may not have transparency into how long a shareholder has held Class C shares for purposes of determining whether such Class C shares are eligible for automatic conversion into Class A shares. In these circumstances, a Fund will not be able to automatically convert Class C shares into Class A shares as described above. In order to determine eligibility for conversion in these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the shareholder or their financial intermediary to notify the Fund that the shareholder is eligible for the conversion of Class C shares to Class A shares, and the shareholder or their financial intermediary may be required to maintain and provide the Fund with records that substantiate the holding period of Class C shares.

In addition, a financial intermediary may sponsor and/or control accounts, programs or platforms that impose a different conversion schedule or eligibility requirements in regards to the conversion of Class C shares into Class A shares. In these cases, certain Class C shareholders may not be eligible to convert to Class A shares as described above. However, these Class C shareholders may be permitted to exchange their Class C shares for Class A shares pursuant to the terms of the financial intermediary’s conversion policy. Financial intermediaries will be responsible for making such exchanges in those circumstances. Please consult with your financial intermediary if you have any questions regarding the conversion of Class C shares to Class A shares.

Level Sales Charges Alternative — Class C shares

Class C shares may be purchased at NAV without a front-end sales charge and, as a result, the full amount of the investor’s purchase payment will be invested in Fund shares. The Distributor currently compensates financial intermediaries for selling Class C shares at the time of purchase from its own assets in an amount equal to no more than 1.00% of the dollar amount purchased. As discussed below, Class C shares are subject to annual Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses and, as discussed above, if redeemed within 12 months of purchase, a CDSC.

Proceeds from the CDSC and the annual Rule 12b-1 Plan fees are paid to the Distributor and others for providing distribution and related services, and bearing related expenses, in connection with the sale of Class C shares. These payments support the compensation paid to financial intermediaries for selling Class C shares. Payments to the Distributor and others under the Class C Rule 12b-1 Plan may be in an amount equal to no more than 1.00% annually.

Holders of Class C shares who exercise the exchange privilege described below will continue to be subject to the CDSC schedule for Class C shares as described in this SAI. See “Redemption and Exchange” below.

Plans under Rule 12b-1 for the Retail Classes

Pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, the Trust has adopted a plan for each of the Retail Classes (the “Plans”). Each Plan permits a Fund to pay for certain distribution, promotional, and related expenses involved in the marketing of only the class of shares to which the Plan applies. The Plans do not apply


 

Purchasing Shares

to the Institutional Class shares or Class R6 shares. Such shares are not included in calculating the Plans’ fees, and the Plans are not used to assist in the distribution and marketing of the Funds’ Institutional Class shares or Class R6 shares (if applicable). Shareholders of the Institutional Class and Class R6 shares may not vote on matters affecting the Plans.

The Plans permit a Fund, pursuant to its Distribution Agreement, to pay out of the assets of the Retail Classes monthly fees to the Distributor for its services and expenses in distributing and promoting sales of shares of such classes. These expenses include, among other things: preparing and distributing advertisements, sales literature, and prospectuses and reports used for sales purposes; compensating sales and marketing personnel; holding special promotions for specified periods of time; and paying distribution and maintenance fees to financial intermediaries and others. In connection with the promotion of shares of the Retail Classes, the Distributor may, from time to time, pay to participate in dealer-sponsored seminars and conferences, and reimburse dealers for expenses incurred in connection with preapproved seminars, conferences, and advertising. The Distributor may pay or allow additional promotional incentives to dealers as part of preapproved sales contests and/or to dealers who provide extra training and information concerning the Retail Classes and increase sales of the Retail Classes.

The Plans do not limit fees to amounts actually expended by the Distributor. It is therefore possible that the Distributor may realize a profit in any particular year. However, the Distributor currently expects that its distribution expenses will likely equal or exceed payments to it under the Plans. The Distributor may, however, incur additional expenses and make additional payments to dealers from its own resources to promote the distribution of shares of the Retail Classes. The monthly fees paid to the Distributor under the Plans are subject to the review and approval of the Trust’s Independent Trustees, who may reduce the fees or terminate the Plans at any time.

All of the distribution expenses incurred by the Distributor and others, such as financial intermediaries, in excess of the amount paid on behalf of the Retail Classes would be borne by such persons without any reimbursement from such Retail Classes. Consistent with the requirements of Rule 12b-1(h) under the 1940 Act and subject to seeking best execution, a Fund may, from time to time, buy or sell portfolio securities from, or to, firms that receive payments under the Plans.

From time to time, the Distributor may pay additional amounts from its own resources to dealers for aid in distribution or for aid in providing administrative services to shareholders.

The Plans and the Distribution Agreement, as amended, have all been approved by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans and the Distribution Agreement, by a vote cast in person at a meeting duly called for the purpose of voting on the Plans and such Distribution Agreement. Continuation of the Plans and the Distribution Agreement, as amended, must be approved annually by the Board in the same manner as specified above.

Each year, the Board must determine that continuation of the Plans is in the best interest of shareholders of the Retail Classes and that there is a reasonable likelihood of each Plan providing a benefit to its respective Retail Class. The Plans and the Distribution Agreement, as amended, may be terminated with respect to a Retail Class at any time without penalty by a majority of Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans and the Distribution Agreement, or by a majority vote of the relevant Retail Class’s outstanding voting securities. Any amendment materially increasing the percentage payable under the Plans must likewise be approved by a majority vote of the relevant Retail Class’s outstanding voting securities, as well as by a majority vote of Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans or Distribution Agreement. With respect to a Fund’s Class A Plan, any material increase in the maximum percentage payable thereunder must also be approved by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund’s Class C shares. Also, any other material amendment to the Plans must be approved by a majority vote of the Board, including a majority of Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans or Distribution Agreement. In addition, in order for the Plans to remain effective, the selection and nomination of Independent Trustees must be effected by the Trustees who are Independent Trustees and who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plans or Distribution Agreement. Persons authorized to make payments under the Plans must provide written reports at least quarterly to the Board for its review.

With respect to Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund, the Board determined that the annual fee, payable on a monthly basis, under the Plan relating to the Class A shares, will be equal to the sum of: (i) the amount obtained by multiplying 0.10% by the average daily net assets represented by the Class A shares that were originally purchased prior to June 1, 1992, and (ii) the amount obtained by multiplying 0.25% by the average daily net assets represented by all other Class A shares. While this is the method to be used to calculate the 12b-1 fees to be paid by the Fund’s Class A shares under its Plan, the fee is a Class A share expense so that all shareholders of the Class A shares, regardless of when they originally purchased or received shares in the Fund, will bear Rule 12b-1 expenses at the same rate. This method of calculating Class A shares’ 12b-1 fees may be discontinued at the discretion of the Board. While this describes the current formula for calculating the fees that will be payable under the Class A shares’ Plan, the Plan permits a full 0.25% on all Class A share assets to be paid at any time following appropriate Board approval.

For the period ended March 31, 2022, the Rule 12b-1 payments for the Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund’s Class A shares, Class C shares, and Class R shares were: $60,724, $74,409, and $14,185, respectively. Such amounts were used for the following purposes:

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

Class A shares

Class C shares

Class R shares

Advertising

$11

$3

$1

Annual/Semiannual Reports


 

Delaware Small Cap Growth Fund

Class A shares

Class C shares

Class R shares

Broker Sales Charge

$46,065

Broker Trails*

$47,567

$20,409

$5,647

Salaries & Commissions to Wholesalers

$1

$8,536

Interest on Broker Sales Charge

$1,098

Promotion ‑ Other

Prospectus Printing

Wholesaler Expenses

$13,147

$6,832

Total Expenses

$60,725

$74,408

$14,184

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, the Rule 12b-1 payments for the Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund’s Class A shares, Class C shares, and Class R shares were: $3,995,202, $1,506,127, and $96,853, respectively. Such amounts were used for the following purposes:

Delaware Smid Cap Growth Fund

Class A shares

Class C shares

Class R shares

Advertising

$671

$66

$8

Annual/Semiannual Reports

Broker Sales Charge

$532,799

Broker Trails*

$2,344,988

$67,615

$60,200

Salaries & Commissions to Wholesalers

$872,340

$733,856

$36,107

Interest on Broker Sales Charge

$8,901

Promotion‑Other

Prospectus Printing

Wholesaler Expenses

$737,203

$162,891

$536

Total Expenses

$3,955,202

$1,506,128

$96,851

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, the Rule 12b-1 payments for the Delaware Healthcare Fund’s Class A shares, Class C shares, and Class R shares were: $827,274, $1,007,906, and $21,868, respectively. Such amounts were used for the following purposes:

Delaware Healthcare Fund

Class A shares

Class C shares

Class R shares

Advertising

$135

$42

$2

Annual/Semiannual Reports

Broker Sales Charge

$67,822

Broker Trails*

$783,173

$20,934

Salaries & Commissions to Wholesalers

$640,937

$45,507

$797

Interest on Broker Sales Charge

$956

Promotion‑Other

Prospectus Printing

Wholesaler Expenses

$186,200

$110,408

$136

Total Expenses

$827,272

$1,007,908

$21,869

* The broker trail amounts listed in this row are principally based on payments made to financial intermediaries monthly. However, certain financial intermediaries receive trail payments quarterly. The quarterly payments are based on estimates, and the estimates may be reflected in the amounts in this row.

Special Purchase Features — Class A shares

Buying Class A Shares at Net Asset Value: As disclosed in the Prospectuses, participants of certain group retirement plans and members of their households may make purchases of Class A shares at NAV. The requirements are as follows: (i) the purchases must be made in a Delaware Funds Individual Retirement Account (“Foundation IRA®”) established by a participant from a group retirement plan or a member of their household distributed by an affiliate of the Manager; and (ii) purchases in a Foundation IRA require a minimum initial investment of $5,000 per Fund. Delaware Funds reserve the right to modify or terminate these arrangements at any time.

Additional Class A shares of a Fund may be purchased at NAV by existing shareholders or certain participants who were in a certain legacy group plan as of June 30, 2014 and who were transferred to a certain legacy group plan as of July 1, 2014, where participants of such legacy group plan were eligible for purchasing shares at NAV under a predecessor fund’s eligibility requirements set by the predecessor fund’s company.


 

Purchasing Shares

Letter of Intent: The reduced front-end sales charges described above with respect to Class A shares are also applicable to the aggregate amount of purchases made by any such purchaser within a 13-month period pursuant to a written letter of intent signed by the purchaser, and not legally binding on the signer or the Trust, which provides for the holding in escrow by the Transfer Agent or financial intermediary of 5.00% of the total amount of Class A shares intended to be purchased until such purchase is completed within the 13-month period. The minimum initial purchase amount to establish a letter of intent is $1,000. The Funds will no longer accept retroactive letters of intent. The 13-month period begins on the date of the earliest purchase. If the intended investment is not completed, the Transfer Agent or financial intermediary may surrender an appropriate number of the escrowed shares for redemption in order to realize the difference between the front-end sales charge on Class A shares purchased at the reduced rate and the front-end sales charges otherwise applicable. Such purchasers may include the values (at offering price at the level designated in their letter of intent) of all their shares of the Funds and of any class of any of the other Delaware Funds previously purchased and still held as of the date of their letter of intent toward the completion of such letter, except as described below. Those purchasers cannot include shares that did not carry a front-end sales charge, CDSC, or Limited CDSC, unless the purchaser acquired those shares through an exchange from a Delaware Fund that did carry a front-end sales charge, CDSC, or Limited CDSC. For purposes of satisfying an investor’s obligation under a letter of intent, Class C shares of the Funds and the corresponding classes of shares of other Delaware Funds that offer such shares may be aggregated with Class A shares of the Funds. Your financial intermediary may have different procedures for administering this feature.

Combined Purchases Privilege: When you determine the availability of the reduced front-end sales charges on Class A shares, you can combine your holdings or purchases of Class A and all other classes of Delaware Funds and any money market funds (unless you acquired those shares through an exchange from a fund that did carry a front-end sales charge, CDSC, or Limited CDSC). Your financial intermediary may have different procedures for administering this feature.

