N-2/A 1 d16511dn2a.htm WESTERN ASSET DIVERSIFIED INCOME FUND Western Asset Diversified Income Fund

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 25, 2021

1933 Act File No. 333-240200

1940 Act File No. 811-23598

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM N-2

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

Registration Statement

under

   the Securities Act of 1933  
   Pre-Effective Amendment No. 4  
   Post-Effective Amendment No.  

and/or

Registration Statement

Under

   the Investment Company Act of 1940  
   Amendment No. 4  

 

 

Western Asset Diversified Income Fund

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

620 Eighth Avenue, 47th Floor

New York, New York 10018

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (888) 777-0102

Jane Trust

Legg Mason and Co., LLC

620 Eighth Avenue, 47th Floor

New York, New York 10018

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

David W. Blass, Esq.
Ryan P. Brizek, Esq.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
900 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

 

Clifford R. Cone, Esq.

Jefferey D. LeMaster, Esq.

Clifford Chance US LLP

31 West 52nd Street

New York, New York 10019

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed public offering: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box  ☐.

If any securities being registered on this form will be offered on a delayed or continuous basis in reliance on Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction A.2 or a post-effective amendment thereto, check the following box  ☐.

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction B or a post-effective amendment thereto that will become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box  ☐.

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction B to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box  ☐.

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):

☐ when declared effective pursuant to section 8(c)

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

 

This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed registration statement.

 

 

This form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act and the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering is                                                              .

 

 

This Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, and the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering is                                                              .

 

 

This Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, and the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering is                                                              .

Check each box that appropriately characterizes the Registrant:

 

 

Registered Closed-End Fund (closed-end company that is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Investment Company Act”)).

 

 

Business Development Company (closed-end company that intends or has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act).

 

 

Interval Fund (Registered Closed-End Fund or a Business Development Company that makes periodic repurchase offers under Rule 23c-3 under the Investment Company Act).

 

 

A.2 Qualified (qualified to register securities pursuant to General Instruction A.2 of this Form).

 

 

Well-Known Seasoned Issuer (as defined by Rule 405 under the Securities Act).

 

 

Emerging Growth Company (as defined by Rule 12b-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”).

 

 

If an Emerging Growth Company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of Securities Act.

 

 

New Registrant (registered or regulated under the Investment Company Act for less than 12 calendar months preceding this filing).

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Title of Securities Being Registered  

Amount

Being

Registered(1)

 

Proposed

Maximum

Offering Price
per Unit(1)

 

Proposed

Maximum
Aggregate

Offering Price(1)

  Amount of
Registration Fee

Common Shares of Beneficial Interest, $0.001 par value per share

  50,000   $20.00   $1,000,000   $129.80(2)

 

 

(1)

Estimated solely for purposes of calculating the registration fee.

(2)

Previously paid.

 

 

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 

 


The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to Completion Dated May 25, 2021

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS

Shares

Western Asset Diversified Income Fund

Common Shares

$20.00 per share

 

 

The Fund. Western Asset Diversified Income Fund, a Maryland statutory trust (the “Fund”), is a newly-organized, diversified, closed-end management investment company with no operating history.

Investment Objectives. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek high current income. As a secondary investment objective, the Fund will seek capital appreciation. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved or that the Fund’s investment program will be successful.

Investment Manager and Subadviser. The Fund’s investment manager is Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (“LMPFA” or the “Manager”). Western Asset Management Company, LLC (“Western Asset”), Western Asset Management Company Limited in London (“Western Asset London”), Western Asset Management Company Pte. Ltd. in Singapore (“Western Asset Singapore”) and Western Asset Management Company Ltd in Japan (“Western Asset Japan” and together, with Western Asset London and Western Asset Singapore, the “Non-U.S. Subadvisers”) will serve as subadvisers to the Fund.

Investment Strategy. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest across fixed income sectors and securities in seeking to deliver a well-diversified portfolio. Western Asset’s investment process utilizes cross-sector correlations designed to seek optimized return potential and diversification benefit within the portfolio. In managing the portfolio, Western Asset will employ its top down macro view to drive decisions on value, credit sectors, credit quality and duration, and its deep research experience and bottom-up analysis to make sector and security selections. Under current market conditions, the Fund anticipates it will initially focus on shorter-duration and floating rate securities, which have lower sensitivity to higher interest rates. The fund’s duration and mix of fixed and floating rate investments is subject to change over time. As market conditions change, Western Asset will seek to dynamically rotate investments into sectors and securities that it believes to be undervalued from a fundamental perspective with an attractive return profile and away from investments that it believes to be overvalued. The Fund will provide exposure to residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”), both agency and non-agency, consistent with its investment policies. The Fund may invest in investment grade and below investment grade corporate debt securities (commonly referred to as either “high yield” securities or “junk bonds”), senior loans, agency and non-agency RMBS and CMBS, government (i.e., sovereign) debt (including U.S. government obligations), floating rate securities, bank loans, collateralized loan obligations, asset-backed securities, private debt and mortgage whole loans.

(continued on inside front cover)

The Fund’s common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.001 per share (the “Common Shares”), are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, subject to notice of issuance, under the symbol “WDI.”

No Prior History. Because the Fund is newly organized, its Common Shares have no history of public trading. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount from their net asset value. The risk of loss due to this discount may be greater for investors expecting to sell their shares in a relatively short period after completion of the public offering.

 

 

An investment in the Fund involves certain risks arising from, among other things, the Fund’s ability to invest without limitation in below investment grade debt securities (commonly referred to as either “high yield” securities or “junk bonds”), including securities of stressed, distressed or defaulted issuers, and illiquid investments. An investment in the Fund is also subject to the risk of the use of leverage and risks related to investments in derivative instruments. Investors should carefully consider the Fund’s risks and investment objectives, as an investment in the Fund may not be appropriate for all investors and is not designed to be a complete investment program. No assurance can be given that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved. Before buying any of the Fund’s Common Shares, you should read the discussion of the principal risks of investing in the Fund in the “Risks” section beginning on page 33 of this prospectus. Certain of these risks are summarized in “Prospectus Summary—Special Risk Considerations” beginning on page 10.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

     Per Share      Total(1)  

Public Offering Price

   $ 20.00      $    

Sales Load(2)

     None        None  

Proceeds, after expenses, to the Fund(3)

   $ 20.00      $    

(notes on inside front cover)

The underwriters expect to deliver the Common Shares to purchasers on or about                     , 2021.

 

 

 

Morgan Stanley   BofA Securities     Wells Fargo Securities  
Oppenheimer & Co.   RBC Capital Markets     Stifel  
Aegis Capital Corp.   AmeriVet Securities   B. Riley Securities     Bancroft Capital, LLC  
Brookline Capital Markets   D.A. Davidson & Co.   GMS Group, LLC     Hennion & Walsh, Inc.  
HilltopSecurities   Incapital   Janney Montgomery Scott     JonesTrading  
Ladenburg Thalmann   Maxim Group LLC   Newbridge Securities Corporation     Northland Securities, Inc.  
Pershing LLC         Wedbush Securities Inc.  

 

 

The date of this prospectus is                     , 2021.


(notes from previous page)

 

(1)

The Fund has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to                      additional Common Shares at the public offering price within 45 days of the date of this prospectus solely to cover over-allotments, if any. If such option is exercised in full, the aggregate public offering price and the proceeds to the Fund will be $                    . See “Underwriters.”

 

(2)

LMPFA (and not the Fund) has agreed to pay, from its own assets, compensation of $0.60 per Common Share to the underwriters in connection with this offering and, separately, an upfront structuring and syndication fee to Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, an upfront structuring fee to BofA Securities, Inc. (or an affiliate) and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, an upfront fee to Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, and may pay certain other qualifying underwriters and dealers a structuring fee, sales incentive fee or other additional compensation in connection with the offering. LMPFA and certain of its affiliates (and not the Fund) expect to pay compensation to certain registered representatives of Legg Mason Investor Services, Inc. (an affiliate of LMPFA) that participate in the marketing of the Fund’s Common Shares. See “Underwriters—Additional Compensation Paid by LMPFA.”

 

(3)

LMPFA has agreed to pay all organizational expenses of the Fund and all offering costs associated with this offering. The Fund is not obligated to repay any such organizational expenses or offering costs paid by LMPFA.

(continued from previous page)

Leverage. Under normal market conditions, the Fund initially intends to utilize leverage in an amount equal to approximately 20% to 30% of its Managed Assets. “Managed Assets” means the net assets of the Fund plus the principal amount of any Borrowings or Preferred Shares (each as defined below) that may be outstanding, reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions. The Fund may use leverage through borrowings, including loans from certain financial institutions and/or the issuance of debt securities (collectively, “Borrowings”), and through the issuance of preferred shares of beneficial interest (“Preferred Shares”). The Fund may use leverage through Borrowings in an aggregate amount of up to approximately 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total assets less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities (for these purposes, “total net assets”) immediately after such Borrowings. Furthermore, the Fund may use leverage through the issuance of Preferred Shares in an aggregate amount of liquidation preference attributable to the Preferred Shares combined with the aggregate amount of any Borrowings of up to approximately 50% of the Fund’s total net assets immediately after such issuance. In addition, the Fund may enter into derivative transactions with a leverage component.

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements and use similar investment management techniques that may provide leverage, but which are not currently subject to the foregoing 33 1/3% limitation so long as the Fund has covered its commitment with respect to such techniques by segregating or earmarking liquid assets, entering into offsetting transactions or owning positions covering related obligations. See “Risk Factors—Fund Risks—Leverage Risk.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a value-at-risk (“VaR”) test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022.

Limited Term and Eligible Tender Offer. In accordance with the Fund’s Declaration of Trust, the Fund intends to dissolve as of the first business day following the twelfth anniversary of the effective date of the Fund’s initial registration statement, which the Fund currently expects to occur on or about June 24, 2033 (the “Dissolution Date”); provided that the Board of Trustees of the Fund (the “Board”) may, by a vote of a majority of the Board and seventy-five percent (75%) of the members of the Board who either (x) have been a member of the Board for a period of at least thirty-six months (or since the commencement of the Fund’s operations, if less than thirty-six months) or (y) were nominated to serve as a member of the Board by a majority of the Continuing Trustees, as defined below, then members of the Board (a “Board Action Vote”), without shareholder approval,


extend the Dissolution Date for up to two years (which date shall then become the Dissolution Date). Each holder of Common Shares (the “Common Shareholders”) would be paid a pro rata portion of the Fund’s net assets upon dissolution of the Fund. The Board may, by a Board Action Vote, cause the Fund to conduct a tender offer, as of a date within the 6-18 months preceding the Dissolution Date (as may be extended as described above), to all Common Shareholders to purchase 100% of the then outstanding Common Shares of the Fund at a price equal to the NAV per common share on the expiration date of the tender offer (an “Eligible Tender Offer”). The Board has established that the Fund must have at least $200 million of aggregate net assets immediately following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer to ensure the continued viability of the Fund (the “Dissolution Threshold”). In an Eligible Tender Offer, the Fund will offer to purchase all Common Shares held by each Common Shareholder; provided that if the payment for properly tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets below the Dissolution Threshold, the Eligible Tender Offer will be canceled, no Common Shares will be repurchased and the Fund will dissolve as scheduled. If an Eligible Tender Offer is conducted and the payment for properly tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets greater than or equal to the Dissolution Threshold, all Common Shares properly tendered and not withdrawn will be purchased by the Fund pursuant to the terms of the Eligible Tender Offer. Following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer, the Board may, by a Board Action Vote, eliminate the Dissolution Date without shareholder approval and provide for the Fund’s perpetual existence. There is no guarantee that the Board will eliminate the Dissolution Date following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer. The Board may, to the extent it deems appropriate and without shareholder approval, adopt a plan of liquidation at any time preceding the anticipated Dissolution Date, which plan of liquidation may set forth the terms and conditions for implementing the termination of the Fund’s existence, including the commencement of the winding down of its investment operations and the making of one or more liquidating distributions to Common Shareholders prior to the Dissolution Date. The Fund is not a so called “target date” or “life cycle” fund whose asset allocation becomes more conservative over time as its target date, often associated with retirement, approaches. In addition, the Fund is not a “target term” fund and thus does not seek to return the Fund’s initial public offering price per Common Share upon dissolution of the Fund or in an Eligible Tender Offer. The final distribution of net assets per Common Share upon dissolution or the price per Common Share in an Eligible Tender Offer may be more than, equal to or less than the initial public offering price per Common Share.

*                *                 *                *

You should read this prospectus, which concisely sets forth information about the Fund, before deciding whether to invest in the Common Shares and retain it for future reference. A Statement of Additional Information, dated                     , 2021 containing additional information about the Fund (the “SAI”), has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and, as amended from time to time, is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this prospectus. You can review the table of contents for the SAI on page 72 of this prospectus. You may request a free copy of the SAI by calling (888) 777-0102 or by writing to the Fund. You can get the same information for free from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website (http://www.sec.gov). You may also e-mail requests for these documents to publicinfo@sec.gov. The Fund does not post a copy of the SAI on its website because the Common Shares are not continuously offered, which means the SAI will not be updated after the completion of this offering and the information contained in the SAI will become outdated. In addition, you may request copies of the Fund’s semi-annual and annual reports or other information about the Fund or make shareholder inquiries by calling (888) 777-0102. The Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports, when produced, will be available on the Fund’s website (http://www.lmcef.com) free of charge. Information contained in, or that can be accessed through, the Fund’s website is not part of this prospectus.

As permitted by regulations adopted by the SEC, the Fund does not intend to mail paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports from the Fund or from your financial intermediary (such as a broker-dealer or bank). Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report. If you invest through a financial intermediary and you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically (“e-delivery”), you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. If you


have not already elected e-delivery, you may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund electronically by contacting your financial intermediary. You may elect to receive all reports in paper free of charge. If you invest through a financial intermediary, you can contact your financial intermediary to request that you receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. That election will apply to all Legg Mason Funds held in your account at that financial intermediary. If you are a direct shareholder with the Fund, you can call the Fund at 1-888-888-0151, or write to the Fund by regular mail at P.O. Box 505000, Louisville, KY 40233 or by overnight delivery to Computershare, 462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600, Louisville, KY 40202 to let the Fund know you wish to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. That election will apply to all Legg Mason Funds held in your account held directly with the fund complex.

You should not construe the contents of this prospectus as legal, tax or financial advice. You should consult with your own professional advisors as to the legal, tax, financial or other matters relevant to the suitability of an investment in the Fund.

The Common Shares do not represent a deposit or an obligation of, and are not guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or other insured depository institution, and are not federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     1  

SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

     23  

THE FUND

     24  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     24  

THE FUND’S INVESTMENTS

     24  

LEVERAGE

     34  

RISKS

     40  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     62  

NET ASSET VALUE

     67  

DISTRIBUTIONS

     67  

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

     68  

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

     70  

CERTAIN PROVISIONS IN THE DECLARATION OF TRUST AND BYLAWS

     72  

LIMITED TERM AND ELIGIBLE TENDER OFFER

     75  

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

     77  

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

     78  

CERTAIN UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     78  

UNDERWRITERS

     82  

CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT

     86  

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     86  

LEGAL MATTERS

     86  

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THE STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     87  

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus. The Fund has not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. The Fund is not, and the underwriters are not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should assume that the information in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus. The Fund’s business, financial condition and prospects may have changed since that date.

 

i


PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This is only a summary of certain information contained in this prospectus relating to Western Asset Diversified Income Fund, a Maryland statutory trust. This summary may not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our Common Shares. You should review the more detailed information contained in this prospectus and in the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”).

 

The Fund

Western Asset Diversified Income Fund, a Maryland statutory trust (the “Fund”), is a newly organized, diversified, closed-end management investment company with no operating history. Throughout this prospectus, we refer to Western Asset Diversified Income Fund as the “Fund” or as “we,” “us” or “our.” See “The Fund.”

 

The Offering

The Fund is offering                      common shares of beneficial interest, par value $0.001 per share, at $20.00 per share through a group of underwriters (the “Underwriters”) led by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, BofA Securities, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC. The common shares of beneficial interest are called “Common Shares” in the rest of this prospectus. You must purchase at least 100 Common Shares ($2,000) in order to participate in this offering. The Fund has given the Underwriters an option to purchase up to                      additional Common Shares within 45 days of the date of this prospectus solely to cover over-allotments, if any. See “Underwriters.” Legg Mason Partners Fund Adviser, LLC (“LMPFA” or the “Manager”), the Fund’s investment adviser, has agreed to pay compensation of $0.60 per Common Share to the Underwriters in connection with the offering. LMPFA also has agreed to pay all of the Fund’s organizational expenses and all offering costs associated with this offering. The Fund is not obligated to repay any such organizational expenses or offering costs paid by LMPFA.

 

Who May Want to Invest

Investors should consider their investment goals, time horizons and risk tolerance before investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not appropriate for all investors, and the Fund is not intended to be a complete investment program. The Fund is designed as a long-term investment and not as a trading vehicle. The Fund may be an appropriate investment for investors seeking a fund that:

 

   

has a diverse opportunity set and anticipates investing in a wide range of fixed income securities, seeking to go beyond traditional bond benchmarks to access a broad range of opportunities for income and capital appreciation;

 

   

is income-focused providing potential access to fixed income sectors and private debt not typically available through traditional mutual funds, which are limited in the amount of their assets that can be invested in illiquid investments;

 

   

is flexible and dynamic and anticipates rotating sectors and securities in response to market conditions, focusing on what Western Asset Management Company, LLC (“Western Asset”), together with its affiliates, the sub-adviser to the Fund, believes are undervalued securities with attractive fundamentals;



 

1


   

will draw on Western Asset’s 50 years of deep experience as an active fixed income manager, with $476.3 billion in assets under management, including $181 billion in multi-sector strategies, as of March 31, 2021.

 

  LMPFA, the Fund’s investment manager, and Western Asset believe that a dynamically allocated, diversified portfolio can provide attractive returns and diversification benefits compared to sector specific strategies. Additionally, LMPFA and Western Asset believe that the Fund’s closed-end limited term structure allows investors to liquidate at NAV after a limited term, while avoiding the potential diminution of value that could occur in an open-end structure. The closed-end structure allows the Fund to maintain a stable pool of assets, without the need to keep a portion of the assets in low-yielding instruments like cash or cash equivalents or to liquidate assets, sometimes at inopportune times, to meet redemption requests. The closed-end fund structure also allows for investments in less-liquid securities, such as private debt, not typically available through traditional mutual funds, which are limited in the amount of their assets that can be invested in illiquid investments.

 

Limited Term and Eligible Tender Offer

In accordance with the Fund’s Declaration of Trust, dated November 10, 2020 as amended from time to time (the “Declaration of Trust”), the Fund intends to dissolve as of the first business day following the twelfth anniversary of the effective date of the Fund’s initial registration statement, which the Fund currently expects to occur on or about June 24, 2033 (the “Dissolution Date”); provided that the Board of Trustees of the Fund (the “Board” or “Board of Trustees,” and the members thereof, the “Trustees”) may, by a vote of a majority of the Board and seventy-five percent (75%) of the members of the Board who either (i) have been a member of the Board for a period of at least thirty-six months (or since the commencement of the Fund’s operations, if less than thirty-six months) or (ii) were nominated to serve as a member of the Board by a majority of the Continuing Trustees (as defined herein) then members of the Board (a “Board Action Vote”), without shareholder approval, extend the Dissolution Date for up to two years (which date shall then become the Dissolution Date). In determining whether to extend the Dissolution Date, the Board may consider whatever factors it deems appropriate to its analysis including, among other factors, the inability to sell the Fund’s assets in a time frame consistent with dissolution due to lack of market liquidity or other extenuating circumstances. Additionally, the Board may determine that market conditions are such that it is reasonable to believe that, with an extension, the Fund’s remaining assets will appreciate and generate capital appreciation and income in an amount that, in the aggregate, is meaningful relative to the cost and expense of continuing the operation of the Fund. Each holder of Common Shares would be paid a pro rata portion of the Fund’s net assets upon dissolution of the Fund.


 

2


  Beginning one year before the Dissolution Date (the “Wind-Down Period”), the Fund may begin liquidating all or a portion of the Fund’s portfolio, and may deviate from its investment policies and may not achieve its investment objectives. During the Wind-Down Period (or in anticipation of an Eligible Tender Offer, as defined below), the Fund’s portfolio composition may change as more of its portfolio holdings are called or sold and portfolio holdings are disposed of in anticipation of liquidation.

 

  As of a date within the 6-18 months preceding the Dissolution Date (as may be extended as described above), the Board may, by a Board Action Vote, cause the Fund to conduct a tender offer to all Common Shareholders to purchase 100% of the then outstanding Common Shares of the Fund at a price equal to the NAV per Common Share on the expiration date of the tender offer (an “Eligible Tender Offer”). The Board has established that the Fund must have at least $200 million of aggregate net assets immediately following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer to ensure the continued viability of the Fund (the “Dissolution Threshold”). In an Eligible Tender Offer, the Fund will offer to purchase all Common Shares held by each Common Shareholder; provided that if the payment for properly tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets below the Dissolution Threshold, the Eligible Tender Offer will be canceled and no Common Shares will be repurchased pursuant to the Eligible Tender Offer. Instead, the Fund will begin (or continue) liquidating its portfolio and proceed to dissolve on or about the Dissolution Date. Regardless of whether the Eligible Tender Offer is completed or canceled, LMPFA will pay all costs and expenses associated with the making of an Eligible Tender Offer, other than brokerage and related transaction costs associated with the disposition of portfolio investments in connection with the Eligible Tender Offer, which will be borne by the Fund and its Common Shareholders. The Eligible Tender Offer would be made, and Common Shareholders would be notified thereof, in accordance with the requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and the applicable tender offer rules thereunder (including Rule 13e-4 and Regulation 14E under the Exchange Act). If the payment for properly tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets greater than or equal to the Dissolution Threshold, all Common Shares properly tendered and not withdrawn will be purchased by the Fund pursuant to the terms of the Eligible Tender Offer. The Fund’s purchase of tendered Common Shares pursuant to a tender offer will generally have tax consequences for tendering Common Shareholders and may have tax consequences for non-tendering Common Shareholders. In addition, the Fund would continue to be subject to its obligations with respect to its issued and outstanding borrowings, Preferred Shares or debt securities, if any. An Eligible Tender Offer may be commenced upon approval of the Board, without a shareholder vote. The Fund is


 

3


not required to conduct an Eligible Tender Offer. If no Eligible Tender Offer is conducted, the Fund will dissolve on the Dissolution Date (subject to extension as described above), unless the limited term provisions of the Declaration of Trust are amended with the vote of shareholders.

 

  Following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer, the Board may, by a Board Action Vote, eliminate the Dissolution Date without shareholder approval and provide for the Fund’s perpetual existence. In determining whether to eliminate the Dissolution Date, the Board may consider market conditions at such time and all other factors deemed relevant by the Board in consultation with LMPFA, taking into account that LMPFA may have a potential conflict of interest in recommending to the Board that the limited term structure be eliminated and the Fund have a perpetual existence. In making a decision to eliminate the Dissolution Date to provide for the Fund’s perpetual existence, the Board will take such actions with respect to the continued operations of the Fund as it deems to be advisable and in the best interests of the Fund. The Fund is not required to conduct additional tender offers following an Eligible Tender Offer and conversion to a perpetual structure. Therefore, remaining Common Shareholders may not have another opportunity to participate in a tender offer or exchange their Common Shares for the then-existing NAV per share. There is no guarantee that the Board will eliminate the Dissolution Date following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer so that the Fund will have a perpetual existence.

 

  The Fund is not a so called “target date” or “life cycle” fund whose asset allocation becomes more conservative over time as its target date, often associated with retirement, approaches. In addition, the Fund is not a “target term” fund whose investment objective is to return its original NAV on the Dissolution Date or in an Eligible Tender Offer. The final distribution of net assets per common share upon dissolution or the price per common share in an Eligible Tender Offer may be more than, equal to or less than the initial public offering price per common share.

 

  See “Limited Term and Eligible Tender Offer” for additional details about the Fund’s limited term and the Eligible Tender Offer.

 

Investment Objectives

The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek high current income. As a secondary investment objective, the Fund will seek capital appreciation. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved or that the Fund’s investment program will be successful.

 

Investment Strategy

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest across fixed income sectors and securities in seeking to deliver a well-diversified portfolio. Western Asset’s investment process utilizes cross-sector correlations designed to seek optimized return potential and diversification benefit within the portfolio. In managing the portfolio,



 

4


 

Western Asset will employ its top down macro view to drive decisions on value, credit sectors, credit quality and duration, and its deep research experience and bottom-up analysis to make sector and security selections. Under current market conditions, the Fund anticipates it will initially focus on shorter-duration and floating rate securities, which have lower sensitivity to higher interest rates. The fund’s duration and mix of fixed and floating rate investments is subject to change over time. As market conditions change, Western Asset will seek to dynamically rotate investments into sectors and securities that it believes to be undervalued from a fundamental perspective with an attractive return profile and away from investments that it believes to be overvalued. The Fund will provide exposure to residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”), both agency and non-agency, consistent with its investment policies.

The Fund may invest in investment grade and below investment grade corporate debt securities (commonly referred to as either “high yield” securities or “junk bonds”), senior loans, agency and non-agency RMBS and CMBS, government (i.e., sovereign) debt (including U.S. government obligations), floating rate securities, bank loans, collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), asset-backed securities (whose underlying asset classes include, but are not limited to, equipment leases, solar and student loans), private debt and mortgage whole loans. The Fund may invest up to 15% of its Managed Assets in securities issued by CLOs, including up to 5% of its Managed Assets in equity securities issued by CLOs (i.e., subordinated or residual tranches of CLO securities). Although the Fund does not specifically target covenant lite loans, the Fund may invest in covenant lite loans if market conditions result in loans having fewer covenants.

 

 

With respect to all of the securities in which the Fund may invest, the Fund may invest in securities rated below investment grade (that is, securities rated below the Baa/BBB categories, or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable credit quality by Western Asset). These below investment grade securities that comprise the Fund’s portfolio are commonly referred to as either “high yield” securities or “junk bonds.” The Fund may invest up to 25% of its Managed Assets in securities, including structured instruments such as mortgage backed securities and commercial mortgage backed securities, rated CCC or below (or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable credit quality by Western Asset) at the time of investment. For this purpose, if a security is rated by multiple nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”) and receives different ratings, the Fund will treat the security as being rated in the highest rating category received from an NRSRO. Securities rated below investment grade are regarded as having predominantly speculative characteristics with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Because of the risks associated with investing in high yield securities, an investment in the Fund



 

5


 

should be considered speculative. Some of the securities will have no credit rating at all.

The Fund may invest in foreign securities denominated either in U.S. dollars or foreign currencies. Under normal market circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 70% of its Managed Assets in U.S. securities and at least 80% of its Managed Assets in U.S. dollar-denominated investments. Investments in non-U.S. securities may include emerging market corporate, government and quasi-sovereign debt.

 

  The Fund may invest in securities of any maturity. The maturity of a fixed income security is a measure of the time remaining until the final payment on the security is due. The Fund may invest in securities of any duration. Duration is a measure the expected sensitivity of a security’s market price to changes in interest rates.

 

  The Fund may not concentrate its investments in any one industry. For purposes of this fundamental policy, non-agency RMBS and non-agency CMBS are considered to represent separate industries; as such, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its Managed Assets in non-agency RMBS and, separately, up to 25% of its Managed Assets in non-agency CMBS. There can be no assurance that regulatory interpretations of concentration will not change in the future.

 

  The Fund may engage in a variety of transactions using derivatives, including without limitation futures, options, forwards, interest rate swaps and other swaps (including buying and selling credit default swaps and options on credit default swaps), foreign currency futures, forwards and options, and futures contracts and warrants. The Fund may use one or more types of these instruments within the limits prescribed by the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations thereunder. The Fund may also engage in a variety of transactions using derivatives in order to change the investment characteristics of its portfolio (such as shortening or lengthening duration) and for other purposes.

 

  The Fund’s investment strategies and policies may be changed from time to time without shareholder approval, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Prospectus or the SAI. The percentage limitations stated in this prospectus apply at the time of the Fund’s acquisition of such an investment. For a more complete discussion of the Fund’s investment strategy, see “The Fund’s Investments.”

 

  The Fund will not invest, either directly or indirectly through derivatives, in contingent capital securities (sometimes referred to as “CoCos”).

 

Investment Philosophy and Process

The Fund emphasizes high current income as its primary objective. The Fund will seek to invest in a diversified portfolio of high-income generating fixed and floating rate investments that in Western Asset’s opinion offer compelling fundamental value. The portfolio construction process employs multiple diversified strategies which



 

6


seeks to help mitigate the risk of any one sector or strategy dominating portfolio returns.

Western Asset’s investment philosophy rests on two key pillars:

 

  1)

Focusing on long-term, fundamental value:

 

   

Prices may sometimes deviate from fundamental fair value, but over time they typically adjust to reflect inflation, credit quality fundamentals and liquidity conditions. Investing in undervalued securities has the potential to provide attractive investment returns.

 

   

Western Asset’s investment process compares prices to the fundamental fair values estimated by its macroeconomic and credit research teams around the globe, seeking to identify and capitalize on markets and securities priced below fundamental fair value.

 

  2)

Employing multiple diversified strategies:

 

   

Western Asset’s objective is to meet or exceed clients’ performance objectives within their risk tolerances. To do so, Western Asset may deploy multiple diversified strategies intended to benefit in different market and economic environments so that no one strategy dominates performance, helping to dampen volatility.

 

  The investment philosophy described above is Western Asset’s general approach across its products and each factor may not apply to all investments made by the Fund. See “Investment Philosophy and Process” for additional details.

 

 

Leverage

Under normal market conditions, the Fund initially intends to utilize leverage in an amount equal to approximately 20% to 30% of its Managed Assets. The Fund may use leverage through borrowings, including loans from certain financial institutions and/or the issuance of debt securities (collectively, “Borrowings”), and through the issuance of preferred shares of beneficial interest (“Preferred Shares”). The Fund may use leverage through Borrowings in an aggregate amount of up to approximately 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total assets less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities (for these purposes, “total net assets”) immediately after such Borrowings. Furthermore, the Fund may use leverage through the issuance of Preferred Shares in an aggregate amount of liquidation preference attributable to the Preferred Shares combined with the aggregate amount of any Borrowings of up to approximately 50% of the Fund’s total net assets immediately after such issuance. In addition, the Fund may enter into derivative transactions with a leverage component. See “Leverage.”

 

 

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements and use similar investment management techniques that may provide leverage, but which are not subject to the foregoing 33 1/3% limitation so long as the Fund has covered its commitment with



 

7


 

respect to such techniques by segregating or earmarking liquid assets, entering into offsetting transactions or owning positions covering related obligations. See “Leverage” and “Risks—Leverage Risk.” The SEC has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a VaR test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022. Using derivatives also can have a leveraging effect and increase Fund volatility. See “Risks–Derivatives Risk.”

 

  The Fund intends to arrange a floating rate credit facility (the “Credit Facility”) pursuant to which the Fund would be entitled to borrow an amount equal to approximately 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total net assets less any amounts of existing Borrowings. Any such Borrowings would constitute financial leverage.

 

  The Fund may establish a standby credit facility as a temporary measure for purposes of making distributions to shareholders in order to maintain its favorable tax status as a regulated investment company. In addition, the Fund may borrow for temporary, emergency or other purposes as permitted under the 1940 Act. Any such indebtedness would be in addition to the leverage limit on Borrowings of up to 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total net assets.

 

  During periods when the Fund is using leverage through Borrowings or the issuance of Preferred Shares, the fees paid to LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers for advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not use leverage because the fees paid will be calculated on the basis of the Fund’s Managed Assets. “Managed Assets” means the net assets of the Fund plus the principal amount of any Borrowings or Preferred Shares that may be outstanding, reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions. For purposes of calculating Managed Assets, the liquidation preference of any Preferred Shares outstanding will not be considered a liability. This means that LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers may have a financial incentive to increase the Fund’s use of leverage. See “Leverage” and “Risks—Leverage Risk.”


 

8


  There can be no assurance that the Fund’s leverage strategy will be successful. The use of leverage creates special risks for holders of Common Shares.

 

Investment Manager and Sub-Advisers

The Fund’s investment adviser is LMPFA. Western Asset, Western Asset Management Company Limited in London (“Western Asset London”), Western Asset Management Company Pte. Ltd. in Singapore (“Western Asset Singapore”) and Western Asset Management Company Ltd in Japan (“Western Asset Japan” and together, with Western Asset London and Western Asset Singapore, the “Non-U.S. Subadvisers”) serve as subadvisers to the Fund.

 

  LMPFA, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (“Franklin Resources”), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton, is a registered investment adviser and provides administrative and management services to the Fund. In addition, LMPFA performs administrative and management services necessary for the operation of the Fund, such as (1) supervising the overall administration of the Fund, including negotiation of contracts and fees with and the monitoring of performance and billings of the Fund’s transfer agent, shareholder servicing agents, custodian and other independent contractors or agents; (2) providing certain compliance, Fund accounting, regulatory reporting and tax reporting services; (3) preparing or participating in the preparation of Board materials, registration statements, proxy statements and reports and other communications to shareholders; (4) maintaining the Fund’s existence and (5) during such times as shares are publicly offered, maintaining the registration and qualification of the Fund’s shares under federal and state laws. As of March 31, 2021, LMPFA’s total assets under management were approximately $218.6 billion. As of March 31, 2021, Franklin Templeton’s asset management operation had aggregate assets under management of approximately $1.5 trillion. Western Asset, Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan, the Fund’s subadvisers, are indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Franklin Resources.

LMPFA receives an annual fee, payable monthly, in an amount equal to 1.10% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets. For its services, LMPFA pays Western Asset a fee monthly, at an annual rate equal to 70% of the net management fee it receives from the Fund. In turn, Western Asset pays Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan a monthly subadvisory fee in an amount equal to 100% of the management fee paid to Western Asset on the assets that Western Asset allocates to each such Non-U.S. Subadviser to manage.

 

  LMPFA will pay all of the Fund’s organizational expenses and offering costs in connection with this offering. The Fund is not obligated to repay any such organizational expenses or offering costs paid by LMPFA. The Fund’s management fees and other expenses are borne by the Common Shareholders. See “Management of the Fund.”


 

9


Distributions

The Fund intends to distribute its net investment income on a monthly basis and any realized capital gains on an annual basis. Your initial distribution is expected to be declared approximately 45 days, and paid approximately 60-90 days, after the completion of this offering, depending on market conditions.