The privilege also extends to all purchases made at one time by any of the following:

an individual

 

an individual and his or her spouse, or equivalent, if recognized under local law, such as civil union, common law marriage, or domestic partnership

 

a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian, and their children or stepchildren who are under the age of 21

 

a trustee or other fiduciary of trust estates or fiduciary accounts for the benefit of such family members (including certain employee benefit programs).

 

To ensure that you receive available reduced front-end sales charges, you must advise your broker-dealer or your financial intermediary of all eligible accounts and shares that can be aggregated with your own accounts for right of accumulation purposes as well as your desire to enter into a letter of intent (if applicable). If you or your broker dealer or financial intermediary do not let the Funds know that you are eligible for a waiver or reduction, you may not receive a reduction to the front-end sales charges to which you may be eligible. The Fund or your broker-dealer or financial intermediary may also ask you to provide account records, statements or other information related to all eligible accounts.

Right of Accumulation: In determining the availability of the reduced front-end sales charge on Class A shares, you can combine your holdings or purchases of Class A and all other classes of Delaware Funds and any money market funds (unless you acquired those shares through an exchange from a Fund that did carry a front-end sales charge, CDSC, or Limited CDSC). If, for example, any such purchaser has previously purchased and still holds Class A shares of a Fund and/or shares of any other of the classes described in the previous sentence with a value of $40,000 and subsequently purchases $10,000 at offering price of additional Class A shares of a Fund, the charge applicable to the $10,000 purchase would currently be 4.75%. For the purpose of this calculation, the shares presently held shall be valued at the public offering price that would have been in effect had the shares been purchased simultaneously with the current purchase. Investors should refer to the table of sales charges for Class A shares in the Prospectuses to determine the applicability of the right of accumulation to their particular circumstances. Your financial intermediary may have different procedures for administering this feature.

Right of Reinvestment Privilege: Holders of Class A shares of the Funds (and of the Institutional Class shares of the Funds holding shares that were acquired through an exchange from one of the other Delaware Funds offered with a front-end sales charge) who redeem such shares have one year from the date of redemption to reinvest all or part of their redemption proceeds in the same Class of the Funds or in the same Class of any of the other Delaware Funds. In the case of Class A shares, the reinvestment will not be assessed a front-end sales charge. The reinvestment will be subject to applicable eligibility and minimum purchase requirements and must be in states where shares of such other funds may be sold. This reinvestment privilege does not extend to Class A shares where the redemption of the shares triggered the payment of a Limited CDSC. Persons investing redemption proceeds from direct investments in Delaware Funds offered without a front-end sales charge will be required to pay the applicable sales charge when purchasing Class A shares. The reinvestment privilege does not extend to a redemption of Class C shares. You or your financial intermediary must notify us at the time you purchase shares if you are eligible for any of these programs.

Any such reinvestment cannot exceed the redemption proceeds (plus any amount necessary to purchase a full share). The reinvestment will be made at the NAV next determined after receipt of remittance.

Any reinvestment directed to a Delaware Fund in which the investor does not then have an account will be treated like all other initial purchases of such Fund’s shares. Consequently, an investor should obtain and read carefully the prospectus for the Delaware Fund in which the investment is intended to be made before investing or sending money. The prospectus contains more complete information about the Delaware Fund, including charges and expenses.


 

Investors should consult their financial intermediaries or the Transfer Agent, which also serves as the Funds’ shareholder servicing agent, about the applicability of the Class A Limited CDSC in connection with the features described above.

Up to 90 days after you redeem shares, you can reinvest the proceeds without paying a sales charge. For purposes of this “right of reinvestment policy,” automatic transactions (including, for example, automatic purchases, withdrawals and payroll deductions) and ongoing retirement plan contributions are not eligible for investment without a sales charge. Investors should consult their financial intermediary for further information.

Group Investment Plans: Group Investment Plans (e.g., SEP/IRA, SAR/SEP, Profit Sharing, Pension, and 401(k) Defined Contribution Plans) that are not eligible to purchase shares of the Institutional Class may also benefit from the reduced front-end sales charges for investments in Class A shares set forth in the table in the Prospectuses, based on total plan assets. If a company has more than one plan investing in Delaware Funds, then the total amount invested in all plans would be used in determining the applicable front-end sales charge reduction upon each purchase, both initial and subsequent, upon notification to the Funds at the time of each such purchase. Employees participating in such Group Investment Plans may also combine the investments made in their plan account when determining the applicable front-end sales charge on purchases to nonretirement Delaware Funds investment accounts if they so notify the Fund or financial intermediary in which they are investing in connection with each purchase. See “Retirement Plans for the Retail Classes” under “Investment Plans” below for information about retirement plans. This feature is dependent on your financial intermediary’s right of accumulation policies.

The Limited CDSC may be generally applicable to any redemptions of NAV purchases made on behalf of a group investment plan on which a dealer’s commission has been paid only if such redemption is made pursuant to a withdrawal of the entire plan from a Delaware Fund. See “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge for Certain Redemptions of Class A Shares Purchased at Net Asset Value” under “Redemption and Exchange” below.

Reinvestment Plan

Unless otherwise designated by shareholders in writing, dividends and distributions, if any, will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of the respective Fund Class in which an investor has an account (based on the NAV in effect on the reinvestment date) and will be credited to the shareholder’s account on that date.

Reinvestment of Dividends in other Delaware Funds

Subject to applicable eligibility and minimum initial purchase requirements and the limitations set forth below, shareholders may be able to automatically reinvest dividends and/or distributions in any of the other Delaware Funds, including the Funds, in states where their shares may be sold. However, if you received shares as the result of a transaction involving a predecessor fund, you may not be able to reinvest your dividends at the current time. Such investments will be at NAV at the close of business on the reinvestment date without any front-end sales charge or service fee. The shareholder must notify the Transfer Agent in writing and must have established an account in the fund into which the dividends and/or distributions are to be invested. Any reinvestment directed to a fund in which the investor does not then have an account will be treated like all other initial purchases of the fund’s shares. Consequently, an investor should obtain and read carefully the prospectus for the fund in which the investment is intended to be made before investing or sending money. The prospectus contains more complete information about the fund, including charges and expenses.

Subject to the following limitations, dividends and/or distributions from other Delaware Funds may be invested in shares of the Funds, provided an account has been established. Dividends from Class A shares may only be directed to other Class A shares, dividends from Class C shares may only be directed to other Class C shares, dividends from Class R shares may only be directed to other Class R shares, dividends from Institutional Class shares may only be directed to other Institutional Class shares, and dividends from Class R6 shares may only be directed to other Class R6 shares.

Compensation to Financial Intermediaries — Dividend and Capital Gains

Dividends and capital gains on Class C shares may be reinvested at NAV, however the Distributor will not compensate the financial intermediaries on the shares resulting from the dividends or capital gains at the time of reinvestment. Shares resulting from dividends and capital gains must age 12 months following the reinvestment date, and Rule 12b-1 Plan fees will be paid to the financial intermediary in the 13th month following the reinvestment date.

Investing by Exchange

If you have an investment in another Delaware Fund, you may be able to exchange part or all of your investment into shares of the Funds. If you received shares as the result of a transaction involving a predecessor fund, you may not be able to exchange shares of the predecessor fund into other Delaware Funds at the current time. If you wish to open an account by exchange, call the Delaware Funds by Macquarie Service Center at 800 523-1918 for more information. All exchanges are subject to the eligibility and minimum purchase requirements and any additional limitations set forth in the Funds’ Prospectuses. See “Redemption and Exchange” below for more complete information concerning your exchange privileges.

Investing by Electronic Fund Transfer

Direct Deposit Purchase Plan: Investors may arrange for the Funds to accept direct deposits for investment through an agent bank, preauthorized government, or private recurring payments. This method of investment assures the timely credit to the shareholder’s account of payments such as social


 

Investment Plans

security, veterans’ pension or compensation benefits, federal salaries, railroad retirement benefits, private payroll checks, dividends, and disability or pension fund benefits. It also eliminates the possibility and inconvenience of lost, stolen, and delayed checks. If you participate in a direct deposit purchase plan for an account held directly with the Funds’ transfer agent and also hold shares of Delaware Funds other than directly with us, generally those holdings will not be aggregated with the assets held with us for purposes of determining rights of accumulation in connection with direct deposit purchases.

Automatic Investing Plan: Shareholders may make automatic investments by authorizing, in advance, monthly or quarterly payments directly from their checking accounts for deposit into their Fund accounts. This type of investment will be handled in either of the following ways: (i) if the shareholder’s bank is a member of the National Automated Clearing House Association (“NACHA”), the amount of the periodic investment will be electronically deducted from his or her checking account by Electronic Fund Transfer (“EFT”) and such checking account will reflect a debit although no check is required to initiate the transaction; or (ii) if the shareholder’s bank is not a member of NACHA, deductions will be made by preauthorized checks, known as Depository Transfer Checks. Should the shareholder’s bank become a member of NACHA in the future, his or her investments would be handled electronically through EFT. If you participate in an automatic investment program for an account held directly with the Funds’ transfer agent and also hold shares of Delaware Funds other than directly with us, generally those holdings will not be aggregated with the assets held with us for purposes of determining rights of accumulation in connection with automatic investment program purchases.

Minimum Initial/Subsequent Investments by Electronic Fund Transfer: Initial investments under the direct deposit purchase plan and the automatic investing plan must be for $250 or more and subsequent investments under such plans must be for $25 or more. An investor wishing to take advantage of either service must complete an authorization form. Either service can be discontinued by the shareholder at any time without penalty by giving written notice.

Direct Deposit Purchase by Mail

Shareholders may authorize a third party, such as a bank or employer, to make investments directly to their Fund accounts. The Funds will accept these investments, such as bank-by-phone, annuity payments, and payroll allotments, by mail directly from the third party. Investors should contact their employers or financial institutions who in turn should contact the Trust for proper instructions.

On Demand Service

You or your financial intermediary may request purchases of Fund shares by phone using the on demand service. When you authorize the Funds to accept such requests from you or your financial intermediary, funds will be withdrawn (for share purchases) from your predesignated bank account. Your request will be processed the same day if you call prior to 4:00pm Eastern time. There is a $25 minimum and $100,000 maximum limit for on demand service transactions.

It may take up to four Business Days for the transactions to be completed. You can initiate this service by completing an Account Services form. If your name and address are not identical to the name and address on your Fund account, you must have your signature guaranteed. The Funds do not charge a fee for this service; however, your bank may charge a fee.

Systematic Exchange Option

Shareholders can use the systematic exchange option to invest in the Funds through regular liquidations of shares in their accounts in other Delaware Funds, subject to certain limitations. Shareholders may elect to invest in one or more of the other Delaware Funds through the systematic exchange option. If, in connection with the election of the systematic exchange option, you wish to open a new account to receive the automatic investment, such new account must meet the minimum initial purchase requirements described in the prospectus of the fund that you select. All investments under this option are exchanges and are therefore subject to the same conditions and limitations as other exchanges noted above.

Under this automatic exchange program, shareholders can authorize regular monthly investments (minimum of $100 per fund, unless you received shares as the result of a transaction involving a predecessor fund, in which case there will be no minimum) to be liquidated from their account and invested automatically into other Delaware Funds, subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in the Prospectuses. The investment will be made on the 20th day of each month (or, if the fund selected is not open that day, the next Business Day) at the public offering price or NAV, as applicable, of the fund selected on the date of investment. No investment will be made for any month if the value of the shareholder’s account is less than the amount specified for investment.

Periodic investment through the systematic exchange option does not ensure profits or protect against losses in a declining market. The price of the fund into which investments are made could fluctuate. Since this program involves continuous investment regardless of such fluctuating value, investors selecting this option should consider their financial ability to continue to participate in the program through periods of low fund share prices. This program involves automatic exchanges between two or more fund accounts and is treated as a purchase of shares of the fund into which investments are made through the program. Shareholders can terminate their participation in the systematic exchange option at any time by giving written notice to the fund from which exchanges are made.