 

  Unless you elect to receive distributions in cash (i.e., opt out), all of your distributions, including any capital gains distributions on your Common Shares, will be automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan. See “Distributions” and “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”

 

  An affiliate of LMPFA has received an exemptive order from the SEC under the 1940 Act facilitating the implementation of a managed distribution policy for certain funds for which it, or one of its affiliates, provides investment management services, including the Fund. The Fund does not intend to implement a managed distribution policy at this time; however, the Board of Trustees may, at the recommendation of LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers, adopt a managed distribution policy in the future. See “Distributions.”

 

  The Fund intends to elect to be treated, and intends to qualify annually, as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), which generally relieves the Fund of any liability for federal income tax to the extent its earnings are distributed to shareholders. The Fund intends to distribute to its shareholders, at least annually, substantially all of its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code, but determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss).

 

  Under normal market conditions, LMPFA will seek to manage the Fund in a manner such that the Fund’s distributions are reflective of the Fund’s current and projected earnings levels. The distribution level of the Fund is subject to change based upon a number of factors, including the current and projected level of the Fund’s earnings and the relative yield of the Fund’s investments, and may fluctuate over time.

 

  The Fund reserves the right to change its distribution policy and the basis for establishing the rate of its monthly distributions at any time and may do so without prior notice to Common Shareholders. See “Distributions.”

 

Listing

The Fund’s Common Shares are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), subject to notice of issuance, under the symbol “WDI.” See “Description of Shares—Common Shares.”

 

Custodian and Transfer Agent

The Bank of New York Mellon serves as custodian of the Fund’s assets. Computershare Inc. serves as the Fund’s transfer agent. See “Custodian and Transfer Agent.”


 

10


Market Price of Shares

Common Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at prices lower than their NAV, which creates a risk of loss for investors when they sell shares purchased in the initial public offering. This characteristic is a risk separate and distinct from the risk that the Fund’s NAV could decrease as a result of investment activities. Shares of closed-end investment companies like the Fund have during some periods traded at prices higher than NAV and have during other periods traded at prices lower than NAV. Whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of the Common Shares in the open market will depend not upon the Fund’s NAV but entirely upon whether the market price of the Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the investor’s purchase price for the Common Shares. Furthermore, the Fund’s market price may be adversely affected by investor perceptions regarding closed-end funds during periods of actual or perceived market turmoil. Because the market price of the Common Shares will be determined by factors such as relative supply of and demand for the Common Shares in the market, general market and economic circumstances, and other factors beyond the control of the Fund, the Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade at, below or above NAV or at, below or above the initial public offering price. The Common Shares are designed primarily for long-term investors. You should not view the Fund as a vehicle for short-term trading purposes and you should not purchase Common Shares of the Fund if you intend to sell them shortly after purchase. See “Leverage” and “Description of Shares—Common Shares.”

 

Special Risk Considerations

An investment in the Fund’s securities involves various principal risks. The following is a summary of certain of these risks. It is not complete and you should consider carefully the risks discussed below, which are described in more detail under “Risks” beginning on page 33 of this prospectus.

 

  No History of Operations. The Fund is a newly organized, diversified, limited-term, closed-end management investment company with no operating history. The Fund does not have any historical financial statements or other meaningful operating or financial data on which potential investors may evaluate the Fund and its performance. See “Risks—No History of Operations.”

 

 

Limited Term Risk. Unless the limited term provision of the Fund’s Declaration of Trust is amended by shareholders in accordance with the Declaration of Trust, or unless the Fund completes an Eligible Tender Offer and converts to perpetual existence, the Fund will dissolve on or about the Dissolution Date. The Fund is not a so called “target date” or “life cycle” fund whose asset allocation becomes more conservative over time as its target date, often associated with retirement, approaches. In addition, the Fund is not a “target term” fund and thus does not seek to return its initial public offering price per Common Share upon dissolution. As the assets of the Fund will be liquidated in connection with its



 

11


 

dissolution, the Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities or liquidate positions when it otherwise would not, including at times when market conditions are not favorable, which may cause the Fund to lose money. In addition, as the Fund approaches the Dissolution Date, LMPFA may invest the proceeds of sold, matured or called securities or liquidated positions in money market mutual funds, cash, cash equivalents, securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its instrumentalities or agencies, high quality, short-term money market instruments, short-term debt securities, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and other bank obligations, commercial paper or other liquid debt securities, which may adversely affect the Fund’s investment performance. See “Risks—Limited Term Risk.”

 

Investment and Market Risk. An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of the entire amount that you invest. An investment in our Common Shares is not intended to constitute a complete investment program and should not be viewed as such. The value of the Fund’s portfolio securities and other investments may move up or down, sometimes rapidly and unpredictably. At any point in time, your securities may be worth less than your original investment. The Fund is primarily a long-term investment vehicle and should not be used for short-term trading.

 

Market Price Discount from Net Asset Value Risk. Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to their net asset value. This characteristic is a risk separate and distinct from the risk that the Fund’s net asset value could decrease as a result of the Fund’s investment activities and may be greater for investors expecting to sell their shares in a relatively short period following completion of any offering under this Prospectus. Although the value of the Fund’s net assets is generally considered by market participants in determining whether to purchase or sell shares, whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of the Common Shares depends upon whether the market price of the Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the investor’s purchase price for the Common Shares. Because the market price of the Common Shares is affected by factors such as net asset value, dividend or distribution levels (which are dependent, in part, on expenses), supply of and demand for the Common Shares, stability of distributions, trading volume of the Common Shares, general market and economic conditions, and other factors beyond our control, the Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade at, below or above net asset value or at, below or above the offering price. The Fund is designed primarily for long-term investors and you should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.

 

Portfolio Management Risk. The value of your investment may decrease if Western Asset’s judgment about the quality, relative yield, value or market trends affecting a particular security, asset class, industry, sector or region, or about interest rates, is incorrect or does



 

12


not produce the desired results, or if there are imperfections, errors or limitations in the models, tools and data used by Western Asset. For example, high yield bonds tend to be more susceptible to credit downgrades and may be difficult to value, and Western Asset’s judgment about the relative yield or value of a high yield security may be incorrect or subject to change. While Western Asset will seek to dynamically allocate the Fund’s portfolio to sectors and investments it considers undervalued and away from sectors and investments that it considers overvalued, there is no assurance that such allocation will produce the desired results. In addition, Western Asset’s allocation process may result in limited allocation between sectors and investments if, in the opinion of Western Asset, any such allocation would not produce the desired results given current market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s investment strategies or policies may change from time to time. Those changes may not lead to the results intended by Western Asset and could have an adverse effect on the value or performance of the Fund.

 

Market and Interest Rate Risk. The market prices of the Fund’s securities and assets may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. If the market prices of the Fund’s investments fall, the value of your investment in the Fund will decline. The market price of an investment may fall due to general market conditions, such as real or perceived adverse economic or political conditions, tariffs and trade disruptions, inflation, changes in interest or currency rates, lack of liquidity in the bond markets or adverse investor sentiment.

The market prices of securities and assets may fluctuate significantly when interest rates change. For example, when interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities held by the Fund generally goes down, a risk that is particularly relevant given the historically low interest rate levels. Generally, the longer the maturity or duration of a fixed income security, the greater the impact of a rise in interest rates on the security’s market price. Also, when interest rates decline, investments made by the Fund may pay a lower interest rate, which would reduce the income received by the Fund. See “Risks—Market and Interest Rate Risk.”

 

Credit Risk. If an issuer or guarantor of a security held by the Fund or a counterparty to a financial contract with the Fund defaults or its credit is downgraded, or is perceived to be less creditworthy, or if the value of the assets underlying a financial contract declines, the value of your investment will typically decline. The Fund could be delayed or hindered in its enforcement of rights against an issuer, guarantor or counterparty. Subordinated securities are more likely to suffer a credit loss than non-subordinated securities of the same issuer and will be disproportionately affected by a default, downgrade or perceived decline in creditworthiness.

High Yield (“Junk”) Bonds Risk. High yield bonds are generally subject to greater credit risks than higher-grade bonds, including the risk of default on the payment of interest or principal. High yield



 

13


bonds are considered speculative, typically have lower liquidity and are more difficult to value than higher grade bonds. High yield bonds tend to be volatile and more susceptible to adverse events, credit downgrades and negative sentiments and may be difficult to sell at a desired price, or at all, during periods of uncertainty or market turmoil.

 

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities Risk. When market interest rates increase, the market values of mortgage-backed securities decline. At the same time, mortgage re-financings and prepayments slow, which lengthens the effective duration of these securities. As a result, the negative effect of the interest rate increase on the market value of mortgage-backed securities is usually more pronounced than it is for other types of fixed income securities, potentially increasing the volatility of the Fund. Conversely, when market interest rates decline, while the value of mortgage-backed securities may increase, the rate of prepayment of the underlying mortgages also tends to increase, which shortens the effective duration of these securities. Mortgage-backed securities are also subject to the risk that underlying borrowers will be unable to meet their obligations and the value of property that secures the mortgage may decline in value and be insufficient, upon foreclosure, to repay the associated loan. Investments in asset-backed securities are subject to similar risks.

Credit Risk Associated with Originators and Servicers of Residential and Commercial Mortgage Loans. A number of originators and servicers of residential and commercial mortgage loans, including some of the largest originators and servicers in the residential and commercial mortgage loan market, have experienced serious financial difficulties, including some that are now subject to federal insolvency proceedings. These difficulties have resulted from many factors, including increased competition among originators for borrowers, decreased originations by such originators of mortgage loans and increased delinquencies and defaults on such mortgage loans, as well as from increases in claims for repurchases of mortgage loans previously sold by them under agreements that require repurchase in the event of breaches of representations regarding loan quality and characteristics. Furthermore, the inability of the originator to repurchase such mortgage loans in the event of loan representation breaches or the servicer to repurchase such mortgage loans upon a breach of its servicing obligations also may affect the performance of related non-agency RMBS. Many of these originators and servicers are very highly leveraged. These difficulties may also increase the chances that these entities may default on their warehousing or other credit lines or become insolvent or bankrupt thereby increasing both the likelihood that repurchase obligations will not be fulfilled and the potential for loss to holders of non-agency RMBS and subordinated security holders.

Subprime Mortgage Market Risk. The residential mortgage market in the United States in the recent past experienced difficulties that,



 

14


should similar conditions occur in the future, may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain mortgages and mortgage- related securities. Delinquencies and losses on residential mortgage loans (especially subprime and second-line mortgage loans) may increase, and a decline in or flattening of housing values may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Borrowers with adjustable rate mortgage loans are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, which affect their monthly mortgage payments, and may be unable to secure replacement mortgages at comparably low interest rates. Any significant reduction in investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities or increase in investor yield requirements may cause limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which could adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. If the economy of the United States were to deteriorate, the incidence of mortgage foreclosures, especially subprime mortgages, could increase, which may adversely affect the value of any MBS owned by the Fund.

Derivatives Risk. Using derivatives can increase Fund losses and reduce opportunities for gains when market prices, interest rates, currencies, or the derivatives themselves behave in a way not anticipated by the Fund. Using derivatives also can have a leveraging effect and increase Fund volatility. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. Derivatives may not be available at the time or price desired, may be difficult to sell, unwind or value, and the counterparty may default on its obligations to the Fund. Derivatives are generally subject to the risks applicable to the assets, rates, indices or other indicators underlying the derivative and the credit risk of the counterparty to the derivative transaction. The value of a derivative may fluctuate more than the underlying assets, rates, indices or other indicators to which it relates. Use of derivatives may have different tax consequences for the Fund than an investment in the underlying asset or index, and those differences may affect the amount, timing and character of income distributed to shareholders. The U.S. government and foreign governments and their respective financial regulators are in the process of adopting and implementing regulations governing derivatives markets, including mandatory clearing of certain derivatives, margin and reporting requirements, among others. The ultimate impact of the regulations remains unclear. Additional regulation of derivatives may make derivatives more costly, limit their availability or utility, otherwise adversely affect their performance or disrupt markets.

 

•  Risks associated with the use of futures contracts include: (a) the imperfect correlation between the change in market value of the instruments held by the Fund and the price of the futures contract; (b) the possible lack of a liquid secondary market for a futures contract and the resulting inability to close a futures contract when desired; (c) the inability to replace an expiring futures contract with an equivalent futures contract that has a later expiration at the



 

15


desired time and price; (d) losses caused by unanticipated market movements, which are potentially unlimited; (e) Western Asset’s inability to predict correctly the direction of asset prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates, the levels of indices or other indicators and other economic factors; and (f) the possibility that the counterparty will default in the performance of its obligations.

 

•  When the Fund purchases an option, it may lose the total premium paid for it if the price of the underlying security or other assets decreased, remained the same or failed to increase to a level at or beyond the exercise price (in the case of a call option) or increased, remained the same or failed to decrease to a level at or below the exercise price (in the case of a put option). If a put or call option purchased by the Fund were permitted to expire without being sold or exercised, its premium would represent a loss to the Fund. To the extent that the Fund writes or sells an option, in particular a naked option, if the decline or increase in the underlying asset is significantly below or above the exercise price of the written option, the Fund could experience a substantial loss. For the writer of a naked or uncovered call option, the potential loss is unlimited.

 

•  Successful use of forward currency contracts depends on the portfolio manager’s skill in analyzing and predicting currency values, among other factors. Forward currency contracts may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to changes in currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the portfolio manager anticipates. There is no assurance that the portfolio manager’s use of forward currency contracts will be advantageous to the Fund or that the portfolio manager will hedge at an appropriate time.

 

•  Warrants are subject similar market risks as stocks, but may be more volatile in price. An investment in warrants may be considered speculative. In addition, the value of a warrant does not necessarily commensurately with the value of the underlying securities and a warrant ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date.

 

•  Swap agreements used for hedging purposes may shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, if an interest rate swap intended to be used as a hedge negates a favorable interest rate movement, the investment performance of the Fund would be worse than what it would have been if the Fund had not entered into the interest rate swap.

•  Swap agreements involve heightened risks and may result in losses to the Fund. Swaps may be illiquid and difficult to value, and may increase the aggregate market and credit risk to the Fund. For example, when the Fund sells credit protection on a debt security via a credit default swap, credit risk increases since the Fund has exposure to the issuer whose credit is the subject of the swap, the counterparty to the swap, and in certain circumstances, the custodian of swap collateral.



 

16


 

The SEC has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a VaR test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may also increase the cost of the Fund’s investments in derivatives reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, which could adversely affect the value of your investment.

Investment in Loans Risk. Investments in loans are generally subject to the same risks as investments in other types of debt obligations, including, among others, credit risk and interest rate risk, which are discussed above, and prepayment risk and extension risk, which are discussed below. In addition, in many cases loans are subject to the risks associated with below-investment grade securities. This means loans are often subject to significant credit risks, including a greater possibility that the borrower will be adversely affected by changes in market or economic conditions and may default or enter bankruptcy. This risk of default will increase in the event of an economic downturn or a substantial increase in interest rates (which will increase the cost of the borrower’s debt service). Transactions in loans may settle on a delayed basis. As a result, the proceeds from the sale of a loan may not be available to make additional investments. The Fund considers “junior loans” to be loans that have a junior position in an issuer’s capital structure. Because junior loans are unsecured and subordinated and thus lower in priority of payment to senior loans, they are subject to the additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and property securing the loan or debt, if any, may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to the senior secured obligations of the borrower. There are no limitations on the Fund’s investments in junior loans. Bank loans may not be considered securities and therefore, the Fund may not have the protections afforded by U.S. federal securities laws with respect to such investments.



 

17


CLOs Risk. CLOs issue securities in tranches with different payment characteristics and different credit ratings. The rated tranches of securities issued by CLOs are generally assigned credit ratings by one or more nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. The subordinated (or residual) tranches do not receive ratings. Below investment grade tranches of CLO securities typically experience a lower recovery rate and greater risk of loss or deferral or non-payment of interest than more senior tranches of the CLO. The riskiest portion of the capital structure of a CLO is the subordinated (or residual) tranche, which bears the bulk of defaults from the loans in the CLO and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CLO typically has higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying securities, and can be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the subordinated tranche, CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults and aversion to CLO securities as a class. The risks of an investment in a CLO depend largely on the collateral and the tranche of the CLO in which the Fund invests.

Fixed Income Securities Risk. In addition to the risks described elsewhere with respect to valuations and liquidity, fixed income securities, including high yield securities, are also subject to certain risks, including:

 

•  Issuer Risk—The value of fixed income securities may decline for a number of reasons that directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage and reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services.

 

•  Reinvestment Risk—Reinvestment risk is the risk that income from the Fund’s portfolio will decline if and when the Fund invests the proceeds from matured, traded or called fixed income securities at market interest rates that are below the portfolio’s current earnings rate. A decline in income could affect the Fund’s Common Share price or its overall return.

Covenant Lite Loans Risk. Covenant lite loans contain fewer maintenance covenants, or no maintenance covenants at all, than traditional loans and may not include terms that allow the lender to monitor the financial performance of the borrower and declare a default if certain criteria are breached. This may expose the Fund to greater credit risk associated with the borrower and reduce the Fund’s ability to restructure a problematic loan and mitigate potential loss. As a result, the Fund’s exposure to losses on such investments may be increased, especially during a downturn in the credit cycle.

Leverage Risk. The Fund’s use of leverage will magnify investment, market and certain other risks. Leverage involves risks and special considerations for holders of the Common Shares including: the



 

18


likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value and market price of the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on borrowings and short-term debt or in the dividend rates on any Preferred Shares that the Fund may pay will reduce the return to Common Shareholders or will result in fluctuations in the dividends paid on the Common Shares; the effect of leverage in a declining market, which is likely to cause a greater decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares than if the Fund were not leveraged, which may result in a greater decline in the market price of the Common Shares; and when the Fund uses leverage, the investment advisory fee payable by the Fund to LMPFA (and by LMPFA to Western Asset) will be higher than if the Fund did not use leverage.

 

The use of borrowing, reverse repurchase agreements and derivatives, as well as the issuance of Preferred Shares, creates leverage (i.e., a fund’s investment exposures exceed its net asset value). Leverage increases a fund’s losses when the value of its investments (including derivatives) declines. Because many derivatives have a leverage component (i.e., a notional value in excess of the assets needed to establish or maintain the derivative position), adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, rate, or index may result in a loss substantially greater than the amount required to establish the derivative position.

Illiquidity Risk. Some assets held by the Fund may be impossible or difficult to sell and some assets that the Fund wants to invest in may be impossible or difficult to purchase, particularly during times of market turmoil or due to adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. These illiquid assets may also be difficult to value. Markets may become illiquid when, for instance, there are few, if any, interested buyers or sellers or when dealers are unwilling or unable to make a market for certain securities. As a general matter, dealers recently have been less willing to make markets for fixed income securities. See “Risks—Illiquidity Risk.”

Foreign Investment and Emerging Markets Risk. The Fund’s investments in securities of foreign issuers or issuers with significant exposure to foreign markets involve additional risk as compared to investments in U.S. securities or issuers with predominantly domestic exposure, such as less liquid, less transparent, less regulated and more volatile markets. The value of the Fund’s investments may decline because of factors affecting the particular issuer as well as foreign markets and issuers generally, such as unfavorable or unsuccessful government actions, reduction of government or central bank support, inadequate accounting standards, lack of information and political, economic, financial or social instability. To the extent the Fund focuses its investments in a single country or only a few countries in a particular geographic region, economic, political, regulatory or other conditions affecting such country or region may have a greater impact on Fund performance relative to a more geographically diversified Fund.



 

19


 

The risks of foreign investments are heightened when investing in issuers in emerging market countries. Emerging market countries tend to have economic, political and legal systems that are less developed and are less stable than those of more developed countries. Less developed markets are more likely to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades and the holding of securities by banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes may result in a lack of liquidity and in extreme price volatility. See “Risks—Foreign Investment and Emerging Markets Risk.”

Foreign Currency Risk. The value of investments denominated in foreign currencies increases or decreases as the rates of exchange between those currencies and the U.S. dollar change. Currency conversion costs and currency fluctuations could erase investment gains or add to investment losses. Currency exchange rates can be volatile, and are affected by factors such as general economic conditions, the actions of the U.S. and foreign governments or central banks, the imposition of currency controls and speculation. The Fund may be unable or may choose not to hedge its foreign currency exposure.

Prepayment or Call Risk. Many issuers have a right to prepay their fixed income securities. Issuers may be more likely to prepay their securities if interest rates fall. If this happens, the Fund would not benefit from the rise in the market price of the securities that normally accompanies a decline in interest rates, and would be forced to reinvest prepayment proceeds at a time when yields on securities available in the market are lower than the yield on prepaid securities. The Fund may also lose any premium it paid to purchase the securities.

Extension Risk. When interest rates rise, repayments of fixed income securities, particularly asset- and mortgage- backed securities, may occur more slowly than anticipated, extending the effective duration of these fixed income securities at below market interest rates and causing their market prices to decline more than they would have declined due to the rise in interest rates alone. This may cause the Fund’s share price to be more volatile.

Valuation Risk. The sales price the Fund could receive for any particular portfolio investment may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the investment, particularly for securities that trade in thin or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology.

 

The Fund’s ability to value its investments may be impacted by technological issues and/or errors by pricing services or other third party service providers. The valuation of the Fund’s investments involves subjective judgment

Market Events Risk. The market values of securities or other assets will fluctuate, sometimes sharply and unpredictably, due to changes in general market conditions, overall economic trends or events, governmental actions or intervention, actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve or foreign central banks, market disruptions caused



 

20


by trade disputes or other factors, political developments, investor sentiment, the global and domestic effects of a pandemic, and other factors that may or may not be related to the issuer of the security or other asset. Economies and financial markets throughout the world are increasingly interconnected. Economic, financial or political events, trading and tariff arrangements, public health events, terrorism, natural disasters and other circumstances in one country or region could have profound impacts on global economies or markets. As a result, whether or not the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in or with significant exposure to the countries directly affected, the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments may be negatively affected.

The rapid and global spread of a highly contagious novel coronavirus respiratory disease, designated COVID-19, first detected in China in December 2019, has resulted in extreme volatility in the financial markets and severe losses; reduced liquidity of many instruments; restrictions on international and, in some cases, local travel, significant disruptions to business operations (including business closures); strained healthcare systems; disruptions to supply chains, consumer demand and employee availability; and widespread uncertainty regarding the duration and long-term effects of this pandemic. Some sectors of the economy and individual issuers have experienced particularly large losses. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may result in a sustained economic downturn or a global recession, domestic and foreign political and social instability, damage to diplomatic and international trade relations and increased volatility and/or decreased liquidity in the securities markets. The ultimate economic fallout from the pandemic, and the long-term impact on economies, markets, industries and individual issuers, are not known. Certain risks, such as interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and counterparty risk, may be heightened as a result of such market events. The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, as well as certain foreign governments and central banks, are taking extraordinary actions to support local and global economies and the financial markets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by pushing interest rates to very low levels. This and other government intervention into the economy and financial markets to address the COVID-19 pandemic may not work as intended, particularly if the efforts are perceived by investors as being unlikely to achieve the desired results. The COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect the value and liquidity of the Fund investments and negatively impact the Fund performance. In addition, the outbreak of COVID-19, and measures taken to mitigate its effects, could result in disruptions to the services provided to the Fund by its service providers.

Cybersecurity Risk. Cybersecurity incidents may result in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders, and substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any future cybersecurity incidents. Issuers of securities in which the Fund invests are also subject to



 

21


cybersecurity risks, and the value of these securities could decline if the issuers experience cybersecurity incidents. See “Risks—Cybersecurity Risk.”

Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund’s annual portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year, as well as within a given year. Portfolio turnover rate is not considered a limiting factor in the execution of investment decisions for the Fund. A higher portfolio turnover rate results in correspondingly greater brokerage commissions and other transactional expenses that are borne by the Fund. High portfolio turnover may result in an increased realization of net short-term capital gains by the Fund which, when distributed to Common Shareholders, will be taxable as ordinary income. Additionally, in a declining market, portfolio turnover may create realized capital losses.

Anti-Takeover Provisions Risk. The Fund’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws includes provisions that are designed to limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund for short-term objectives, including by converting the Fund to open-end status or changing the composition of the Board, that may be detrimental to the Fund’s ability to achieve its primary investment objective of seeking high current income. The Fund’s Declaration of Trust also contains a provision providing that the Fund is subject to the provisions of the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act (“MCSAA”). Such provisions may limit the ability of shareholders to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund. There can be no assurance, however, that such provisions will be sufficient to deter activist investors that seek to cause the Fund to take actions that may not be aligned with the interests of long-term shareholders. See “Certain Provisions in the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws” and “Certain Provisions in the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws—Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act.”

Additional Risks. For additional risks relating to investments in the Fund, including “Foreign Custody and Settlement Risk,” “London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) Risk,” “Risk of Increases in Expenses,” “Risk in Investing in Related or Fewer Issuers,” “Valuation Risk,” “Cash Management and Defensive Investing Risk,” “Mortgage Dollars Risk,” “Investment in Other Investment Companies Risk,” “Operational Risk,” “Distressed Investments Risk,” “Credit Risk Associated With Investments in Mortgage Whole Loans,” “Servicing-Related Risks of Mortgage Whole Loans,” “Prepayment Risk Associated With Investments in Mortgage Whole Loans,” “Geographic Concentration Risk Associated With Residential and Commercial Whole Loans,” “Other Risks Associated with Mortgage Whole Loans,” “Repurchase Agreements Risk,” “Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk,” “Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk,” “Risks Related to Fund Distributions,” “Tax Risks,” “Legal and Regulatory Risk,” “Risks Related to Potential Conflicts of Interest” and “Management Risk and Reliance on Key Personnel” please see “Risks” beginning on page 33 of this prospectus.



 

22


SUMMARY OF FUND EXPENSES

The following table shows estimated Fund expenses, including leverage costs, as a percentage of net assets attributable to Common Shares, and not as a percentage of Managed Assets. The purpose of the following table and the example below is to help you understand all fees and expenses that you, as a holder of Common Shares, would bear directly or indirectly. The expenses shown in the table under “Estimated Annual Expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the Fund’s first full year of operations and assume that the Fund issues 25,000,000 Common Shares (representing an aggregate public offering price of $500 million) and incurs leverage equal to 25% of its Managed Assets. The following table should not be considered a representation of our future expenses. Actual expenses may be greater or less than shown and, all other things being equal, will increase as a percentage of net assets attributable to Common Shares if the Fund issues fewer than 25,000,000 Common Shares. Except where the context suggests otherwise, whenever this prospectus contains a reference to fees or expenses paid by “you” or “us” or that “we” will pay fees or expenses, shareholders will indirectly bear such fees or expenses as investors in the Fund. See “Management of the Fund” and “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”

 

Shareholder Transaction Expenses

  

Sales load paid by you (as a percentage of offering price)(1)

     None  

Offering expenses borne by the Fund (as a percentage of offering price)(2)

     None  

Dividend reinvestment plan (per transaction fee to sell shares obtained pursuant to the plan)

   $ 5.00 (3) 
     Percentage of
net assets
attributable to
Common Shares
 

Estimated Annual Expenses

  

Management fees(4)

     1.47

Interest expense(5)

     0.42

Other expenses(6)

     0.12

Total annual expenses

     2.01 % 

 

(1)

LMPFA (and not the Fund) has agreed to pay, from its own assets, compensation of $0.60 per common share to the Underwriters in connection with this offering. The Fund is not obligated to repay such compensation paid by LMPFA.

(2)

LMPFA has agreed to pay all organizational expenses of the Fund and all offering costs associated with this offering. The Fund is not obligated to repay any such organizational expenses or offering costs paid by LMPFA.

(3)

Common Shareholders will pay a $0.03 per share processing fee if they direct the Plan Agent (defined below) to sell Common Shares held in a dividend reinvestment account. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.” There are no fees charged to shareholders for participating in the Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan. However, shareholders participating in the plan that elect to sell their shares obtained pursuant to the plan would pay $5.00 per transaction to sell shares.

(4)

This is an estimate of management fees payable by Common Shareholders with respect to the Managed Assets of the Fund. LMPFA will receive an annual fee, payable monthly, in an amount equal to 1.10% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets. “Managed Assets” the net assets of the Fund plus the principal amount of any Borrowings or Preferred Shares that may be outstanding, reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions. For purposes of calculating Managed Assets, the liquidation preference of any Preferred Shares outstanding will not be considered a liability. This table assumes that the Fund has utilized direct leverage at the Fund level equal to approximately 25% of the Fund’s Managed Assets. LMPFA will pay Western Asset a subadvisory fee out of the management fee received by LMPFA from the Fund. Western Asset will pay each Non-U.S. Subadviser a subadvisory fee out of the subadvisory fee received by Western Asset from LMPFA.

 

23


(5)

Assumes the use of leverage representing 25% of the Fund’s Managed Assets and estimated interest expense at an annual rate equal to 1.25%, which is subject to change based on market conditions. The Fund’s use of leverage may increase or decrease from time to time in its discretion and the Fund may, in the future, determine not to use leverage. Therefore, the actual amount of interest expense borne by the Fund will vary over time in accordance with the level of the Fund’s use of leverage and variations in market interest rates.

(6)

“Other expenses” are estimated for the Fund’s first full year of operations.

Example

The following example illustrates the expenses that you would pay on a $1,000 investment in Common Shares, assuming (i) total net annual expenses of 2.01% of net assets attributable to Common Shares, and (ii) a 5% annual return:

 

    

1 Year

  

3 Years

  

5 Years

  

10 Years

Total expenses incurred

  

$20

   $63    $108    $234

The example should not be considered a representation of future expenses. The example assumes that the estimated “Other expenses” set forth in the Estimated Annual Expenses table are accurate and that all dividends and distributions are reinvested at NAV. Actual expenses may be greater or less than those assumed. Moreover, the Fund’s actual rate of return may be greater or less than the hypothetical 5% return shown in the example.

THE FUND

The Fund is a newly organized, diversified, closed-end management investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund was organized as a Maryland statutory trust on July 27, 2020, pursuant to a Certificate of Trust, governed by the laws of the State of Maryland. The Fund has no operating history. The Fund’s principal office is located at 620 Eighth Avenue, 47th Floor, New York, New York 10018 and its telephone number is (888) 777-0102.

USE OF PROCEEDS

The net proceeds of the offering of Common Shares will be approximately $                     ($                     if the Underwriters exercise the over-allotment option in full). LMPFA has agreed to pay all of the Fund’s organizational expenses and all offering costs associated with this offering, which amount to a total of $                    . The Fund is not obligated to repay any such organizational expenses or offering costs paid by LMPFA. The Fund will invest the net proceeds of the offering in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies as stated below. We currently anticipate that we will be able to invest all of the net proceeds in accordance with our investment objectives and policies within approximately three months after the completion of this offering. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be invested in short-term investment grade securities.

THE FUND’S INVESTMENTS

Investment Objectives and Policies

Investment Objectives

The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek high current income. As a secondary investment objective, the Fund will seek capital appreciation. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved or that the Fund’s investment program will be successful. The Fund’s investment objectives are non-fundamental and may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval and on prior notice to shareholders.

 

24


Investment Policies

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest across fixed income sectors and securities in seeking to deliver a well-diversified portfolio. Western Asset’s investment process utilizes cross-sector correlations designed to seek optimized return potential and diversification benefit within the portfolio. In managing the portfolio, Western Asset will employ its top down macro view to drive decisions on value, credit sectors, credit quality and duration, and its deep research experience and bottom-up analysis to make sector and security selections. Under current market conditions, the Fund anticipates it will initially focus on shorter-duration and floating rate securities, which have lower sensitivity to higher interest rates. The Fund’s duration and mix of fixed and floating rate investments is subject to change over time. As market conditions change, Western Asset will seek to dynamically rotate investments into sectors and securities that it believes to be undervalued from a fundamental perspective with an attractive return profile and away from investments that it believes to be overvalued. The Fund will provide exposure to residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) and commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”), both agency and non-agency, consistent with its investment policies.

The Fund may invest in investment grade and below investment grade corporate debt securities (commonly referred to as either “high yield” securities or “junk bonds”), senior loans, agency and non-agency RMBS and CMBS, government (i.e., sovereign) debt (including U.S. government obligations), floating rate securities, bank loans, CLOs, asset-backed securities (whose underlying asset classes include, but are not limited to, equipment leases, solar and student loans), private debt and mortgage whole loans. Under normal market circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 70% of its Managed Assets in U.S. securities and at least 80% of its Managed Assets in U.S. dollar-denominated investments. Investments in non-U.S. securities may include emerging market corporate, government and quasi-sovereign debt. The Fund may invest up to 25% of its Managed Assets in securities, including structured instruments such as mortgage backed securities and commercial mortgage backed securities, rated CCC or below (or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable credit quality by Western Asset) at the time of investment. For this purpose, if a security is rated by multiple nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”) and receives different ratings, the Fund will treat the security as being rated in the highest rating category received from an NRSRO. The Fund may invest up to 15% of its Managed Assets in securities issued by CLOs, including up to 5% of its Managed Assets in equity securities issued by CLOs (i.e., subordinated or residual tranches of CLO securities). Although the Fund does not specifically target covenant lite loans, the Fund may invest in covenant lite loans if market conditions result in loans having fewer covenants.

The Fund may not concentrate its investments in any one industry. For purposes of this fundamental policy, non-agency RMBS and non-agency CMBS are considered to represent separate industries; as such, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its Managed Assets in non-agency RMBS and, separately, up to 25% of its Managed Assets in non-agency CMBS. There can be no assurance that regulatory interpretations of concentration will not change in the future.

Maturity and Duration

The Fund may invest in securities of any maturity. The maturity of a fixed income security is a measure of the time remaining until the final payment on the security is due. The Fund may invest in securities of any duration. Duration is a measure the expected sensitivity of a security’s market price to changes in interest rates.

Credit Quality

The Fund may invest without limit in debt securities and related investments rated below investment grade (that is, securities rated below the Baa/BBB categories or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable credit quality by Western Asset). These securities rated below investment grade that comprise the Fund’s portfolio are commonly referred to as either “high yield” securities or “junk bonds.” The Fund may invest up to 25% of its Managed Assets in securities, including structured instruments such as mortgage backed securities and commercial mortgage backed securities, rated CCC or below (or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable credit quality by Western Asset) at the time of investment. For this purpose, if a security is rated by multiple nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (“NRSROs”) and receives different ratings, the Fund will

 

25


treat the security as being rated in the highest rating category received from an NRSRO. Rating categories may include sub-categories or gradations indicating relative standing. Securities rated below investment grade are regarded as having predominantly speculative characteristics with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Because of the risks associated with investing in high yield securities, an investment in the Fund should be considered speculative. Some of the credit instruments will have no credit rating at all.