Retirement Plans for the Retail Classes

An investment in the Funds may be suitable for tax-deferred retirement plans, such as: traditional IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP, SARSEP, 401(k), SIMPLE 401(k), Profit Sharing, Money Purchase, or 457 Retirement Plans. In addition, the Funds may be suitable for use in Roth IRAs and Coverdell ESAs. For further


 

details concerning these plans and accounts, including applications, contact your financial intermediary. To determine whether the benefits of a tax-sheltered retirement plan, Roth IRA, or Coverdell ESA are available and/or appropriate, you should consult with a tax advisor.

The CDSC may be waived on certain redemptions of Class C shares. See the Prospectuses for a list of the instances in which the CDSC is waived.

Minimum investment limitations generally applicable to other investors do not apply to retirement plans other than IRAs, for which there is a minimum initial purchase of $250 and a minimum subsequent purchase of $25, regardless of which Class is selected. Retirement plans may be subject to plan establishment fees, annual maintenance fees and/or other administrative or trustee fees. Additional information about fees is included in retirement plan materials. Fees are quoted upon request. Annual maintenance fees may be shared by the Custodian, the Transfer Agent, other affiliates of the Manager, and others that provide services to such Plans.

Certain shareholder investment services available to nonretirement plan shareholders may not be available to retirement plan shareholders. Certain retirement plans may qualify to purchase Institutional Class shares or Class R6 shares. For additional information, call the Delaware Funds by Macquarie Service Center at 800 523-1918.

Orders for purchases and redemptions of Class A shares are effected at the offering price next calculated after receipt of the order by the Funds, their agent, or certain other authorized persons. Orders for purchases and redemptions of all of the Funds’ other share classes are effected at the NAV per share next calculated after receipt of the order by the Funds, their agent, or certain other authorized persons. See “Distributor” under “Investment Manager and Other Service Providers” above. Financial intermediaries are responsible for transmitting orders promptly.

The offering price for Class A shares consists of the NAV per share plus any applicable sales charges. Offering price and NAV are computed as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, which is normally 4:00pm, Eastern time, on days when the NYSE is open for business. The NYSE is scheduled to be open Monday through Friday throughout the year except for days when the following holidays are observed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The time by which purchase and redemption orders must be effected in order to receive a Business Day's NAV and the time at which such orders are processed and shares are priced may change in case of an emergency declared by the SEC or, if regular trading on the NYSE is stopped, at a time other than the regularly scheduled close of the NYSE. When the NYSE is closed, the Funds will generally be closed, pricing calculations will not be made, and purchase and redemption orders will not be processed until the Funds’ next Business Day. See “Calculating share price” and “How to redeem shares” in the Prospectuses.

Generally, trading in securities of European, Asian, and Far Eastern securities exchanges and on over-the-counter markets in these regions is completed substantially at various times prior to the close of business on each Business Day. In addition, European, Asian, or Far Eastern securities trading generally or in a particular country or countries may not take place on all Business Days. Furthermore, trading takes place in various foreign markets on days which are not Business Days and days on which a Fund’s NAV is not calculated. Such calculation does not take place contemporaneously with the determination of the prices of the majority of the portfolio securities used in such calculation. For funds that invest a significant portion of assets in foreign securities, “fair value” prices are provided by an independent fair value service (if available) and are intended to reflect more accurately the value of those securities at the time a fund’s NAV is calculated. Fair value prices are used because many foreign markets operate at times that do not coincide with those of the major US markets. Events that could affect the values of foreign portfolio holdings may occur between the close of the foreign market and the time of determining the NAV, and would not otherwise be reflected in the NAV. If the independent fair value service does not provide a fair value for a particular security or if the value does not meet the established criteria for a Fund, the most recent closing price for such a security on its principal exchange will generally be its fair value on such date.

The NAV per share for each share class of each Fund is calculated by subtracting the liabilities of each class from its total assets and dividing the resulting number by the number of shares outstanding for that class. In determining each Fund’s total net assets, equity securities, except those traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (Nasdaq), are valued at the last quoted sales price as of the time of the regular close of the NYSE on the valuation date. Securities traded on the Nasdaq are valued in accordance with the Nasdaq Official Closing Price, which may not be the last sales price. If, on a particular day, an equity security does not trade, then the mean between the bid and ask prices will be used, which approximates fair value. Debt securities and credit default swap (“CDS”) contracts are valued based upon valuations provided by an independent pricing service or broker/ counterparty and reviewed by management. To the extent current market prices are not available, the pricing service may take into account developments related to the specific security, as well as transactions in comparable securities. US government and agency securities are valued at the mean between the bid and ask prices, which approximates fair value. Valuations for fixed income securities utilize matrix systems, which reflect such factors as security prices, yields, maturities, and ratings, and are supplemented by dealer and exchange quotations. For asset-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and US government agency MBS, pricing vendors utilize matrix pricing which considers prepayment speed, attributes of the collateral, yield or price of bonds of comparable quality, coupon, maturity, and type as well as broker/dealer-supplied prices. Swap prices are derived using daily swap curves and models that incorporate a number of market data factors, such as discounted cash flows, trades, and values of the underlying reference instruments. Open-end investment company securities are valued at net asset value per share, as reported by the underlying investment company. Foreign currency exchange contracts and foreign cross currency exchange contracts are valued at the mean between the bid and ask prices, which approximates fair value. Interpolated values are derived when the settlement date of the contract is an interim date for which quotations are not available. Futures contracts and options on futures contracts are valued at the daily quoted settlement prices. Exchange-traded options are valued at the last reported sale price or, if no sales


 

Determining Offering Price and Net Asset Value

are reported, at the mean between the last reported bid and ask prices, which approximates fair value. Generally, other securities and assets for which market quotations are not readily available are valued at fair value as determined in good faith under the direction of the Board. In determining whether market quotations are readily available or fair valuation will be used, various factors will be taken into consideration, such as market closures or suspension of trading in a security. A Fund may use fair value pricing more frequently for securities traded primarily in non-US markets because, among other things, most foreign markets close well before the Fund values its securities, generally as of 4:00pm Eastern time. The earlier close of these foreign markets gives rise to the possibility that significant events, including broad market moves, government actions or pronouncements, aftermarket trading, or news events may have occurred in the interim. To account for this, the Funds may frequently value foreign securities using fair value prices based on third-party vendor modeling tools (international fair value pricing). Foreign securities and the prices of foreign securities denominated in foreign currencies are translated to US dollars at the mean between the bid and offer quotations of such currencies based on rates in effect as of the close of the NYSE.

Use of a pricing service has been approved by the Board. Prices provided by a pricing service take into account appropriate factors such as institutional trading in similar groups of securities, yield, quality, coupon rate, maturity, type of issue, trading characteristics, and other market data. Subject to the foregoing, securities for which market quotations are not readily available and other assets are valued at fair value as determined in good faith and in a method approved by the Board.

Each Class of a Fund will bear, pro rata, all of the common expenses of the Fund. The NAVs of all outstanding shares of each Class of a Fund will be computed on a pro rata basis for each outstanding share based on the proportionate participation in that Fund represented by the value of shares of that Class. All income earned and expenses incurred by a Fund, will be borne on a pro rata basis by each outstanding share of a Class, based on each Class’s percentage in that Fund represented by the value of shares of such Classes, except that Institutional Class and Class R6 shares will not incur any of the expenses under the Trust’s Rule 12b-1 Plans, while the Retail Classes will bear the Rule 12b-1 Plan expenses payable under their respective Plans, and Class R6 shares will not incur any expenses related to service fees, sub-accounting fees, and/or subtransfer agency fees paid to any broker, dealer, or other financial intermediaries. Due to the specific distribution expenses and other costs that will be allocable to each Class, the NAV of each Class of a Fund will vary.

The SEC recently adopted the new Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act, which will establish an updated regulatory framework for registered investment company valuation practices and may impact a Fund's valuation policies following the effective compliance date in September 2022.

General Information

You can redeem or exchange your shares in a number of different ways that are described below. Your shares will be redeemed or exchanged at a price based on the NAV next determined after a Fund receives your request in good order, subject, in the case of a redemption, to any applicable CDSC or Limited CDSC. For example, redemption or exchange requests received in good order after the time the offering price and NAV of shares are determined will be processed on the next Business Day. See “How to redeem shares” in the Prospectuses. A shareholder submitting a redemption request may indicate that he or she wishes to receive redemption proceeds of a specific dollar amount. In the case of such a request, and in the case of certain redemptions from retirement plan accounts, a Fund will redeem the number of shares necessary to deduct the applicable CDSC in the case of Class C shares, and, if applicable, the Limited CDSC in the case of Class A shares and tender to the shareholder the requested amount, assuming the shareholder holds enough shares in his or her account for the redemption to be processed in this manner. Otherwise, the amount tendered to the shareholder upon redemption will be reduced by the amount of the applicable CDSC or Limited CDSC. Redemption proceeds will be distributed promptly, as described below, but not later than seven days after receipt of a redemption request.

Except as noted below, for a redemption request to be in “good order,” you must provide the name of the Delaware Fund, your account number, account registration, and the total number of shares or dollar amount of the transaction. For exchange requests, you must also provide the name of the Delaware Fund in which you want to invest the proceeds. Exchange instructions and redemption requests must be signed by the record owner(s) exactly as the shares are registered. You may request a redemption or an exchange by calling the Delaware Funds by Macquarie Service Center at 800 523-1918. The Funds may suspend, terminate, or amend the terms of the exchange privilege upon 60 days’ written notice to shareholders.

Orders for the repurchase of Fund shares that are submitted to the Delaware Fund prior to the close of its Business Day will be executed at the NAV per share computed that day (subject to the applicable CDSC or Limited CDSC), if the repurchase order was received by the financial intermediary from the shareholder prior to the time the offering price and NAV are determined on such day. The financial intermediary has the responsibility of transmitting orders to the Delaware Fund promptly. Such repurchase is then settled as an ordinary transaction with the financial intermediary (who may make a charge to the shareholder for this service) delivering the shares repurchased.

Payment for shares redeemed will ordinarily be mailed the next Business Day, but in no case later than seven days, after receipt of a redemption request in good order by either the Funds or certain other authorized persons (see “Distributor” under “Investment Manager and Other Service Providers”); provided, however, that each commitment to mail or wire redemption proceeds by a certain time, as described below, is modified by the qualifications described in the next paragraph.


 

The Funds will process written and telephone redemption requests to the extent that the purchase orders for the shares being redeemed have already settled. The Funds will honor redemption requests as to shares for which a check was tendered as payment, but the Funds will not mail or wire the proceeds until they are reasonably satisfied that the purchase check has cleared, which may take up to 15 calendar days from the purchase date. You can avoid this potential delay if you purchase shares by wiring Federal Funds. Each Fund reserves the right to reject a written or telephone redemption request or delay payment of redemption proceeds if there has been a recent change to the shareholder’s address of record.

If a shareholder has been credited with a purchase by a check that is subsequently returned unpaid for insufficient funds or for any other reason, the Funds will automatically redeem from the shareholder’s account the shares purchased by the check plus any dividends earned thereon. Shareholders may be responsible for any losses to the Funds or to the Distributor.

In case of a suspension of the determination of the NAV because the NYSE is closed for reasons other than weekends or holidays, or trading thereon is restricted or an emergency exists as a result of which disposal by the Funds of securities owned by them is not reasonably practical, or it is not reasonably practical for the Funds to fairly value their assets, or in the event that the SEC has provided for such suspension for the protection of shareholders, the Funds may postpone payment or suspend the right of redemption or repurchase. In such cases, the shareholder may withdraw the request for redemption or leave it standing as a request for redemption at the NAV next determined after the suspension has been terminated.

Payment for shares redeemed or repurchased may be made either in cash or in kind, or partly in cash and partly in kind. Any portfolio securities paid or distributed in kind would be valued as described in “Determining Offering Price and Net Asset Value” above. Subsequent sale by an investor receiving a distribution in kind could result in the payment of brokerage commissions. However, the Trust has elected to be governed by Rule 18f-1 under the 1940 Act pursuant to which each Fund is obligated to redeem shares solely in cash up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1.00% of the NAV of such Fund during any 90-day period for any one shareholder.

The value of each Fund’s investments is subject to changing market prices. Thus, a shareholder redeeming shares of the Funds may sustain either a gain or loss, depending upon the price paid and the price received for such shares.