Fixed Income Securities

Fixed income securities represent obligations of corporations, governments and other entities to repay money borrowed, usually at the maturity of the security. These securities may pay fixed, variable or floating rates of interest. However, some fixed income securities, such as zero coupon bonds, do not pay current interest but are issued at a discount from their face values. Other debt instruments, such as certain mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities, make periodic payments of interest and/or principal. Some debt instruments are partially or fully secured by collateral supporting the payment of interest and principal. “Fixed income securities” are commonly referred to as “notes,” “loans,” “debt,” “debt obligations,” “debt securities,” “corporate debt,” “bonds” and “corporate bonds,” and these terms are used in this Prospectus interchangeably, and, where used, are not intended to be limiting. Fixed income securities also include certain hybrid securities, such as preferred stock.

Variable and Floating Rate Securities

Variable rate securities reset at specified intervals, while floating rate securities reset whenever there is a change in a specified index rate. In most cases, these reset provisions reduce the impact of changes in market interest rates on the value of the security. However, the value of these securities may decline if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as other interest rates. Conversely, these securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline. The Fund may also invest in inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”). Interest payments on inverse floaters vary inversely with changes in interest rates. Inverse floaters pay higher interest (and therefore generally increase in value) when interest rates decline, and vice versa. An inverse floater may exhibit greater price volatility than a fixed rate obligation of similar credit quality.

Stripped Securities

Certain fixed income securities, called stripped securities, represent the right to receive either payments of principal (“POs”) or payments of interest (“IOs”) on underlying pools of mortgages or on government securities. The value of these types of instruments may change more drastically during periods of changing interest rates than debt securities that pay both principal and interest. Interest-only and principal-only mortgage-backed securities are especially sensitive to interest rate changes, which can affect not only their prices but can also change the prepayment assumptions about those investments and income flows the Fund receives from them.

Corporate Debt

Corporate debt securities are fixed income securities usually issued by businesses to finance their operations. Various types of business entities may issue these securities, including corporations, trusts, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and other types of non-governmental legal entities. Notes, bonds, debentures and commercial paper are the most common types of corporate debt securities, with the primary difference being their maturities and secured or unsecured status. Commercial paper has the shortest term and is usually unsecured. The broad category of corporate debt securities includes debt issued by U.S. or non-U.S. companies of all kinds, including those with small, mid and large capitalizations. Corporate debt may carry variable or floating rates of interest.

Loans

The primary risk in an investment in loans is that borrowers may be unable to meet their interest and/or principal payment obligations. Loans in which the Fund invests may be made to finance highly leveraged borrowers which may make such loans especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic or market

 

26


conditions. Loans in which the Fund may invest may be either collateralized or uncollateralized and senior or subordinate (including covenant lite loans). Investments in uncollateralized and/or subordinate loans entail a greater risk of nonpayment than do investments in loans that hold a more senior position in the borrower’s capital structure and/or are secured with collateral. In addition, loans are generally subject to illiquidity risk. The Fund may acquire an interest in loans by purchasing participations in and/or assignments of portions of loans from third parties or by investing in pools of loans, such as collateralized debt obligations as further described under “Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities.” Transactions in loans may settle on a delayed basis. As a result, the proceeds from the sale of a loan may not be available to make additional investments for a period of time. Bank loans may not be considered securities and therefore, the Fund may not have the protections afforded by U.S. federal securities laws with respect to such investments.

U.S. Government Obligations

U.S. government obligations include U.S. Treasury obligations and other obligations of, or guaranteed by, the U.S. government, its agencies or government-sponsored entities. Although the U.S. government guarantees principal and interest payments on securities issued by the U.S. government and some of its agencies, such as securities issued by the U.S. Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), this guarantee does not apply to losses resulting from declines in the market value of these securities. U.S. government obligations include zero coupon securities that make payments of interest and principal only upon maturity and which therefore tend to be subject to greater volatility than interest bearing securities with comparable maturities.

Some of the U.S. government securities that the Fund may hold are not guaranteed or backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (formally known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. government obligations may greatly exceed their current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. government.

Foreign and Emerging Markets Securities

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will be invested in at least three countries (one of which may be the United States) and may invest up to 30% of its Managed Assets in foreign securities. The Fund may invest in foreign securities denominated either in U.S. dollars or foreign currencies, subject to the limit for investments in securities denominated in foreign currencies noted above. The Fund may also invest in issuers with significant exposure to foreign markets. The value of the Fund’s foreign securities may decline because of unfavorable government actions, political instability or the more limited availability of accurate information about foreign issuers, as well as factors affecting the particular issuers. The Fund may invest in foreign securities issued by issuers located in emerging market countries. The Fund considers a country to be an emerging market country, if, at the time of investment, it is represented in the J.P. Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index Global or the J.P. Morgan Corporate Emerging Market Bond Index Broad or categorized by the World Bank in its annual categorization as middle- or low-income. Western Asset believes emerging market securities can provide exposure to high-growth economies with potentially reduced currency risk within select holdings in U.S. dollar-denominated emerging market securities. To the extent the Fund invests in these securities, the risks associated with investment in foreign issuers will generally be more pronounced.

Sovereign Debt

The Fund may invest in sovereign debt, including emerging market sovereign debt. Sovereign debt securities may include:

 

   

Fixed income securities issued or guaranteed by governments, governmental agencies or instrumentalities and their political subdivisions

 

   

Fixed income securities issued by government-owned, controlled or sponsored entities

 

   

Interests issued for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers

 

27


   

Brady Bonds, which are debt securities issued under the framework of the Brady Plan as a means for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness

 

   

Participations in loans between governments and financial institutions

 

   

Fixed income securities issued by supranational entities such as the World Bank. 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 or development

Sovereign government and supranational debt involve many of the risks of foreign and emerging markets investments as well as the risk of debt moratorium, repudiation or renegotiation and the Fund may be unable to enforce its rights against the issuers.

Structured Instruments

The Fund may invest in various types of structured instruments, including securities that have demand, tender or put features, or interest rate reset features. These may include instruments issued by structured investment or special purpose vehicles or conduits, and may be asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities. Structured instruments may take the form of participation interests or receipts in underlying securities or other assets, and in some cases are backed by a financial institution serving as a liquidity provider. The interest rate or principal amount payable at maturity on a structured instrument may vary based on changes in one or more specified reference factors, such as currencies, interest rates, commodities, indices or other financial indicators. Changes in the underlying reference factors may result in disproportionate changes in amounts payable under a structured instrument. Some of these instruments may have an interest rate swap feature which substitutes a floating or variable interest rate for the fixed interest rate on an underlying asset or index. Structured instruments are a type of derivative instrument and the payment and credit qualities of these instruments derive from the assets embedded in the structure. For structured securities that have embedded leverage features, small changes in interest or prepayment rates may cause large and sudden price movements. Structured instruments are often subject to heightened illiquidity risk.

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities

Mortgage-backed securities may be issued by private issuers, by U.S. government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or by agencies of the U.S. government, such as Ginnie Mae. Mortgage-backed securities represent direct or indirect participations in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property.

Unlike mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by agencies of the U.S. government or government-sponsored entities, mortgage-backed securities issued by private issuers do not have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee (but may have other credit enhancement), and may, and frequently do, have less favorable collateral, credit risk or other underwriting characteristics.

RMBS are comprised of a pool of residential mortgage loans created by banks and other financial institutions. CMBS are a type of mortgage-backed security backed by commercial mortgages rather than residential real estate.

Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as installment sales or loan contracts, leases, credit card receivables and other categories of receivables.

Collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) are debt obligations collateralized by mortgage loans or mortgage pass-through securities. CMOs are a type of mortgage-backed security. Typically, CMOs are collateralized by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Certificates, but may also be collateralized by whole loans or private pass-throughs (referred to as “Mortgage Assets”). Payments of principal and of interest on the Mortgage Assets, and any reinvestment income thereon, provide the issuer with income to pay debt service on the CMOs. In a CMO, a series of bonds or certificates is issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specified fixed or floating coupon rate and has a stated maturity or final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the Mortgage Assets may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially

 

28


earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates. Interest is paid or accrues on all classes of the CMOs on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis. The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of a series of a CMO in innumerable ways. As market conditions change, and particularly during periods of rapid or unanticipated changes in market interest rates, the attractiveness of the CMO classes and the ability of the structure to provide the anticipated investment characteristics may be significantly reduced. Such changes can result in volatility in the market value, and in some instances reduced liquidity, of the CMO class.

Collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) are a type of asset-backed security. CDOs include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), CLOs and other similarly structured securities. A CBO is a trust or other special purpose entity which is typically backed by a diversified pool of fixed income securities (which may include high risk, below investment grade securities). A CLO is a trust or other special purpose entity that is typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may also include, among others, domestic and non-U.S. senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinated corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. Like CMOs, CDOs generally issue separate series or “tranches” which vary with respect to risk and yield. These tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of subordinate tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as investor aversion to CDO securities as a class. Interest on certain tranches of a CDO may be paid in kind (paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash), which involves continued exposure to default risk with respect to such payments.

Municipal Securities

Municipal securities include debt obligations issued by any of the 50 U.S. states or their political subdivisions, agencies and public authorities, certain other U.S. governmental issuers (such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) and other qualifying issuers, participation or other interests in these securities and other structured securities. Although municipal securities are issued by qualifying issuers, payments of principal and interest on municipal securities may be derived solely from revenues from certain facilities, mortgages or private industries, and may not be backed by the issuers themselves. These securities include participation or other interests in municipal securities issued or backed by banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

Municipal securities include general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, housing authority bonds, private activity bonds, industrial development bonds, residual interest bonds, tender option bonds, tax and revenue anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, tax-exempt commercial paper, municipal leases, participation certificates and custodial receipts. General obligation bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing entity. Revenue bonds are typically used to fund public works projects, such as toll roads, airports and transportation facilities, that are expected to produce income sufficient to make the payments on the bonds, since they are not backed by the full taxing power of the municipality. Housing authority bonds are used primarily to fund low to middle income residential projects and may be backed by the payments made on the underlying mortgages. Tax and revenue anticipation notes are generally issued in order to finance short-term cash needs or, occasionally, to finance construction. Tax and revenue anticipation notes are expected to be repaid from taxes or designated revenues in the related fiscal period, and they may or may not be general obligations of the issuing entity. Bond anticipation notes are issued with the expectation that their principal and interest will be paid out of proceeds from renewal notes or bonds and may be issued to finance such items as land acquisition, facility acquisition and/or construction and capital improvement projects.

Municipal securities include municipal lease obligations, which are undivided interests issued by a state or municipality in a lease or installment purchase contract which generally relates to equipment or facilities. In some cases, payments under municipal leases do not have to be made unless money is specifically approved for that purpose by an appropriate legislative body.

Preferred Shares and Convertible Securities

The Fund may invest in preferred stock and convertible securities. Preferred stock represents equity ownership of an issuer that generally entitles the holder to receive, in preference to the holders of shares of

 

29


common stock of the issuer, dividends and a fixed share of the proceeds resulting from a liquidation of the company. Preferred stocks may pay dividends at fixed or variable rates. Convertible fixed income securities convert into shares of common stock of their issuer. Preferred stock and convertible fixed income securities share investment characteristics of both fixed income and equity securities. However, the value of these securities tends to vary more with fluctuations in the underlying shares of common stock and less with fluctuations in interest rates and tends to exhibit greater volatility. The Fund will not invest, either directly or indirectly through derivatives, in contingent capital securities (sometimes referred to as “CoCos”).

Equity Securities

Although the Fund invests principally in fixed income securities and related investments, the Fund may from time to time invest in or receive equity securities and equity-like securities, which may include warrants, rights, exchange traded and over-the-counter common stocks, preferred stock, depositary receipts, trust certificates, limited partnership interests and shares of other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds, and real estate investment trusts. The Fund may invest in or receive equity securities for which there exists no private or public market.

Equity securities represent an ownership interest in the issuing company. Holders of equity securities are not creditors of the company, and in the event of the liquidation of the company, would be entitled to their pro rata share of the company’s assets, if any, after creditors, including the holders of fixed income securities, and holders of any senior equity securities are paid. Equity securities typically fluctuate in price more than fixed income securities.

Warrants and rights permit, but do not obligate, their holders to subscribe for other securities. Warrants and rights are subject to the same market risks as stocks, but may be more volatile in price. An investment in warrants or rights may be considered speculative. In addition, the value of a warrant or right does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities and a warrant or right ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to its expiration date.

Securities of Other Investment Companies

The Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules thereunder and applicable exemptive relief. The return on investments in other registered investment companies will be reduced by the operating expenses, including investment advisory expenses, of such companies, and by any sales loads or other distribution and/or service fees or charges incurred in purchasing or selling shares of such companies, in addition to the Fund’s own fees and expenses. As such, there is a layering of fees and expenses.

Zero Coupon, Pay-In-Kind and Deferred Interest Securities

Zero coupon, pay-in-kind and deferred interest securities may be used by issuers to manage cash flow and maintain liquidity. Zero coupon securities pay no interest during the life of the obligation but are issued at prices below their stated maturity value. Because zero coupon securities pay no interest until maturity, their prices may fluctuate more than other types of securities with the same maturity in the secondary market. However, zero coupon bonds are useful as a tool for managing duration.

Pay-in-kind securities have a stated coupon, but the interest is generally paid in the form of obligations of the same type as the underlying pay-in-kind securities (e.g., bonds) rather than in cash. These securities are more sensitive to the credit quality of the underlying issuer and their secondary market prices may fluctuate more than other types of securities with the same maturity. Pay-in-kind securities are subject to additional risks including that the interest payments deferred on pay-in-kind loans are subject to the risk that the borrower may default when the deferred payments are due in cash at the maturity of the loan; and the interest rates on pay-in-kind loans are higher to reflect the time-value of money on deferred interest payments and the higher credit risk of borrowers who may need to defer interest payments. Furthermore, pay-in-kind instruments can be difficult to value because the accruals require judgments about ultimate collectability of the deferred payments and the value of the associated collateral.

 

30


Deferred interest securities are obligations that generally provide for a period of delay before the regular payment of interest begins and are issued at a significant discount from face value.

Certain zero coupon, pay-in-kind and deferred interest securities are subject to tax rules applicable to debt obligations issued with “original issue discount.” The Fund would generally have to accrue income on these securities for federal income tax purposes before it receives corresponding cash payments. Because the Fund intends to make sufficient annual distributions of its taxable income, including accrued non-cash income, in order to maintain its federal income tax status as a regulated investment company and avoid Fund-level income and excise taxes, the Fund might be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a disadvantageous time, or borrow cash, to make these distributions. The Fund also accrues income on these securities prior to receipt for accounting purposes. To the extent it is deemed collectible, accrued income is taken into account when calculating the value of these securities and the Fund’s net asset value per share, in accordance with the Fund’s valuation policies.

Derivatives

The Fund may engage in a variety of transactions using derivatives, including without limitation futures, options, forwards, interest rate swaps and other swaps (including buying and selling credit default swaps and options on credit default swaps), foreign currency futures, forwards and options, and futures contracts, warrants and other synthetic instruments that are intended to provide economic exposure to particular securities, assets or issuers or to be used as a hedging technique. The Fund may use one or more types of these instruments within the limits prescribed by the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations thereunder. The Fund may also engage in a variety of transactions using derivatives in order to change the investment characteristics of its portfolio (such as shortening or lengthening duration) and for other purposes.

A derivative is a financial instrument that has a value based on, or derived from, the value of one or more underlying reference assets or instruments or measures of value or interest rates, such as a security, a commodity, a currency, an index, an interest rate or a currency exchange rate. Derivatives may be used by the Fund for any of the following purposes:

 

   

As a hedging technique in order to manage risk in the Fund’s portfolio

 

   

As a substitute for buying or selling the underlying asset

 

   

As a means of changing the investment characteristics of the Fund’s portfolio

 

   

As a cash flow management technique

 

   

As a means of enhancing income, yield or return

 

   

As a means of providing additional exposure to types of investments or market factors

The Fund from time to time may sell protection on debt obligations by entering into credit default swaps. In these transactions, the Fund is generally required to pay the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default on, restructuring or downgrade of the debt obligation and/or a similar credit event. In return, the Fund receives from the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap. If no credit event occurs, the Fund keeps the stream of payments and has no payment obligations. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its net assets, the Fund would be subject to potential loss of the par (or other agreed-upon) value it had undertaken to pay following the occurrence of a credit event. Credit default swaps may also be structured based on an index or the debt of a basket of issuers, rather than a single issuer, and may be customized with respect to the credit event that triggers purchase or other factors (for example, a particular number of defaults within a basket, or defaults by a particular combination of issuers within the basket, may trigger a payment obligation).

The Fund may buy credit default swaps to hedge against the credit risk of assets held in its portfolio or for other reasons. As the buyer of a credit default swap, the Fund would make the stream of payments described in the preceding paragraph to the seller of the credit default swap and would expect to receive from the seller a payment in the event of a default on the underlying debt security or other specified credit event.

 

31


Using derivatives, especially for non-hedging purposes, may involve greater risks to the Fund than investing directly in securities. Certain derivative transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund.

Use of derivatives or similar instruments may have different tax consequences for the Fund than an investment in the underlying asset or index, and those differences may affect the amount, timing and character of income distributed to shareholders.

When the Fund enters into derivative transactions, it may be required to segregate assets, or enter into offsetting positions, in accordance with applicable regulations. Such segregation will not limit the Fund’s exposure to loss, however, and the Fund will have market risk with respect to both the derivative itself and the assets that have been segregated to cover the Fund’s derivative exposure as well as credit risk with respect to its derivative counterparties and any custodian of Fund assets. If the segregated assets represent a large portion of the Fund’s portfolio, this may impede portfolio management or other current obligations.

Instead of, and/or in addition to, investing directly in particular assets, the Fund may use derivatives and other synthetic instruments that are intended to provide economic exposure to securities, assets, issuers, currencies, indices or other measures of market or economic value. The Fund may use one or more types of these instruments without limit.

Western Asset may choose not to make use of derivatives.

When-Issued Securities, Delayed Delivery, To be Announced and Forward Commitment Transactions

The Fund may purchase securities under arrangements (called when-issued, delayed delivery, to be announced or forward commitment basis) where the securities will not be delivered or paid for immediately. The Fund will set aside assets to pay for these securities at the time of the agreement. Such transactions involve a risk of loss, for example, if the value of the securities declines prior to the settlement date or if the assets set aside to pay for these securities decline in value prior to the settlement date. Therefore, these transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund, making the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increasing the Fund’s overall investment exposure. Typically, no income accrues on securities the Fund has committed to purchase prior to the time delivery of the securities is made, although the Fund may earn income on securities it has set aside to cover these positions. Recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) impose mandatory margin requirements for certain types of when-issued, to be announced or forward commitment transactions, with limited exceptions. Such transactions historically have not been required to be collateralized, and mandatory collateralization could increase the cost of such transactions and impose added operational complexity.

Forward Roll Transactions

In a forward roll transaction (also referred to as a mortgage dollar roll), the Fund sells a mortgage-backed security while simultaneously agreeing to purchase a similar security from the same party (the counterparty) on a specified future date at a lower fixed price. During the roll period, the Fund forgoes principal and interest paid on the securities. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the current sales price and the forward price for the future purchase as well as by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale. The Fund may enter into a forward roll transaction with the intention of entering into an offsetting transaction whereby, rather than accepting delivery of the security on the specified date, the Fund sells the security and agrees to repurchase a similar security at a later time.

Investments in forward roll transactions involve a risk of loss if the value of the securities that the Fund is obligated to purchase declines below the purchase price prior to the repurchase date. Forward roll transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund (see “When-Issued Securities, Delayed Delivery, To be Announced and Forward Commitment Transactions”).

Short-Term Investments

The Fund may invest, directly or indirectly, in cash, money market instruments and short-term securities, including repurchase agreements, U.S. government securities, bank obligations and commercial paper. Bank

 

32


obligations include bank notes, certificates of deposit, time deposits, banker’s acceptances and other similar obligations. A repurchase agreement is a transaction in which the Fund purchases a security from a seller, subject to the obligation of the seller to repurchase that security from the fund at a higher price. The repurchase agreement thereby determines the yield during the fund’s holding period, while the seller’s obligation to repurchase is secured by the value of the underlying security held by the Fund. The Fund may also invest in money market funds, which may or may not be registered under the 1940 Act and/or affiliated with LMPFA or Western Asset. The return on investment in these money market funds may be reduced by such money market funds’ operating expenses in addition to the fund’s own fees and expenses. As such, there is a layering of fees and expenses.

Borrowings and Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into borrowing transactions. Borrowing may make the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increase the Fund’s overall investment exposure. The Fund may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to any borrowings. Interest on any borrowings will be a Fund expense and will reduce the value of the Fund’s shares.

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which have characteristics like borrowings. In a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund sells securities to a counterparty, in return for cash, and the Fund agrees to repurchase the securities at a later date and for a higher price, representing the interest cost to the Fund for the cash received.

Credit Downgrades and Other Credit Events

Credit rating or credit quality of an asset or counterparty is determined at the time the position is established. If the credit rating on a security is downgraded or the credit quality of an asset or counterparty deteriorates, or if the duration of a security is extended, Western Asset will decide whether to exit the position, including in the event such downgrade of one or more securities held by the Fund causes the Fund to exceed the 25% limit of the Fund’s Managed Assets in securities rated CCC or below (or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable credit quality by Western Asset). Upon the occurrence of certain triggering events or defaults on a security held by the Fund, or if an obligor of such a security has difficulty meeting its obligations, the Fund may obtain a new or restructured security or underlying assets. In that case, the Fund may become the holder of securities or other assets that it could not purchase or might not otherwise hold (for example, because they are of lower quality or are subordinated to other obligations of the issuer) at a time when those assets may be difficult to sell or can be sold only at a loss. In addition, the Fund may incur expenses in an effort to protect the Fund’s interest in assets or counterparties experiencing these events. In the event of any of the foregoing, it is possible that the value of the securities rated CCC or below, or if unrated are deemed to be of equivalent credit quality by Western Asset, that are held by the Fund could exceed 25% of the Fund’s Managed Assets for an indefinite period of time.

Defensive Investing

The Fund may take temporary defensive positions or depart from its principal investment strategies in response to or anticipation of adverse or unusual market, economic, political or other conditions, including by investing in any type of money market instruments and short-term debt securities or holding cash or cash items without regard to any percentage limitations. For instance, for temporary defensive purposes, the Fund may restrict the markets in which it invests or may hold uninvested cash or invest without limitation in cash equivalents such as money market instruments, U.S. Treasury bills, interests in short-term investment funds, repurchase agreements, or shares of money market or short-term bond funds, even if the investments are inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies. To the extent the Fund invests in these temporary investments in this manner, the Fund may succeed in avoiding losses but may not otherwise achieve its investment objective. Although Western Asset has the ability to take defensive positions for the Fund, it may choose not to do so for a variety of reasons, even during volatile market conditions.

Other Investments

The Fund may also use other strategies and invest in other investments that are described, along with their risks, in the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”). However, the Fund might not use all of the strategies

 

33


and techniques or invest in all of the types of investments described in this Prospectus or in the SAI. New types of mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, derivative instruments, hedging instruments and other securities or instruments are developed and marketed from time to time. Consistent with its investment limitations, the Fund may invest in new types of securities and instruments.

Percentage and Other Limitations

For purposes of the Fund’s limitations expressed as a percentage of assets, Managed Assets or net assets, the term “assets,” “Managed Assets” or “net assets,” as applicable, means net assets plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes. The Fund’s compliance with its investment limitations and requirements described in this Prospectus is usually determined at the time of investment. If such a percentage limitation is complied with at the time of an investment, any subsequent change in percentage resulting from a change in asset values or characteristics, a sale of securities or a change in credit quality will not constitute a violation of that limitation.

Selection Process

Western Asset uses a combination of quantitative models that seek to measure the relative risks and opportunities of each market segment based upon economic, market, political, currency and technical data and its own assessment of economic and market conditions in an effort to create an optimal risk/return allocation of the Fund’s assets among various segments of the fixed income market. After Western Asset makes its sector allocations, Western Asset uses traditional credit analysis to identify individual securities for the Fund’s portfolio.

Fundamental Investment Policies

The Fund’s investment restrictions listed in the SAI, are considered fundamental and may not be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities. A “majority of the outstanding voting securities” means (i) 67% or more of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy at the meeting or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities, whichever of (i) or (ii) is less. See “Investment Restrictions” in the SAI for a complete list of the fundamental investment policies of the Fund.

LEVERAGE

Under normal market conditions, the Fund initially intends to utilize leverage in an amount equal to approximately 20% to 30% of its Managed Assets. The Fund may use leverage through borrowings, including loans from certain financial institutions and/or the issuance of debt securities (collectively, “Borrowings”), and through the issuance of preferred shares of beneficial interest (“Preferred Shares”). The Fund may use leverage through Borrowings in an aggregate amount of up to approximately 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total net assets immediately after such Borrowings. Furthermore, the Fund may use leverage through the issuance of Preferred Shares in an aggregate amount of liquidation preference attributable to the Preferred Shares combined with the aggregate amount of any Borrowings of up to approximately 50% of the Fund’s total net assets immediately after such issuance.

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements and use similar investment management techniques that may provide leverage, but which are not subject to the foregoing 33 1/3% limitation so long as the Fund has covered its commitment with respect to such techniques by segregating or earmarking liquid assets, entering into offsetting transactions or owning positions covering related obligations.

The Fund intends to arrange a floating rate credit facility (the “Credit Facility”) pursuant to which the Fund would be entitled to borrow an amount equal to approximately 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total net assets less any amounts of existing Borrowings. Any such Borrowings would constitute financial leverage.

The Fund may establish a standby credit facility as a temporary measure for purposes of making distributions to shareholders in order to maintain its favorable tax status as a regulated investment company. In

 

34


addition, the Fund may borrow for temporary, emergency or other purposes as permitted under the 1940 Act. Any such indebtedness would be in addition to the leverage limit on Borrowings of up to 33 1/3% of the Fund’s total net assets.

Changes in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities, including costs attributable to Borrowings or Preferred Shares, will be borne entirely by the holders of the Common Shares. If there is a net decrease (or increase) in the value of the Fund’s investment portfolio, the leverage will decrease (or increase) the net asset value per Common Shares to a greater extent than if the Fund were not leveraged. During periods when the Fund is using leverage through Borrowings or the issuance of Preferred Shares, the fees paid to LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers for advisory services will be higher than if the Fund did not use leverage because the fees paid will be calculated on the basis of the Fund’s Managed Assets, which includes the principal amount of the Borrowings and any assets attributable to the issuance of Preferred Shares. For purposes of calculating Managed Assets, the liquidation preference of any Preferred Shares outstanding will not be considered a liability. This means that LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers may have a financial incentive to increase the Fund’s use of leverage.

Under the 1940 Act, the Fund generally is not permitted to issue commercial paper or notes or borrow unless immediately after the borrowing or commercial paper or note issuance the value of the Fund’s total assets less liabilities other than the principal amount represented by commercial paper, notes or borrowings is at least 300% of such principal amount. In addition, the Fund is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on its Common Shares unless, at the time of such declaration, the value of the Fund’s total assets, less liabilities other than the principal amount represented by commercial paper, notes or borrowings, is at least 300% of such principal amount after deducting the amount of such dividend or distribution. If the Fund borrows, the Fund intends, to the extent possible, to prepay all or a portion of the principal amount of any outstanding commercial paper, notes or borrowing to the extent necessary to maintain the required asset coverage. Failure to maintain certain asset coverage requirements could result in an event of default and entitle the debt holders to elect a majority of the Board of Trustees.

Utilization of leverage is a speculative investment technique and involves certain risks to the holders of Common Shares. These include the possibility of higher volatility of the net asset value of the Common Shares and potentially more volatility in the market value of, and distributions on, the Common Shares. So long as the Fund is able to realize a higher net return on its investment portfolio than the then-current cost of any leverage together with other related expenses, the effect of the leverage will be to cause holders of Common Shares to realize a higher rate of return than if the Fund were not so leveraged. On the other hand, to the extent that the then-current cost of any leverage, together with other related expenses, approaches the net return on the Fund’s investment portfolio, the benefit of leverage to holders of Common Shares will be reduced, and if the then-current cost of any leverage together with related expenses were to exceed the net return on the Fund’s portfolio, the Fund’s leveraged capital structure would result in a lower rate of return to holders of Common Shares than if the Fund were not so leveraged. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s leveraging strategy will be successful.

Under the 1940 Act, the Fund is not permitted to issue Preferred Shares unless immediately after such issuance the value of the Fund’s asset coverage is at least 200% of the liquidation value of the outstanding Preferred Shares plus any outstanding borrowings (i.e., such liquidation value plus any outstanding borrowings may not exceed 50% of the Fund’s asset coverage less all liabilities other than borrowings).

In addition, the Fund is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on its Common Shares unless, at the time of such declaration, the value of the Fund’s asset coverage less liabilities other than borrowings satisfies the above-referenced 200% coverage requirement. The failure to pay dividends or make distributions could result in the Fund ceasing to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code, which could have a material adverse effect on the value of the Common Shares. If Preferred Shares are issued, the Fund intends, to the extent possible, to purchase or redeem Preferred Shares from time to time to the extent necessary in order to maintain coverage of at least 200%.

If Preferred Shares are outstanding, two of the Fund’s Trustees will be elected by the holders of Preferred Shares, voting separately as a class. The remaining Trustees of the Fund will be elected by holders of Common

 

35


Shares and Preferred Shares voting together as a single class. In the unlikely event that the Fund fails to pay dividends on the Preferred Shares for two years, holders of Preferred Shares would be entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees of the Fund.

The Fund may be subject to certain restrictions imposed either by guidelines of a lender, if the Fund borrows from a lender, or by one or more rating agencies which may issue ratings for Preferred Shares or debt securities. These guidelines may impose asset coverage or portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed on the Fund by the 1940 Act. It is not anticipated that these covenants or guidelines will impede LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers from managing the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies. In addition to other considerations, to the extent that the Fund believes that the covenants and guidelines required by the rating agencies would impede its ability to meet its investment objectives, or if the Fund is unable to obtain its desired rating on Preferred Shares or debt securities, the Fund will not issue Preferred Shares or debt securities.

Effects of Leverage

Assuming that leverage will represent approximately 25% of the Fund’s Managed Assets and that the Fund will bear expenses relating to that leverage at an average annual rate of 1.25%, the income generated by the Fund’s portfolio (net of estimated expenses) must exceed 0.42% in order to cover the expenses specifically related to the Fund’s use of leverage. These numbers are merely estimates used for illustration. Actual leverage expenses will vary frequently and may be significantly higher or lower than the rate estimated above.

The following table is furnished in response to requirements of the SEC. It is designed to illustrate the effect of leverage on total returns from an investment in the Common Shares assuming investment portfolio total returns (comprised of income and changes in the value of securities held in the Fund’s portfolio) of (10)%, (5)%, 0%, 5% and 10%. These assumed investment portfolio returns are hypothetical figures and are not necessarily indicative of the investment portfolio returns expected to be experienced by the Fund. See “Risks.” The table further reflects the use of leverage representing 25% of the Fund’s Managed Assets and the Fund’s currently projected annual leverage expense of 1.25%.

 

Assumed Portfolio Total Return (Net of Expenses)

     (10.00)      (5.00)      0.00      5.00      10.00

Corresponding Total Return to Holders of Common Shares

     (13.75)      (7.08)      (0.40)      6.25      12.90

The corresponding total return to holders of Common Shares is composed of two elements: the common share dividends paid by the Fund (the amount of which is largely determined by the net investment income of the Fund) and gains or losses on the value of the securities the Fund owns. As required by SEC rules, the table assumes that the Fund is more likely to suffer capital losses than to enjoy capital appreciation. For example, to assume a total return of 0% the Fund must assume that the interest it receives on its investments is entirely offset by losses in the value of those securities.

Unless and until leverage is utilized or issued, the Common Shares will not be leveraged and the risks and special considerations related to leverage described in this prospectus will not apply. Such leveraging will not be fully achieved until the proceeds resulting from the use of leverage have been invested in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies.

In addition, because the Fund’s investment management fee is calculated as a percentage of the Fund’s Managed Assets, which include those assets purchased with leverage, during periods in which the Fund is using leverage, the fee paid to LMPFA will be higher than if the Fund did not use leverage.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund anticipates entering into reverse repurchase agreements with respect to its portfolio investments subject to the investment restrictions set forth herein. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities held by the Fund with an agreement by the Fund to repurchase the securities at an agreed upon price, date and interest payment. At the time the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it may establish and maintain a segregated account with the custodian containing, or designate on its books and records, cash and/or

 

36


liquid assets having a value not less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest). If the Fund establishes and maintains such a segregated account, or earmarks such assets as described, a reverse repurchase agreement will not be considered a senior security under the 1940 Act and therefore will not be considered a borrowing by the Fund for purposes of the 1940 Act; however, under certain circumstances in which the Fund does not establish and maintain such a segregated account, or earmark such assets on its books and records, such reverse repurchase agreement will be considered a borrowing for the purpose of the Fund’s limitation on borrowings discussed above. The SEC has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a VaR test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022.

The use by the Fund of reverse repurchase agreements involves many of the same risks of leverage since the proceeds derived from such reverse repurchase agreements may be invested in additional securities. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the market value of the securities acquired in connection with the reverse repurchase agreement may decline below the price of the securities the Fund has sold but is obligated to repurchase. Also, reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the market value of the securities retained in lieu of sale by the Fund in connection with the reverse repurchase agreement may decline in price.

If the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, such buyer or its trustee or receiver may receive an extension of time to determine whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities and the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement may effectively be restricted pending such decision. Also, the Fund would bear the risk of loss to the extent that the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement are less than the value of the securities subject to such agreement.

The Fund also may effect simultaneous purchase and sale transactions that are known as “sale-buybacks.” A sale-buyback is similar to a reverse repurchase agreement, except that in a sale-buyback, the counterparty that purchases the security is entitled to receive any principal or interest payments made on the underlying security pending settlement of the Fund’s repurchase of the underlying security.

Dollar Roll Transactions

The Fund may enter into “dollar roll” transactions. In a dollar roll transaction, the Fund sells a mortgage related or other security to a dealer and simultaneously agrees to repurchase a similar security (but not the same security) in the future at a pre-determined price. A dollar roll transaction can be viewed, like a reverse repurchase agreement, as a collateralized borrowing in which the Fund pledges a mortgage related security to a dealer to obtain cash. However, unlike reverse repurchase agreements, the dealer with which the Fund enters into a dollar roll transaction is not obligated to return the same securities as those originally sold by the Fund, but rather only securities which are “substantially identical,” which generally means that the securities repurchased will bear the same interest rate and a similar maturity as those sold, but the pools of mortgages collateralizing those securities may have different prepayment histories than those sold.