Certain redemptions of Class A shares purchased at NAV may result in the imposition of a Limited CDSC. See “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge for Certain Redemptions of Class A shares Purchased at Net Asset Value” below. Class C shares are subject to CDSCs as described under “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge — Class C shares” under “Purchasing Shares” above and in the Prospectuses. Except for the applicable CDSC or Limited CDSC and, with respect to the expedited payment by wire described below for which, in the case of the Retail Classes, there may be a bank wiring cost, neither the Funds nor the Distributor charge a fee for redemptions or repurchases, but such fees could be charged at any time in the future.

Holders of Class C shares that exchange their shares (“Original Shares”) for shares of other Delaware Funds (in each case, “New Shares”) in a permitted exchange will not be subject to a CDSC that might otherwise be due upon redemption of the Original Shares. However, such shareholders will continue to be subject to the CDSC and any CDSC assessed upon redemption of the New Shares will be charged by the Fund from which the Original Shares were exchanged. In the case of Class C shares, shareholders will also continue to be subject to the automatic conversion schedule of the Original Shares as described in this SAI. In an exchange of Class C shares, a Fund’s CDSC schedule may be higher than the CDSC schedule relating to the New Shares acquired as a result of the exchange. For purposes of computing the CDSC that may be payable upon a disposition of the New Shares, the period of time that an investor held the Original Shares is added to the period of time that an investor held the New Shares. With respect to Class C shares, the automatic conversion schedule of the Original Shares may be longer than that of the New Shares. Consequently, an investment in New Shares by exchange may subject an investor to the higher Rule 12b-1 fees applicable to Class C shares for a longer period of time than if the investment in New Shares were made directly.

You may exchange all or part of your investment in one or more Delaware Funds for shares of other Delaware Funds. Please keep in mind, however, that under most circumstances you may exchange between like classes of shares only. Class C shares acquired by exchange will continue to carry the automatic conversion schedule of the fund from which the exchange is made. The holding period of Class C shares acquired by exchange will be added to that of the shares that were exchanged for purposes of determining the time of the automatic conversion to Class A shares of a fund. Holders of Class R shares of the Funds are permitted to exchange all or part of their Class R shares only for Class R shares of other Delaware Funds or, if Class R shares are not available for a particular fund, for the Class A shares of such fund. To open an account by exchange, call your financial intermediary or the Delaware Funds by Macquarie Service Center at 800 523-1918.

Permissible exchanges into Class A shares of the Funds will be made without a front-end sales charge, except for exchanges of shares that were not previously subject to a front-end sales charge (unless such shares were acquired through the reinvestment of dividends). Permissible exchanges into Class C shares will be made without the imposition of a CDSC by the Delaware Fund from which the exchange is being made at the time of the exchange.

Each Fund also reserves the right to refuse the purchase side of an exchange request by any person, or group if, in the Manager’s judgment, the Fund would be unable to invest effectively in accordance with its investment objectives and policies, or would otherwise potentially be adversely affected. A shareholder’s purchase exchanges may be restricted or refused if a Fund receives or anticipates simultaneous orders affecting significant portions of the Fund’s assets.

The Funds discourage purchases by market timers and purchase orders (including the purchase side of exchange orders) by shareholders identified as market timers may be rejected. The Funds will consider anyone who follows a pattern deemed market timing in any Delaware Fund to be a market timer.


 

Redemption and Exchange

Your ability to use the Funds’ exchange privilege may be limited if you are identified as a market timer. If you are identified as a market timer, we will execute the redemption side of your exchange order but may refuse the purchase side of your exchange order. See the Funds’ Prospectuses for more information on their market timing policies.

Contact your financial intermediary for specific information regarding the availability and suitability of various account options described throughout this SAI.

Written Redemption

You can write to the Funds (at P.O. Box 9876, Providence, RI 02940-8076 by regular mail or 4400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581-1722 by overnight courier service) to redeem some or all of your shares. The request must be signed by all owners of the account. For redemptions of more than $100,000, or when the proceeds are not sent to the shareholder(s) at the address of record, the Funds require a signature by all owners of the account and a Medallion Signature Guarantee for each owner. A Medallion Signature Guarantee can be obtained from a commercial bank, a trust company, or a member of a Securities Transfer Association Medallion Program (“STAMP”). Each Fund reserves the right to reject a signature guarantee supplied by an eligible institution based on its creditworthiness. The Funds may require further documentation from corporations, executors, retirement plans, administrators, trustees, or guardians.

Payment is normally mailed the next Business Day after receipt of your redemption request. If your Class A or Institutional Class shares are in certificate form, the certificate(s) must accompany your request and also be in good order. Certificates generally are no longer issued.

Written Exchange

You may also write to the Funds (at P.O. Box 9876, Providence, RI 02940-8076 by regular mail or 4400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581-1722 by overnight courier service) to request an exchange of any or all of your shares into another Delaware Fund, subject to the same conditions and limitations as other exchanges noted above.

Telephonic Redemption and Exchange

To get the added convenience of the telephone redemption and exchange methods, you must have the Transfer Agent hold your shares (without charge) for you. If you hold your Class A or Institutional Class shares in certificate form, you may redeem or exchange only by written request and you must return your certificates.

Telephone Redemption: The “Check to Your Address of Record” service and the “Telephone Exchange” service, both of which are described below, are automatically provided unless you notify the Funds in which you have your account in writing that you do not wish to have such services available with respect to your account. Each Fund reserves the right to modify, terminate, or suspend these procedures upon 60 days’ written notice to shareholders. It may be difficult to reach the Funds by telephone during periods when market or economic conditions lead to an unusually large volume of telephone requests.

The Funds and their Transfer Agent are not responsible for any shareholder loss incurred in acting upon written or telephone instructions for redemption or exchange of Fund shares that are reasonably believed to be genuine. With respect to such telephone transactions, a Fund will follow reasonable procedures to confirm that instructions communicated by telephone are genuine (including verification of personal identification). Also, shareholders should verify their trade confirmations immediately upon receipt. Telephone instructions received by a Fund are generally recorded, and a written confirmation will be provided for all purchase, exchange, and redemption transactions initiated by telephone. By exchanging shares by telephone, you are acknowledging prior receipt of a prospectus for the Delaware Fund into which your shares are being exchanged.

Telephone Redemption — Check to Your Address of Record: The Telephone Redemption feature is a quick and easy method to redeem shares. You or your financial intermediary (where applicable) can have redemption proceeds of $100,000 or less mailed to you at your address of record. Checks will be payable to the shareholder(s) of record. Payment is normally mailed the next Business Day after receipt of the redemption request. This service is only available to individual, joint, and individual fiduciary-type accounts.

Telephone Redemption — Proceeds to Your Bank: Redemption proceeds of $1,000 or more can be transferred to your predesignated bank account by wire or by check. You should authorize this service when you open your account. If you change your predesignated bank account, you must complete an authorization form and have your Medallion Signature Guarantee. For your protection, your authorization must be on file. If you request a wire, your funds will normally be sent the next Business Day. If the proceeds are wired to the shareholder’s account at a bank that is not a member of the Federal Reserve System, there could be a delay in the crediting of the funds to the shareholder’s bank account. A bank wire fee may be deducted from Fund Class redemption proceeds. If you ask for a check, it will normally be mailed the next Business Day after receipt of your redemption request to your predesignated bank account. There are no separate fees for this redemption method, but mailing a check may delay the time it takes to have your redemption proceeds credited to your predesignated bank account. Call the Delaware Funds by Macquarie Service Center at 800 523-1918 prior to the time the offering price and NAV are determined, as noted above.

Telephone Exchange: The telephone exchange feature is a convenient and efficient way to adjust your investment holdings as your liquidity requirements and investment objectives change. You or your financial intermediary can exchange your shares into other Delaware Funds under the same registration, subject to the same conditions and limitations as other exchanges noted above. As with the written exchange service, telephone exchanges are subject to the requirements of the Funds, as described above. Telephone exchanges may be subject to limitations as to amount or frequency.


 

The telephone exchange privilege is intended as a convenience to shareholders and is not intended to be a vehicle to speculate on short-term swings in the securities market through frequent transactions into and out of the Delaware Funds. Telephone exchanges may be subject to limitations as to amount or frequency. The Transfer Agent and each Fund reserve the right to record exchange instructions received by telephone and to reject exchange requests at any time in the future.

On Demand Service

You or your financial intermediary may request redemptions of Fund Class shares by phone using the on demand service. When you authorize the Funds to accept such requests from you or your financial intermediary, funds will be deposited to your predesignated bank account. Your request will be processed the same day if you call prior to 4:00pm Eastern time. There is a $25 minimum and $100,000 maximum limit for on demand service transactions. For more information, see “On Demand Service” under “Investment Plans” above.

Systematic Withdrawal Plans

Shareholders who own or purchase $5,000 or more of shares at the offering price, or NAV, as applicable, for which certificates have not been issued may establish a systematic withdrawal plan for monthly withdrawals of $25 or more, or quarterly withdrawals of $75 or more, although the Funds do not recommend any specific amount of withdrawal. This is particularly useful to shareholders living on fixed incomes, since it can provide them with a stable supplemental amount. This $5,000 minimum does not apply to investments made through qualified retirement plans. Shares purchased with the initial investment and through reinvestment of cash dividends and realized securities profits distributions will be credited to the shareholder’s account and sufficient full and fractional shares will be redeemed at the NAV calculated on the third Business Day preceding the mailing date.

Checks are dated either the 1st or the 15th of the month, as selected by the shareholder (unless such date falls on a holiday or a weekend), and are normally mailed within two Business Days. Both ordinary income dividends and realized securities profits distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of the Class at NAV. This plan is not recommended for all investors and should be started only after careful consideration of its operation and effect upon the investor’s savings and investment program. To the extent that withdrawal payments from the plan exceed any dividends and/or realized securities profits distributions paid on shares held under the plan, the withdrawal payments will represent a return of capital, and the share balance may in time be depleted, particularly in a declining market. Shareholders should not purchase additional shares while participating in a systematic withdrawal plan.

The sale of shares for withdrawal payments constitutes a taxable event and a shareholder may incur a capital gain or loss for federal income tax purposes. This gain or loss may be long term or short term depending on the holding period for the specific shares liquidated. Premature withdrawals from retirement plans may have adverse tax consequences.

Withdrawals under this plan made concurrently with the purchases of additional shares may be disadvantageous to the shareholder. Purchases of Class A shares through a periodic investment program in the Funds must be terminated before a systematic withdrawal plan with respect to such shares can take effect, except if the shareholder is a participant in a retirement plan offering Delaware Funds or is investing in Delaware Funds that do not carry a sales charge. Redemptions of Class A shares pursuant to a systematic withdrawal plan may be subject to a Limited CDSC if the purchase was made at NAV and a dealer’s commission has been paid on that purchase. The applicable Limited CDSC for Class A shares and CDSC for Class C shares redeemed via a systematic withdrawal plan will be waived if the annual amount withdrawn in each year is less than 12% of the account balance on the date that the plan was established. If the annual amount withdrawn in any year exceeds 12% of the account balance on the date that the systematic withdrawal plan was established, all redemptions under the plan will be subject to the applicable CDSC, including an assessment for previously redeemed amounts under the plan. Whether a waiver of the CDSC is available or not, the first shares to be redeemed for each systematic withdrawal plan payment will be those not subject to a CDSC because they have either satisfied the required holding period or were acquired through the reinvestment of distributions. See the Prospectuses for more information about the waiver of CDSCs.

An investor wishing to start a systematic withdrawal plan must complete an authorization form. If the recipient of systematic withdrawal plan payments is other than the registered shareholder, the shareholder’s signature on this authorization must be guaranteed. Each signature guarantee must be supplied by an eligible guarantor institution. The Funds reserve the right to reject a signature guarantee supplied by an eligible institution based on its creditworthiness. This plan may be terminated by the shareholder or the Transfer Agent at any time by giving written notice.