During the period between the sale and repurchase, the Fund will not be entitled to receive interest and principal payments on the securities sold. Proceeds of the sale will be invested in additional instruments for the Fund and the income from these investments will generate income for the Fund. If such income does not exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the dollar roll, the use of this technique will diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what the performance would have been without the use of dollar rolls.

 

37


At the time the Fund enters into a dollar roll transaction, it may establish and maintain a segregated account with the custodian containing, or designate on its books and records, cash and/or liquid assets having a value not less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest). If the Fund establishes and maintains such a segregated account, or earmarks such assets as described, a dollar roll transaction will not be considered a senior security under the 1940 Act and therefore will not be considered a borrowing by the Fund for purposes of the Act; however, under certain circumstances in which the Fund does not establish and maintain such a segregated account, or earmark such assets on its books and records, such dollar roll transaction will be considered a borrowing for the purpose of the Fund’s limitation on borrowings discussed above.

Dollar roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is required to purchase may decline below the agreed upon repurchase price of those securities. The Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase securities may be restricted. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls may depend upon the investment manager’s ability to correctly predict interest rates and prepayments. There is no assurance that dollar rolls can be successfully employed.

Credit Facility

The Fund is permitted to leverage its portfolio by entering into one or more credit facilities. If the Fund enters into a credit facility, the Fund may be required to prepay outstanding amounts or incur a penalty rate of interest upon the occurrence of certain events of default. The Fund would also likely have to indemnify the lenders under the credit facility against liabilities they may incur in connection therewith. In addition, the Fund expects that any credit facility would contain covenants that, among other things, likely would limit the Fund’s ability to pay distributions in certain circumstances, incur additional debt, change certain of its investment policies and engage in certain transactions, including mergers and consolidations, and require asset coverage ratios in addition to those required by the Investment Company Act. The Fund may be required to pledge its assets and to maintain a portion of its assets in cash or high-grade securities as a reserve against interest or principal payments and expenses. The Fund expects that any credit facility would have customary covenant, negative covenant and default provisions. There can be no assurance that the Fund will enter into an agreement for a credit facility, or one on terms and conditions representative of the foregoing, or that additional material terms will not apply. In addition, if entered into, a credit facility may in the future be replaced or refinanced by one or more credit facilities having substantially different terms or by the issuance of preferred shares.

Preferred Shares

The Fund is permitted to leverage its portfolio by issuing Preferred Shares. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund is not permitted to issue Preferred Shares if, immediately after such issuance, the liquidation value of the Fund’s outstanding Preferred Shares plus any outstanding borrowings exceeds 50% of its assets (including the proceeds from the issuance) less liabilities other than borrowings (i.e., the value of the Fund’s assets must be at least 200% of the liquidation value of its outstanding Preferred Shares plus any outstanding borrowings). In addition, the Fund would not be permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on its common shares unless, at the time of such declaration, the value of the Fund’s assets less liabilities other than borrowings is at least 200% of such liquidation value.

The Fund expects that Preferred Shares, if issued, will pay adjustable rate dividends based on shorter-term interest rates, which would be re-determined periodically by a fixed spread or remarketing process, subject to a maximum rate which would increase over time in the event of an extended period of unsuccessful remarketing. The adjustment period for preferred share dividends could be as short as one day or as long as a year or more. Preferred Shares, if issued, could include a liquidity feature that allows holders of Preferred Shares to have their shares purchased by a liquidity provider in the event that sell orders have not been matched with purchase orders and successfully settled in a remarketing. The Fund expects that it would pay a fee to the provider of this liquidity feature, which would be borne by Common Shareholders of the Fund. The terms of such liquidity feature could require the Fund to redeem Preferred Shares still owned by the liquidity provider following a certain period of continuous, unsuccessful remarketing, which may adversely impact the Fund.

If Preferred Shares are issued, the Fund may, to the extent possible, purchase or redeem Preferred Shares from time to time to the extent necessary in order to maintain asset coverage of any Preferred Shares of at least

 

38


200%. In addition, as a condition to obtaining ratings on the Preferred Shares, the terms of any Preferred Shares issued are expected to include asset coverage maintenance provisions which will require the redemption of the Preferred Shares in the event of non-compliance by the Fund and may also prohibit dividends and other distributions on the Common Shares in such circumstances. In order to meet redemption requirements, the Fund may have to liquidate portfolio securities. Such liquidations and redemptions would cause the Fund to incur related transaction costs and could result in capital losses to the Fund. Prohibitions on dividends and other distributions on the Common Shares could impair the Fund’s ability to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code. If the Fund has Preferred Shares outstanding, two of the Trustees will be elected by the holders of Preferred Shares voting separately as a class. The remaining Trustees will be elected by holders of Common Shares and Preferred Shares voting together as a single class. In the event the Fund failed to pay dividends on Preferred Shares for two years, holders of Preferred Shares would be entitled to elect a majority of the Trustees.

If the Fund issues Preferred Shares, the Fund expects that it will be subject to certain restrictions imposed by guidelines of one or more rating agencies that may issue ratings for Preferred Shares issued by the Fund. These guidelines are expected to impose asset coverage or portfolio composition requirements that are more stringent than those imposed on the Fund by the 1940 Act. It is not anticipated that these covenants or guidelines would impede the Advisors from managing the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies.

Derivatives

The Fund may enter into derivative transactions with a leverage component. Derivative transactions that the Fund may enter into and the risks associated with them are described elsewhere in this prospectus. The Fund cannot assure you that investments in derivative transactions that have economic leverage embedded in them will result in a higher return on its Common Shares.

To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to make payments, the Fund may earmark or segregate cash or liquid assets in an amount at least equal to the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions or otherwise cover such transactions in accordance with applicable interpretations of the staff of the SEC and other applicable law and regulation. If the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions is represented by the notional amounts of such investments, the Fund would segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a market value at least equal to such notional amounts, and if the current value of the amount then payable by the Fund under the terms of such transactions is represented by the market value of the Fund’s current obligations, the Fund would segregate or earmark cash or liquid assets having a market value at least equal to such current obligations. To the extent the terms of such transactions obligate the Fund to deliver particular securities to extinguish the Fund’s obligations under such transactions the Fund may “cover” its obligations under such transactions by either (i) owning the securities or collateral underlying such transactions or (ii) having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities or collateral without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, having earmarked or segregated an appropriate amount of cash or liquid assets). Such earmarking, segregation or cover is intended to provide the Fund with available assets to satisfy its obligations under such transactions. As a result of such earmarking, segregation or cover, the Fund’s obligations under such transactions will not be considered senior securities representing indebtedness for purposes of the 1940 Act, or considered borrowings subject to the Fund’s limitations on borrowings under the 1940 Act discussed above, but may create leverage for the Fund. To the extent that the Fund’s obligations under such transactions are not so earmarked, segregated or covered, such obligations may be considered “senior securities representing indebtedness” under the 1940 Act and therefore subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement.

These earmarking, segregation or cover requirements can result in the Fund maintaining securities positions it would otherwise liquidate, segregating or earmarking assets at a time when it might be disadvantageous to do so or otherwise restrict portfolio management. The SEC has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a VaR

 

39


test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may also increase the cost of the Fund’s investments in derivatives reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, which could adversely affect the value of your investment.

Temporary Borrowings

The Fund may also borrow money as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes, including the payment of dividends and the settlement of securities transactions which otherwise might require untimely dispositions of Fund securities.

RISKS

The Fund is a newly organized, diversified, limited-term, closed-end management investment company designed primarily as a long-term investment and not as a trading vehicle. The Fund is not intended to be a complete investment program and, due to the uncertainty inherent in all investments, there can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s performance and the value of its investments will vary in response to changes in interest rates, inflation, the financial condition of a security’s issuer, ratings on a security and other market factors. Your Common Shares at any point in time may be worth less than your original investment, even after taking into account the reinvestment of Fund dividends and distributions. Below are the principal risks associated with an investment in the Fund.

No History of Operations

The Fund is a newly organized, diversified, closed-end management investment company with no operating history. The Fund does not have any historical financial statements or other meaningful operating or financial data on which potential investors may evaluate the Fund and its performance. An investment in the Fund is therefore subject to all of the risks and uncertainties associated with a new business, including the risk that the Fund will not achieve its investment objectives and that the value of any potential investment in our Common Shares could decline substantially as a consequence.

Limited Term Risk

Unless the limited term provision of the Fund’s Declaration of Trust is amended by shareholders in accordance with the Declaration of Trust, or unless the Fund completes an Eligible Tender Offer and converts to perpetual existence, the Fund will dissolve on or about the Dissolution Date. The Fund is not a so called “target date” or “life cycle” fund whose asset allocation becomes more conservative over time as its target date, often associated with retirement, approaches. In addition, the Fund is not a “target term” fund and thus does not seek to return its initial public offering price per Common Share upon dissolution. As the assets of the Fund will be liquidated in connection with its dissolution, the Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities or liquidate positions when it otherwise would not, including at times when market conditions are not favorable, which may cause the Fund to lose money. In addition, as the Fund approaches the Dissolution Date, the Fund may invest the liquidation proceeds of sold, matured or called securities or liquidated positions in money market mutual funds, cash, cash equivalents, securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its instrumentalities or agencies, high quality, short-term money market instruments, short-term debt securities, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and other bank obligations, commercial paper or other liquid debt

 

40


securities, which may adversely affect the Fund’s investment performance. Rather than reinvesting proceeds received from sales of or payments received in respect of portfolio securities and positions, the Fund may distribute such proceeds in one or more liquidating distributions prior to the final dissolution, which may cause the Fund’s fixed expenses to increase when expressed as a percentage of net assets attributable to Common Shares, or the Fund may invest the proceeds in lower yielding securities or hold the proceeds in cash or cash equivalents, which may adversely affect the performance of the Fund. The final distribution of net assets upon dissolution may be more than, equal to or less than $20.00 per Common Share. Because the Fund may adopt a plan of liquidation and make liquidating distributions in advance of the Dissolution Date, the total value of the Fund’s assets returned to Common Shareholders upon dissolution will be impacted by decisions of the Board, LMPFA and Western Asset regarding the timing of adopting a plan of liquidation and making liquidating distributions. This may result in Common Shareholders receiving liquidating distributions with a value more or less than the value that would have been received if the Fund had liquidated all of its assets on the Dissolution Date, or any other potential date for liquidation referenced in this prospectus, and distributed the proceeds thereof to shareholders.

If the Fund conducts an Eligible Tender Offer, the Fund anticipates that funds to pay the aggregate purchase price of shares accepted for purchase pursuant to the tender offer will be first derived from any cash on hand and then from the proceeds from the sale of portfolio investments held by the Fund. The risks related to the disposition of investments in connection with the Fund’s dissolution also would be present in connection with the disposition of investments in connection with an Eligible Tender Offer. It is likely that during the pendency of a tender offer, and possibly for a time thereafter, the Fund will hold a greater than normal percentage of its total assets in cash and cash equivalents, which may impede the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives and decrease returns to shareholders. The tax effect of any such dispositions of portfolio investments will depend on the difference between the price at which the investments are sold and the tax basis of the Fund in the investments. Any capital gains recognized on such dispositions, as reduced by any capital losses the Fund realizes in the year of such dispositions and by any available capital loss carryforwards, will generally be distributed to shareholders as capital gain dividends (to the extent of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) or ordinary dividends (to the extent of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses) during or with respect to such year, and such distributions will generally be taxable to Common Shareholders. In addition, the Fund’s purchase of tendered Common Shares pursuant to an Eligible Tender Offer will generally have tax consequences for tendering Common Shareholders and may have tax consequences for non-tendering Common Shareholders. See “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations” below.

The purchase of Common Shares by the Fund pursuant to an Eligible Tender Offer will have the effect of increasing the proportionate interest in the Fund of non-tendering Common Shareholders. All Common Shareholders remaining after an Eligible Tender Offer will be subject to any increased risks associated with the reduction in the Fund’s assets resulting from payment for any tendered Common Shares, such as greater volatility due to decreased diversification and proportionately higher expenses. The reduced assets of the Fund as a result of an Eligible Tender Offer may result in less investment flexibility for the Fund and may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s investment performance. Such reduction in the Fund’s assets may also cause Common Shares of the Fund to become thinly traded or otherwise negatively impact secondary trading of Common Shares. A reduction in assets, and the corresponding increase in the Fund’s expense ratio, could result in lower returns and put the Fund at a disadvantage relative to its peers and potentially cause the Common Shares to trade at a wider discount to NAV than they otherwise would. Furthermore, the portfolio of the Fund following an Eligible Tender Offer could be significantly different and, therefore, Common Shareholders retaining an investment in the Fund could be subject to greater risk. For example, the Fund may be required to sell its more liquid, higher quality portfolio investments to purchase Common Shares that are tendered in an Eligible Tender Offer, which would leave a less liquid, lower quality portfolio for remaining shareholders. The prospects of an Eligible Tender Offer may attract arbitrageurs who would purchase the Common Shares prior to the tender offer for the sole purpose of tendering those shares which could have the effect of exacerbating the risks described herein for shareholders retaining an investment in the Fund following an Eligible Tender Offer.

The Fund is not required to conduct an Eligible Tender Offer. If the Fund conducts an Eligible Tender Offer, there can be no assurance that the payment for tendered Common Shares would not result in the Fund

 

41


having aggregate net assets below the Dissolution Threshold, in which case the Eligible Tender Offer will be canceled, no Common Shares will be repurchased pursuant to the Eligible Tender Offer and the Fund will liquidate on the Dissolution Date (subject to possible extensions). Following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer in which the payment for tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets greater than or equal to the Dissolution Threshold, the Board may, by a Board Action Vote, eliminate the Dissolution Date without shareholder approval and provide for the Fund’s perpetual existence. Thereafter, the Fund will have a perpetual existence. There is no guarantee that the Board will eliminate the Dissolution Date following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer so that the Fund will have a perpetual existence. LMPFA may have a conflict of interest in recommending to the Board that the Dissolution Date be eliminated and the Fund have a perpetual existence. The Fund is not required to conduct additional tender offers following an Eligible Tender Offer and conversion to perpetual existence. Therefore, remaining Common Shareholders may not have another opportunity to participate in a tender offer. Shares of closed-end management investment companies frequently trade at a discount from their NAV, and as a result remaining Common Shareholders may only be able to sell their shares at a discount to NAV.

Although it is anticipated that the Fund will have distributed substantially all of its net assets to shareholders as soon as practicable after the Dissolution Date, assets for which no market exists or assets trading at depressed prices, if any, may be placed in a liquidating trust. Assets placed in a liquidating trust may be held for an indefinite period of time, potentially several years or longer, until they can be sold or pay out all of their cash flows. During such time, the shareholders will continue to be exposed to the risks associated with the Fund and the value of their interest in the liquidating trust will fluctuate with the value of the liquidating trust’s remaining assets.

Additionally, the tax treatment of the liquidating trust will generally differ from the tax treatment of the Fund. To the extent the costs associated with a liquidating trust exceed the value of the remaining assets, the liquidating trust trustees may determine to dispose of the remaining assets in a manner of their choosing. The Fund cannot predict the amount, if any, of assets that will be required to be placed in a liquidating trust or how long it will take to sell or otherwise dispose of such assets.

Market Price Discount from Net Asset Value Risk

Shares of closed-end investment companies frequently trade at a discount to their net asset value. This characteristic is a risk separate and distinct from the risk that our net asset value could decrease as a result of the Fund’s investment activities and may be greater for investors expecting to sell their shares in a relatively short period following completion of any offering under this Prospectus. Although the value of the Fund’s net assets is generally considered by market participants in determining whether to purchase or sell shares, whether investors will realize gains or losses upon the sale of the Common Shares depends upon whether the market price of the Common Shares at the time of sale is above or below the investor’s purchase price for the Common Shares. Because the market price of the Common Shares is affected by factors such as net asset value, dividend or distribution levels (which are dependent, in part, on expenses), supply of and demand for the Common Shares, stability of distributions, trading volume of the Common Shares, general market and economic conditions, and other factors beyond our control, the Fund cannot predict whether the Common Shares will trade at, below or above net asset value or at, below or above the offering price. The Common Shares are designed primarily for long-term investors and you should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes.

Portfolio Management Risk

The value of your investment may decrease if Western Asset’s judgment about the quality, relative yield, value or market trends affecting a particular security, asset class, industry, sector or region, or about interest rates, is incorrect or does not produce the desired results, or if there are imperfections, errors or limitations in the models, tools and data used by Western Asset. For example, high yield bonds tend to be more susceptible to credit downgrades and may be difficult to value, and Western Asset’s judgment about the relative yield or value of a high yield security may be incorrect or subject to change. While Western Asset will seek to dynamically allocate the Fund’s portfolio to sectors and investments they consider undervalued and away from sectors and investments that they consider overvalued, there is no assurance that such allocation will produce the desired

 

42


results. In addition, Western Asset’s allocation process may result in limited allocation between sectors and investments if, in the opinion of Western Asset, any such allocation would not produce the desired results given current market conditions. In addition, the Fund’s investment strategies or policies may change from time to time. Those changes may not lead to the results intended by the subadvisers and could have an adverse effect on the value or performance of the Fund.

Market and Interest Rate Risk

The market prices of the Fund’s securities and assets may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. If the market prices of the Fund’s investments fall, the value of your investment in the fund will decline. The market price of an investment may fall due to general market conditions, such as real or perceived adverse economic or political conditions, tariffs and trade disruptions, inflation, changes in interest or currency rates, lack of liquidity in the bond markets or adverse investor sentiment. Changes in market conditions will not typically have the same impact on all types of investments. The market price of a security or asset may also fall due to specific conditions that affect a particular sector of the securities market, asset class or issuer. The net asset value of your Fund shares at any point in time may be worth less than what you invested, even after taking into account the reinvestment of fund dividends and distributions.

The market prices of securities and assets may fluctuate significantly when interest rates change. When interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities held by the Fund generally goes down. Generally, the longer the maturity or duration of a fixed income security, the greater the impact of a rise in interest rates on the security’s market price. However, calculations of duration and maturity may be based on estimates and may not reliably predict a security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. Moreover, securities can change in value in response to other factors, such as credit risk. In addition, different interest rate measures (such as short- and long-term interest rates and U.S. and non-U.S. interest rates), or interest rates on different types of securities or securities of different issuers, may not necessarily change in the same amount or in the same direction. When interest rates go down, the Fund’s yield will decline. Also, when interest rates decline, investments made by the Fund may pay a lower interest rate, which would reduce the income received by the Fund.

Credit Risk

The value of your investment in the Fund could decline if the issuer of a security held by the Fund or another obligor for that security (such as a party offering credit enhancement) or a counterparty to a financial contract with the Fund fails to pay, otherwise defaults, is perceived to be less creditworthy, becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy. The value of your investment in the Fund could also decline if the credit rating of a security held by the Fund is downgraded or the credit quality or value of any assets underlying the security or financial contract declines. If the Fund enters into financial contracts (such as certain derivatives, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, and when-issued, delayed delivery and forward commitment transactions), the Fund will be subject to the credit risk presented by the counterparty and any custodian of Fund assets. In addition, the Fund may incur expenses in an effort to protect the Fund interests or to enforce its rights against an issuer, guarantor, counterparty or any custodian or may be hindered or delayed in exercising those rights. Credit risk is broadly gauged by the credit ratings of the securities in which the Fund invests and the credit ratings of counterparties to financial contracts with the Fund. However, ratings are only the opinions of the companies issuing them and are not guarantees as to quality. Securities rated in the lowest category of investment grade (Baa/BBB) may possess certain speculative characteristics. Credit risk is typically greatest for the Fund’s high yield debt securities, which are rated below the Baa/BBB categories or unrated securities of comparable quality (“junk” bonds).

The Fund may invest in securities which are subordinated to more senior securities of the issuer, or which represent interests in pools of such subordinated securities. The Fund is more likely to suffer a credit loss on subordinated securities than on non-subordinated securities of the same issuer. If there is a default, bankruptcy or liquidation of the issuer, most subordinated securities are paid only if sufficient assets remain after payment of the issuer’s non-subordinated securities. In addition, any recovery of interest or principal may take more time. As a result, even a perceived decline in creditworthiness of the issuer is likely to have a greater adverse impact on subordinated securities.

 

43


High Yield (“Junk”) Bonds Risk

High yield bonds, often called “junk” bonds, have a higher risk of issuer default or may be in default and are considered speculative. Changes in economic conditions or developments regarding the individual issuer are more likely to cause price volatility and weaken the capacity of such securities to make principal and interest payments than is the case for higher grade debt securities. The value of lower-quality debt securities often fluctuates in response to company, political, or economic developments and can decline significantly over short as well as long periods of time or during periods of general or regional economic difficulty. High yield bonds may also have lower liquidity as compared to higher-rated securities, which means the Fund may have difficulty selling them at times, and it may have to apply a greater degree of judgment in establishing a price for purposes of valuing Fund shares. High yield bonds generally are issued by less creditworthy issuers. Issuers of high yield bonds may have a larger amount of outstanding debt relative to their assets than issuers of investment grade bonds. In the event of an issuer’s bankruptcy, claims of other creditors may have priority over the claims of high yield bond holders, leaving few or no assets available to repay high yield bond holders. The Fund may incur expenses to the extent necessary to seek recovery upon default or to negotiate new terms with a defaulting issuer. High yield bonds frequently have redemption features that permit an issuer to repurchase the security from the Fund before it matures. If the issuer redeems high yield bonds, the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in bonds with lower yields and may lose income.

Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities Risk

Mortgage-backed securities are particularly susceptible to prepayment and extension risks, because prepayments on the underlying mortgages tend to increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise. Prepayments may also occur on a scheduled basis or due to foreclosure. When market interest rates increase, mortgage refinancings and prepayments slow, which lengthens the effective duration of these securities. As a result, the negative effect of the interest rate increase on the market value of mortgage-backed securities is usually more pronounced than it is for other types of fixed income securities, potentially increasing the volatility of the value of the Fund’s assets. Conversely, when market interest rates decline, while the value of mortgage-backed securities may increase, the rates of prepayment of the underlying mortgages tend to increase, which shortens the effective duration of these securities. Mortgage-backed securities are also subject to the risk that underlying borrowers will be unable to meet their obligations.

At times, some of the mortgage-backed securities in which the Fund may invest will have higher than market interest rates and therefore will be purchased at a premium above their par value. Prepayments may cause losses on securities purchased at a premium.

The value of mortgage-backed securities may be affected by changes in credit quality or value of the mortgage loans or other assets that support the securities. In addition, for mortgage-backed securities, when market conditions result in an increase in the default rates on the underlying mortgages and the foreclosure values of the underlying real estate are below the outstanding amount of the underlying mortgages, collection of the full amount of accrued interest and principal on these investments may be doubtful. For mortgage derivatives and structured securities that have embedded leverage features, small changes in interest or prepayment rates may cause large and sudden price movements. Mortgage derivatives can also become illiquid and hard to value in declining markets.

Asset-backed securities are structured like mortgage-backed securities and are subject to many of the same risks. The ability of an issuer of asset-backed securities to enforce its security interest in the underlying assets or to otherwise recover from the underlying obligor may be limited. Certain asset-backed securities present a heightened level of risk because, in the event of default, the liquidation value of the underlying assets may be inadequate to pay any unpaid principal or interest.

Credit Risk Associated With Investments in Mortgage Whole Loans

The holder of residential and commercial mortgages assumes the risk that the related borrowers may default on their obligations to make full and timely payments of principal and interest. In general, these investments carry greater investment risk than agency MBS/CMBS because the former are not guaranteed as to principal or

 

44


interest by the U.S. Government, any federal agency or any federally chartered corporation. As a result, a mortgage whole loan is directly exposed to losses resulting from default and foreclosure. Therefore, the value of the underlying property, the creditworthiness and financial position of the borrower, and the priority and enforceability of the lien are each of great importance. Whether or not LMPFA, Western Asset or their affiliates have participated in the negotiation of the terms of any such mortgages, there can be no assurance as to the adequacy of the protection of the terms of the loan, including the validity or enforceability of the loan and the maintenance of the anticipated priority and perfection of the applicable security interests. Furthermore, claims may be asserted that might interfere with enforcement of the rights of the Fund. In the event of a foreclosure, the Fund may assume direct ownership of the underlying real estate. The liquidation proceeds upon sale of such real estate may not be sufficient to recover the Fund’s cost basis in the loan, resulting in a loss to the Fund. Any costs or delays involved in the effectuation of a foreclosure of the loan or a liquidation of the underlying property will further reduce the proceeds and thus increase the loss.

Higher-than-expected rates of default and/or higher-than-expected loss severities on these investments could adversely affect the value of these assets. Accordingly, defaults in the payment of principal and/or interest on the Fund’s residential and commercial whole loans would likely result in the Fund incurring losses of income from, and/or losses in market value relating to, these assets, which could materially adversely affect the Fund’s results of operations.

Holders of residential and commercial whole loans are subject to the risk that the related borrowers may default or have defaulted on their obligations to make full and timely payments of principal and interest. A number of factors impact a borrower’s ability to repay including, among other things, changes in employment status, changes in interest rates or the availability of credit, and changes in real estate values. In addition to the credit risk associated with these assets, residential and commercial whole loans are less liquid than certain of the Fund’s other credit sensitive assets, which may make them more difficult to dispose of if the need or desire arises. If actual results are different from the Fund’s assumptions in determining the prices paid to acquire such loans, particularly if the market value of the underlying properties decreases significantly subsequent to purchase, we may incur significant losses, which could materially adversely affect the Fund’s results.

Servicing-Related Risks of Mortgage Whole Loans

To the extent the Fund invests in mortgage whole loans, third-party service providers may be utilized to service and manage the mortgages underlying the Fund’s loan portfolio. The ultimate returns generated by these investments may depend on the quality of the servicer. If a servicer is not vigilant in seeing that borrowers make their required monthly payments, borrowers may be less likely to make these payments, resulting in a higher frequency of default. If a servicer takes longer to liquidate non-performing mortgages, the Fund’s losses related to those loans may be higher than originally anticipated. Any failure by servicers to service these mortgages and/or to competently manage and dispose of properties could negatively impact the value of these investments and the Fund’s financial performance. In addition, while we may have contracted with third-party servicers to carry out the actual servicing of the loans (including all direct interface with the borrowers), for loans that we purchase together with the related servicing rights, we are nevertheless ultimately responsible, vis-à-vis the borrowers and state and federal regulators, for ensuring that the loans are serviced in accordance with the terms of the related notes and mortgages and applicable law and regulation. In light of the current regulatory environment, such exposure could be significant even though we might have contractual claims against the Fund’s servicers for any failure to service the loans to the required standard.

The foreclosure process, especially in judicial foreclosure states such as New York, Florida and New Jersey, can be lengthy and expensive, and the delays and costs involved in completing a foreclosure, and then subsequently liquidating the property through sale, may materially increase any related loss. In addition, at such time as title is taken to a foreclosed property, it may require more extensive rehabilitation than we estimated at acquisition. Thus, a material amount of foreclosed residential mortgage loans, particularly in the states mentioned above, could result in significant losses in the Fund’s residential and commercial whole loan portfolio and could materially adversely affect the Fund’s results of operations.

 

45


Prepayment Risk Associated With Investments in Mortgage Whole Loans

The residential and commercial whole loans we acquire are backed by pools of residential and commercial mortgage loans. We receive payments, generally, from the payments that are made on these underlying residential and commercial mortgage loans. While commercial mortgages frequently include limitations on the ability of the borrower to prepay, Residential and Commercial mortgages generally do not. When borrowers prepay their residential and commercial mortgage loans at rates that are faster than expected, the net result is prepayments that are faster than expected on the residential and commercial whole loans. These faster than expected payments may adversely affect the Fund’s profitability.

The Fund may purchase residential and commercial whole loans that have a higher interest rate than the then prevailing market interest rate. In exchange for this higher interest rate, the Fund may pay a premium to par value to acquire the asset. In accordance with accounting rules, the Fund amortizes this premium over the expected term of the asset based on the Fund’s prepayment assumptions. If the asset is prepaid in whole or in part at a faster than expected rate, however, the Fund must expense all or a part of the remaining unamortized portion of the premium that was paid at the time of the purchase, which will adversely affect the Fund’s profitability.

Prepayment rates generally increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise, but changes in prepayment rates are difficult to predict. House price appreciation, while increasing the value of the collateral underlying the Fund’s residential and commercial whole loans, may increase prepayment rates as borrowers may be able to refinance at more favorable terms. Prepayments can also occur when borrowers default on their residential and commercial mortgages and the mortgages are prepaid from the proceeds of a foreclosure sale of the property (an involuntary prepayment), or when borrowers sell the property and use the sale proceeds to prepay the mortgage as part of a physical relocation. Prepayment rates also may be affected by conditions in the housing and financial markets, increasing defaults on Residential and Commercial mortgage loans, which could lead to an acceleration of the payment of the related principal, general economic conditions and the relative interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages and ARMs. While the Fund seeks to manage prepayment risk, in selecting residential and commercial whole loans investments the Fund must balance prepayment risk against other risks, the potential returns of each investment and the cost of hedging the Fund’s risks. No strategy can completely insulate us from prepayment or other such risks, and the Fund may deliberately retain exposure to prepayment or other risks.

In addition, a decrease in prepayment rates may adversely affect the Fund’s profitability. When borrowers prepay their residential and commercial mortgage loans at slower than expected rates, prepayments on the residential and commercial whole loans may be slower than expected. These slower than expected payments may adversely affect the Fund’s profitability. The Fund may purchase residential and commercial whole loans that have a lower interest rate than the then prevailing market interest rate. In exchange for this lower interest rate, the Fund may pay a discount to par value to acquire the asset. In accordance with accounting rules, the Fund accretes this discount over the expected term of the asset based on the Fund’s prepayment assumptions. If the asset is prepaid at a slower than expected rate, however, the Fund must accrete the remaining portion of the discount at a slower than expected rate. This will extend the expected life of the asset and result in a lower than expected yield on assets purchased at a discount to par.

Geographic Concentration Risk Associated With Residential and Commercial Whole Loans

The Fund’s performance depends on the economic conditions in markets in which the properties securing the mortgage loans underlying the Fund’s investments are concentrated. The Fund’s financial condition, results of operations, the market price of the Fund’s common stock and the Fund’s ability to make distributions to the Fund’s stockholders could be materially and adversely affected by any geographic concentration if market conditions, such as an oversupply of space or a reduction in demand for real estate in an area, deteriorate. Moreover, due to any geographic concentration of properties securing the mortgages underlying the Fund’s investments, the Fund may be disproportionately affected by general risks such as natural disasters, including major wildfires, floods and earthquakes, severe or inclement weather, and acts of terrorism should such developments occur in or near the markets in which such properties are located.

 

46


Other Risks Associated with Mortgage Whole Loans

Mortgage whole loans have risks above and beyond those discussed above. For example, mortgage whole loans are subject to “special hazard” risk (property damage caused by hazards, such as earthquakes or environmental hazards, not covered by standard property insurance policies) and to bankruptcy risk (reduction in a borrower’s mortgage debt by a bankruptcy court). In addition, claims may be assessed against the Fund on account of its position as mortgage holder or property owner, including responsibility for tax payments, environmental hazards and other liabilities.

Credit Risk Associated with Originators and Servicers of Residential and Commercial Mortgage Loans

A number of originators and servicers of residential and commercial mortgage loans, including some of the largest originators and servicers in the residential and commercial mortgage loan market, have experienced serious financial difficulties, including some that are now subject to federal insolvency proceedings. These difficulties have resulted from many factors, including increased competition among originators for borrowers, decreased originations by such originators of mortgage loans and increased delinquencies and defaults on such mortgage loans, as well as from increases in claims for repurchases of mortgage loans previously sold by them under agreements that require repurchase in the event of breaches of representations regarding loan quality and characteristics. Furthermore, the inability of the originator to repurchase such mortgage loans in the event of loan representation breaches or the servicer to repurchase such mortgage loans upon a breach of its servicing obligations also may affect the performance of related non-agency RMBS. Many of these originators and servicers are very highly leveraged. These difficulties may also increase the chances that these entities may default on their warehousing or other credit lines or become insolvent or bankrupt thereby increasing both the likelihood that repurchase obligations will not be fulfilled and the potential for loss to holders of non-agency RMBS and subordinated security holders.

Subprime Mortgage Market Risk

The residential mortgage market in the United States in the recent past experienced difficulties that, should similar conditions occur in the future, may adversely affect the performance and market value of certain mortgages and mortgage-related securities. Delinquencies and losses on residential mortgage loans (especially subprime and second-line mortgage loans) may increase, and a decline in or flattening of housing values may exacerbate such delinquencies and losses. Borrowers with adjustable rate mortgage loans are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, which affect their monthly mortgage payments, and may be unable to secure replacement mortgages at comparably low interest rates. Any significant reduction in investor demand for mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities or increase in investor yield requirements may cause limited liquidity in the secondary market for mortgage-related securities, which could adversely affect the market value of mortgage-related securities. If the economy of the United States were to deteriorate, the incidence of mortgage foreclosures, especially subprime mortgages, could increase, which may adversely affect the value of any MBS owned by the Fund.

Derivatives Risk

Derivatives involve special risks and costs and may result in losses to the Fund, even when used for hedging purposes. Using derivatives can increase losses and reduce opportunities for gains when market prices, interest rates, currencies, or the derivatives themselves behave in a way not anticipated by the Fund, especially in abnormal market conditions. Using derivatives can also have a leveraging effect which may increase investment losses and increase the Fund’s volatility, which is the degree to which the Fund’s share price may fluctuate within a short time period. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. The counterparties to certain derivatives transactions and any custodian present the same types of credit risk as issuers of fixed income securities.

The Fund’s counterparty to a derivative transaction and any custodian may not honor its obligations in respect of the transaction. In certain cases, the Fund may be hindered or delayed in exercising remedies against or closing out derivative instruments with a counterparty, which may result in additional losses.

 

47


Derivatives also tend to involve greater illiquidity risk and they may be difficult to value. The Fund may be unable to terminate or sell its derivative positions. Certain over-the-counter derivatives may not have liquidity except through the counterparty to the instrument. Derivatives are generally subject to the risks applicable to the assets, rates, currencies, indices or other indicators underlying the derivative. The value of a derivative may fluctuate more than the underlying assets, rates, currencies indices or other indicators to which it relates. Use of derivatives or similar instruments may have different tax consequences for the fund than an investment in the underlying asset or index, and those differences may affect the amount, timing and character of income distributed to shareholders. The Fund use of derivatives may also increase the amount of taxes payable by shareholders. The U.S. government and foreign governments are in the process of adopting and implementing regulations governing derivatives markets, including mandatory clearing of certain derivatives, margin, and reporting requirements, among others. The ultimate impact of the regulations remains unclear. Additional regulation of derivatives may make derivatives more costly, limit their availability or utility, otherwise adversely affect their performance or disrupt markets. The Fund may be exposed to additional risks as a result of the additional regulations. The extent and impact of the additional regulations are not yet fully known and may not be for some time.