Systematic withdrawal plan payments are normally made by check. In the alternative, you may elect to have your payments transferred from your Fund account to your predesignated bank account through the on demand service. Your funds will normally be credited to your bank account up to four Business Days after the payment date. There are no separate fees for this redemption method. It may take up to four Business Days for the transactions to be completed. You can initiate this service by completing an Account Services form. If your name and address are not identical to the name and address on your Fund account, you must have your signature guaranteed. The Funds do not charge a fee for this service; however, your bank may charge a fee.

Contingent Deferred Sales Charges for Certain Redemptions of Class A shares Purchased at Net Asset Value

For purchases of $1 million or more, a Limited CDSC will be imposed on certain redemptions of Class A shares (or shares into which such Class A shares are exchanged) according to the following schedule: (i) for shares purchased prior to July 1, 2020, 1.00% if such shares are redeemed during the first year after the purchase; and 0.50% if such shares are redeemed during the second year after the purchase; and (ii) for shares purchased on or after July 1, 2020, 1.00% if such shares are redeemed during the first 18 months after the purchase, if such purchases were made at NAV and triggered the payment by the Distributor of the dealer’s commission described above in “Dealer’s Commission” under “Purchasing Shares.”


 

Redemption and Exchange

The Limited CDSC will be paid to the Distributor and will be assessed on an amount equal to the lesser of: (i) the NAV at the time of purchase of the Class A shares being redeemed; or (ii) the NAV of such Class A shares at the time of redemption. For purposes of this formula, the “NAV at the time of purchase” will be the NAV at purchase of the Class A shares even if those shares are later exchanged for shares of another Delaware Fund and, in the event of an exchange of Class A shares, the “NAV of such shares at the time of redemption” will be the NAV of the shares acquired in the exchange.

Redemptions of such Class A shares held for more than the holding period, as set forth in the Prospectuses, will not be subject to the Limited CDSC and an exchange of such Class A shares into another Delaware Fund will not trigger the imposition of the Limited CDSC at the time of such exchange. The period a shareholder owns shares into which Class A shares are exchanged will count toward satisfying the holding period. The Limited CDSC is assessed if such holding period is not satisfied irrespective of whether the redemption triggering its payment is of Class A shares of the Funds or Class A shares acquired in the exchange.

In determining whether a Limited CDSC is payable, it will be assumed that shares not subject to the Limited CDSC are the first redeemed followed by other shares held for the longest period of time. The Limited CDSC will not be imposed upon shares representing reinvested dividends or capital gains distributions, or upon amounts representing share appreciation.

Waivers of Contingent Deferred Sales Charges

Please see the Prospectuses for instances in which the Limited CDSC applicable to Class A shares and the CDSC applicable to Class C shares may be waived. The Limited CDSC applicable to Class A shares and the CDSC applicable to Class C shares are waived in instances such as a qualified distribution or due to death of the account holder/joint account holder. The qualified distribution waiver age is 70.5 and there is no CDSC death waiver time period. However, the CDSC death waiver only applies to shares purchased prior to the death of the account owner/joint account owner.

As disclosed in the Prospectuses, certain retirement plans that contain certain legacy assets may redeem shares without paying a CDSC. The following plans may redeem shares without paying a CDSC:

The redemption must be made by a group defined contribution retirement plan that purchased Class A shares through a retirement plan alliance program that required shares to be available at NAV and Retired Financial Services, Inc. (“RFS”) served as the sponsor of the alliance program or had a product participation agreement with the sponsor of the alliance program that specified that the limited CDSC would be waived.

 

The redemption must be made by any group retirement plan (excluding defined benefit pension plans) that purchased Class C shares prior to a recordkeeping transition period from August 2004 to October 2004 and purchased shares through a retirement plan alliance program, provided that (i) RFS was the sponsor of the alliance program or had a product participation agreement with the sponsor of the alliance program and (ii) RFS provided fully bundled retirement plan services and maintained participant records on its proprietary recordkeeping system.

 

Class C shares that are or were held in a qualified retirement plan account serviced by third-party administrators will not be subject to a CDSC upon the redemption of such shares regardless of the length of time the shares were held by the shareholder.

 

Distributions

The following supplements the information in the Prospectuses.

The policy of the Trust is to distribute substantially all of each Fund’s net investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, in the amount and at the times that will allow a Fund to avoid incurring any material amounts of federal income or excise taxes.

Each Class of shares of a Fund will share proportionately in its investment income and expenses, except that each Retail Class alone will incur distribution fees under its respective Rule 12b-1 Plan.

All dividends and any capital gains distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of the same Class of the Fund at NAV, unless otherwise designated in writing that such dividends and/or distributions be paid in cash.

Any check in payment of dividends or other distributions that cannot be delivered by the US Postal Service or that remains uncashed for a period of more than one year may be reinvested in the shareholder’s account at the then-current NAV and the dividend option may be changed from cash to reinvest. A Fund may deduct from a shareholder’s account the costs of the Fund’s efforts to locate the shareholder if the shareholder’s mail is returned by the US Postal Service or the Fund is otherwise unable to locate the shareholder or verify the shareholder’s mailing address. These costs may include a percentage of the account when a search company charges a percentage fee in exchange for their location services.

Taxes

The following is a summary of certain additional tax considerations generally affecting a Fund (sometimes referred to as “the Fund”) and its shareholders that are not described in the Prospectuses. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation of the tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectuses is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning.


 

This “Distributions and Taxes” section is based on the Internal Revenue Code and applicable regulations in effect on the date of this SAI. Future legislative, regulatory or administrative changes, including provisions of current law that sunset and thereafter no longer apply, or court decisions may significantly change the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its shareholders. Any of these changes or court decisions may have a retroactive effect.

This is for general information only and not tax advice. All investors should consult their own tax advisors as to the federal, state, local, and foreign tax provisions applicable to them.

Taxation of the Fund. The Fund has elected and intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company (sometimes referred to as a “regulated investment company,” “RIC” or “fund”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. If the Fund so qualifies, the Fund will not be subject to federal income tax on the portion of its investment company taxable income (that is, generally, taxable interest, dividends, net short-term capital gains, and other taxable ordinary income, net of expenses, without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (that is, the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that it distributes to shareholders.

In order to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company, the Fund must satisfy the following requirements:

Distribution Requirement — the Fund must distribute an amount equal to the sum of at least 90% of its investment company taxable income and 90% of its net tax-exempt income, if any, for the tax year (including, for purposes of satisfying this distribution requirement, certain distributions made by the Fund after the close of its taxable year that are treated as made during such taxable year).

 

Income Requirement — the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, certain payments with respect to securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived from its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and net income derived from qualified publicly traded partnerships (“QPTPs”).

 

Asset Diversification Test — the Fund must satisfy the following asset diversification test at the close of each quarter of the Fund’s tax year: (1) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s assets must consist of cash and cash items, US government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and securities of other issuers (as to which the Fund has not invested more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets in securities of an issuer and as to which the Fund does not hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer); and (2) no more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets may be invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than US government securities or securities of other regulated investment companies) or of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses, or, in the securities of one or more QPTPs.

 

In some circumstances, the character and timing of income realized by the Fund for purposes of the Income Requirement or the identification of the issuer for purposes of the Asset Diversification Test is uncertain under current law with respect to a particular investment, and an adverse determination or future guidance by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) with respect to such type of investment may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to satisfy these requirements. See, “Tax Treatment of Fund Transactions” below with respect to the application of these requirements to certain types of investments. In other circumstances, the Fund may be required to sell portfolio holdings in order to meet the Income Requirement, Distribution Requirement, or Asset Diversification Test, which may have a negative impact on the Fund’s income and performance.

The Fund may use “equalization accounting” (in lieu of making some cash distributions) in determining the portion of its income and gains that has been distributed. If the Fund uses equalization accounting, it will allocate a portion of its undistributed investment company taxable income and net capital gain to redemptions of Fund shares and will correspondingly reduce the amount of such income and gains that it distributes in cash. If the IRS determines that the Fund’s allocation is improper and that the Fund has under-distributed its income and gain for any taxable year, the Fund may be liable for federal income and/or excise tax. If, as a result of such adjustment, the Fund fails to satisfy the Distribution Requirement, the Fund will not qualify that year as a regulated investment company the effect of which is described in the following paragraph.

If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at the corporate income tax rate without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders, and the dividends would be taxable to the shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Failure to qualify as a regulated investment company would thus have a negative impact on the Fund’s income and performance. Subject to savings provisions for certain failures to satisfy the Income Requirement or Asset Diversification Test, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, it is possible that the Fund will not qualify as a regulated investment company in any given tax year. Even if such savings provisions apply, the Fund may be subject to a monetary sanction of $50,000 or more. Moreover, the Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund as a regulated investment company if it determines such a course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

Portfolio turnover. For investors that hold their Fund shares in a taxable account, a high portfolio turnover rate may result in higher taxes. This is because a fund with a high turnover rate is likely to accelerate the recognition of capital gains and more of such gains are likely to be taxable as short-term rather than long-term capital gains in contrast to a comparable fund with a low turnover rate. Any such higher taxes would reduce the Fund’s after-tax performance. See, “Taxation of Fund Distributions — Distributions of capital gains” below. For non-US investors, any such acceleration of the recognition of capital gains that results in more short-term and less long-term capital gains being recognized by the Fund may cause such investors to be subject to increased US withholding taxes. See, “Non-US Investors — Capital gain dividends” and “— Interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends” below.


 

Distributions and Taxes

Capital loss carryovers. The capital losses of the Fund, if any, do not flow through to shareholders. Rather, the Fund may use its capital losses, subject to applicable limitations, to offset its capital gains without being required to pay taxes on or distribute to shareholders such gains that are offset by the losses. If the Fund has a “net capital loss” (that is, capital losses in excess of capital gains), the excess (if any) of the Fund’s net short-term capital losses over its net long-term capital gains is treated as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund’s next taxable year, and the excess (if any) of the Fund’s net long-term capital losses over its net short-term capital gains is treated as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund’s next taxable year. Any such net capital losses of the Fund that are not used to offset capital gains may be carried forward indefinitely to reduce any future capital gains realized by the Fund in succeeding taxable years.

The amount of capital losses that can be carried forward and used in any single year is subject to an annual limitation if there is a more than 50% “change in ownership” of the Fund. An ownership change generally results when shareholders owning 5% or more of the Fund increase their aggregate holdings by more than 50% over a 3-year look-back period. An ownership change could result in capital loss carryovers being used at a slower rate, thereby reducing the Fund’s ability to offset capital gains with those losses. An increase in the amount of taxable gains distributed to the Fund’s shareholders could result from an ownership change. The Fund undertakes no obligation to avoid or prevent an ownership change, which can occur in the normal course of shareholder purchases and redemptions or as a result of engaging in a tax-free reorganization with another fund. Moreover, because of circumstances beyond the Fund’s control, there can be no assurance that the Fund will not experience, or has not already experienced, an ownership change. Additionally, if the Fund engages in a tax-free reorganization with another fund, the effect of these and other rules not discussed herein may be to disallow or postpone the use by the Fund of its capital loss carryovers (including any current year losses and built-in losses when realized) to offset its own gains or those of the other fund, or vice versa, thereby reducing the tax benefits Fund shareholders would otherwise have enjoyed from use of such capital loss carryovers.

Deferral of late year losses. The Fund may elect to treat part or all of any “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund’s taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in characterizing Fund distributions for any calendar year (see, “Taxation of Fund Distributions — Distributions of capital gains” below). A “qualified late year loss” includes:

(i)

any net capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year, or, if there is no such loss, any net long-term capital loss or any net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (“post-October capital losses”), and

(ii)

the sum of (1) the excess, if any, of (a) specified losses incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year, over (b) specified gains incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year and (2) the excess, if any, of (a) ordinary losses incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year, over (b) the ordinary income incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year.

The terms “specified losses” and “specified gains” mean ordinary losses and gains from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of property (including the termination of a position with respect to such property), foreign currency losses and gains, and losses and gains resulting from holding stock in a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for which a mark-to-market election is in effect. The terms “ordinary losses” and “ordinary income” mean other ordinary losses and income that are not described in the preceding sentence.