Investments by the Fund in structured securities, a type of derivative, raise certain tax, legal, regulatory and accounting issues that may not be presented by direct investments in securities. These issues could be resolved in a manner that could hurt the performance of the Fund.

Swap agreements used for hedging purposes may shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, the Fund may enter into interest rate swaps, which involve the exchange of interest payments by the Fund with another party, such as an exchange of floating rate payments for fixed interest rate payments with respect to a notional amount of principal. If an interest rate swap intended to be used as a hedge negates a favorable interest rate movement, the investment performance of the Fund would be less than what it would have been if the Fund had not entered into the interest rate swap.

Swap agreements involve heightened risks and may result in losses to the Fund. Swaps may be illiquid and difficult to value, and may increase the aggregate market and credit risk to the Fund. If the Fund buys a credit default swap, it will be subject to the risk that the credit default swap may expire worthless, as the credit default swap would only generate income in the event of a default on the underlying asset or other specified credit event. As a buyer, the Fund would also be subject to counterparty credit risk relating to the seller’s payment of its obligations in the event of a default (or similar event). If the Fund sells a credit default swap, it will be exposed to the credit risk of the issuer of the obligation to which the credit default swap relates, the credit risk of its swap counterparty, and in certain circumstances, the credit risk of the custodian of swap collateral. Because many derivatives have a leverage component (i.e., a notional value in excess of the assets needed to establish or maintain the derivative position), adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, rate, or index may result in a loss substantially greater than the amount required to establish the derivative position. The Fund would also be subject to the risk of loss on any securities segregated to cover the fund’s expenses under the swap.

The absence of a central exchange or market for over-the-counter derivative transactions may lead, in some instances, to difficulties in trading and valuation, especially in the event of market disruptions. Recent legislation and related regulations require certain derivatives to be executed through a centralized exchange or regulated facility and be cleared through a regulated clearinghouse, among other things. Although such requirements are intended to enhance liquidity and to reduce counterparty credit risk, such requirements disrupt or limit the derivatives market and may not result in derivatives being easier to trade or value. As derivatives become more standardized, the Fund may not be able to enter into derivative transactions that meet its investment needs. The Fund also may not be able to find a clearing broker and clearing organization willing to accept a derivative transaction for clearing.

In the context of a cleared derivative transaction, a clearing broker will act as intermediary on behalf of the Fund, and a clearing organization will be the counterparty to the transaction. The Fund will assume the risk that the clearing broker or clearing organization may fail to perform its obligations.

 

48


The Fund will be required to maintain its positions with a clearing organization through one or more clearing brokers. The clearing organization will require the Fund to post margin and the clearing broker may require the Fund to post additional margin to secure the Fund’s obligations or to satisfy the settlement obligations of the Fund in respect of its cleared derivatives transactions. The amount of margin required may change from time to time. In addition, cleared transactions may be more expensive to establish or maintain than uncleared transactions and may require the Fund to deposit larger amounts of margin. The Fund may not be able to recover margin amounts if the clearing broker or clearing organization has financial difficulties. In addition, the clearing broker may require the Fund to terminate a derivatives position under certain circumstances. This may cause the Fund to incur losses.

Futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that obligate a purchaser to take delivery, and a seller to make delivery, of a specific amount of an asset at a specified future date at a specified price. Risks associated with the use of futures contracts include: (a) the imperfect correlation between the change in market value of the instruments held by the fund and the price of the futures contract; (b) the possible lack of a liquid secondary market for a futures contract and the resulting inability to close a futures contract when desired; (c) the inability to replace an expiring futures contract with an equivalent futures contract that has a later expiration at the desired time and price; (d) losses caused by unanticipated market movements, which are potentially unlimited; (e) Western Asset’s inability to predict correctly the direction of asset prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates, the levels of indices or other indicators and other economic factors; and (f) the possibility that the counterparty will default in the performance of its obligations.

An option is an agreement that, for a premium payment or fee, gives the option holder (the purchaser) the right but not the obligation to buy (a “call option”) or sell (a “put option”) a specified amount or value of a particular underlying asset or interest at a specified price (the “exercise price”) during a specified period of time or on a specified date. The Fund may write a call or put option where it (i) owns or is short the underlying security in the case of a call or put option, respectively (sometimes referred to as a “covered option”), or (ii) does not own or is not short such security (sometimes referred to as an “uncovered” or “naked” option). When the Fund purchases an option, it may lose the total premium paid for it if the price of the underlying asset or interest decreased, remained the same or failed to increase to a level at or beyond the exercise price (in the case of a call option) or increased, remained the same or failed to decrease to a level at or below the exercise price (in the case of a put option). If a put or call option purchased by the Fund were to expire without being sold or exercised, its premium would represent a loss to the Fund. To the extent that the Fund writes or sells an option, in particular a naked option, if the decline or increase in the underlying asset is significantly below or above the exercise price of the written option, the Fund could experience a substantial loss. For the writer of a naked or uncovered call option, the potential loss is unlimited.

Risks associated with the use of derivatives may be magnified to the extent that an increased portion of the Fund’s assets is committed to derivatives in general or is invested in just one or a few types of derivatives.

The SEC has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a VaR test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may also increase the cost of the Fund’s investments in derivatives reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, which could adversely affect the value of your investment.

 

49


Leverage Risk

The Fund’s use of leverage will magnify investment, market and certain other risks. Leverage involves risks and special considerations for holders of the Common Shares including: the likelihood of greater volatility of net asset value and market price of the Common Shares than a comparable portfolio without leverage; the risk that fluctuations in interest rates on borrowings and short-term debt or in the dividend rates on any Preferred Shares that the Fund may pay will reduce the return to Common Shareholders or will result in fluctuations in the dividends paid on the Common Shares; the effect of leverage in a declining market, which is likely to cause a greater decline in the net asset value of the Common Shares than if the Fund were not leveraged, which may result in a greater decline in the market price of the Common Shares; and when the Fund uses leverage, the investment advisory fee payable by the Fund to LMPFA (and by LMPFA to Western Asset) will be higher than if the Fund did not use leverage.

The use of borrowing, reverse repurchase agreements and derivatives, as well as the issuance of Preferred Shares, creates leverage (i.e., a fund’s investment exposures exceed its net asset value). Leverage increases a fund’s losses when the value of its investments (including derivatives) declines. Because many derivatives have a leverage component (i.e., a notional value in excess of the assets needed to establish or maintain the derivative position), adverse changes in the value or level of the asset, rate, index or other indicator underlying the derivative may result in a loss substantially greater than the amount required to establish the derivative position. Some derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the amount required to establish the derivative position. Certain derivative positions of the Fund may hedge or offset Fund exposure under other derivative positions or assets. To the extent offsetting positions do not hedge one another as expected, the Fund may incur losses. The Fund may purchase securities or other assets on margin or sell securities or other assets short, each of which creates a leveraged position. If the value of such positions or the value of assets pledged to secure the Fund’s obligations in connection with such positions decreases, the Fund may be required to provide additional assets as collateral or to liquidate such positions or other assets of the Fund.

Illiquidity Risk

Illiquidity risk exists when particular investments are impossible or difficult to sell and some assets that the Fund wants to invest in may be impossible or difficult to purchase. Markets may become illiquid when, for instance, there are few, if any, interested buyers or sellers or when dealers are unwilling or unable to make a market for certain assets. As a general matter, dealers recently have been less willing to make markets for fixed income securities. Recent federal banking regulations may also cause certain dealers to reduce their inventories of certain securities, which may further decrease the ability to buy or sell such securities. When the Fund holds illiquid investments, the portfolio may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments for cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. The liquidity of certain assets, particularly of privately-issued and non-investment grade mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities, may be difficult to ascertain and may change over time. Transactions in less liquid or illiquid securities may entail transaction costs that are higher than those for transactions in liquid securities. Further, such securities, once sold, may not settle for an extended period (for example, several weeks or even longer). The Fund will not receive its sales proceeds until that time, which may constrain the Fund’s ability to meet its obligations.

Foreign Investment and Emerging Markets Risk

The Fund’s investments in securities of foreign issuers or issuers with significant exposure to foreign markets involve additional risk as compared to investment in U.S. securities or issuers with predominantly domestic exposure, such as less liquid, less regulated, less transparent and more volatile markets. The markets for some foreign securities are relatively new, and the rules and policies relating to these markets are not fully developed and may change. The value of the Fund’s investments may decline because of factors affecting the particular issuer as well as foreign markets and issuers generally, such as unfavorable or unsuccessful government actions, tariffs and tax disputes, reduction of government or central bank support, inadequate accounting standards, lack of information and political, economic, financial or social instability. Foreign investments may also be adversely affected by U.S. government or international economic sanctions, which

 

50


could eliminate the value of an investment. To the extent the Fund focuses its investments in a single country or only a few countries in a particular geographic region, economic, political, regulatory or other conditions affecting such country or region may have a greater impact on Fund performance relative to a more geographically diversified fund.

The value of the Fund’s foreign investments may also be affected by foreign tax laws, special U.S. tax considerations and restrictions on receiving the investment proceeds from a foreign country. Dividends or interest on, or proceeds from the sale or disposition of, foreign securities may be subject to non-U.S. withholding or other taxes.

It may be difficult for the Fund to pursue claims against a foreign issuer or other parties in the courts of a foreign country. Some securities issued by non-U.S. governments or their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities may not be backed by the full faith and credit of such governments. Even where a security is backed by the full faith and credit of a government, it may be difficult for the Fund to pursue its rights against the government. In the past, some non-U.S. governments have defaulted on principal and interest payments. In certain foreign markets, settlement and clearance procedures may result in delays in payment for or delivery of securities not typically associated with settlement and clearance of U.S. investments.

If the Fund buys securities or makes other investments denominated in a foreign currency, receives income in foreign currencies, or holds foreign currencies from time to time, the value of the Fund’s assets, as measured in U.S. dollars, can be affected unfavorably by changes in exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar or other foreign currencies. Currency exchange rates can be volatile, and are affected by factors such as general economic conditions, the actions of the U.S. and foreign governments or central banks, the imposition of currency controls and speculation.

In certain foreign markets, settlement and clearance of trades may experience delays in payment for or delivery of securities not typically associated with settlement and clearance of U.S. investments. Settlement of trades in these markets can take longer than in other markets and the Fund may not receive its proceeds from the sale of certain securities for an extended period (possibly several weeks or even longer) due to, among other factors, low trading volumes and volatile prices. The custody or holding of securities, cash and other assets by local banks, agents and depositories in securities markets outside the United States may entail additional risks. Governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets, and thus may be subject to limited or no government oversight. In extreme cases, the Fund’s securities may be misappropriated or the Fund may be unable to sell its securities. In general, the less developed a country’s securities market is, the greater the likelihood of custody problems.

The risks of foreign investments are heightened when investing in issuers in emerging market countries. Emerging market countries tend to have economic, political and legal systems that are less developed and are less stable than those of more developed countries. They are often particularly sensitive to market movements because their market prices tend to reflect speculative expectations. Low trading volumes may result in a lack of liquidity and in extreme price volatility. Investors should expect to need to be able to tolerate sudden, sometimes substantial, fluctuations in the value of investments in emerging markets. Emerging market countries may have policies that restrict investment by foreigners or that prevent foreign investors from withdrawing their money at will.

Foreign Custody and Settlement Risk

Foreign custody risk refers to the risks inherent in the process of clearing and settling trades and to the holding of securities, cash and other assets by local banks, agents and depositories in securities markets outside the United States. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets, and thus may be subject to limited or no government oversight. In an extreme case, the Fund’s securities may be misappropriated or the Fund may be unable to sell its securities. In general, the less

 

51


developed a country’s securities market is, the greater the likelihood of custody problems. Settlement of trades in these markets can take longer than in other markets and the Fund may not receive its proceeds from the sale of certain securities for an extended period (possibly several weeks or even longer).

Foreign Currency Risk

The value of investments denominated in foreign currencies increases or decreases as the rates of exchange between those currencies and the U.S. dollar change. Currency conversion costs and currency fluctuations could erase investment gains or add to investment losses. Currency exchange rates can be volatile, and are affected by factors such as general economic conditions, the actions of the U.S. and foreign governments or central banks, the imposition of currency controls and speculation. The fund may be unable or may choose not to hedge its foreign currency exposure.

London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) Risk

The Fund’s investments, payment obligations, and financing terms may be based on floating rates, such as the LIBOR, which is the offered rate for short-term Eurodollar deposits between major international banks. Plans are underway to phase out the use of LIBOR by the end of 2021. There remains uncertainty regarding the nature of any replacement rate and the impact of the transition from LIBOR on the Fund’s transactions and the financial markets generally. As such, the potential effect of a transition away from LIBOR on the Fund or the Fund’s investments cannot yet be determined.

Risk of Increases in Expenses

Your actual costs of investing in the Fund may be higher than the expenses shown in the Summary of Fund Expenses. For example, expenses may be higher if the Fund’s average net assets decrease. Net assets are more likely to decrease and Fund expense ratios are more likely to increase when markets are volatile.

Prepayment or Call Risk

Many fixed income securities give the issuer the option to repay or call the security prior to its maturity date. Issuers often exercise this right when interest rates fall. Accordingly, if the Fund holds a fixed income security subject to prepayment or call risk, it will not benefit fully from the increase in value that other fixed income securities generally experience when interest rates fall. Upon prepayment of the security, the Fund would also be forced to reinvest the proceeds at then current yields, which would be lower than the yield of the security that was paid off. In addition, if the Fund purchases a fixed income security at a premium (at a price that exceeds its stated par or principal value), the Fund may lose the amount of the premium paid in the event of prepayment.

Extension Risk

When interest rates rise, repayments of fixed income securities, particularly asset- and mortgage- backed securities, may occur more slowly than anticipated, extending the effective duration of these fixed income securities at below market interest rates and causing their market prices to decline more than they would have declined due to the rise in interest rates alone. This may cause the Fund’s share price to be more volatile.

Risk of Investing in Related or Fewer Issuers or Counterparties

To the extent the Fund invests its assets in a small number of issuers, or trades with a small number of counterparties, or in issuers or counterparties in related businesses or that are subject to related operating risks, the Fund will be more susceptible to negative events affecting those issuers or counterparties.

Valuation Risk

Many factors may influence the price at which the Fund could sell any particular portfolio investment. The sales price may well differ—higher or lower—from the Fund’s last valuation, and such differences could be significant, particularly for illiquid assets and assets that trade in relatively thin markets and/or markets that experience extreme volatility. If market conditions make it difficult to value some investments, the Fund may value these investments using more subjective methods, such as fair value methodologies. The value of non-U.S. securities or other investments, certain fixed income securities and currencies, as applicable, may be materially

 

52


affected by events after the close of the markets in which they are traded, but before the Fund determines its net asset value. The Fund’s ability to value its investments may also be impacted by technological issues and/or errors by pricing services or other third party service providers. The valuation of the Fund’s investments involves subjective judgment.

Issuer Risk

The value of fixed income securities may decline for a number of reasons that directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage and reduced demand for the issuer’s goods and services.

Reinvestment Risk

Reinvestment risk is the risk that income from the Fund’s portfolio will decline if and when the Fund invests the proceeds from matured, traded or called bonds at market interest rates that are below the portfolio’s current earnings rate. A decline in income could affect the market price of Common Stock or your overall returns.

Market Events Risk

The market values of securities or other assets will fluctuate, sometimes sharply and unpredictably, due to changes in general market conditions, overall economic trends or events, governmental actions or intervention, actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve or foreign central banks, market disruptions caused by trade disputes or other factors, political developments, investor sentiment, the global and domestic effects of a pandemic, and other factors that may or may not be related to the issuer of the security or other asset. Economies and financial markets throughout the world are increasingly interconnected. Economic, financial or political events, trading and tariff arrangements, public health events, terrorism, natural disasters and other circumstances in one country or region could have profound impacts on global economies or markets. As a result, whether or not the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in or with significant exposure to the countries directly affected, the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments may be negatively affected.

The rapid and global spread of a highly contagious novel coronavirus respiratory disease, designated COVID-19, first detected in China in December 2019, has resulted in extreme volatility in the financial markets and severe losses; reduced liquidity of many instruments; restrictions on international and, in some cases, local travel, significant disruptions to business operations(including business closures); strained healthcare systems; disruptions to supply chains, consumer demand and employee availability; and widespread uncertainty regarding the duration and long-term effects of this pandemic. Some sectors of the economy and individual issuers have experienced particularly large losses. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may result in a sustained economic downturn or a global recession, domestic and foreign political and social instability, damage to diplomatic and international trade relations and increased volatility and/or decreased liquidity in the securities markets. The ultimate economic fallout from the pandemic, and the long-term impact on economies, markets, industries and individual issuers, are not known. Certain risks, such as interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk and counterparty risk, may be heightened as a result of such market events. The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve, as well as certain foreign governments and central banks, are taking extraordinary actions to support local and global economies and the financial markets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by pushing interest rates to very low levels. This and other government intervention into the economy and financial markets to address the COVID-19 pandemic may not work as intended, particularly if the efforts are perceived by investors as being unlikely to achieve the desired results. The COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect the value and liquidity of the fund’s investments and negatively impact the fund’s performance. In addition, the outbreak of COVID-19, and measures taken to mitigate its effects, could result in disruptions to the services provided to the fund by its service providers.

Cash Management and Defensive Investing Risk

The value of the investments held by the Fund for cash management or defensive investing purposes can fluctuate. Like other fixed income securities, they are subject to risk, including market, interest rate and credit risk. If the Fund holds cash uninvested, the cash will be subject to the credit risk of the depository institution holding the cash and the Fund will not earn income on the cash. If a significant amount of the Fund’s assets is

 

53


used for cash management or defensive investing purposes, the Fund will be less likely to achieve its investment objective. Defensive investing may not work as intended and the value of an investment in the Fund may still decline.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls Risk

Mortgage dollar rolls are transactions in which the Fund sells mortgage-backed securities to a dealer and simultaneously agrees to repurchase similar securities in the future at a predetermined price. The Fund’s mortgage dollar rolls could lose money if the price of the mortgage-backed securities sold falls below the agreed upon repurchase price, or if the counterparty is unable to honor the agreement. If the counterparty files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to repurchase securities may be limited. Mortgage dollar roll transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund, making the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile, requiring the Fund to liquidate portfolio securities when it may not be advantageous to do so and magnifying any change in the Fund’s net asset value.

Investment in Loans Risk

Investments in loans are generally subject to the same risks as investments in other types of debt obligations, including, among others, credit risk, interest rate risk, prepayment risk, and extension risk. In addition, in many cases loans are subject to the risks associated with below-investment grade securities. This means loans are often subject to significant credit risks, including a greater possibility that the borrower will be adversely affected by changes in market or economic conditions and may default or enter bankruptcy. This risk of default will increase in the event of an economic downturn or a substantial increase in interest rates (which will increase the cost of the borrower’s debt service). Transactions in loans may settle on a delayed basis. As a result, the proceeds from the sale of a loan may not be available to make additional investments. The Fund considers “junior loans” to be loans that have a junior position in an issuer’s capital structure. Because junior loans are unsecured and subordinated and thus lower in priority of payment to senior loans, they are subject to the additional risk that the cash flow of the borrower and property securing the loan or debt, if any, may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments after giving effect to the senior secured obligations of the borrower. There are no limitations on the Fund’s investments in junior loans. This risk is generally higher for subordinated unsecured loans or debt, which are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral. Junior loans generally have greater price volatility than senior loans and may have lower liquidity as compared to senior loans. In addition, investments in loans may be difficult to value and may be illiquid. The secondary market for loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods, which may increase the expenses of the Fund or cause the Fund to be unable to realize the full value of its investment in the loan, resulting in a material decline in the Fund net asset value. Opportunities to invest in loans or certain types of loans, such as senior loans, may be limited. The limited availability of loans may be due to a number of reasons, including that direct lenders may allocate only a small number of loans to new investors, including the Fund. There also may be fewer loans made or available, particularly during economic downturns. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in junior loans, which would create greater credit risk exposure for the holders of such loans. Bank loans may not be considered securities and therefore, the Fund may not have the protections afforded by U.S. federal securities laws with respect to such investments.

CLOs Risk

CLOs issue securities in tranches with different payment characteristics and different credit ratings. The rated tranches of securities issued by CLOs are generally assigned credit ratings by one or more nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. The subordinated (or residual) tranches do not receive ratings. Below investment grade tranches of CLO securities typically experience a lower recovery, greater risk of loss or deferral or non-payment of interest than more senior tranches of the CLO.

The riskiest portion of the capital structure of a CLO is the subordinated (or residual) tranche, which bears the bulk of defaults from the loans in the CLO and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CLO typically has higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying securities, and can be rated investment

 

54


grade. Despite the protection from the subordinated tranche, CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults and aversion to CLO securities as a class. The risks of an investment in a CLO depend largely on the collateral and the tranche of the CLO in which the Fund invests.

The CLOs in which the Fund invests may have issued and sold debt tranches that will rank senior to the tranches in which the Fund invests. By their terms, such more senior tranches may entitle the holders to receive payment of interest or principal on or before the dates on which the Fund is entitled to receive payments with respect to the tranches in which the Fund invests. Also, in the event of insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of a CLO, holders of more senior tranches would typically be entitled to receive payment in full before the Fund receives any distribution. After repaying such senior creditors, such CLO may not have any remaining assets to use for repaying its obligation to the Fund. In the case of tranches ranking equally with the tranches in which the Fund invests, the Fund would have to share on an equal basis any distributions with other creditors holding such securities in the event of an insolvency, liquidation, dissolution, reorganization or bankruptcy of the relevant CLO. Therefore, the Fund may not receive back the full amount of its investment in a CLO.

The transaction documents relating to the issuance of CLO securities may impose eligibility criteria on the assets of the CLO, restrict the ability of the CLO’s investment manager to trade investments and impose certain portfolio-wide asset quality requirements. These criteria, restrictions and requirements may limit the ability of the CLO’s investment manager to maximize returns on the CLO securities. In addition, other parties involved in CLOs, such as third-party credit enhancers and investors in the rated tranches, may impose requirements that have an adverse effect on the returns of the various tranches of CLO securities. Furthermore, CLO securities issuance transaction documents generally contain provisions that, in the event that certain tests are not met (generally interest coverage and over-collateralization tests at varying levels in the capital structure), proceeds that would otherwise be distributed to holders of a junior tranche must be diverted to pay down the senior tranches until such tests are satisfied. Failure (or increased likelihood of failure) of a CLO to make timely payments on a particular tranche will have an adverse effect on the liquidity and market value of such tranche.

Payments to holders of CLO securities may be subject to deferral. If cash flows generated by the underlying assets are insufficient to make all current and, if applicable, deferred payments on CLO securities, no other assets will be available for payment of the deficiency and, following realization of the underlying assets, the obligations of the borrower of the related CLO securities to pay such deficiency will be extinguished.

The market value of CLO securities may be affected by, among other things, changes in the market value of the underlying assets held by the CLO, changes in the distributions on the underlying assets, defaults and recoveries on the underlying assets, capital gains and losses on the underlying assets, prepayments on underlying assets and the availability, prices and interest rate of underlying assets. Furthermore, the leveraged nature of each subordinated class may magnify the adverse impact on such class of changes in the value of the assets, changes in the distributions on the assets, defaults and recoveries on the assets, capital gains and losses on the assets, prepayment on assets and availability, price and interest rates of assets. Finally, CLO securities are limited recourse and may not be paid in full and may be subject to up to 100% loss.

Covenant Lite Loans Risk

Covenant lite loans contain fewer maintenance covenants, or no maintenance covenants at all, than traditional loans and may not include terms that allow the lender to monitor the financial performance of the borrower and declare a default if certain criteria are breached. This may expose the Fund to greater credit risk associated with the borrower and reduce the Fund’s ability to restructure a problematic loan and mitigate potential loss. As a result, the Fund’s exposure to losses on such investments may be increased, especially during a downturn in the credit cycle.

Investment in Other Investment Companies Risk

If the Fund acquires shares of investment companies, including ones affiliated with the fund, shareholders bear both their proportionate share of expenses in the Fund (including management and advisory fees) and, indirectly, the expenses of the investment companies (to the extent not offset by LMPFA or its affiliates through waivers).

 

55


Operational Risk

Your ability to transact with the Fund or the valuation of your investment may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third party service providers or trading counterparties. It is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

Cybersecurity Risk

Cybersecurity incidents, both intentional and unintentional, may allow an unauthorized party to gain access to Fund assets, Fund or customer data (including private shareholder information), or proprietary information, cause the Fund, LMPFA, Western Asset and/or their service providers (including, but not limited to, Fund accountants, custodians, sub-custodians, transfer agents and financial intermediaries) to suffer data breaches, data corruption or loss of operational functionality or prevent Fund investors from receiving distributions. The Fund, LMPFA and Western Asset have limited ability to prevent or mitigate cybersecurity incidents affecting third party service providers, and such third party service providers may have limited indemnification obligations to the Fund or LMPFA. Cybersecurity incidents may result in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders, and substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any future cybersecurity incidents. Issuers of securities in which the Fund invests are also subject to cybersecurity risks, and the value of these securities could decline if the issuers experience cybersecurity incidents.

Distressed Investments Risk

Distressed investments are not publicly traded and may involve a substantial degree of risk. In certain periods, there may be little or no liquidity in the markets for these securities or instruments. In addition, the prices of such securities or instruments may be subject to periods of abrupt and erratic market movements and above-average price volatility. It may be more difficult to value such securities and the spread between the bid and asked prices of such securities may be greater than normally expected. If Western Asset’s evaluation of the risks and anticipated outcome of an investment in a distressed security should prove incorrect, the Fund may lose a substantial portion or all of its investment.

Repurchase Agreements Risk

Subject to its investment objective and policies, the Fund may invest in repurchase agreements for leverage or investment purposes. Repurchase agreements typically involve the acquisition by the Fund of debt securities from a selling financial institution such as a bank, savings and loan association or broker-dealer. The agreement provides that the Fund will sell the securities back to the institution at a fixed time in the future. The Fund does not bear the risk of a decline in the value of the underlying security unless the seller defaults under its repurchase obligation. In the event of the bankruptcy or other default of a seller of a repurchase agreement, the Fund could experience both delays in liquidating the underlying securities and losses, including (1) possible decline in the value of the underlying security during the period in which the Fund seeks to enforce its rights thereto; (2) possible lack of access to income on the underlying security during this period; and (3) expenses of enforcing its rights. While repurchase agreements involve certain risks not associated with direct investments in debt securities, the Fund follows procedures approved by the Fund’s Board of Trustees that are designed to minimize such risks. These procedures include effecting repurchase transactions only with large, well-capitalized and well-established financial institutions whose financial condition will be continually monitored by Western Asset. In addition, as described above, the value of the collateral underlying the repurchase agreement will be at least equal to the repurchase price, including any accrued interest earned on the repurchase agreement. In the event of a default or bankruptcy by a selling financial institution, the Fund generally will seek to liquidate such collateral. However, the exercise of the Fund’s right to liquidate such collateral could involve certain costs or delays and, to the extent that proceeds from any sale upon a default of the obligation to repurchase were less than the repurchase price, the Fund could suffer a loss.

 

56


Reverse Repurchase Agreements Risk

The Fund’s use of reverse repurchase agreements involves many of the same risks involved in the Fund’s use of leverage, as the proceeds from reverse repurchase agreements generally will be invested in additional securities. There is a risk that the market value of the securities acquired in the reverse repurchase agreement may decline below the price of the securities that the Fund has sold but remains obligated to repurchase. In addition, there is a risk that the market value of the securities retained by the Fund may decline. If the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement were to file for bankruptcy or experience insolvency, the Fund may be adversely affected. Also, in entering into reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund would bear the risk of loss to the extent that the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement are less than the value of the underlying securities. In addition, due to the interest costs associated with reverse repurchase agreements transactions, the Fund’s net asset value will decline, and, in some cases, the Fund may be worse off than if it had not used such instruments.

Government Intervention in Financial Markets Risk

United States federal and state governments and foreign governments, their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations may take actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity. U.S. federal and state governments and foreign governments, their regulatory agencies or self-regulatory organizations may take additional actions that affect the regulation of the securities in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such securities, in ways that are unforeseeable Issuers of corporate fixed income securities might seek protection under the bankruptcy laws. Legislation or regulation may also change the way in which the Fund itself is regulated. Such legislation or regulation could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. Western Asset monitors developments and seeks to manage the Fund’s portfolio in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objectives, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful in doing so.

Risks Related to Fund Distributions

Distributions paid by the Fund to its Common Shareholders are derived from the interest income and additional total return from the Fund’s investments. The total return generated by the Fund’s investments can vary widely over the short term and long term. The Fund may make in-kind distributions of Common Stock in order to satisfy applicable requirements of tax law. See “Risks—Tax Risks—Cash/Stock Dividend Risks.”

Tax Risks

To qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment generally accorded to regulated investment companies, among other things, the Fund must derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from certain prescribed sources and satisfy certain distribution and asset diversification requirements. 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 regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions would be taxable as ordinary dividends to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits.

Risk of Taxable Income in Excess of Economic Income. The Fund expects to acquire debt instruments in the secondary market for less than their stated redemption price at maturity. The discount at which such debt instruments are acquired may reflect doubts about their ultimate collectability rather than current market interest rates. The amount of such discount will nevertheless generally be treated as “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Market discount on a debt instrument accrues ratably on a daily basis, unless an election is made to accrue market discount on the basis of the constant yield to maturity of the debt instrument, based generally on the assumption that all future payments on the debt instrument will be made. Absent an election to accrue currently, accrued market discount is reported as income when, and to the extent that, any payment of principal of the debt instrument is made. Payments on residential mortgage loans are ordinarily made monthly, and include both principal and interest, and consequently accrued market discount may have to be included in income each month as if the debt instrument were assured of ultimately being collected in full.

 

57


Similarly, debt instruments that the Fund purchases may have been issued with original issue discount (“OID”), which discount might reflect doubt as to whether the entire principal amount of such debt instruments will ultimately prove to be collectible. The Fund will be required to report such OID based on a constant yield method and income will be accrued and be currently taxable based on the assumption that all future projected payments due on such debt instruments will be made.

Finally, in the event that any debt instruments acquired by the Fund are delinquent as to mandatory principal and interest payments, or in the event payments with respect to a particular debt instrument are not made when due, the Fund may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income as it accrues, despite doubt as to its ultimate collectability.

Status as Regulated Investment Company. As described under the heading “Certain United States Federal Income Tax Considerations,” the Fund must satisfy, among other requirements, an asset diversification test in order to qualify as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code. Under that test, the Fund must diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of each taxable year, (i) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other regulated investment companies and other securities, with such other securities of any one issuer limited for the purposes of this calculation to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (ii) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other regulated investment companies) of a single issuer, or two or more issuers that the Fund controls and are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships.

If the Fund fails to satisfy as of the close of any quarter the asset diversification test referred to in the preceding paragraph, it will have 30 days to cure the failure by, for example, selling securities that are the source of the violation. Other cure provisions are available in the Code for a failure to satisfy the asset diversification test, but any such cure provision may involve the payment of a penalty excise tax. If the Fund fails to cure an asset diversification violation, it may lose its status as a regulated investment company under the Code. In that case, all of its taxable income would be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders. In addition, all distributions (including distributions of net capital gain) would be taxed to the Fund’s Common Shareholders as ordinary dividend income to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Accordingly, disqualification as a regulated investment company could have a material adverse effect on the value of the Fund’s Common Shares and the amount of Fund distributions.

Risks Associated with the Fund’s Ability To Satisfy Regulated Investment Company Distribution Requirements. The Fund generally must distribute annually at least 90% of its taxable income, excluding any net capital gain, in order to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To the extent that the Fund satisfies this distribution requirement, but distributes less than 100% of its taxable income and net capital gain, the Fund will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on the Fund’s undistributed taxable income. In addition, the Fund will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax if the actual amount that the Fund distributes to its shareholders in a calendar year is less than a minimum amount specified under U.S. federal income tax laws. The Fund intends to make distributions to its shareholders to comply with the requirements of the Code and to avoid paying U.S. federal income taxes and, if practicable, excise taxes, on undistributed taxable income.

However, due to each of these potential timing differences between income recognition or expense deduction and cash receipts or disbursements, there is a significant risk that the Fund may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. To satisfy its distribution requirements, the Fund may sell securities that it would not otherwise desire to sell, borrow on unfavorable terms or distribute amounts that would otherwise be invested in future acquisitions, capital expenditures or repayment of debt. In addition, the Fund may make distributions in its Common Shares to satisfy the distribution requirements necessary to maintain the Fund’s status as a regulated investment company for U.S. federal income tax purposes and to avoid U.S. federal income and excise taxes, but no assurances can be given in this regard.

 

58


Despite undertaking the efforts mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Fund may not be able to distribute the amounts necessary to satisfy the distribution requirements necessary to maintain its regulated investment company status for U.S. federal income taxes and to avoid U.S. federal income and excise taxes. If the Fund were unable to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement or otherwise were to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company in any year, material adverse tax consequences would result to investors. The Fund would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation and distributions to the Fund’s Common Shareholders would not be deductible by the Fund in computing its taxable income. In addition, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay taxes and make distributions (which could be subject to interest charges) before requalifying for taxation as a regulated investment company.

Cash/Stock Dividend Risks. The Fund may distribute taxable dividends that are payable in cash and Common Shares at the election of each Common Shareholder. Under Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Revenue Procedure 2017-45, up to 80% of any such taxable dividend could be payable in the Fund’s Common Shares with the 20 % or greater balance paid in cash. Common Shareholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend as taxable income to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits for federal income tax purposes. As a result, Common Shareholders may be required to pay federal income taxes with respect to such dividends in excess of the cash dividends received. If a Common Shareholder sells the Common Shares that it receives as a dividend in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of the Fund’s Common Shares at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to non-U.S. Common Shareholders, the Fund may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend that is payable in Common Shares. In addition, if a significant number of the Fund’s Common Shareholders determine to sell shares of the Fund’s Common Shares in order to pay taxes owed on dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of the Fund’s Common Shares. It is unclear whether and to what extent the Fund will be able to pay taxable dividends in cash and Common Shares (whether pursuant to Revenue Procedure 2017-45 or otherwise).

Legal and Regulatory Risk

Legal, tax and regulatory changes could occur and may adversely affect the Fund and its ability to pursue its investment strategies and/or increase the costs of implementing such strategies. New (or revised) laws or regulations may be imposed by the CFTC, the SEC, the U.S. Federal Reserve or other banking regulators, other governmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations that supervise the financial markets that could adversely affect the Fund. In particular, these agencies are empowered to promulgate a variety of new rules pursuant to recently enacted financial reform legislation in the United States. The Fund also may be adversely affected by changes in the enforcement or interpretation of existing statutes and rules by these governmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations.

In addition, the securities and derivatives markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations and margin requirements. The CFTC, the SEC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, other regulators and self-regulatory organizations and exchanges are authorized under these statutes, regulations and otherwise to take extraordinary actions in the event of market emergencies. The Fund and the Investment Manager have historically been eligible for exemptions from certain regulations. However, there is no assurance that the Fund and LMPFA will continue to be eligible for such exemptions.

The U.S. Government enacted legislation that provides for new regulation of the derivatives markets, including clearing, margin, reporting, recordkeeping, and registration requirements, among others. Although the SEC and CFTC have released final rules relating to clearing, reporting, recordkeeping and registration requirements under the legislation, certain of the provisions are subject to further final rule making, and thus its ultimate impact remains unclear. New regulations could, among other things, restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in derivatives transactions (for example, by making certain types of derivatives transactions no longer available to the Fund) and/or increase the costs of such derivatives transactions (for example, by increasing margin or capital requirements), and the Fund may be unable to execute its investment strategies as a result. The ultimate impact of the regulations remains unclear. Additional regulation of derivatives may make derivatives more costly, limit their availability or utility, otherwise adversely affect their performance or disrupt markets.

 

59


The CFTC and certain futures exchanges have established limits, referred to as “position limits,” on the maximum net long or net short positions which any person may hold or control in particular derivatives contracts; those position limits may also apply to certain other derivatives positions the Fund may wish to take. All positions owned or controlled by the same person or entity, even if in different accounts, may be aggregated for purposes of determining whether the applicable position limits have been exceeded. Thus, even if the Fund does not intend to exceed applicable position limits, it is possible that different clients managed by the Investment Manager and its affiliates may be aggregated for this purpose. Therefore it is possible that the trading decisions of the Investment Manager may have to be modified and that positions held by the Fund may have to be liquidated in order to avoid exceeding such limits. The modification of investment decisions or the elimination of open positions, if it occurs, may adversely affect the performance of the Fund. In addition, applicable position limits may affect the hedging and investment activities of participants in derivatives markets and in the markets for the assets underlying such derivatives contracts, which could reduce the liquidity and adversely affect the pricing of derivatives contracts impacted by such position limits, thereby adversely affecting the performance of the Fund.

The SEC has in the past adopted interim rules requiring reporting of all short positions above a certain de minimis threshold and may adopt or amend rules requiring public disclosure in the future. In addition, other non-U.S. jurisdictions where the Fund may trade have adopted reporting requirements. To the extent that the Fund takes a short position, if such short position or strategy become generally known, it could have a significant effect on the Fund’s ability to implement its investment strategy. In particular, public disclosure may increase the likelihood that other investors could cause a “short squeeze” in the securities held short by the Fund forcing the Fund to cover its positions at a loss. Such disclosure and reporting requirements also may limit the Investment Manager’s ability to access management and other personnel at certain companies where the Fund seeks to take a short position. In addition, if other investors establish short positions in the same issuers as the Fund, the cost to the Fund of borrowing securities to sell short could increase drastically and the availability of such securities to the Fund could decrease drastically. Such events could make the Fund unable to execute its investment strategy. In addition, the SEC and other regulatory and self-regulatory authorities have implemented various rules and may adopt additional rules in the future that may impact those engaging in short selling activity. If additional rules were adopted regarding short sales, they could restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in short sales in certain circumstances, and the Fund may be unable to execute certain investment strategies as a result.

The SEC and regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions may adopt (and in certain cases, have adopted) bans on short sales of certain securities in response to market events. Bans on short selling may make it impossible for the Fund to execute certain investment strategies.

Risks Related to Potential Conflicts of Interest

LMPFA, Western Asset, the Non-U.S. Subadvisers and the portfolio managers have interests which may conflict with the interests of the Fund. LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers currently and may at some time in the future manage and/or advise other investment funds or accounts with the same or substantially similar investment objectives and strategies as the Fund. As a result, LMPFA, Western Asset, the Non-U.S. Subadvisers and the Fund’s portfolio managers may devote unequal time and attention to the management of the Fund and those other funds and accounts, and may not be able to formulate as complete a strategy or identify equally attractive investment opportunities as might be the case if they were to devote substantially more attention to the management of the Fund. LMPFA, Western Asset, the Non-U.S. Subadvisers and the Fund’s portfolio managers may identify a limited investment opportunity that may be suitable for multiple funds and accounts, and the opportunity may be allocated among these several funds and accounts, which may limit the Fund’s ability to take full advantage of the investment opportunity. Additionally, transaction orders may be aggregated for multiple accounts for purpose of execution, which may cause the price or brokerage costs to be less favorable to the Fund than if similar transactions were not being executed concurrently for other accounts. At times, a portfolio manager may determine that an investment opportunity may be appropriate for only some of the funds and accounts for which he or she exercises investment responsibility, or may decide that certain of the funds and accounts should take differing positions with respect to a particular security. In these cases, the portfolio manager may place separate transactions for one or more funds or accounts

 

60


which may affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the detriment or benefit of one or more other funds and accounts. For example, a portfolio manager may determine that it would be in the interest of another account to sell a security that the Fund holds, potentially resulting in a decrease in the market value of the security held by the Fund.

The portfolio managers may also engage in cross trades between funds and accounts, may select brokers or dealers to execute securities transactions based in part on brokerage and research services provided to LMPFA, Western Asset or the Non-U.S. Subadvisers which may not benefit all funds and accounts equally and may receive different amounts of financial or other benefits for managing different funds and accounts. Finally, LMPFA or its affiliates may provide more services to some types of funds and accounts than others.

There is no guarantee that the policies and procedures adopted by LMPFA, Western Asset, the Non-U.S. Subadvisers and the Fund will be able to identify or mitigate the conflicts of interest that arise between the Fund and any other investment funds or accounts that LMPFA, Western Asset and/or the Non-U.S. Subadvisers may manage or advise from time to time.

Management Risk and Reliance on Key Personnel

The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed investment portfolio. Western Asset and each individual portfolio manager may not be successful in selecting the best performing securities or investment techniques, and the Fund’s performance may lag behind that of similar funds. The Fund depends upon the diligence and skill of the portfolio managers, who evaluate, negotiate, structure and monitor its investments. These individuals do not have long-term employment contracts with Western Asset, although they do have equity interests and other financial incentives to remain with the Western Asset. The Fund also depends on the senior management of LMPFA, and the departure of any of the senior management of LMPFA could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. In addition, there is no guarantee that the Western Asset will remain the Fund’s investment adviser.

Portfolio Turnover Risk

Changes to the investments of the Fund may be made regardless of the length of time particular investments have been held. A high portfolio turnover rate may result in increased transaction costs for the Fund in the form of increased dealer spreads and other transactional costs, which may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance. In addition, high portfolio turnover may result in the realization of net short-term capital gains by the Fund which, when distributed to shareholders, will be taxable as ordinary income. A high portfolio turnover may increase the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, resulting in a greater portion of the Fund’s distributions being treated as a dividend to the Fund’s shareholders. The portfolio turnover rate of the Fund will vary from year to year, as well as within a given year.

Anti-Takeover Provisions Risk

The Fund’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws includes provisions that are designed to limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund for short-term objectives, including by converting the Fund to open-end status or changing the composition of the Board, that may be detrimental to the Fund’s ability to achieve its primary investment objective of seeking high current income. The Fund’s Declaration of Trust also contains a provision opting in to the provisions of the MCSAA. Such provisions may limit the ability of shareholders to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund. There can be no assurance, however, that such provisions will be sufficient to deter activist investors that seek to cause the Fund to take actions that may not be aligned with the interests of long-term shareholders. See “Certain Provisions in the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws” and “Certain Provisions in the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws—Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act.”

 

61


MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

Trustees and Officers

The overall management of the business and affairs of the Fund is vested in the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees approves all significant agreements between the Fund and persons or companies furnishing services to the Fund. The day-to-day operation of the Fund is delegated to the officers of the Fund, LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers, subject always to the investment objectives, restrictions and policies of the Fund and to the general supervision of the Board of Trustees. Certain Trustees and officers of the Fund are affiliated with Franklin Resources, the parent corporation of LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers. All of the Fund’s executive officers hold similar offices with some or all of the other funds advised by LMPFA.

Investment Adviser and Subadvisers

LMPFA is the Fund’s investment adviser. LMPFA, with offices at 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10018, also serves as the investment adviser of other Legg Mason-sponsored funds. LMPFA provides administrative and certain oversight services to the Fund. As of March 31, 2021, LMPFA’s total assets under management were approximately $218.6 billion.

Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers provide the day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund as subadvisers and undertake investment-related activities, including investment management, research and analysis, and securities settlement. The Non-U.S. Subadvisers provide certain subadvisory services relating to currency transactions and investments in non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities and related foreign currency instruments. Western Asset London generally manages global and non-U.S. dollar fixed income mandates, Western Asset Japan generally manages Japanese fixed income mandates, and Western Asset Singapore generally manages Asian (other than Japan) fixed income mandates. Each office provides services relating to relevant portions of Western Asset’s broader portfolios as appropriate.

Western Asset, established in 1971, has offices at 385 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91101 and 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10018. Western Asset London was founded in 1984 and has offices at 10 Exchange Square, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EN. Western Asset Japan was founded in 1991 and has offices at 36F Shin-Marunouchi Building, 5-1 Marunouchi 1-Chome Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-6536, Japan. Western Asset Singapore was established in 2000 and has offices at 1 George Street #23-01, Singapore 049145.

Western Asset employs a team approach to investment management that utilizes relevant staff in multiple offices around the world. Expertise from Western Asset investment professionals in those offices add local sector investment experience as well as the ability to trade in local markets. Although the investment professionals at Western Asset London, Western Asset Japan, and Western Asset Singapore are responsible for the management of the investments in their local sectors, Western Asset provides overall supervision of their activities for the Fund to maintain a cohesive investment management approach.

The Non-U.S. Subadvisers act as investment advisers to institutional accounts, such as corporate pension plans, mutual funds and endowment funds. As of March 31, 2021, the total assets under management of Western Asset and its supervised affiliates, including Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan, were approximately $476.3 billion.

For its services, LMPFA pays Western Asset a fee monthly, at an annual rate equal to 70% of the net management fee it receives from the Fund. In turn, Western Asset pays Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan a monthly subadvisory fee in an amount equal to 100% of the management fee paid to Western Asset on the assets that Western Asset allocates to each such Non-U.S. Subadviser to manage. The Fund does not pay any additional advisory or other fees for advisory services provided by Western Asset, Western Asset London, Western Asset Japan or Western Asset Singapore.

 

62


LMPFA, Western Asset, Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan are indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, operating as Franklin Templeton. Franklin Templeton, whose principal executive offices are at One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, California 94403, is a global asset management company. As of March 31, 2021, Franklin Templeton’s asset management operations, including Western Asset and its supervised affiliates, had aggregate assets under management of approximately $1.5 trillion.

Investment Philosophy and Process

The Fund emphasizes high current income as its primary objective. The Fund will seek to invest in a diversified portfolio of high-income generating fixed and floating rate investments that in the sub-adviser’s opinion offer compelling fundamental value. The portfolio construction process employs multiple diversified strategies which seeks to help mitigate the risk of any one sector or strategy dominating portfolio returns.

Investment Philosophy

Western Asset’s investment philosophy rests on two key pillars:

 

1)

Focusing on long-term, fundamental value:

 

   

Prices may sometimes deviate from fundamental fair value, but over time they typically adjust to reflect inflation, credit quality fundamentals and liquidity conditions. Investing in undervalued securities has the potential to provide attractive investment returns.

   

Western Asset’s investment process compares prices to the fundamental fair values estimated by its macroeconomic and credit research teams around the globe, seeking to identify and capitalize on markets and securities priced below fundamental fair value.

 

2)

Employing multiple diversified strategies:

 

   

Western Asset’s objective is to meet or exceed clients’ performance objectives within their risk tolerances. To do so, Western Asset may deploy multiple diversified strategies intended to benefit in different market and economic environments so that no one strategy dominates performance, helping to dampen volatility.

The investment philosophy described above is Western Asset’s general approach across its products and each factor may not apply to all investments made by the Fund. Western Asset’s overarching goal is to build robust and diversified portfolios that can deliver strong and consistent, risk-adjusted investment returns over a full investment cycle. Western Asset believes this investment philosophy is well aligned with principles of effective investing in fixed income spread sectors as well as the Fund in two ways: (1) it ensures that investment ideas under consideration for the Fund are mainly premised on both top-down (macro) and bottom-up (sector and issuer-level) fundamental factors rather than other more superficial factors (e.g., technical charts and analysis), and (2) may enable the Fund to harvest credit and liquidity premia from a number of sources creating a more balanced risk profile.

Investment Process

The investment process for the Fund begins with the portfolio team leveraging the top-down views formulated by Western Asset’s Global Investment Strategy Committee (“GISC”). This committee meets weekly and is comprised of all the Firm’s regional and sector heads, including Western Asset’s Deputy chief investment officer and the lead portfolio manager of the Fund. They discuss and determine the outlook for global growth, inflation, interest rates, yield curves, and currency. Deliberations over the prospect for returns and risks across all major asset classes also occur in this forum. All strategic views and portfolio positions from our various local offices are communicated globally; this ensures that the input of Western Asset’s on-the-ground experts are incorporated into the investment outlook.

 

63


The second step in the process involves assessing the views of Western Asset’s Unconstrained Asset Allocation Committee. This committee meets monthly and includes the heads of the various sector teams. They discuss the views that come from the GISC, sector valuations (relative to their assessment of fair value), technical factors and the overall risk environment, all with an eye on how these variables might impact sector performance going forward. These views will help to determine an initial allocation (i.e., sector weightings) for the Fund.

Once the Fund’s sector weightings have been established, the bottom-up process provides the basis for populating the targeted weightings through individual credit selection. Security selection is primarily the responsibility of the research analysts within each sector team, who collectively average over 20 years of experience. The analysts conduct on-site visits, management interviews, review financial statements, attend conferences, make projections and consult relevant reference material to aid in the fundamental credit research process. Armed with the results of this analysis, they make relative value recommendations to the sector head of their team.

These recommendations form the starting point for an iterative and dynamic process to implement reflect sector expertise and insights in the Fund. Looking at market technical and relative value assessments, traders will then provide execution information––to the portfolio team, who work closely with the risk professionals on portfolio construction.

Western Asset’s Risk Management and Portfolio Analytics teams play a key role in the Fund’s overall investment process by assessing the risk profile of sector and issuer-level exposures in portfolios (e.g., potential concentration risk, contribution to risk, etc.) and performing stress testing and scenario analysis to gauge the sensitivity and vulnerability of portfolios to changes in various risk factors (e.g., interest rates, credit risk, etc.). This analysis helps the portfolio team determine final sector weights and position sizing. It also helps them to monitor and calibrate portfolio diversification across sectors and sub-sectors as needed.

The final result is a portfolio that seeks to incorporate Western Asset’s best ideas in proportions that are consistent with Western Asset’s outlook and the Fund’s risk profile and return objectives.

Portfolio Managers

Set forth below is information regarding the team of professionals at Western Asset responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Fund. Western Asset utilizes a team approach, with decisions derived from interaction among various investment management sector specialists. The sector teams are comprised of Western Asset’s senior portfolio managers, research analysts and an in-house economist. Under this team approach, management of client fixed income portfolios will reflect a consensus of interdisciplinary views.

 

Name, Address and Title

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

S. Kenneth Leech

Western Asset

385 East Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91101

   Chief Investment Officer and has been employed by Western Asset as an investment professional for at least the past five years.

Michael C. Buchanan

Western Asset

385 East Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91101

   Deputy Chief Investment Officer and has been employed by Western Asset as an investment professional for at least the past five years.

Greg E. Handler

Western Asset

385 East Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91101

   Head of Mortgage & Consumer Credit and has been employed by Western Asset as an investment professional for at least the past five years.

 

64


Name, Address and Title

  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Christopher F. Kilpatrick

Western Asset

385 East Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91101

   Portfolio Manager and has been employed by Western Asset as an investment professional for at least the past five years.

Annabel Rudebeck

Western Asset London

10 Exchange Square,

Primrose Street,

London EC2A 2EN

   Head of Non-U.S. Credit and has been employed by Western Asset as an investment professional since 2016. Prior to joining Western Asset, Ms. Rudebeck was Senior Partner, Head of Global Investment Grade Credit at Rogge Global Partners from 2004 to 2016.

Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by them and other information is provided in the SAI.

Investment Management Agreement

Under the Fund’s management agreement with LMPFA, subject to the supervision and direction of the Fund’s Board, LMPFA is delegated the responsibility of managing the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s stated investment objectives and policies, making investment decisions for the Fund and placing orders to purchase and sell securities. LMPFA performs administrative and management services necessary for the operation of the Fund, such as (1) supervising the overall administration of the Fund, including negotiation of contracts and fees with and the monitoring of performance and billings of the Fund’s transfer agent, shareholder servicing agents, custodian and other independent contractors or agents; (2) providing certain compliance, Fund accounting, regulatory reporting and tax reporting services; (3) preparing or participating in the preparation of materials for the Fund’s Board of Trustees, registration statements, proxy statements and reports and other communications to shareholders; (4) maintaining the Fund’s existence and (5) maintaining the registration and qualification of the Fund’s shares under federal and (if required) state laws. LMPFA receives an annual fee, payable monthly, in an amount equal to 1.10% of the Fund’s average daily Managed Assets.

LMPFA also provides the office space, facilities, equipment and personnel necessary to perform the following services for the Fund: SEC compliance, including record keeping, reporting requirements and registration statements and proxies; supervision of Fund operations, including coordination of functions of the transfer agent, custodian, accountants, counsel and other parties performing services or operational functions for the Fund; and certain administrative and clerical services, including certain accounting services and maintenance of certain books and records.

The Fund’s management agreement will continue in effect, unless otherwise terminated, for an initial two-year period and then will continue from year to year provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually (a) by the Fund’s Board of Trustees or by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) and (b) in either event, by a majority of the Trustees of the Fund who are not “interested persons” of the Fund within the meaning of Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act (the “Independent Trustees”) with such Independent Trustees casting votes in person at a meeting called for such purpose. The Fund’s management agreement provides that LMPFA may render services to others. The Fund’s management agreement is terminable without penalty on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice by the Fund when authorized either by a vote of holders of shares representing a majority of the voting power of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) or by a vote of a majority of the Fund’s Trustees, or by LMPFA on not less than 90 days’ written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. The Fund’s management agreement provides that neither LMPFA nor its personnel or affiliates shall be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss arising out of any investment or for any act or omission in the execution of security transactions for the Fund, except for willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence or reckless disregard of its or their obligations and duties. The Fund’s management agreement and the sub-advisory agreements discussed below

 

65


are not intended to create any third-party beneficiary or otherwise confer any rights, privileges, claims or remedies upon any person other than the parties to the agreement and their respective successors and permitted assigns. The Fund enters into these and other contractual arrangements with various parties who provide services for the Fund. Shareholders are not parties to, or intended (or “third-party”) beneficiaries of, any of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements cannot be enforced by shareholders. Neither this Prospectus nor the SAI is intended to give rise to any contract rights or other rights in any shareholder, other than any rights conferred explicitly by federal or state securities laws that may not be waived.

Other than the cash management services it provides for certain equity funds, LMPFA does not provide day-to-day portfolio management services. Rather, portfolio management for the Fund is provided by Western Asset.

Western Asset Sub-Advisory Agreement

Western Asset provides services to the Fund pursuant to a subadvisory agreement between LMPFA Western Asset (the “Subadvisory Agreement”). Under the Subadvisory Agreement, subject to the supervision and direction of the Fund’s Board of Trustees and LMPFA, Western Asset will manage the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies, make investment decisions for the Fund, place orders to purchase and sell securities, and employ professional portfolio managers and securities analysts who provide research services to the Fund. For its services, LMPFA pays Western Asset a fee monthly, at an annual rate equal to 70% of the net management fee it receives from the Fund.

The Subadvisory Agreement between LMPFA and Western Asset for the Fund will continue in effect, unless otherwise terminated, for an initial two-year period and then will continue from year to year provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually (a) by the Board of Trustees or by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act), and (b) in either event, by a majority of the Independent Trustees with such Independent Trustees casting votes in person at a meeting called for such purpose. The Board of Trustees or a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) may terminate the Fund’s Subadvisory Agreement without penalty, in each case on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice to Western Asset. Western Asset may terminate the Subadvisory Agreement on 90 days’ written notice to the Fund and LMPFA. LMPFA and Western Asset may terminate the Subadvisory Agreement upon their mutual written consent. The Subadvisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment.

Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements

Each of Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan provides services to the Fund pursuant to a subadvisory agreement between it and Western Asset (each a “Non-U.S. Sub-Advisory Agreement”). Each Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreement provides that, subject to the supervision and direction of the Fund’s Board and LMPFA, each Non-U.S. Subadviser will manage the Fund’s portfolio in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies, make investment decisions for the Fund, place orders to purchase and sell securities and employ professional portfolio managers and securities analysts who provide research services to the Fund. Western Asset pays Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan a monthly subadvisory fee in an amount equal to 100% of the management fee paid to Western Asset on the assets that Western Asset allocates to each such Non-U.S. Subadviser to manage.

Each Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreement between Western Asset and Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan, respectively, will continue in effect, unless otherwise terminated, for an initial two-year period, and then will continue from year to year provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually (a) by the Board or by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act), and (b) in either event, by a majority of the Independent Trustees with such Independent Trustees casting votes in person at a meeting called for such purpose. The Board or a majority of the

 

66


outstanding voting securities of the Fund (as defined in the 1940 Act) may terminate the Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements without penalty, in each case on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice to the Non-U.S. Subadvisor. Each of Western Singapore, Western Japan and Western Asset Limited may terminate its Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreement on 90 days’ written notice to the Fund and Western Asset. Western Asset and each Non-U.S. Subadviser may terminate its respective Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreement upon their mutual written consent. Each Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreement will terminate automatically in the event its assignment.

Control Persons

A control person is a person who beneficially owns more than 25% of the voting securities of a company. Franklin Resources has provided the initial capitalization of the Fund and therefore Franklin Resources is a control person because it is the sole shareholder of the Fund as of the date of this Prospectus. However, it is anticipated that Franklin Resources will no longer be a control person once the offering is completed.

NET ASSET VALUE

The Fund determines the net asset value of its Common Shares on each day the NYSE is open for business, as of the close of the customary trading session (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time), or any earlier closing time that day. The Fund determines the net asset value per share of Common Shares by dividing the value of the Fund’s securities, cash and other assets (including the value of derivatives and interest accrued but not collected) less all its liabilities (including accrued expenses, the liquidation preference of any outstanding Preferred Shares and dividends payable) by the total number of Common Shares outstanding. Securities are valued at the mean between the last quoted bid and asked prices provided by an independent pricing service that are based on transactions in corporate obligations, quotations from corporate bond dealers, market transactions in comparable securities and various other relationships between securities. The Fund values portfolio securities for which market quotations are readily available at the last reported sales price or official closing price on the primary market or exchange on which they trade. Under the Fund’s valuation policies and procedures, which were adopted by the Board, the Fund’s short-term investments are valued at amortized cost when the security has 60 days or less to maturity. Determination of the Common Shares’ net asset value is made in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

The Fund values all other securities and assets at their fair value. If events occur that materially affect the value of a security between the time trading ends on the security and the close of the customary trading session of the NYSE, the Fund may value the security at its fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Board of Trustees of the Fund. The effect of using fair value pricing is that the Common Shares’ net asset value will be subject to the judgment of the Board of Trustees or its designee instead of being determined by the market.

Any swap transaction that the Fund enters into may, depending on the applicable interest rate environment, have a positive or negative value for purposes of calculating net asset value. Any cap transaction that the Fund enters into may, depending on the applicable interest rate environment, have no value or a positive value. In addition, accrued payments to the Fund under such transactions will be assets of the Fund and accrued payments by the Fund will be liabilities of the Fund.

On December 3, 2020, the SEC adopted new Rule 2a-5. The new rule will establish an updated regulatory framework for registered investment company valuation practices. The Fund will not be required to comply with the new rule until September 8, 2022.

DISTRIBUTIONS

The Fund intends to distribute its net investment income on a monthly basis and any realized capital gains on an annual basis. Your initial distribution is expected to be declared approximately 45 days, and paid

 

67


approximately 60-90 days, after the completion of this offering, depending on market conditions. In addition, the Fund may distribute, at least annually, any net realized capital gains to Common Shareholders.

Unless you elect to receive distributions in cash (i.e., opt out), all of your distributions, including any capital gains distributions on your Common Shares, will be automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan. See “Dividend Reinvestment Plan.”

The Fund reserves the right to change its distribution policy and the basis for establishing the rate of its monthly distributions at any time and may do so without prior notice to Common Shareholders.

An affiliate of LMPFA has received an exemptive order from the SEC under the 1940 Act facilitating the implementation of a managed distribution policy for certain funds for which it, or one of its affiliates, provides investment management services, including the Fund. The Fund does not intend to implement a managed distribution policy at this time; however, the Board of Trustees may, at the request of LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers, adopt a managed distribution policy in the future.

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

Unless you elect to receive distributions in cash (i.e., opt-out), all dividends, including any capital gain dividends and return of capital distributions, on your Common Shares will be automatically reinvested by Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as agent for the shareholders (the “Plan Agent”), in additional Common Shares under the Fund’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”). You may elect not to participate in the Plan by contacting the Plan Agent. If you do not participate, you will receive all cash distributions paid by check mailed directly to you by Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as dividend paying agent.

In the case of a registered shareholder such as a broker, bank or other nominee (together, a “nominee”) that holds Common Shares for others who are the beneficial owners, the Plan Agent will administer the Plan on the basis of the number of Common Shares certified by the nominee/record shareholder as representing the total amount registered in such shareholder’s name and held for the account of beneficial owners who are to participate in the Plan. If your Common Shares are held through a nominee and are not registered with the Plan Agent, neither you nor the nominee will be participants in or have distributions reinvested under the Plan. If you are a beneficial owner of Common Shares and wish to participate in the Plan, and your nominee is unable or unwilling to become a registered shareholder and a Plan participant on your behalf, you may request that your nominee arrange to have all or a portion of your shares re-registered with the Plan Agent in your name so that you may be enrolled as a participant in the Plan. Please contact your nominee for details or for other possible alternatives. Registered shareholders whose shares are registered in the name of one nominee firm may not be able to transfer the shares to another firm and continue to participate in the Plan.

If you participate in the Plan, the number of Common Shares you will receive will be determined as follows:

(1) If the market price of the Common Shares (plus $0.03 per share processing fee which includes any brokerage commission the Plan Agent is required to pay) on the payment date (or, if the payment date is not a NYSE trading day, the immediately preceding trading day) is equal to or exceeds the net asset value per share of the Common Shares at the close of trading on the NYSE on the payment date, the Fund will issue new Common Shares at a price equal to the greater of

(a) the net asset value per share at the close of trading on the NYSE on the payment date or

(b) 95% of the market price per share of the Common Shares on the payment date.

(2) If the net asset value per share of the Common Shares exceeds the market price of the Common Shares (plus $0.03 per share processing fee) at the close of trading on the NYSE on the payment date, the Plan Agent

 

68


will receive the dividend or distribution in cash and will buy Common Shares in the open market, on the NYSE or elsewhere, for your account as soon as practicable commencing on the trading day following the payment date and terminating no later than the earlier of (a) 30 days after the dividend or distribution payment date, or (b) the payment date for the next succeeding dividend or distribution to be made to the shareholders; except when necessary to comply with applicable provisions of the federal securities laws. If during this period: (i) the market price (plus $0.03 per share processing fee) rises so that it equals or exceeds the net asset value per share of the Common Shares at the close of trading on the NYSE on the payment date before the Plan Agent has completed the open market purchases or (ii) if the Plan Agent is unable to invest the full amount eligible to be reinvested in open market purchases, the Plan Agent will cease purchasing Common Shares in the open market and the Fund will issue the remaining Common Shares at a price per share equal to the greater of (a) the net asset value per share at the close of trading on the NYSE on the day prior to the issuance of shares for reinvestment or (b) 95% of the then current market price per share.

Common Shares in your account will be held by the Plan Agent in non-certificated form. Any proxy you receive will include all Common Shares you have received under the Plan.

You may withdraw from the Plan (i.e., opt-out) by notifying the Plan Agent through the Internet at www.computershare.com/investor, in writing at 462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600, Louisville, KY 40202 or by calling the Plan Agent at 1-888-888-0151. Such withdrawal will be effective immediately if notice is received by the Plan Agent prior to any dividend or distribution record date; otherwise such withdrawal will be effective as soon as practicable after the Plan Agent’s investment of the most recently declared dividend or distribution on the Common Shares.

Plan participants who sell their shares will be charged a service charge (currently $5.00 per transaction) and the Plan Agent is authorized to deduct per share processing fees actually incurred from the proceeds (currently $0.05 per share, which includes any brokerage commission the Plan Agent is required to pay). There is no service charge for reinvestment of your dividends or distributions in Common Shares. However, all participants will pay per share processing fees (currently $0.03 per share) incurred by the Plan Agent when it makes open market purchases. Because all dividends and distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional Common Shares, this allows you to add to your investment through dollar cost averaging, which may lower the average cost of your Common Shares over time. Dollar cost averaging is a technique for lowering the average cost per share over time if the Fund’s net asset value declines. While dollar cost averaging has definite advantages, it cannot assure profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

Automatically reinvesting dividends and distributions does not mean that you do not have to pay income taxes due upon receiving dividends and distributions. Investors will be subject to income tax on amounts reinvested under the Plan.

The Fund reserves the right to amend or terminate the Plan if, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees, the change is warranted. The Plan may be terminated, amended or supplemented by the Fund upon notice in writing mailed to shareholders at least 30 days prior to the record date for the payment of any dividend or distribution by the Fund for which the termination or amendment is to be effective. Upon any termination, you will be sent cash for any fractional share of Common Shares in your account less any applicable fees. You may elect to notify the Plan Agent in advance of such termination to have the Plan Agent sell part or all of your Common Shares on your behalf. Additional information about the Plan and your account may be obtained from the Plan Agent through the Internet at www.computershare.com/investor, in writing at 462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600, Louisville, KY 40202 or by calling the Plan Agent at 1-888-888-0151.

 

69


DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

Common Shares

The Declaration of Trust authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of Common Shares, par value $0.001 per share. All Common Shares have equal rights with respect to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation. Common Shares will, when issued, be fully paid and nonassessable, and will have no preemptive or conversion rights or rights to cumulative voting, which means that the holders of more than 50% of the Common Shares can elect 100% of the trustees then nominated for election if they choose to do so and, in such event, the holders of the remaining Common Shares will not be able to elect any trustees.

The Fund intends to apply to list its Common Shares on the NYSE under the trading or “ticker” symbol “WDI.” The Fund intends to hold annual meetings of shareholders so long as the Common Shares is listed on a national securities exchange and such meetings are required as a condition to such listing. The Fund must continue to meet the NYSE requirements in order for the Common Shares to remain listed.

Unlike open-end funds, closed-end funds, like the Fund, do not continuously offer shares and do not provide daily redemptions. Rather, if a shareholder determines to buy additional Common Shares or sell Common Shares already held, the shareholder may do so by trading on the NYSE through a broker or otherwise. Shares of closed-end funds may frequently trade on an exchange at prices lower than net asset value. The market value of the Common Shares may be influenced by such factors as dividend levels (which are in turn affected by expenses), call protection, dividend stability, portfolio credit quality, net asset value, relative demand for and supply of such Common Shares in the market, general market and economic conditions, and other factors beyond the control of the Fund. The Fund cannot assure you that Common Shares will trade at a price equal to or higher than net asset value in the future. The Fund’s Common Shares is designed primarily for long-term investors, and investors in Common Shares should not view the Fund as a vehicle for trading purposes. See “Repurchase of Fund Shares.”

Each outstanding Common Share entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of Common Shareholders, including the election of Trustees. Except as provided with respect to any other class or series, the Common Shareholders will possess the exclusive voting power. Each director shall be elected by a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of trustees. There is no cumulative voting in the election of Trustees.

Preferred Shares

The Declaration of Trust provides that the Fund’s Board of Trustees may classify and issue Preferred Shares with rights as determined by the Board of Trustees, by action of the Board of Trustees without the approval of the Common Shareholders. The Fund may classify and issue an unlimited number of Preferred Shares, par value $0.001 per share. Common Shareholders have no preemptive right to purchase any Preferred Shares that might be issued.

The Fund may elect to issue Preferred Shares as part of its leverage strategy. The Fund currently has the ability to issue Preferred Shares to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, which currently limits the aggregate liquidation preference of all outstanding Preferred Shares plus the principal amount of any outstanding leverage consisting of debt to 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets less liabilities and indebtedness of the Fund (other than leverage consisting of Preferred Shares). Although the terms of any Preferred Shares, including dividend rate, liquidation preference and redemption provisions, will be set forth in a statement of preferences classifying and designating such Preferred Shares, the Fund believes that it is likely that the liquidation preference, voting rights and redemption provisions of the Preferred Shares may be similar to those stated below.

 

70


Liquidation Preference

In the event of any voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Fund, the holders of Preferred Shares will be entitled to receive a preferential liquidating distribution, which is expected to equal the original purchase price per share of Preferred Shares plus accrued and unpaid dividends, whether or not declared, before any distribution of assets is made to Common Shareholders. After payment of the full amount of the liquidating distribution to which they are entitled, the holders of Preferred Shares will not be entitled to any further participation in any distribution of assets by the Fund.

Voting Rights

The 1940 Act requires that the holders of any Preferred Shares, voting separately as a single class, have the right to elect at least two trustees at all times. The remaining trustees will be elected by holders of Common Shares and Preferred Shares, voting together as a single class. In addition, subject to the prior rights, if any, of the holders of any other class of senior securities outstanding, the holders of any Preferred Shares have the right to elect a majority of the trustees of the Fund at any time that two years of dividends on any Preferred Shares are unpaid. The 1940 Act also requires that, in addition to any approval by the shareholders that might otherwise be required, the approval of the holders of a majority of any outstanding Preferred Shares, voting separately as a class, would be required to: (i) adopt any plan of reorganization that would adversely affect the Preferred Shares and (ii) take any action requiring a vote of security holders under Section 13(a) of the 1940 Act, including, among other things, changes in the Fund’s subclassification as a closed-end investment company or changes in its fundamental investment restrictions. See “Certain Provisions in the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws.” As a result of these voting rights, the Fund’s ability to take any such actions may be impeded to the extent that there are any shares of Preferred Shares outstanding. Except as otherwise indicated in this prospectus and except as otherwise required by applicable law or the Declaration of Trust, holders of Preferred Shares will have equal voting rights with Common Shareholders (one vote per share, unless otherwise required by the 1940 Act) and will vote together with Common Shareholders as a single class.

The affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding Preferred Shares, voting as a separate class, will be required to amend, alter or repeal any of the preferences, rights or powers of holders of Preferred Shares so as to affect materially and adversely such preferences, rights or powers, or to increase or decrease the authorized number of shares of Preferred Shares. The class vote of holders of Preferred Shares described above will in each case be in addition to any other vote required to authorize the action in question.

Redemption, Purchase and Sale of Preferred Shares by the Fund

The terms of any Preferred Shares issued are expected to provide that: (i) they are redeemable by the Fund in whole or in part at the original purchase price per share plus accrued dividends per share; (ii) the Fund may tender for or purchase Preferred Shares; and (iii) the Fund may subsequently resell any shares so tendered for or purchased. Any redemption or purchase of Preferred Shares by the Fund will reduce any leverage applicable to the Common Shares, while any resale of shares by the Fund will increase that leverage.

The discussion above describes the possible offering of Preferred Shares by the Fund. If the Board of Trustees determines to proceed with such an offering, the terms of the Preferred Shares may be the same as, or different from, the terms described above, subject to applicable law and the Fund’s Declaration of Trust. The Board of Trustees, without the approval of the Common Shareholders, may authorize an offering of Preferred Shares or may determine not to authorize such an offering, and may fix the terms of the Preferred Shares to be offered.

 

71


CERTAIN PROVISIONS IN THE

DECLARATION OF TRUST AND BYLAWS

The Fund’s Declaration of Trust and Bylaws includes provisions that are designed to limit the ability of other entities or persons to acquire control of the Fund for short-term objectives, including by converting the Fund to open-end status or changing the composition of the Board, that may be detrimental to the Fund’s ability to achieve its primary investment objective of seeking high current income. Such provisions may limit the ability of shareholders to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund. There can be no assurance, however, that such provisions will be sufficient to deter activist investors that seek to cause the Fund to take actions that may not be aligned with the interests of long-term shareholders. See also “Certain Provisions in the Declaration of Trust and Bylaws—Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act.” Such attempts could have the effect of increasing the expenses of the Fund and disrupting the normal operation of the Fund, as these actions require substantial attention from Fund management that would typically be spent on the Fund’s operations and require the Fund to engage outside counsel and other specialists such as proxy solicitors, to seek to protect the interests of long-term investors. The Board is divided into three classes. At each annual meeting of shareholders the term of only one class of Trustees expires and only the Trustees in that one class stand for re-election. Trustees standing for election at an annual meeting of shareholders are elected to serve until the third annual meeting of shareholders following their election and until their successors are duly elected and qualify. This provision could delay for up to two years the replacement of a majority of the Board. A Trustee may be removed only for cause and then only by the affirmative vote of at least 75% of the Shares then entitled to be cast generally in the election of Trustees.

The Fund’s Bylaws provide that with respect to any annual or special meeting of the shareholders, only such business shall be conducted as shall have been properly brought before the meeting. To be properly brought before an annual meeting, the business must be pursuant to the Fund’s notice of meeting, by or at the direction of the Board of Trustees or properly brought by a shareholder who is a shareholder as of the record date for the meeting, at the time he, she or it provides notice and at the time of the meeting (or any postponement or adjournment thereof) and who complied with the advance notice procedures of the Bylaws. To be properly brought before a special meeting, the business must be pursuant to the Fund’s notice of meeting. Nominations of individuals for election to the Board of Trustees may be properly brought before a special meeting of shareholders by or at the direction of the Board of Trustees or properly brought by a shareholder who is a shareholder as of the record date for the meeting, at the time he, she or it provides notice and at the time of the meeting (or any postponement or adjournment thereof) and who complied with the advance notice procedures of the Bylaws.

The affirmative vote of the holders of Common Shares entitled to cast at least 80% of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, each voting as a separate class, will be necessary to effect:

(a) Any amendment to the Declaration of Trust to make the Common Shares a “redeemable security” or any other proposal to convert the Fund, whether by merger or otherwise, from a “closed-end company” to an “open-end company” (as such terms are defined in the 1940 Act);

(b) Except as provided in the Declaration of Trust, the liquidation or dissolution of the Fund and any amendment to the Declaration of Trust to effect any such liquidation or dissolution;

(c) Any amendment to, or any amendment inconsistent with, the provisions of Section 5.1 (General Powers of the Board of Trustees), Section 5.2 (Certain Specific Powers of the Board of Trustees), Section 5.5 (Election and Term of Trustees), Section 5.6 (Resignation or Removal of Trustees), Article IX (Amendments to the Declaration of Trust and Approval of Certain Extraordinary Actions) or Article X (Merger, Consolidation, Sale of Trust Property or Conversion) of the Declaration of Trust;

 

72


(d) Any merger, conversion, consolidation, share exchange or sale or exchange of all or substantially all of the assets of the Fund that the Maryland General Corporation Law requires be approved by the stockholders of a Maryland corporation; and

(e) Any transaction between the Fund and a person, or group of persons acting together including, without limitation, a “group” for purposes of Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act (or any successor provision), that is entitled to exercise or direct the exercise, or acquire the right to exercise or direct the exercise, directly or indirectly, other than solely by virtue of a revocable proxy, of one-tenth or more of the voting power in the election of Trustees generally, or any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with any such person or member of such group.

provided, however, that, if the Continuing Trustees (as defined herein), by a vote of at least two-thirds of such Continuing Trustees, in addition to approval by the Board of Trustees, approve such proposal, transaction or amendment, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the votes entitled to be cast will be sufficient to approve such proposal, transaction or amendment; and provided further, that, with respect to any proposal or transaction or amendment referred to in paragraph (d) and (e) above, if such proposal, transaction or amendment is approved by the Continuing Trustees, by a vote of at least two-thirds of such Continuing Trustees, no shareholder approval of such proposal, transaction or amendment will be required unless this Declaration of Trust or the 1940 Act otherwise expressly requires shareholder approval.

“Continuing Trustees” means (i) the members of the Board of Trustees serving at the time of closing of the initial public offering by the Trust of Common Shares (the “Initial Trustees”), (ii) the members of the Board of Trustees whose nomination for election by the Shareholders or whose election by the Board of Trustees to fill vacancies on the Board is approved by a majority of the Initial Trustees, who are on the Board at the time of the nomination or election, as applicable, or (iii) any successor Trustees whose nomination for election by the Shareholders or whose election by the Board of Trustees to fill vacancies is approved by a majority of the Continuing Trustees or successor Continuing Trustees, who are on the Board at the time of the nomination or election, as applicable

The Declaration of Trust and Bylaws contain provisions the effect of which is to prevent matters, including nominations of trustees, from being considered at a shareholders’ meeting where the Fund has not received notice of the matters generally at least 120 but no more than 150 days prior to the first anniversary of the date of the proxy statement for the preceding year’s annual meeting.

Maryland law permits a Maryland statutory trust to include in its declaration of trust a provision limiting the liability of its trustees and officers to the trust and its shareholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (a) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (b) active and deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment as being material to the cause of action. The Fund’s Declaration of Trust contains such a provision that limits present and former trustees’ and officers’ liability to the Fund and its shareholders for money damages to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law in effect from time to time, subject to the 1940 Act.

The Fund’s Declaration of Trust obligates the Fund, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law to indemnify and, without requiring a preliminary determination of the ultimate entitlement to indemnification, to pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to:

 

•   any present or former trustee or officer of the Fund who is made, or threatened to be made, a party to, or witness in, a proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity; or

•   any individual who, while a trustee or officer of the Fund and at the Fund’s request, serves or has served as a director, trustee, officer, partner, member or manager of another trust, corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, employee benefit plan or any other enterprise and who is made, or threatened to be made, a party to, or witness in, the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity.

 

73


The Declaration of Trust also permits the Fund, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, to indemnify and advance expenses to any person who served a predecessor of the Fund in any of the capacities described above and to any employee or agent of the Fund or a predecessor of the Fund. The Fund has entered into an agreement with each trustee and officer of the Fund pursuant to which the Fund has agreed to advance expenses and costs incurred by the indemnitee in connection with any matter in respect of which indemnification might be sought pursuant to the Declaration of Trust to the maximum extent permitted by law.

In accordance with the 1940 Act, the Fund will not indemnify any trustee or officer of the Fund against for any liability to the Fund or its security holders to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.

The Declaration of Trust provides that ownership of the Fund’s shares of beneficial interest shall not make any shareholder a third-party beneficiary of any contract entered into by, or with respect to, the Fund. The Declaration of Trust and Bylaws are governing documents and are not contracts between the Fund and any person.

Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act

The Fund’s Declaration of Trust contains a provision opting in to the provisions of the MCSAA. The Fund will be subject to the MCSAA to the same extent as if it were a corporation formed under the Maryland General Corporation Law. The MCSAA provides that a holder of control shares of a Maryland corporation acquired in a control share acquisition will not be entitled to vote its control shares except to the extent approved by a vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter (i.e., entitled to vote on the restoration of voting rights for the holder of the control shares). Shares owned by the acquiror, by officers or by directors (or, in the case of the Fund, a Trustee) who are employees of the corporation are excluded from shares entitled to vote on the matter. Control shares are voting shares of stock which, if aggregated with all other shares owned by the acquiror or in respect of which the acquiror is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquiror to exercise voting power in electing directors (i.e., the Fund’s trustees) within one of the following ranges of voting power:

 

   

one-tenth or more but less than one-third,

   

one-third or more but less than a majority, or

   

a majority or more of all voting power.

Control shares do not include shares the acquiring person is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained shareholder approval as described above. A control share acquisition means the acquisition of control shares, subject to certain exceptions.

A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition may compel the board of directors of the corporation to call a special meeting of shareholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the holder of control shares. The right to compel the calling of a special meeting is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including an undertaking to pay the expenses of the meeting. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any shareholders meeting.

If voting rights for the holder of control shares are not approved at the meeting or if the acquiring person does not deliver an acquiring person statement as required by the statute, then the corporation may repurchase for fair value any or all of the control shares, except those for which voting rights have previously been approved, subject to compliance with the 1940 Act. The right of the statutory trust to repurchase control shares is subject to certain conditions and limitations. Fair value is determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the holder of control shares, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquiror or of any meeting of shareholders at which the voting rights of the holder of control shares are considered and not approved if such a

 

74


meeting is held. If voting rights for the holder of control shares are approved at a shareholders meeting and the acquiror becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other shareholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquiror in the control share acquisition.

The MCSAA does not apply (a) to shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the Fund is a party to the transaction, (b) to shares acquired under the satisfaction of a pledge or other security interest created in good faith and not for the purpose of circumventing the MCSAA, or (c) to acquisitions of shares approved or exempted by a provision contained in the declaration of trust or bylaws of the Fund and adopted at any time before the acquisition of the shares. Shareholders (together with any “associated persons” (as defined in the MCSAA)) that own less than ten percent of the shares entitled to vote in the election of trustees are not affected by the restrictions under the MCSAA. In addition, the Fund’s declaration of trust provides that the MCSAA will not apply to any acquisition or proposed acquisition of shares of the Fund by any company that, in accordance with the 1940 Act or SEC exemptive order or other regulatory relief or guidance, votes the shares held by it in the same proportion as the vote of all other holders of such security or all securities.

The MCSAA is designed to discourage others from trying to acquire control of the Fund for short-term objectives, including by converting the Fund to open-end status or changing the composition of the Board, that may be detrimental to the Fund’s ability to achieve its primary investment objective of seeking high current income. Such provisions may limit the ability of shareholders to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging a third party from seeking to obtain control of the Fund. There can be no assurance, however, that such provisions will be sufficient to deter activist investors that seek to cause the Fund to take actions that may not be aligned with the interests of long-term shareholders.

LIMITED TERM AND ELIGIBLE TENDER OFFER

The Fund intends to liquidate on the first business day after its twelfth anniversary of the effective date of the Fund. The Fund’s liquidation date may be extended up to two years if approved by a majority of the Board of Trustees and 75% of the members of the Board who either (x) have been a member of the Board for a period of at least thirty-six months (or since the commencement of the Fund’s operations, if less than thirty-six months) or (y) were nominated to serve as a member of the Board by a majority of the Continuing Trustees. The Board may cause the fund to conduct a tender offer, within the 6-18 months preceding the Termination Date (subject to extension), to all Common Shareholders to purchase 100% of the then shares outstanding at a price equal to NAV on the expiration date of the tender offer. Following the completion of the tender offer and there being at least $200 million total net assets the Board may vote, by a Board Action Vote and without shareholder approval, to remove the Termination Date and cause the Fund to have a perpetual term.

Beginning with the Wind-Down Period, the Fund may begin liquidating all or a portion of the Fund’s portfolio, and may deviate from its investment policies and may not achieve its investment objectives. During the Wind-Down Period (or in anticipation of an Eligible Tender Offer), the Fund’s portfolio composition may change as more of its portfolio holdings are called or sold and portfolio holdings are disposed of in anticipation of liquidation.

As of a date within the 6-18 months preceding the Dissolution Date, the Board may, by a Board Action Vote, cause the Fund to conduct an Eligible Tender Offer. The Board has established that the Fund must have aggregate net assets at least equal to the Dissolution Threshold immediately following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer to ensure the continued viability of the Fund. In an Eligible Tender Offer, the Fund will offer to purchase all Common Shares held by each Common Shareholder; provided that if the payment for properly tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets below the Dissolution Threshold, the Eligible Tender Offer will be canceled and no Common Shares will be repurchased pursuant to the Eligible Tender Offer. Instead, the Fund will begin (or continue) liquidating its portfolio and proceed to dissolve on or about the Dissolution Date. Regardless of whether the Eligible Tender Offer is completed or

 

75


canceled, LMPFA will pay all costs and expenses associated with the making of an Eligible Tender Offer, other than brokerage and related transaction costs associated with the disposition of portfolio investments in connection with the Eligible Tender Offer, which will be borne by the Fund and its Common Shareholders. The Eligible Tender Offer would be made, and Common Shareholders would be notified thereof, in accordance with the requirements of the 1940 Act, the Exchange Act and the applicable tender offer rules thereunder (including Rule 13e-4 and Regulation 14E under the Exchange Act). If the payment for properly tendered Common Shares would result in the Fund having aggregate net assets greater than or equal to the Dissolution Threshold, all Common Shares properly tendered and not withdrawn will be purchased by the Fund pursuant to the terms of the Eligible Tender Offer. The Fund’s purchase of tendered Common Shares pursuant to a tender offer will generally have tax consequences for tendering Common Shareholders and may have tax consequences for non-tendering Common Shareholders. In addition, the Fund would continue to be subject to its obligations with respect to its issued and outstanding borrowings, Preferred Shares or debt securities, if any. An Eligible Tender Offer may be commenced upon approval of the Board, without a shareholder vote by a Board Action Vote. The Fund is not required to conduct an Eligible Tender Offer. If no Eligible Tender Offer is conducted, the Fund will dissolve on the Dissolution Date (subject to extension as described above), unless the limited term provisions of the Declaration of Trust are amended with the vote of shareholders.

Following the completion of an Eligible Tender Offer, the Board may, by a Board Action Vote, eliminate the Dissolution Date without shareholder approval and provide for the Fund’s perpetual existence. In determining whether to eliminate the Dissolution Date, the Board may consider market conditions at such time and all other factors deemed relevant by the Board in consultation with LMPFA, taking into account that LMPFA may have a potential conflict of interest in recommending to the Board that the limited term structure be eliminated and the Fund have a perpetual existence. In making a decision to eliminate the Dissolution Date to provide for the Fund’s perpetual existence, the Board will take such actions with respect to the continued operations of the Fund as it deems to be in the best interests of the Fund. The Fund is not required to conduct additional tender offers following an Eligible Tender Offer and conversion to a perpetual structure. Therefore, remaining Common Shareholders may not have another opportunity to participate in a tender offer or exchange their Common Shares for the then-existing NAV per share. There is no guarantee that the Board will eliminate the Dissolution Date following completion of an Eligible Tender Offer so that the Fund will have a perpetual existence.

All Common Shareholders remaining after a tender offer will be subject to proportionately higher expenses due to the reduction in the Fund’s assets resulting from payment for any tendered Common Shares. A reduction in assets, and the corresponding increase in the Fund’s expense ratio, could result in lower returns and put the Fund at a disadvantage relative to its peers and potentially cause the Fund’s Common Shares to trade at a wider discount to NAV than it otherwise would. Such reduction in the Fund’s assets may also result in less investment flexibility, reduced diversification and greater volatility for the Fund, and may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s investment performance. Moreover, the resulting reduction in the number of outstanding Common Shares could cause the Common Shares to become more thinly traded or otherwise adversely impact the secondary market trading of such Common Shares.

The Board may, to the extent it deems appropriate and without shareholder approval, adopt a plan of liquidation at any time preceding the anticipated Dissolution Date, which plan of liquidation may set forth the terms and conditions for implementing the termination of the Fund’s existence, including the commencement of the winding down of its investment operations and the making of one or more liquidating distributions to Common Shareholders prior to the Dissolution Date.

Upon its dissolution, the Fund will distribute substantially all of its net assets to shareholders, after paying or otherwise providing for all charges, taxes, expenses and liabilities, whether due or accrued or anticipated, of the Fund, as may be determined by the Board. The Fund retains broad flexibility to liquidate its portfolio, wind up its business and make liquidating distributions to Common Shareholders in a manner and on a schedule it believes will best contribute to the achievement of its investment objectives. Accordingly, as the Fund nears an Eligible Tender Offer or the Dissolution Date, LMPFA may begin liquidating all or a portion of the Fund’s

 

76


portfolio through opportunistic sales. During this time, the Fund may not achieve its investment objectives, comply with the investment guidelines described in this prospectus or be able to sustain its historical distribution levels. During such period(s), the Fund’s portfolio composition may change as more of its portfolio holdings are called or sold and portfolio holdings are disposed of in anticipation of dissolution or an Eligible Tender Offer. Rather than reinvesting the proceeds of matured, called or sold securities in accordance with the investment program described above, the Fund may invest such proceeds in short term or other lower yielding securities or hold the proceeds in cash, which may adversely affect its performance. The Fund’s distributions during the Wind-Down Period may decrease, and such distributions may include a return of capital. The Fund may distribute the proceeds in one or more liquidating distributions prior to the final dissolution, which may cause fixed expenses to increase when expressed as a percentage of assets under management. It is expected that shareholders will receive cash in any liquidating distribution from the Fund, regardless of their participation in the Fund’s dividend reinvestment plan. Shareholders generally will realize capital gain or loss upon the dissolution of the Fund in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash or other property received by the shareholder (including any property deemed received by reason of its being placed in a liquidating trust) and the shareholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares of the Fund for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As soon as practicable after the Dissolution Date, the Fund will complete the liquidation of its portfolio (to the extent possible and not already liquidated), retire or redeem its leverage facilities, if any (to the extent not already retired or redeemed), distribute all of its liquidated net assets to its Common Shareholders (to the extent not already distributed) and terminate its existence under Maryland law.

Although it is anticipated that the Fund will have distributed substantially all of its net assets to shareholders as soon as practicable after the Dissolution Date, securities for which no market exists or securities trading at depressed prices, if any, may be placed in a liquidating trust. Securities placed in a liquidating trust may be held for an indefinite period of time, potentially several years or longer, until they can be sold or pay out all of their cash flows. During such time, the shareholders will continue to be exposed to the risks associated with the Fund and the value of their interest in the liquidating trust will fluctuate with the value of the liquidating trust’s remaining assets. To the extent the costs associated with a liquidating trust exceed the value of the remaining securities, the liquidating trust trustees may determine to dispose of the remaining securities in a manner of their choosing. The Fund cannot predict the amount, if any, of securities that will be required to be placed in a liquidating trust or how long it will take to sell or otherwise dispose of such securities.

The Fund is not a so called “target date” or “life cycle” fund whose asset allocation becomes more conservative over time as its target date, often associated with retirement, approaches. In addition, the Fund is not a “target term” fund whose investment objective is to return its original NAV on the Dissolution Date or in an Eligible Tender Offer. The final distribution of net assets per common share upon dissolution or the price per common share in an Eligible Tender Offer may be more than, equal to or less than the initial public offering price per common share.

CLOSED-END FUND STRUCTURE

The Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company with no operating history (commonly referred to as a closed-end fund). Closed-end funds differ from open-end funds (which are generally referred to as mutual funds) in that closed-end funds generally list their shares for trading on a stock exchange and do not redeem their shares at the request of the shareholder. This means that if you wish to sell your shares of a closed-end fund you must trade them on the stock exchange like any other stock at the prevailing market price at that time. In a mutual fund, if the shareholder wishes to sell shares of the fund, the mutual fund will redeem or buy back the shares at NAV. Also, mutual funds generally offer new shares on a continuous basis to new investors and closed-end funds generally do not. The continuous inflows and outflows of assets in a mutual fund can make it difficult to manage the fund’s investments. By comparison, closed-end funds are generally able to stay more fully invested in securities that are consistent with their investment objectives and also have greater flexibility to make certain types of investments and to use certain investment strategies, such as financial leverage and investments in illiquid securities.

 

77


REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

The Fund is a closed-end investment company, and as such its Common Shareholders will not have the right to cause the Fund to redeem their Common Shares. Instead, liquidity will be provided through trading in the open market. Notice is hereby given in accordance with Section 23(c) of the 1940 Act that the Fund may purchase at market prices from time to time shares of its Common Shares in the open market but is under no obligation to do so.

Shares of closed-end investment companies often trade at a discount to their NAVs and the Trust’s Common Shares may also trade at a discount to their NAV, although it is possible that they may trade at a premium above NAV. The market price of the Fund’s Common Shares will be determined by such factors as relative demand for and supply of such Common Shares in the market, the Fund’s NAV, general market and economic conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Fund. Although the Fund’s Common Shareholders will not have the right to redeem their Common Shares, the Trust may take action to repurchase Common Shares in the open market or make tender offers for its Common Shares. This may have the effect of reducing any market discount from NAV.

There is no assurance that, if action is undertaken to repurchase or tender for Common Shares, such action will result in the Common Shares trading at a price which approximates their NAV. Although share repurchases and tender offers could have a favorable effect on the market price of the Fund’s Common Shares, you should be aware that the acquisition of Common Shares by the Fund will decrease the capital of the Fund and, therefore, may have the effect of increasing the Fund’s expense ratio and decreasing the asset coverage with respect to any Borrowings or Preferred Shares outstanding. Any share repurchases or tender offers will be made in accordance with the requirements of the Exchange Act, the 1940 Act and the principal stock exchange on which the Common Shares are traded.

CERTAIN UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The discussion below and certain disclosure in the SAI provide general tax information related to an investment in the Fund’s Common Shares. Because tax laws are complex and often change, shareholders should consult their tax advisors about the tax consequences of an investment in the Common Shares. Unless otherwise noted, the following tax discussion applies only to U.S. shareholders that hold the Common Shares as capital assets. A U.S. shareholder is a shareholder who is for U.S. federal income tax purposes a citizen or individual resident of the United States, a U.S. corporation, a trust if it (a) is subject to the primary supervision of a court in the United States and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (b) has made a valid election to be treated as a U.S. person, or any estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income tax regardless of its source.

The Fund intends to elect to be treated, and intends to qualify each taxable year, as a regulated investment company (a “RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Code. To qualify under Subchapter M for the favorable tax treatment accorded to RICs, the Fund must, among other things: (1) distribute to its shareholders in each taxable year at least 90% of the sum of its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code, but without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and its net tax-exempt income; (2) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from (a) dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain 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 with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies; and (b) net income derived from interests in certain publicly traded partnerships that are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that derive less than 90% of their gross income from the items described in (a) above (each a “Qualified Publicly Traded Partnership”); and (3) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of each taxable year of the Fund (a) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, with respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of the

 

78


Fund’s total assets, and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets is represented by the securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other RICs) of (I) any one issuer, (II) any two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are determined to be engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses, or (III) any one or more Qualified Publicly Traded Partnerships. As a RIC, the Fund generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on its investment company taxable income and net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), if any, that it distributes in each taxable year to its shareholders. The Fund intends to distribute to its shareholders, at least annually, substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain.

If the Fund fails to satisfy as of the close of any quarter the asset diversification test referred to in the preceding paragraph, it will have 30 days to cure the failure by, for example, selling securities that are the source of the violation. Other cure provisions are available in the Code for a failure to satisfy the asset diversification test, but any such cure provision may involve the payment of a penalty excise tax.

If the Fund failed to qualify for the favorable tax treatment accorded to RICs in any taxable year, the Fund would be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate rates on its taxable income (including distributions of net capital gain), even if such income were distributed to its shareholders, and all distributions out of earnings and profits would be taxed to shareholders as ordinary dividend income. Such distributions generally would be eligible (i) to be treated as “qualified dividend income” in the case of individual and other noncorporate shareholders and (ii) for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. In addition, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay taxes and make distributions (which could be subject to interest charges) before requalifying for taxation as a RIC.

A RIC that fails to distribute, by the close of each calendar year, an amount at least equal to the sum of 98% of its ordinary taxable income for such calendar year and 98.2% of its capital gain net income (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for the one-year period ending on October 31 of such calendar year, plus any shortfalls from any prior year’s required distribution, is liable for a 4% excise tax on the portion of the undistributed amounts of such income that are less than the required distributions. For these purposes, the Fund will be deemed to have distributed any income or gain on which it paid U.S. federal income tax.

Distributions to Common Shareholders by the Fund of ordinary income (including “market discount” realized by the Fund on the sale of debt securities), and of net short-term capital gains, if any, realized by the Fund will generally be taxable to Common Shareholders as ordinary income to the extent such distributions are paid out of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Distributions, if any, of net capital gains properly reported as “capital gain dividends” will be taxable as long-term capital gains, regardless of the length of time the Common Shareholder has owned Common Shares. A distribution of an amount in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits (as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes) will be treated by a Common Shareholder as a return of capital which will be applied against and reduce the Common Shareholder’s basis in his or her Common Shares. To the extent that the amount of any such distribution exceeds the Common Shareholder’s basis in his or her Common Shares, the excess will be treated by the Common Shareholder as gain from a sale or exchange of the Common Shares. Distributions paid by the Fund generally will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction allowed to corporations or for the reduced rates applicable to certain qualified dividend income received by non-corporate Common Shareholders.

Distributions will be treated in the manner described above regardless of whether such distributions are paid in cash or invested in additional Common Shares pursuant to the Dividend Reinvestment Plan. Common Shareholders receiving distributions in the form of additional Common Shares will be treated as receiving a distribution in the amount of cash that they would have received if they had elected to receive the distribution in cash, unless the Fund issues additional Common Shares with a fair market value equal to or greater than net asset value, in which case such Common Shareholders will be treated as receiving a distribution in the amount of the fair market value of the distributed Common Shares. The additional Common Shares received by a Common

 

79


Shareholder pursuant to the Dividend Reinvestment Plan will have a new holding period commencing on the day following the day on which the Common Shares are credited to the Common Shareholder’s account.

Although dividends generally will be treated as distributed when paid, dividends declared in October, November or December, payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in one of those months, and paid during the following January, will be treated as having been distributed by the Fund (and received by shareholders) on December 31 of the year in which declared.

The Fund may elect to retain its net capital gain or a portion thereof for investment and be taxed at corporate rates on the amount retained. In such case, the Fund may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a written notice to its shareholders, who will be treated as if each received a distribution of his pro rata share of such gain, with the result that each Common Shareholder will (i) be required to report its pro rata share of such gain on its tax return as long-term capital gain, (ii) receive a refundable tax credit for its pro rata share of tax paid by the Fund on the gain and (iii) increase the tax basis for its Common Shares by an amount equal to the deemed distribution less the tax credit.

In general, the sale or other disposition of Common Shares (including upon termination of the Fund, but except pursuant to a repurchase by the Fund, as described below) will result in capital gain or loss to Common Shareholders. A Common Shareholder’s gain or loss generally will be a long-term capital gain or loss if the Common Shares have been held for more than one year. Present law taxes both long- and short-term capital gains of corporations at the rates applicable to ordinary income. For non-corporate taxpayers, however, long-term capital gains are currently eligible for reduced rates of taxation. Losses realized by a Common Shareholder on the sale or other disposition of Common Shares held for six months or less are treated as long-term capital losses to the extent of any distribution of long-term capital gain received (or amounts designated as undistributed capital gains) with respect to such Common Shares. In addition, no loss will be allowed on the sale or other disposition of Common Shares if the Common Shareholder acquires (including pursuant to the Dividend Reinvestment Plan) or enters into a contract or option to acquire securities that are substantially identical to such Common Shares within 30 days before or after the disposition. In such case, the basis of the securities acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

The Fund may offer to repurchase its outstanding Common Shares pursuant to an Eligible Tender Offer or another repurchase offer. Common Shareholders who tender all Common Shares held, or considered to be held, by them will be treated as having sold their shares and generally will realize a capital gain or loss. If a Common Shareholder tenders fewer than all of its Common Shares or fewer than all Common Shares tendered are repurchased, such Common Shareholder may be treated as having received a taxable dividend upon the tender of its Common Shares. In such a case, there is a risk that non-tendering Common Shareholders, and Common Shareholders who tender some but not all of their Common Shares or fewer than all of whose Common Shares are repurchased, in each case whose percentage interests in the Fund increase as a result of such tender, will be treated as having received a taxable distribution from the Fund. The extent of such risk will vary depending upon the particular circumstances of the repurchase offer, and in particular whether such offer is a single and isolated event or is part of a plan for periodically redeeming Common Shares of the Fund.

The Fund may be required to withhold from all distributions and repurchase proceeds payable to U.S. shareholders who fail to provide the Fund with their correct taxpayer identification numbers or to make required certifications, or who have been notified by the IRS that they are subject to backup withholding. Certain shareholders specified in the Code generally are exempt from such backup withholding. This backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be refunded or credited against a Common Shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the required information is timely furnished to the IRS.

If a shareholder is for U.S. federal income tax purposes a nonresident alien individual, a foreign trust or estate or a foreign corporation (other than such a shareholder whose ownership of shares is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business), certain dividends received by such shareholder from the Fund may be subject to

 

80


U.S. federal withholding tax. To the extent that Fund distributions consist of ordinary dividends that are subject to withholding, the applicable withholding agent will generally be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax at the rate of 30% (or such lower rate as may be determined in accordance with any applicable treaty). However, dividends paid by the Fund that are “interest-related dividends” or “short-term capital gain dividends” will generally be exempt from such withholding, in each case to the extent the Fund properly reports such dividends to shareholders. For these purposes, interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends generally represent distributions of interest or short-term capital gains that would not have been subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the source if received directly by a non-U.S. shareholder, and that satisfy certain other requirements. Net capital gain dividends (that is, distributions of the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) distributed by the Fund to a non-U.S. shareholder will not be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax.

The Fund may be required to withhold from distributions to non-U.S. shareholders that are otherwise exempt from U.S. federal withholding tax (or taxable at a reduced treaty rate) unless the non-U.S. shareholder certifies his or her foreign status under penalties of perjury or otherwise establishes an exemption.

Under Sections 1471 through 1474 of the Code (such Sections commonly referred to as “FATCA”), a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax may apply to any dividends that the Fund pays to (i) a “foreign financial institution” (as specifically defined in the Code), whether such foreign financial institution is the beneficial owner or an intermediary, unless such foreign financial institution agrees to verify, report and disclose its United States “account” holders (as specifically defined in the Code) and meets certain other specified requirements or (ii) a non-financial foreign entity, whether such non-financial foreign entity is the beneficial owner or an intermediary, unless such entity provides a certification that the beneficial owner of the payment does not have any substantial United States owners or provides the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each such substantial United States owner and certain other specified requirements are met. In certain cases, the relevant foreign financial institution or non-financial foreign entity may qualify for an exemption from, or be deemed to be in compliance with, these rules. In addition, foreign financial institutions located in jurisdictions that have an intergovernmental agreement with the United States governing FATCA may be subject to different rules. You should consult your own tax advisor regarding FATCA and whether it may be relevant to your ownership of Common Shares.

The foregoing tax discussion is for general information only. The provisions of the Code and regulations thereunder presently in effect as they directly govern the taxation of the Fund and its Common Shareholders are subject to change by legislative or administrative action, and any such change may be retroactive with respect to the Fund’s transactions. The foregoing does not represent a detailed description of the U.S. federal income tax considerations relevant to special classes of taxpayers including, without limitation, financial institutions, insurance companies, investors in pass-through entities, U.S. shareholders whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar, tax-exempt organizations, dealers in securities or currencies, traders in securities or commodities that elect mark to market treatment, or persons that will hold Common Shares as a position in a “straddle,” “hedge” or as part of a “constructive sale” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, this discussion does not address the application of the Medicare tax on net investment income or the U.S. federal alternative minimum tax. Shareholders are advised to consult with their own tax advisors for more detailed information concerning federal income tax matters.

 

81


UNDERWRITERS

Under the terms and subject to the conditions in an underwriting agreement, dated the date of this prospectus, the Underwriters named below, for whom Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, BofA Securities, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as representatives (the “Representatives”), have severally agreed to purchase, and the Fund has agreed to sell to them, the number of the Fund’s Common Shares indicated below.

 

Underwriter

   Number of Shares  

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

  

BofA Securities, Inc.

  

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

  

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

  

RBC Capital Markets, LLC

  

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated

  

Aegis Capital Corp.

  

AmeriVet Securities, Inc.

  

B. Riley Securities, Inc.

  

Bancroft Capital, LLC

  

Brookline Capital Markets, a Division of Arcadia Securities, LLC

  

D.A. Davidson & Co.

  

GMS Group, LLC

  

Hennion & Walsh, Inc.

  

Hilltop Securities Inc.

  

Incapital LLC

  

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

  

JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC

  

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc.

  

Maxim Group LLC

  

Newbridge Securities Corporation

  

Northland Securities, Inc.

  

Pershing LLC

  

Wedbush Securities Inc.

  

A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners

  

Alexander Capital, L.P.