Undistributed capital gains. The Fund may retain or distribute to shareholders its net capital gain for each taxable year. The Fund currently intends to distribute net capital gains. If the Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, the Fund will be taxed thereon (except to the extent of any available capital loss carryovers) at the corporate income tax rate. If the Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, it is expected that the Fund also will elect to have shareholders treated as if each received a distribution of its pro rata share of such gain, with the result that each shareholder will be required to report its pro rata share of such gain on its tax return as long-term capital gain, will receive a refundable tax credit for its pro rata share of tax paid by the Fund on the gain, and will increase the tax basis for its shares by an amount equal to the deemed distribution less the tax credit.

Federal excise tax. To avoid a 4% nondeductible excise tax, the Fund must distribute by December 31 of each year an amount equal to at least: (1) 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year, (2) 98.2% of capital gain net income (that is, the excess of the gains from sales or exchanges of capital assets over the losses from such sales or exchanges) for the one-year period ended on October 31 of such calendar year, and (3) any prior year undistributed ordinary income and capital gain net income. The Fund may elect to defer to the following year any net ordinary loss incurred for the portion of the calendar year that is after the beginning of the Fund’s taxable year. Also, the Fund will defer any “specified gain” or “specified loss” that would be properly taken into account for the portion of the calendar year after October 31. Any net ordinary loss, specified gain, or specified loss deferred shall be treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year. Generally, the Fund intends to make sufficient distributions prior to the end of each calendar year to avoid any material liability for federal income and excise tax, but can give no assurances that all or a portion of such liability will be avoided. In addition, under certain circumstances, temporary timing or permanent differences in the realization of income and expense for book and tax purposes can result in the Fund having to pay an excise tax.

Foreign income tax. Investment income received by the Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income tax withheld at the source and the amount of tax withheld generally will be treated as an expense of the Fund. The US has entered into tax treaties with many foreign countries that entitle the Fund to a reduced rate of, or exemption from, tax on such income. Some countries require the filing of a tax reclaim or other forms to receive the benefit of the reduced tax rate; whether or when the Fund will receive the tax reclaim is within the control of the individual country. Information required on these forms may not be available such as shareholder information; therefore, the Fund may not receive the reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries have conflicting and changing instructions and restrictive timing requirements which may cause the Fund not to receive the reduced treaty rates or


 

potential reclaims. Other countries may subject capital gains realized by the Fund on sale or disposition of securities of that country to taxation. It is impossible to determine the effective rate of foreign tax in advance since the amount of the Fund’s assets to be invested in various countries is not known.

Taxation of Fund Distributions. The Fund anticipates distributing substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain for each taxable year. Distributions by the Fund will be treated in the manner described below regardless of whether such distributions are paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares of the Fund (or of another fund). The Fund will send you information annually as to the federal income tax consequences of distributions made (or deemed made) during the year.

Distributions of net investment income. The Fund receives ordinary income generally in the form of dividends and/or interest on its investments. The Fund may also recognize ordinary income from other sources, including, but not limited to, certain gains on foreign currency-related transactions. This income, less expenses incurred in the operation of the Fund, constitutes the Fund’s net investment income from which dividends may be paid to you. If you are a taxable investor, distributions of net investment income generally are taxable as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits. In the case of a Fund whose strategy includes investing in stocks of corporations, a portion of the income dividends paid to you may be qualified dividends eligible to be taxed at reduced rates. See the discussion below under the headings, “— Qualified dividend income for individuals” and “— Dividends-received deduction for corporations.”

Distributions of capital gains. The Fund may derive capital gain and loss in connection with sales or other dispositions of its portfolio securities. Distributions derived from the excess of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss will be taxable to you as ordinary income. Distributions paid from the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss will be taxable to you as long-term capital gain, regardless of how long you have held your shares in the Fund. Any net short-term or long-term capital gain realized by the Fund (net of any capital loss carryovers) generally will be distributed once each year and may be distributed more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund.

Returns of capital. Distributions by the Fund that are not paid from earnings and profits will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of (and in reduction of) the shareholder’s tax basis in his shares; any excess will be treated as gain from the sale of his shares. Thus, the portion of a distribution that constitutes a return of capital will decrease the shareholder’s tax basis in his Fund shares (but not below zero), and will result in an increase in the amount of gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the shareholder for tax purposes on the later sale of such Fund shares. Return of capital distributions can occur for a number of reasons including, among others, the Fund over-estimates the income to be received from certain investments such as those classified as partnerships or equity real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) (see, “Tax Treatment of Fund Transactions — Investments in US REITs” below).

Qualified dividend income for individuals. Ordinary income dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders as derived from qualified dividend income will be taxed in the hands of individuals and other noncorporate shareholders at the rates applicable to long-term capital gain. “Qualified dividend income” means dividends paid to the Fund (a) by domestic corporations, (b) by foreign corporations that are either (i) incorporated in a possession of the US, or (ii) are eligible for benefits under certain income tax treaties with the US that include an exchange of information program, or (c) with respect to stock of a foreign corporation that is readily tradable on an established securities market in the US. Both the Fund and the investor must meet certain holding period requirements to qualify Fund dividends for this treatment. Specifically, the Fund must hold the stock for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend. Similarly, investors must hold their Fund shares for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the Fund distribution goes ex-dividend. Income derived from investments in derivatives, fixed income securities, US REITs, PFICs, and income received “in lieu of” dividends in a securities lending transaction generally is not eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income. If the qualifying dividend income received by the Fund is equal to or greater than 95% of the Fund’s gross income (exclusive of net capital gain) in any taxable year, all of the ordinary income dividends paid by the Fund will be qualifying dividend income.

Dividends-received deduction for corporations. For corporate shareholders, a portion of the dividends paid by the Fund may qualify for the 50% corporate dividends-received deduction. The portion of dividends paid by the Fund that so qualifies will be reported by the Fund to shareholders each year and cannot exceed the gross amount of dividends received by the Fund from domestic (US) corporations. The availability of the dividends-received deduction is subject to certain holding period and debt financing restrictions that apply to both the Fund and the investor. Specifically, the amount that the Fund may report as eligible for the dividends-received deduction will be reduced or eliminated if the shares on which the dividends earned by the Fund were debt-financed or held by the Fund for less than a minimum period of time, generally 46 days during a 91-day period beginning 45 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend. Similarly, if your Fund shares are debt-financed or held by you for less than a 46-day period then the dividends-received deduction for Fund dividends on your shares may also be reduced or eliminated. Income derived by the Fund from investments in derivatives, fixed income and foreign securities generally is not eligible for this treatment.

Qualified REIT dividends. Under 2017 legislation commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “qualified REIT dividends” (i.e., ordinary REIT dividends other than capital gain dividends and portions of REIT dividends designated as qualified dividend income) are treated as eligible for a 20% deduction by noncorporate taxpayers. This deduction, if allowed in full, equates to a maximum effective tax rate of 29.6% (37% top rate applied to income after 20% deduction). A Fund may choose to pass through the special character of “qualified REIT dividends” to its shareholders. The amount of a RIC’s dividends eligible for the 20% deduction for a taxable year is limited to the excess of the RIC’s qualified REIT dividends for the taxable year over allocable expenses. A noncorporate shareholder receiving such dividends would treat them as eligible for the 20% deduction, provided the shareholder meets certain holding period requirements for its shares in the RIC (i.e., generally, RIC shares must be held by the shareholder for more than 45 days during the 91-day period beginning on the date that is 45 days before the date on which the shares become ex-dividend with respect to such dividend).


 

Distributions and Taxes

Impact of realized but undistributed income and gains, and net unrealized appreciation of portfolio securities. At the time of your purchase of shares, the Fund’s NAV may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation of portfolio securities held by the Fund. A subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable, and would be taxed as ordinary income (some portion of which may be taxed as qualified dividend income), capital gains, or some combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-advantaged arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. The Fund may be able to reduce the amount of such distributions from capital gains by utilizing its capital loss carryovers, if any.

Tax credit bonds. If the Fund holds, directly or indirectly, one or more “tax credit bonds” (including build America bonds, clean renewable energy bonds and qualified tax credit bonds) on one or more applicable dates during a taxable year, the Fund may elect to permit its shareholders to claim a tax credit on their income tax returns equal to each shareholder’s proportionate share of tax credits from the applicable bonds that otherwise would be allowed to the Fund. In such a case, shareholders must include in gross income (as interest) their proportionate share of the income attributable to their proportionate share of those offsetting tax credits. A shareholder’s ability to claim a tax credit associated with one or more tax credit bonds may be subject to certain limitations imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. Under 2017 legislation commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the build America bonds, clean renewable energy bonds and certain other qualified bonds may no longer be issued after December 31, 2017. Even if the Fund is eligible to pass through tax credits to shareholders, the Fund may choose not to do so.

US government securities. Income earned on certain US government obligations is exempt from state and local personal income taxes if earned directly by you. States also grant tax-free status to dividends paid to you from interest earned on direct obligations of the US government, subject in some states to minimum investment or reporting requirements that must be met by the Fund. Income on investments by the Fund in certain other obligations, such as repurchase agreements collateralized by US government obligations, commercial paper and federal agency-backed obligations (e.g., Ginnie Mae or Fannie Mae obligations), generally does not qualify for tax-free treatment. The rules on exclusion of this income are different for corporations.

Dividends declared in December and paid in January. Ordinarily, shareholders are required to take distributions by the Fund into account in the year in which the distributions are made. However, dividends declared in October, November, or December of any year and payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month will be deemed to have been received by the shareholders (and made by the Fund) on December 31 of such calendar year if such dividends are actually paid in January of the following year. Shareholders will be advised annually as to the US federal income tax consequences of distributions made (or deemed made) during the year in accordance with the guidance that has been provided by the IRS.

Medicare tax. A 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on net investment income earned by certain individuals, estates and trusts. “Net investment income,” for these purposes, means investment income, including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund shares, reduced by the deductions properly allocable to such income. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (1) the shareholder’s net investment income or (2) the amount by which the shareholder’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the shareholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the shareholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (in any other case). This Medicare tax, if applicable, is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

Sales, Exchanges, and Redemptions of Fund Shares. Sales, exchanges and redemptions (including redemptions in kind) of Fund shares are taxable transactions for federal and state income tax purposes. If you redeem your Fund shares, the IRS requires you to report any gain or loss on your redemption. If you held your shares as a capital asset, the gain or loss that you realize will be a capital gain or loss and will be long-term or short-term, generally depending on how long you have held your shares. Any redemption fees you incur on shares redeemed will decrease the amount of any capital gain (or increase any capital loss) you realize on the sale. Capital losses in any year are deductible only to the extent of capital gains plus, in the case of a noncorporate taxpayer, $3,000 of ordinary income.

Tax basis information. The Fund is required to report to you and the IRS annually on Form 1099-B the cost basis of shares purchased or acquired on or after January 1, 2012 where the cost basis of the shares is known by the Fund (referred to as “covered shares”) and that are disposed of after that date. However, cost basis reporting is not required for certain shareholders, including shareholders investing in the Fund through a tax-advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account.

When required to report cost basis, the Fund will calculate it using the Fund’s default method, unless you instruct the Fund to use a different calculation method. For additional information regarding the Fund’s available cost basis reporting methods, including its default method, please contact the Fund. If you hold your Fund shares through a broker (or other nominee), please contact that broker (nominee) with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for your account.

The IRS permits the use of several methods to determine the cost basis of mutual fund shares. The method used will determine which specific shares are deemed to be sold when there are multiple purchases on different dates at differing share prices, and the entire position is not sold at one time. The Fund does not recommend any particular method of determining cost basis, and the use of other methods may result in more favorable tax consequences for some shareholders. It is important that you consult with your tax advisor to determine which method is best for you and then notify the Fund if you intend to utilize a method other than the Fund’s default method for covered shares. If you do not notify the Fund of your elected cost basis method upon the initial purchase into your account, the default method will be applied to your covered shares.

The Fund will compute and report the cost basis of your Fund shares sold or exchanged by taking into account all of the applicable adjustments to cost basis and holding periods as required by the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury regulations for purposes of reporting these amounts to you and the IRS.


 

However the Fund is not required to, and in many cases the Fund does not possess the information to, take all possible basis, holding period or other adjustments into account in reporting cost basis information to you. Therefore, shareholders should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the Fund.

Please refer to the Fund’s website at delawarefunds.com for additional information.

Wash sales. All or a portion of any loss that you realize on a redemption of your Fund shares will be disallowed to the extent that you buy other shares in the Fund (through reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within 30 days before or after your share redemption. Any loss disallowed under these rules will be added to your tax basis in the new shares.

Redemptions at a loss within six months of purchase. Any loss incurred on a redemption or exchange of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any long-term capital gain distributed to you by the Fund on those shares.

Deferral of basis. If a shareholder (a) incurs a sales load in acquiring shares of the Fund, (b) disposes of such shares less than 91 days after they are acquired, and (c) subsequently acquires shares of the Fund or another fund by January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the disposition of the original shares occurred at a reduced sales load pursuant to a right to reinvest at such reduced sales load acquired in connection with the acquisition of the shares disposed of, then the sales load on the shares disposed of (to the extent of the reduction in the sales load on the shares subsequently acquired) shall not be taken into account in determining gain or loss on the shares disposed of, but shall be treated as incurred on the acquisition of the shares subsequently acquired. The wash sale rules may also limit the amount of loss that may be taken into account on disposition after such adjustment.

Conversion of shares into shares of the same Fund. The conversion or exchange of shares of one class into another class of the same Fund is not taxable for federal income tax purposes. Thus, the following transactions generally will be tax-free for federal income tax purposes:

the automatic conversion of Class C shares into Class A shares of the same Fund approximately eight years after purchase,

 

the exchange of Class A shares for Institutional Class shares of the same Fund by certain Programs,

 

the exchange of Class C shares for Class A shares or Institutional Class shares of the same Fund by certain Programs, and

 

the exchange of Institutional Class shares for Class A shares or Class C shares of the same Fund by certain shareholders of Institutional Class shares who cease participation in a Program.

 

However, shareholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the state and local tax consequences of a conversion or exchange of shares.

Reportable transactions. Under Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to the Fund’s shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

Tax Treatment of Fund Transactions. Set forth below is a general description of the tax treatment of certain types of securities, investment techniques and transactions that may apply to a fund and, in turn, affect the amount, character and timing of dividends and distributions payable by the fund to its shareholders. This section should be read in conjunction with the discussion above under “Investment Strategies and Risks” for a detailed description of the various types of securities and investment techniques that apply to the Fund.

In general. In general, gain or loss recognized by a fund on the sale or other disposition of portfolio investments will be a capital gain or loss. Such capital gain and loss may be long-term or short-term depending, in general, upon the length of time a particular investment position is maintained and, in some cases, upon the nature of the transaction. Property held for more than one year generally will be eligible for long-term capital gain or loss treatment. The application of certain rules described below may serve to alter the manner in which the holding period for a security is determined or may otherwise affect the characterization as long-term or short-term, and also the timing of the realization and/or character, of certain gains or losses.

Certain fixed income investments. Gain recognized on the disposition of a debt obligation purchased by a fund at a market discount (generally, at a price less than its principal amount) will be treated as ordinary income to the extent of the portion of the market discount that accrued during the period of time the fund held the debt obligation unless the fund made a current inclusion election to accrue market discount into income as it accrues. If a fund purchases a debt obligation (such as a zero coupon security or payment-in-kind security) that was originally issued at a discount, the fund generally is required to include in gross income each year the portion of the original issue discount that accrues during such year. Therefore, a fund’s investment in such securities may cause the fund to recognize income and make distributions to shareholders before it receives any cash payments on the securities. To generate cash to satisfy those distribution requirements, a fund may have to sell portfolio securities that it otherwise might have continued to hold or to use cash flows from other sources such as the sale of fund shares.

Investments in debt obligations that are at risk of or in default present tax issues for a fund. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as whether and to what extent a fund should recognize market discount on a debt obligation, when a fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent a fund may take deductions for bad debts or worthless securities and how a fund should allocate payments received on obligations in default between principal and income. These and other related issues will be addressed by a fund in order to ensure that it distributes sufficient income to preserve its status as a regulated investment company.


 

Distributions and Taxes

Options, futures, forward contracts, swap agreements, and hedging transactions. In general, option premiums received by a fund are not immediately included in the income of the fund. Instead, the premiums are recognized when the option contract expires, the option is exercised by the holder, or the fund transfers or otherwise terminates the option (e.g., through a closing transaction). If an option written by a fund is exercised and the fund sells or delivers the underlying stock, the fund generally will recognize capital gain or loss equal to (a) the sum of the strike price and the option premium received by the fund minus (b) the fund’s basis in the stock. Such gain or loss generally will be short-term or long-term depending upon the holding period of the underlying stock. If securities are purchased by a fund pursuant to the exercise of a put option written by it, the fund generally will subtract the premium received from its cost basis in the securities purchased. The gain or loss with respect to any termination of a fund’s obligation under an option other than through the exercise of the option and related sale or delivery of the underlying stock generally will be short-term gain or loss depending on whether the premium income received by the fund is greater or less than the amount paid by the fund (if any) in terminating the transaction. Thus, for example, if an option written by a fund expires unexercised, the fund generally will recognize short-term gain equal to the premium received.

The tax treatment of certain futures contracts entered into by a fund as well as listed non-equity options written or purchased by the fund on US exchanges (including options on futures contracts, broad-based equity indices and debt securities) may be governed by section 1256 of the Internal Revenue Code (“section 1256 contracts”). Gains or losses on section 1256 contracts generally are considered 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”), although certain foreign currency gains and losses from such contracts may be treated as ordinary in character. Also, any section 1256 contracts held by a fund at the end of each taxable year (and, for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates as prescribed under the Internal Revenue Code) are “marked to market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gain or loss is treated as ordinary or 60/40 gain or loss, as applicable. Section 1256 contracts do not include any interest rate swap, currency swap, basis swap, interest rate cap, interest rate floor, commodity swap, equity swap, equity index swap, credit default swap, or similar agreement.

In addition to the special rules described above in respect of options and futures transactions, a fund’s transactions in other derivatives instruments (including options, forward contracts and swap agreements) as well as its other hedging, short sale, or similar transactions, may be subject to one or more special tax rules (including the constructive sale, notional principal contract, straddle, wash sale and short sale rules). These rules may affect whether gains and losses recognized by a fund are treated as ordinary or capital or as short-term or long-term, accelerate the recognition of income or gains to the fund, defer losses to the fund, and cause adjustments in the holding periods of the fund’s securities. These rules, therefore, could affect the amount, timing and/or character of distributions to shareholders. Moreover, because the tax rules applicable to derivatives instruments are in some cases uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether a fund has made sufficient distributions, and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax.

Certain of a fund’s investments in derivatives and foreign currency-denominated instruments, and the fund’s transactions in foreign currencies and hedging activities, may produce a difference between its book income and its taxable income. If a fund’s book income is less than the sum of its taxable income and net tax-exempt income (if any), the fund could be required to make distributions exceeding book income to qualify as a regulated investment company. If a fund’s book income exceeds the sum of its taxable income and net tax-exempt income (if any), the distribution of any such excess will be treated as (i) a dividend to the extent of the fund’s remaining earnings and profits (including current earnings and profits arising from tax-exempt income, reduced by related deductions), (ii) thereafter, as a return of capital to the extent of the recipient’s basis in the shares, and (iii) thereafter, as gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset.

Foreign currency transactions. A fund’s transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency-denominated debt obligations and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. This treatment could increase or decrease a fund’s ordinary income distributions to you, and may cause some or all of the fund’s previously distributed income to be classified as a return of capital. In certain cases, a fund may make an election to treat such gain or loss as capital.

PFIC investments. A fund may invest in securities of foreign companies that may be classified under the Internal Revenue Code as PFICs. In general, a foreign company is classified as a PFIC if at least one-half of its assets constitute investment-type assets or 75% or more of its gross income is investment-type income. When investing in PFIC securities, a fund intends to mark-to-market these securities under certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and recognize any unrealized gains as ordinary income at the end of the fund’s fiscal and excise tax years. Deductions for losses are allowable only to the extent of any current or previously recognized gains. These gains (reduced by allowable losses) are treated as ordinary income that a fund is required to distribute, even though it has not sold or received dividends from these securities. You should also be aware that the designation of a foreign security as a PFIC security will cause its income dividends to fall outside of the definition of qualified foreign corporation dividends. These dividends generally will not qualify for the reduced rate of taxation on qualified dividends when distributed to you by a fund. Foreign companies are not required to identify themselves as PFICs. Due to various complexities in identifying PFICs, a fund can give no assurances that it will be able to identify portfolio securities in foreign corporations that are PFICs in time for the fund to make a mark-to-market election. If a fund is unable to identify an investment as a PFIC and thus does not make a mark-to-market election, the fund may be subject to US federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on a fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.

Investments in US REITs. A US REIT is not subject to federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to shareholders. Dividends paid by a US REIT, other than capital gain distributions, will be taxable as ordinary income up to the amount of the US REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and


 

profits. Capital gain dividends paid by a US REIT to a fund will be treated as long-term capital gains by the fund and, in turn, may be distributed by the fund to its shareholders as a capital gain distribution. Because of certain noncash expenses, such as property depreciation, an equity US REIT’s cash flow may exceed its taxable income. The equity US REIT, and in turn a fund, may distribute this excess cash to shareholders in the form of a return of capital distribution. However, if a US REIT is operated in a manner that fails to qualify as a REIT, an investment in the US REIT would become subject to double taxation, meaning the taxable income of the US REIT would be subject to federal income tax at the corporate income tax rate without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders and the dividends would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the US REIT’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Also, see, “Tax Treatment of Fund Transactions — Investment in taxable mortgage pools (excess inclusion income)” and “Non-US Investors — Investment in US real property” below with respect to certain other tax aspects of investing in US REITs.

Investment in non-US REITs. While non-US REITs often use complex acquisition structures that seek to minimize taxation in the source country, an investment by a fund in a non-US REIT may subject the fund, directly or indirectly, to corporate taxes, withholding taxes, transfer taxes and other indirect taxes in the country in which the real estate acquired by the non-US REIT is located. A fund’s pro rata share of any such taxes will reduce the fund’s return on its investment. A fund’s investment in a non-US REIT may be considered an investment in a PFIC, as discussed above in “PFIC investments.” Additionally, foreign withholding taxes on distributions from the non-US REIT may be reduced or eliminated under certain tax treaties, as discussed above in “Taxation of the Fund — Foreign income tax.” Also, a fund in certain limited circumstances may be required to file an income tax return in the source country and pay tax on any gain realized from its investment in the non-US REIT under rules similar to those in the US, which tax foreign persons on gain realized from dispositions of interests in US real estate.

Investment in taxable mortgage pools (excess inclusion income). Under a Notice issued by the IRS, the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury regulations to be issued, a portion of a fund’s income from a US REIT that is attributable to the REIT’s residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (“REMIC”) or equity interests in a “taxable mortgage pool” (referred to in the Internal Revenue Code as an excess inclusion) will be subject to federal income tax in all events. The excess inclusion income of a regulated investment company, such as a fund, will be allocated to shareholders of the regulated investment company in proportion to the dividends received by such shareholders, with the same consequences as if the shareholders held the related REMIC residual interest or, if applicable, taxable mortgage pool directly. In general, excess inclusion income allocated to shareholders (i) cannot be offset by net operating losses (subject to a limited exception for certain thrift institutions), (ii) will constitute unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) to entities (including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, Keogh plans or other tax-exempt entities) subject to tax on UBTI, thereby potentially requiring such an entity that is allocated excess inclusion income, and otherwise might not be required to file a tax return, to file a tax return and pay tax on such income, and (iii) in the case of a foreign stockholder, will not qualify for any reduction in US federal withholding tax. In addition, if at any time during any taxable year a “disqualified organization” (which generally includes certain cooperatives, governmental entities, and tax-exempt organizations not subject to UBTI) is a record holder of a share in a regulated investment company, then the regulated investment company will be subject to a tax equal to that portion of its excess inclusion income for the taxable year that is allocable to the disqualified organization, multiplied by the corporate income tax rate. The Notice imposes certain reporting requirements upon regulated investment companies that have excess inclusion income. There can be no assurance that a fund will not allocate to shareholders excess inclusion income.

These rules are potentially applicable to a fund with respect to any income it receives from the equity interests of certain mortgage pooling vehicles, either directly or, as is more likely, through an investment in a US REIT. It is unlikely that these rules will apply to a fund that has a non-REIT strategy.

Investments in partnerships and QPTPs. For purposes of the Income Requirement, income derived by a fund from a partnership that is not a QPTP will be treated as qualifying income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership that would be qualifying income if realized directly by the fund. While the rules are not entirely clear with respect to a fund investing in a partnership outside a master feeder structure, for purposes of testing whether a fund satisfies the Asset Diversification Test, the fund generally is treated as owning a pro rata share of the underlying assets of a partnership. See, “Taxation of the Fund.” In contrast, different rules apply to a partnership that is a QPTP. A QPTP is a partnership (a) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market, (b) that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, and (c) that derives less than 90% of its income from sources that satisfy the Income Requirement (e.g., because it invests in commodities). All of the net income derived by a fund from an interest in a QPTP will be treated as qualifying income but the fund may not invest more than 25% of its total assets in one or more QPTPs. However, there can be no assurance that a partnership classified as a QPTP in one year will qualify as a QPTP in the next year. Any such failure to annually qualify as a QPTP might, in turn, cause a fund to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company. Although, in general, the passive loss rules of the Internal Revenue Code do not apply to RICs, such rules do apply to a fund with respect to items attributable to an interest in a QPTP. Fund investments in partnerships, including in QPTPs, may result in the fund being subject to state, local or foreign income, franchise or withholding tax liabilities.

Securities lending. While securities are loaned out by a fund, the fund generally will receive from the borrower amounts equal to any dividends or interest paid on the borrowed securities. For federal income tax purposes, payments made “in lieu of” dividends are not considered dividend income. These distributions will neither qualify for the reduced rate of taxation for individuals on qualified dividends nor the 50% dividends-received deduction for corporations.

Investments in convertible securities. Convertible debt is ordinarily treated as a “single property” consisting of a pure debt interest until conversion, after which the investment becomes an equity interest. If the security is issued at a premium (i.e., for cash in excess of the face amount payable on retirement), the creditor-holder may amortize the premium over the life of the bond. If the security is issued for cash at a price below its face amount, the creditor-holder must accrue original issue discount in income over the life of the debt. The creditor-holder’s exercise of the conversion privilege is treated as a nontaxable event. Mandatorily convertible debt (e.g., an exchange-traded note or ETN issued in the form of an unsecured obligation that pays a return based on the


 

Distributions and Taxes

performance of a specified market index, exchange currency, or commodity) is often, but not always, treated as a contract to buy or sell the reference property rather than debt. Similarly, convertible preferred stock with a mandatory conversion feature is ordinarily, but not always, treated as equity rather than debt. Dividends received generally are qualified dividend income and eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. In general, conversion of preferred stock for common stock of the same corporation is tax-free. Conversion of preferred stock for cash is a taxable redemption. Any redemption premium for preferred stock that is redeemable by the issuing company might be required to be amortized under original issue discount principles.

Investments in securities of uncertain tax character. A fund may invest in securities the US federal income tax treatment of which may not be clear or may be subject to recharacterization by the IRS. To the extent the tax treatment of such securities or the income from such securities differs from the tax treatment expected by a fund, it could affect the timing or character of income recognized by the fund, requiring the fund to purchase or sell securities, or otherwise change its portfolio, in order to comply with the tax rules applicable to regulated investment companies under the Internal Revenue Code.

Backup Withholding. By law, the Fund may be required to withhold a portion of your taxable dividends and sales proceeds unless you:

provide your correct social security or taxpayer identification number,

 

certify that this number is correct,

 

certify that you are not subject to backup withholding, and

 

certify that you are a US person (including a US resident alien).

 

The Fund also must withhold if the IRS instructs it to do so. When withholding is required, the amount will be 24% of any distributions or proceeds paid. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s US federal income tax liability, provided the appropriate information is furnished to the IRS. Certain payees and payments are exempt from backup withholding and information reporting. The special US tax certification requirements applicable to non-US investors to avoid backup withholding are described under the “Non-US Investors” heading below.

Non-US Investors. Non-US investors (shareholders who, as to the US, are nonresident alien individuals, foreign trusts or estates, foreign corporations, or foreign partnerships) may be subject to US withholding and estate tax and are subject to special US tax certification requirements. Non-US investors should consult their tax advisors about the applicability of US tax withholding and the use of the appropriate forms to certify their status.

In general. The US imposes a flat 30% withholding tax (or a withholding tax at a lower treaty rate) on US source dividends, including on income dividends paid to you by the Fund, subject to certain exemptions described below. However, notwithstanding such exemptions from US withholding at the source, any dividends and distributions of income and capital gains, including the proceeds from the sale of your Fund shares, will be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% if you fail to properly certify that you are not a US person.

Capital gain dividends. In general, capital gain dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders as paid from its net long-term capital gains, other than long-term capital gains realized on disposition of US real property interests (see the discussion below), are not subject to US withholding tax unless you are a nonresident alien individual present in the US for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the calendar year.

Interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends. Generally, dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders as interest-related dividends and paid from its qualified net interest income from US sources are not subject to US withholding tax. “Qualified interest income” includes, in general, US source (1) bank deposit interest, (2) short-term original discount, (3) interest (including original issue discount, market discount, or acquisition discount) on an obligation that is in registered form, unless it is earned on an obligation issued by a corporation or partnership in which the Fund is a 10-percent shareholder or is contingent interest, and (4) any interest-related dividend from another regulated investment company. Similarly, short-term capital gain dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders as paid from its net short-term capital gains, other than short-term capital gains realized on the disposition of certain US real property interests (see the discussion below), are not subject to US withholding tax unless you were a nonresident alien individual present in the US for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the calendar year. The Fund reserves the right to not report interest-related dividends or short-term capital gain dividends. Additionally, the Fund’s reporting of interest-related dividends or short-term capital gain dividends may not be passed through to shareholders by intermediaries who have assumed tax reporting responsibilities for this income in managed or omnibus accounts due to systems limitations or operational constraints.

Net investment income from dividends on stock and foreign source interest income continue to be subject to withholding tax. Ordinary dividends paid by the Fund to non-US investors on the income earned on portfolio investments in (i) the stock of domestic and foreign corporations and (ii) the debt of foreign issuers continue to be subject to US withholding tax.

Income effectively connected with a US trade or business. If the income from the Fund is effectively connected with a US trade or business carried on by a foreign shareholder, then ordinary income dividends, capital gain dividends and any gains realized upon the sale or redemption of shares of the Fund will be subject to US federal income tax at the rates applicable to US citizens or domestic corporations and require the filing of a nonresident US income tax return.

Investment in US real property. The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”) makes non-US persons subject to US tax on disposition of a US real property interest (“USRPI”) as if he or she were a US person. Such gain is sometimes referred to as FIRPTA gain. The Fund may invest in equity securities of corporations that invest in USRPI, including US REITs, which may trigger FIRPTA gain to the Fund’s non-US shareholders.

The Internal Revenue Code provides a look-through rule for distributions of FIRPTA gain when a RIC is classified as a qualified investment entity. A RIC will be classified as a qualified investment entity if, in general, 50% or more of the RIC’s assets consist of interests in US REITs and other US real property holding corporations (“USRPHC”). If a RIC is a qualified investment entity and the non-US shareholder owns more than 5% of a class of Fund shares at any


 

time during the one-year period ending on the date of the FIRPTA distribution, the FIRPTA distribution to the non-US shareholder is treated as gain from the disposition of a USRPI, causing the distribution to be subject to US withholding tax at the corporate income tax rate (unless reduced by future regulations), and requiring the non-US shareholder to file a nonresident US income tax return. In addition, even if the non-US shareholder does not own more than 5% of a class of Fund shares, but the Fund is a qualified investment entity, the FIRPTA distribution will be taxable as ordinary dividends (rather than as a capital gain or short-term capital gain dividend) subject to withholding at 30% or lower treaty rate.

Because the Fund expects to invest less than 50% of its assets at all times, directly or indirectly, in US real property interests, the Fund expects that neither gain on the sale or redemption of Fund shares nor Fund dividends and distributions would be subject to FIRPTA reporting and tax withholding.

US estate tax. Transfers by gift of shares of the Fund by a foreign shareholder who is a nonresident alien individual will not be subject to US federal gift tax. An individual who, at the time of death, is a non-US shareholder will nevertheless be subject to US federal estate tax with respect to Fund shares at the graduated rates applicable to US citizens and residents, unless a treaty exemption applies. If a treaty exemption is available, a decedent’s estate may nonetheless need to file a US estate tax return to claim the exemption in order to obtain a US federal transfer certificate. The transfer certificate will identify the property (i.e., Fund shares) as to which the US federal estate tax lien has been released. In the absence of a treaty, there is a $13,000 statutory estate tax credit (equivalent to US situs assets with a value of $60,000). For estates with US situs assets of not more than $60,000, the Fund may accept, in lieu of a transfer certificate, an affidavit from an appropriate individual evidencing that decedent’s US situs assets are below this threshold amount.

US tax certification rules. Special US tax certification requirements may apply to non-US shareholders both to avoid US backup withholding imposed at a rate of 24% and to obtain the benefits of any treaty between the US and the shareholder’s country of residence. In general, if you are a non-US shareholder, you must provide a Form W-8 BEN (or other applicable Form W-8) to establish that you are not a US person, to claim that you are the beneficial owner of the income and, if applicable, to claim a reduced rate of, or exemption from, withholding as a resident of a country with which the US has an income tax treaty. A Form W-8 BEN provided without a US taxpayer identification number will remain in effect for a period beginning on the date signed and ending on the last day of the third succeeding calendar year unless an earlier change of circumstances makes the information on the form incorrect. Certain payees and payments are exempt from backup withholding.

The tax consequences to a non-US shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of an applicable tax treaty may be different from those described herein. Non-US shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund, including the applicability of foreign tax.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). Under FATCA, the Fund will be required to withhold a 30% tax on income dividends made by the Fund to certain foreign entities, referred to as foreign financial institutions (“FFI”) or nonfinancial foreign entities (“NFFE”). After December 31, 2018, FATCA withholding also would have applied to certain capital gain distributions, return of capital distributions and the proceeds arising from the sale of Fund shares; however, based on proposed regulations issued by the IRS, which can be relied upon currently, such withholding is no longer required unless final regulations provide otherwise (which is not expected). The FATCA withholding tax generally can be avoided: (a) by an FFI, if it reports certain direct and indirect ownership of foreign financial accounts held by US persons with the FFI and (b) by an NFFE, if it: (i) certifies that it has no substantial US persons as owners or (ii) if it does have such owners, reporting information relating to them. The US Treasury has negotiated intergovernmental agreements (“IGA”) with certain countries and is in various stages of negotiations with a number of other foreign countries with respect to one or more alternative approaches to implement FATCA; an entity in one of those countries may be required to comply with the terms of an IGA instead of US Treasury regulations.

An FFI can avoid FATCA withholding if it is deemed compliant or by becoming a “participating FFI,” which requires the FFI to enter into a US tax compliance agreement with the IRS under section 1471(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (“FFI agreement”) under which it agrees to verify, report and disclose certain of its US accountholders and meet certain other specified requirements. The FFI will either report the specified information about the US accounts to the IRS, or, to the government of the FFI’s country of residence (pursuant to the terms and conditions of applicable law and an applicable IGA entered into between the US and the FFI’s country of residence), which will, in turn, report the specified information to the IRS. An FFI that is resident in a country that has entered into an IGA with the US to implement FATCA will be exempt from FATCA withholding provided that the FFI shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement.

An NFFE that is the beneficial owner of a payment from the Fund can avoid the FATCA withholding tax generally by certifying that it does not have any substantial US owners or by providing the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each substantial US owner. The NFFE will report the information to the Fund or other applicable withholding agent, which will, in turn, report the information to the IRS.