  

Huntleigh Securities Corporation

  
  

 

 

 

Total

  
  

 

 

 

The Underwriters are offering the Common Shares subject to their acceptance of the Common Shares from the Fund and subject to prior sale. The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the several Underwriters to pay for and accept delivery of the Common Shares offered by this prospectus are subject to the approval of certain legal matters by their counsel and to certain other conditions. The Underwriters are obligated to take and pay for all of the Common Shares offered by this prospectus if any such shares are taken. However, the Underwriters are not required to take or pay for the Common Shares covered by the Underwriters’ over-allotment option described below.

The Underwriters initially propose to offer part of the Common Shares directly to the public at the public offering price listed on the cover page of this prospectus and part to certain dealers at a price that represents a concession not in excess of $                     per common share under the public offering price. Investors must pay for any Common Shares purchased in this offering on or before                     , 2021.

 

82


The Fund has granted to the Underwriters an option, exercisable for 45 days from the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to                      additional Common Shares at the public offering price listed on the cover page of this prospectus. The Underwriters may exercise this option solely for the purpose of covering over-allotments, if any, made in connection with the offering of the Common Shares offered by this prospectus. To the extent the option is exercised, each Underwriter will become obligated, subject to certain conditions, to purchase approximately the same percentage of the additional Common Shares as the number listed next to the Underwriter’s name in the preceding table bears to the total number of Common Shares listed next to the names of all Underwriters in the preceding table.

The following table shows the per share and total public offering price, underwriting discounts and commissions (sales load) and proceeds to the Fund. These amounts are shown assuming both no exercise and full exercise of the Underwriters’ option to purchase up to an additional                      Common Shares.

 

            Total  
     Per Share      No Exercise      Full Exercise  

Public Offering Price

   $ 20.00      $        $    

Sales Load

     None        None        None  

Proceeds to the Fund

   $ 20.00      $        $    

The compensation and fees paid to the Underwriters described below under “Additional Compensation Paid by LMPFA” are not reimbursable to LMPFA by the Fund and are therefore not reflected in the table above.

LMPFA (and not the Fund) will pay all organizational expenses of the Fund and all offering costs associated with this offering. The Fund is not obligated to repay any such organizational expenses or offering costs paid by LMPFA.

The Underwriters have informed the Fund that they do not intend sales to discretionary accounts to exceed five percent of the total number of Common Shares offered by them.

In order to meet requirements for listing the Common Shares on the NYSE, the Underwriters have undertaken to sell lots of 100 or more shares to a minimum of 400 beneficial owners in the United States. The minimum investment requirement is 100 Common Shares ($2,000).

The Fund’s Common Shares are expected to be listed on the NYSE, subject to notice of issuance, under the symbol “WDI”.

The Fund has agreed that, without the prior written consent of the Representatives on behalf of the Underwriters, it will not, during the period ending 180 days after the date of this prospectus:

 

   

offer, pledge, sell, contract to sell, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, lend or otherwise transfer or dispose of, directly or indirectly, any Common Shares or any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for Common Shares;

 

   

file any registration statement with the SEC relating to the offering of any Common Shares or any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for Common Shares; or

 

   

enter into any swap or other arrangement that transfers to another, in whole or in part, any of the economic consequences of ownership of the Common Shares;

whether any such transaction described above is to be settled by delivery of Common Shares or such other securities, in cash or otherwise.

 

83


The restrictions described in the immediately preceding paragraph do not apply to:

 

   

the sale of Common Shares to the Underwriters;

 

   

any Common Shares issued pursuant to the Reinvestment Plan; or

 

   

any preferred share issuance.

The Representatives, in their sole discretion, may release the Common Shares and other securities subject to the lock-up agreement described above in whole or in part at any time with or without notice.

In order to facilitate the offering of the Common Shares, the Underwriters may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the price of the Common Shares. Specifically, the Underwriters may sell more Common Shares than they are obligated to purchase under the underwriting agreement, creating a short position. A short sale is covered if the short position is no greater than the number of Common Shares available for purchase by the Underwriters under the over-allotment option. The Underwriters can close out a covered short sale by exercising the over-allotment option or purchasing Common Shares in the open market. In determining the source of Common Shares to close out a covered short sale, the Underwriters will consider, among other things, the open market price of the Common Shares compared to the price available under the over-allotment option. The Underwriters may also sell Common Shares in excess of the over-allotment option, creating a naked short position. The Underwriters must close out any naked short position by purchasing Common Shares in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the Underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the Common Shares in the open market after pricing that could adversely affect investors who purchase in the offering. As an additional means of facilitating the offering, the Underwriters may bid for, and purchase, Common Shares in the open market to stabilize the price of the Common Shares. Finally, the underwriting syndicate may also reclaim selling concessions allowed to an Underwriter or a dealer for distributing the Common Shares in the offering. Any of these activities may raise or maintain the market price of the Common Shares above independent market levels or prevent or retard a decline in the market price of the Common Shares. The Underwriters are not required to engage in these activities, and may end any of these activities at any time.

The Fund, LMPFA and the Underwriters have agreed to indemnify each other against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act.

A prospectus in electronic format may be made available on websites maintained by one or more Underwriters, or selling group members, if any, participating in this offering. The Representatives may agree to allocate a number of Common Shares to Underwriters for sale to their online brokerage account holders. Internet distributions will be allocated by the Representatives to Underwriters that may make Internet distributions on the same basis as other allocations.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for the Common Shares. The initial public offering price for the Common Shares was determined by negotiation among the Fund, LMPFA and the Representatives. There can be no assurance, however, that the price at which the Common Shares trade after this offering will not be lower than the price at which they are sold by the Underwriters or that an active trading market in the Common Shares will develop and continue after this offering.

Prior to the public offering of the Common Shares, Franklin Resources purchased Common Shares from the Fund in an amount satisfying the net worth requirements of Section 14(a) of the 1940 Act, which requires the Fund to have a net worth of at least $100,000 prior to making a public offering. As of the date of this prospectus, Franklin Resources owned 100% of the Fund’s outstanding Common Shares and therefore may be deemed to control the Fund until such time as it owns 25% or less of the Fund’s outstanding Common Shares, which is expected to occur upon the closing of this offering.

 

84


The Fund anticipates that the Representatives and certain other Underwriters may from time to time act as brokers and dealers in connection with the execution of its portfolio transactions after they have ceased to be Underwriters and, subject to certain restrictions, may act as such brokers while they are Underwriters.

The Underwriters and their respective affiliates are full service financial institutions engaged in various activities, which may include securities trading, commercial lending, investment banking, financial Advisory, investment management, principal investment, hedging, derivatives, financing and brokerage activities. Certain of the Underwriters or their respective affiliates from time to time have provided in the past, and may provide in the future, securities trading, commercial lending, investment banking, financial Advisory, investment management, principal investment, hedging, derivatives, financing and brokerage services to the Fund, certain of its executive officers and affiliates and LMPFA and their affiliates in the ordinary course of business, for which they have received, and may receive, customary fees and expenses.

No action has been taken in any jurisdiction (except in the United States) that would permit a public offering of the Common Shares, or the possession, circulation or distribution of this prospectus or any other material relating to the Fund or the Common Shares where action for that purpose is required. Accordingly, the Common Shares may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, and neither this prospectus nor any other offering material or advertisements in connection with the Common Shares may be distributed or published, in or from any country or jurisdiction except in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of any such country or jurisdiction.

The principal business address of Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is 1585 Broadway, New York, New York 10036. The principal business address of BofA Securities, Inc. is One Bryant Park, New York, New York 10036. The principal business address of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC is 550 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202.

Compensation Paid by LMPFA

LMPFA (and not the Fund) has agreed to pay from its own assets, compensation of $0.60 per Common Share to the Underwriters in connection with the offering, which aggregate amount will not exceed                     % of the total public offering price of the Common Shares.

LMPFA (and not the Fund) has agreed to pay Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, from its own assets, an upfront structuring and syndication fee for advice relating to the structure, design and organization of the Fund as well as services related to the sale and distribution of the Common Shares in this offering in the amount of $                    . If the over-allotment option is not exercised, the upfront structuring and syndication fee paid to Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC will not exceed                     % of the total public offering price of the Common Shares. These services provided by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC to LMPFA are unrelated to LMPFA’s function of advising the Fund as to its investments in securities or use of investment strategies and investment techniques.

LMPFA (and not the Fund) has agreed to pay each of BofA Securities, Inc. (or an affiliate) and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, from its own assets, an upfront structuring fee in the amount of $                     and $                    , respectively, for advice relating to the structure, design and organization of the Fund as well as services related to the sale and distribution of the Common Shares. If the over-allotment option is not exercised, the upfront structuring fee paid to each of BofA Securities, Inc. (or an affiliate) and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC will not exceed                     % and                     %, respectively, of the total public offering price of the Common Shares. These services provided by these Underwriters to LMPFA are unrelated to LMPFA’s function of advising the Fund as to its investments in securities or use of investment strategies and investment techniques.

LMPFA (and not the Fund) has agreed to pay from its own assets to each of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated a fee in the amount of $                    , $                     and $                    , respectively. If the over-allotment option is not exercised, the fee paid to each

 

85


of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated will not exceed                     %,                     % and                     %, respectively, of the total public offering price of the Common Shares. These services provided by these Underwriters to LMPFA are unrelated to LMPFA’s function of advising the Fund as to its investments in securities or use of investment strategies and investment techniques.

LMPFA (and not the Fund) may also pay certain other qualifying underwriters and other dealers a structuring fee, a sales incentive fee or other additional compensation in connection with this offering.

The amount of these structuring and other fees are calculated based on the total respective sales of Common Shares by these Underwriters, including those Common Shares included in the Underwriters’ over-allotment option, and will be paid regardless of whether some or all of the over-allotment option is exercised.

LMPFA and certain of its affiliates (and not the Fund) expect to pay compensation to certain registered representatives of Legg Mason Investor Services, Inc. (a registered broker-dealer and an affiliate of LMPFA) that participate in the marketing of the Fund’s Common Shares in an aggregate amount that will not exceed                     % of the total public offering price of the Common Shares. LMPFA and certain of its affiliates (and not the Fund) pay this compensation in consideration of marketing activities conducted as part of these registered representatives’ regular duties, which activities may include providing information and education to partner firms about the Fund, discussing economic trends and market movements and providing assistance with marketing materials.

Total underwriting compensation determined in accordance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) rules is summarized as follows. LMPFA has agreed to reimburse the Underwriters for the reasonable fees and disbursements of counsel to the Underwriters in connection with the review by FINRA of the terms of the sale of the Common Shares in an amount not to exceed $                     in the aggregate, which amount will not exceed                     % of the total public offering price of the Common Shares if the over-allotment option is not exercised.

The sum total of all compensation to the Underwriters and registered representatives of Legg Mason Investor Services, Inc. in connection with this public offering of the Common Shares, including expense reimbursement and all forms of structuring and other fee payments to the Underwriters, will not exceed                     % of the total public offering price of the Common Shares.

CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT

The custodian of the assets of the Fund is The Bank of New York Mellon, 225 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10286. The custodian performs custodial, fund accounting and portfolio accounting services. The Fund’s transfer, shareholder services and dividend paying agent is Computershare Inc., 462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600, Louisville, KY 40202.

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose principal business address is 100 East Pratt Street, Suite 2600, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-1096, is the independent registered public accounting firm of the Fund and is expected to render an opinion annually on the financial statements of the Fund.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the Fund by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Washington, D.C. Clifford Chance US LLP advised the Underwriters in connection with the offering of the Common Shares. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Clifford Chance US LLP may rely as to certain matters of Maryland law on the opinion of Venable LLP.

 

86


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THE STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

USE OF PROCEEDS

     1  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES

     1  

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND TECHNIQUES

     4  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     46  

INVESTMENT MANAGER

     50  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     54  

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     55  

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

     56  

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

     57  

CERTAIN U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     58  

CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT

     64  

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     64  

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     65  

PART C

     C-1  

 

87


Shares

Western Asset Diversified Income Fund

Common Shares

$20.00 per share

 

 

PROSPECTUS

, 2021

 

 

Morgan Stanley

BofA Securities

Wells Fargo Securities

Oppenheimer & Co.

RBC Capital Markets

Stifel

Aegis Capital Corp.

AmeriVet Securities

B. Riley Securities

Bancroft Capital, LLC

Brookline Capital Markets

D.A. Davidson & Co.

GMS Group, LLC

Hennion & Walsh, Inc.

HilltopSecurities

Incapital

Janney Montgomery Scott

JonesTrading

Ladenburg Thalmann

Maxim Group LLC

Newbridge Securities Corporation

Northland Securities, Inc.

Pershing LLC

Wedbush Securities Inc.

Until                     , 2021 (25 days after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that buy, sell or trade the Common Shares, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This delivery requirement is in addition to the dealers’ obligations to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriters and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.

WDI RH 05/21


The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the Registration Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

Subject to Completion Dated May 25, 2021

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Western Asset Diversified Income Fund

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Western Asset Diversified Income Fund, a Maryland statutory trust (the “Fund”), is a diversified, closed-end management investment company with no operating history. This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) relating to Common Shares does not constitute a prospectus, but should be read in conjunction with the prospectus relating thereto dated                     , 2021. This SAI, which is not a prospectus, does not include all information that a prospective investor should consider before purchasing Common Shares, and investors should obtain and read the prospectus prior to purchasing such shares. A copy of the prospectus, annual and semi-annual reports (when available) and additional information about the Fund may be obtained without charge by calling (888) 777-0102, by writing to the Fund at 620 Eighth Avenue, 47th Floor, New York, NY 10018 or by visiting the Fund’s website (http://www.lmcef.com). The information contained in, or accessed through, the Fund’s website is not part of the Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI. You may also obtain a copy of the prospectus on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (the “SEC”) website (http://www.sec.gov). Capitalized terms used but not defined in this SAI have the meanings ascribed to them in the prospectus.

References to the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), or other applicable law, will include any rules promulgated thereunder and any guidance, interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, including court interpretations, and exemptive, no-action or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     1  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES

     1  

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND TECHNIQUES

     4  

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

     46  

INVESTMENT MANAGER

     50  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     54  

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     55  

DESCRIPTION OF SHARES

     56  

REPURCHASE OF COMMON SHARES

     57  

CERTAIN U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     58  

CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT

     64  

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     64  

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     65  

This Statement of Additional Information is dated                     , 2021.

 

 

 


USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless otherwise specified, the Fund intends to invest the net proceeds of any offering of its securities in accordance with its investment objective and policies as stated herein. It is currently anticipated that the Fund will be able to invest substantially all of the net proceeds in accordance with its investment objective and policies within three months after the completion of any offering. Pending such investment, it is anticipated that the proceeds will be primarily invested in short-term money market instruments. The Fund may also invest in U.S. government securities.

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES

The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek high current income. As a secondary investment objective, the Fund will seek capital appreciation. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objectives will be achieved or that the Fund’s investment program will be successful.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The following restrictions are the Fund’s only fundamental policies—that is, policies that cannot be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities (a “1940 Act Vote”). For the purposes of the foregoing, a “majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities” means the lesser of (i) 67% of the shares represented at a meeting at which more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares. The other policies and investment restrictions are not fundamental polices of the Fund and may be changed by the Fund’s Board of Trustees (the “Board of Trustees”) without shareholder approval. If a percentage restriction set forth below is adhered to at the time a transaction is effected, later changes in percentage resulting from any cause other than actions by the Fund will not be considered a violation. Under its fundamental restrictions:

Borrowing: The Fund may not borrow money except as permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, or (ii) exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

Underwriting: The Fund may not engage in the business of underwriting the securities of other issuers except as permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, or (ii) exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

Lending: The Fund may lend money or other assets to the extent permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, or (ii) exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

Senior Securities: The Fund may not issue senior securities except as permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, or (ii) exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

Real Estate: The Fund may not purchase or sell real estate except as permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, or (ii) exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

Commodities: The Fund may purchase or sell commodities or contracts related to commodities to the extent permitted by (i) the 1940 Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, or (ii) exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority.

Concentration: Except as permitted by exemptive or other relief or permission from the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction, the Fund may not make any investment if, as a result, the Fund’s investments will be concentrated in any one industry.

Diversification: The Fund is currently classified as a diversified fund under the 1940 Act.

The following notations are not considered to be part of the Fund’s fundamental restrictions and are subject to change without shareholder approval.

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to borrowing money set forth above, the 1940 Act requires the Fund to maintain at all times an asset coverage of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings. For the purpose of borrowing money, “asset coverage” means the ratio that the value of the Fund’s total assets, minus liabilities other than borrowings, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Certain trading practices and investments may be

 

S-1


considered to be borrowings and thus subject to the 1940 Act restrictions. On the other hand, certain practices and investments may involve leverage but are not considered to be borrowings under the 1940 Act, such as the purchasing of securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, entering into reverse repurchase agreements, credit default swaps or futures contracts, engaging in short sales and writing options on portfolio securities, so long as the Fund covers its obligations by segregating liquid assets, entering into offsetting transactions or owning positions covering related obligations. Borrowing money to increase portfolio holdings is known as “leveraging.” Borrowing, especially when used for leverage, may cause the value of the Fund’s shares to be more volatile than if the Fund did not borrow. This is because borrowing tends to magnify the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio holdings. Borrowed money thus creates an opportunity for greater gains, but also greater losses. To repay borrowings, the Fund may have to sell securities at a time and at a price that is unfavorable to the Fund. There also are costs associated with borrowing money, and these costs would offset and could eliminate the Fund’s net investment income in any given period. The policy above will be interpreted to permit the Fund to engage in trading practices and investments that may be considered to be borrowing to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. Short-term credits necessary for the settlement of securities transactions and arrangements with respect to securities lending will not be considered to be borrowings under the policy. Practices and investments that may involve leverage but are not considered to be borrowings are not subject to the policy.

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to underwriting set forth above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from engaging in the underwriting business or from underwriting the securities of other issuers. A fund engaging in transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of portfolio securities may be considered to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act. Under the 1933 Act, an underwriter may be liable for material omissions or misstatements in an issuer’s registration statement or prospectus. Securities purchased from an issuer and not registered for sale under the 1933 Act are considered restricted securities. There may be a limited market for these securities. If these securities are registered under the 1933 Act, they may then be eligible for sale but participating in the sale may subject the seller to underwriter liability. These risks could apply to a fund investing in restricted securities. Although it is not believed that the application of the 1933 Act provisions described above would cause the Fund to be engaged in the business of underwriting, the policy above will be interpreted not to prevent the Fund from engaging in transactions involving the acquisition or disposition of portfolio securities, regardless of whether the Fund may be considered to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act.

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to lending set forth above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from making loans; however, SEC staff interpretations currently prohibit funds from lending more than one-third of their total assets, except through the purchase of debt obligations or the use of repurchase agreements. (A repurchase agreement is an agreement to purchase a security, coupled with an agreement to sell that security back to the original seller on an agreed-upon date at a price that reflects current interest rates. The SEC frequently treats repurchase agreements as loans.) While lending securities may be a source of income to the Fund, as with other extensions of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery or even loss of rights in the underlying securities should the borrower fail financially. However, loans would be made only when the LMPFA or Western Asset believes the income justifies the attendant risks. The Fund also will be permitted by this policy to make loans of money, including to other funds. The Fund would have to obtain exemptive relief from the SEC to make loans to other funds. The policy above will be interpreted not to prevent the Fund from purchasing or investing in debt obligations and loans. In addition, collateral arrangements with respect to options, forward currency and futures transactions and other derivative instruments, as well as delays in the settlement of securities transactions, will not be considered loans.

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to issuing senior securities set forth above, “senior securities” are defined as any bond, debenture, note, or similar obligation or instrument constituting a security and evidencing indebtedness, and any stock of a class having priority over any other class as to distribution of assets or payment of dividends. The ability of a closed-end fund to issue senior securities is severely circumscribed by complex regulatory constraints under the 1940 Act that restrict, for instance, the amount, timing and form of senior securities that may be issued. Certain portfolio management techniques, such as credit default swaps, the purchase of securities on margin, short sales or the writing of puts on portfolio securities, may be considered senior securities unless appropriate steps are taken to segregate the Fund’s assets or otherwise cover its obligations. To the extent the Fund covers its commitment under these transactions, including by the segregation of liquid assets, equal in value to the amount of the Fund’s commitment, such instrument will not be considered a “senior security” by the Fund and therefore will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by the Fund. Under the 1940 Act, a “senior security” does not include any promissory note or evidence of indebtedness where such loan is for temporary purposes only and in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of the total assets of the issuer at the time the loan is made. A loan is presumed to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within sixty days and is not extended or renewed.

 

S-2


With respect to the fundamental policy relating to real estate set forth above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from owning real estate. Investing in real estate may involve risks, including that real estate is generally considered illiquid and may be difficult to value and sell. Owners of real estate may be subject to various liabilities, including environmental liabilities. The policy above will be interpreted not to prevent the Fund from investing in real estate-related companies, companies whose businesses consist in whole or in part of investing in real estate, instruments (like mortgages) that are secured by real estate or interests therein, or real estate investment trust securities.

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to commodities set forth above, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from owning commodities, whether physical commodities and contracts related to physical commodities (such as oil or grains and related futures contracts), or financial commodities and contracts related to financial commodities (such as currencies and, possibly, currency futures). If the Fund were to invest in a physical commodity or a physical commodity-related instrument, the Fund would be subject to the additional risks of the particular physical commodity and its related market. The value of commodities and commodity-related instruments may be extremely volatile and may be affected either directly or indirectly by a variety of factors. There also may be storage charges and risks of loss associated with physical commodities. The policy above will be interpreted to permit investments in exchange traded funds that invest in physical and/or financial commodities.

With respect to the fundamental policy relating to concentration set forth above, the 1940 Act does not define what constitutes “concentration” in an industry. The SEC staff has taken the position that investment of 25% or more of a fund’s total assets in one or more issuers conducting their principal activities in the same industry or group of industries constitutes concentration. It is possible that interpretations of concentration could change in the future. A fund that invests a significant percentage of its total assets in a single industry may be particularly susceptible to adverse events affecting that industry and may be more risky than a fund that does not concentrate in an industry. The policy above will be interpreted to refer to concentration as that term may be interpreted from time to time. In addition, the term industry will be interpreted to include a related group of industries. The policy also will be interpreted to permit investment without limit in the following: securities of the U.S. government and its agencies or instrumentalities (including, for the avoidance of doubt, U.S. agency mortgage-backed securities); securities of state, territory, possession or municipal governments and their authorities, agencies, instrumentalities or political subdivisions; securities of foreign governments; and repurchase agreements collateralized by any such obligations. Accordingly, issuers of the foregoing securities will not be considered to be members of any industry. There also will be no limit on investment in issuers domiciled in a single jurisdiction or country. The policy also will be interpreted to give broad authority to the Fund as to how to classify issuers within or among industries or groups of industries. The Fund has been advised by the staff of the SEC that the staff currently views securities issued by a foreign government to be in a single industry for purposes of calculating applicable limits on concentration. For purposes of applying the Fund’s fundamental policy relating to concentration, non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) and non-agency commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) are considered to represent separate industries; the Fund’s positions in non-agency RMBS and non-agency CMBS are therefore tested separately and are not aggregated when determining compliance with the 25% concentration policy limit.

With respect to the Fund’s diversification policy set forth above, this means that the Fund may not purchase securities of an issuer (other than obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities) if, with respect to 75% of its total assets, (a) more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in securities of that issuer, or (b) the Fund would hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of that issuer. With respect to the remaining 25% of its total assets, the Fund can invest more than 5% of its assets in one issuer. When the assets and revenues of an agency, authority, instrumentality or other political subdivision are separate from those of the government creating the issuing entity and only the assets and revenues of such entity back the security, such entity is deemed to be the sole issuer. Similarly, in the case of a private activity bond, if only the assets and revenues of the nongovernmental user back that bond, then such nongovernmental user is deemed to be the sole issuer. If, however, in either case, the creating government or some other entity guarantees a security, such a guarantee would be considered a separate security and is to be treated as an issue of such government or other entity. The Fund may only change to non-diversified status with a 1940 Act Vote.

The Fund’s fundamental policies are written and will be interpreted broadly. For example, the policies will be interpreted to refer to the 1940 Act and the related rules as they are in effect from time to time, and to interpretations and modifications of or relating to the 1940 Act by the SEC and others as they are given from time to time. When a policy provides that an investment practice may be conducted as permitted by the 1940 Act, the policy will be interpreted to mean either that the 1940 Act expressly permits the practice or that the 1940 Act does not prohibit the practice.

 

S-3


Non-Fundamental Investment Restrictions

The following non-fundamental investment policies of the Fund may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval and on prior notice to shareholders:

(i) to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 70% of the Fund’s Managed Assets in U.S. securities and at least 80% of its Managed Assets in U.S. dollar-denominated investments;

(ii) to not invest more than 25% of the Fund’s Managed Assets in securities rated CCC or below, or if unrated are deemed to be of equivalent credit quality by Western Asset, at the time of investment; and

(iii) to not invest more than 15% of the Fund’s Managed Assets in securities issued by collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), including up to 5% of its Managed Assets in equity securities issued by CLOs (i.e., subordinated or residual tranches of CLO securities).

These percentage limitations apply at the time of the Fund’s acquisition of such an investment.

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND TECHNIQUES

The following information supplements the discussion of the Fund’s investment objectives, policies, and techniques that are described in the Prospectus.

As used throughout the Fund’s Prospectus and this SAI, “Managed Assets” means the net assets of the Fund plus the principal amount of any Borrowings or Preferred Shares that may be outstanding, reverse repurchase agreements, dollar rolls or similar transactions. For purposes of calculating Managed Assets, the liquidation preference of any Preferred Shares outstanding will not be considered a liability.

Alternative Strategies and Temporary Defensive Positions

At times the Fund’s portfolio manager may judge that conditions in the securities markets make pursuing the Fund’s typical investment strategy inconsistent with the best interest of its shareholders. At such times, the portfolio manager may temporarily use alternative strategies, primarily designed to reduce fluctuations in the value of the Fund’s assets. In implementing these defensive strategies, the Fund may invest without limit in securities that the portfolio manager believes present less risk to the Fund, including equity securities, debt and fixed income securities, preferred stocks, U.S. government and agency obligations, cash or money market instruments, certificates of deposit, demand and time deposits, bankers’ acceptance or other securities the portfolio manager considers consistent with such defensive strategies, such as, but not limited to, options or futures. During periods in which such strategies are used, the duration of the Fund may diverge from the duration range for the Fund disclosed in its Prospectus (if applicable). It is impossible to predict when, or for how long, the Fund will use these alternative strategies. As a result of using these alternative strategies, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

Bank Obligations

The Fund may invest in all types of bank obligations, including certificates of deposit (“CDs”), time deposits and bankers’ acceptances. CDs are short-term negotiable obligations of commercial banks. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers usually in connection with international transactions.

U.S. commercial banks organized under federal law are supervised and examined by the Comptroller of the Currency and are required to be members of the Federal Reserve System and to be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”). U.S. banks organized under state law are supervised and examined by state banking authorities, but are members of the Federal Reserve System only if they elect to join. Most state banks are insured by the FDIC (although such insurance may not be of material benefit to the Fund, depending upon the principal amount of CDs of each bank held by the Fund) and are subject to federal examination and to a substantial body of federal law and regulation. As a result of federal and state laws and regulations, U.S. branches of U.S. banks are, among other things, generally required to maintain specified levels of reserves, and are subject to other supervision and regulation designed to promote financial soundness. Banks may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors, such as interest rate changes and adverse developments in the market for real estate. Fiscal and monetary policy and general economic cycles can affect the availability and cost of funds, loan demand and asset quality and thereby impact the earnings and financial conditions of banks.

 

S-4


Obligations of foreign branches of U.S. banks, such as CDs and time deposits, may be general obligations of the parent bank in addition to the issuing branch, or may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and governmental regulation. Such obligations are subject to different risks than are those of U.S. banks or U.S. branches of foreign banks. These risks relate to foreign economic and political developments, foreign governmental restrictions that may adversely affect payment of principal and interest on the obligations, foreign exchange controls and foreign withholding and other taxes on interest income. Foreign branches of U.S. banks and foreign branches of foreign banks are not necessarily subject to the same or similar regulatory requirements that apply to U.S. banks, such as mandatory reserve requirements, loan limitations and accounting, auditing and financial recordkeeping requirements. In addition, less information may be publicly available about a foreign branch of a U.S. bank or about a foreign bank than about a U.S. bank.

Obligations of U.S. branches of foreign banks may be general obligations of the parent bank, in addition to the issuing branch, or may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and by federal and state regulation as well as governmental action in the country in which the foreign bank has its head office. A U.S. branch of a foreign bank with assets in excess of $1 billion may or may not be subject to reserve requirements imposed by the Federal Reserve System or by the state in which the branch is located if the branch is licensed in that state. In addition, branches licensed by the Comptroller of the Currency and branches licensed by certain states (“State Branches”) may or may not be required to: (a) pledge to the regulator, by depositing assets with a designated bank within the state; and (b) maintain assets within the state in an amount equal to a specified percentage of the aggregate amount of liabilities of the foreign bank payable at or through all of its agencies or branches within the state. The deposits of State Branches may not necessarily be insured by the FDIC. In addition, there may be less publicly available information about a U.S. branch of a foreign bank than about a U.S. bank.

Borrowings

The Fund may engage in borrowing transactions to raise additional cash to be invested by the Fund in other securities or instruments in an effort to increase the Fund’s investment returns, or for temporary or emergency purposes. Reverse repurchase agreements may be considered to be a type of borrowing.

When the Fund invests borrowing proceeds in other securities, the Fund will be at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the securities in which the proceeds are invested. Like other leveraging risks, this makes the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increases the Fund’s overall investment exposure. In addition, if the Fund’s return on its investment of the borrowing proceeds does not equal or exceed the interest that the Fund is obligated to pay under the terms of a borrowing, engaging in these transactions will lower the Fund’s return.

The Fund may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to its borrowing obligations. Interest on any borrowings will be an expense to the Fund and will reduce the value of the Fund’s shares. The Fund may borrow on a secured or on an unsecured basis. If the Fund enters into a secured borrowing arrangement, a portion of the Fund’s assets will be used as collateral. During the term of the borrowing, the Fund will remain at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of these assets in addition to any securities purchased with the proceeds of the loan. In addition, the Fund may be unable to sell the collateral at a time when it would be advantageous to do so, which could result in lower returns. The Fund would also be subject to the risk that the lender may file for bankruptcy, become insolvent, or otherwise default on its obligations to return the collateral to the Fund. In the event of a default by the lender, there may be delays, costs and risks of loss involved in the Fund’s exercising its rights with respect to the collateral or those rights may be limited by other contractual agreements or obligations or by applicable law.

The 1940 Act requires the Fund to maintain an “asset coverage” of at least 300% of the amount of its borrowings, provided that in the event that the Fund’s asset coverage falls below 300%, the Fund is required to reduce the amount of its borrowings so that it meets the 300% asset coverage threshold within three days (not including Sundays and holidays). Asset coverage means the ratio that the value of the Fund’s total assets, minus liabilities other than borrowings and other senior securities, bears to the aggregate amount of all borrowings. Although complying with this guideline would have the effect of limiting the amount that the Fund may borrow, it does not otherwise mitigate the risks of entering into borrowing transactions.

 

S-5


Convertible Securities

Convertible securities are fixed income securities (usually debt or preferred stock) that may be converted or exchanged for a prescribed amount of Common Shares or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or the dividend paid on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion or exchange, convertible securities ordinarily provide a stream of income with generally higher yields than those of Common Shares of the same or similar issuers, but lower than the yield of nonconvertible debt. However, there can be no assurance of current income because the issuers of the convertible securities may default on their obligations. Convertible securities are usually subordinated to comparable nonconvertible debt or preferred stock, but rank senior to Common Shares in a corporation’s capital structure.

 

S-6


The value of a convertible security is generally related to (1) its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege and/or (2) its worth, at market value, if converted or exchanged into the underlying Common Shares. A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument, which may be less than the ultimate conversion or exchange value.

Convertible securities are subject both to the stock market risk associated with equity securities and to the credit and interest rate risks associated with fixed income securities. As the market price of the equity security underlying a convertible security falls, the convertible security tends to trade on the basis of its yield and other fixed income characteristics. As the market price of such equity security rises, the convertible security tends to trade on the basis of its equity conversion features. Investments in convertible securities generally entail less risk than investments in Common Shares of the same issuer.

Synthetic Convertible Securities

A synthetic convertible security is comprised of two distinct securities that together resemble convertible securities in certain respects. Synthetic convertible securities are created by combining non-convertible bonds or preferred shares with common shares, warrants or stock call options. The options that will form elements of synthetic convertible securities will be listed on a securities exchange. The two components of a synthetic convertible security, which will be issued with respect to the same entity, generally are not offered as a unit, and may be purchased and sold by the Fund at different times. Synthetic convertible securities differ from convertible securities in certain respects, including that each component of a synthetic convertible security has a separate market value and responds differently to market fluctuations. Investing in synthetic convertible securities involves the risk normally involved in holding the securities comprising the synthetic convertible security.

Custodial Receipts

The Fund may acquire custodial receipts or certificates underwritten by securities dealers or banks that evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on certain municipal obligations. The underwriter of these certificates or receipts typically purchases municipal obligations and deposits the obligations in an irrevocable trust or custodial account with a custodian bank, which then issues receipts or certificates that evidence ownership of the periodic unmatured coupon payments and the final principal payment on the obligations. Although under the terms of a custodial receipt, the Fund would be typically authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank those rights as may exist against the underlying issuer. Thus, in the event the underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying security has been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the yield on the underlying security would be reduced by any entity-level corporate taxes paid by such entity.

Custodial receipts may also evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on certain U.S. government obligations. Such obligations are held in custody by a bank on behalf of the owners. Custodial receipts are generally not considered obligations of the U.S. government for purposes of securities laws.

Cybersecurity Risks

With the increased use of technologies such as mobile devices and Web-based or “cloud” applications, and the dependence on the Internet and computer systems to conduct business, the Fund is susceptible to operational, information security and related risks. In general, cybersecurity incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events (arising from external or internal sources) that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption, physical damage to a computer or network system or lose operational capacity. Cybersecurity attacks include, but are not limited to, infection by malicious software, such as malware or computer viruses or gaining unauthorized access to digital systems, networks or devices that are used to service the Fund’s operations (e.g., through “hacking,” “phishing” or malicious software coding) or other means for purposes of misappropriating assets or

 

S-7


sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cybersecurity attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on the Fund’s websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). In addition, authorized persons could inadvertently or intentionally release confidential or proprietary information stored on the Fund’s systems.

Cybersecurity incidents affecting the Fund’s subadviser, Western Asset, other service providers to the Fund or its shareholders (including, but not limited to, Fund accountants, custodians, sub-custodians, transfer agents and financial intermediaries) have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to both the Fund and its shareholders, interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value, impediments to trading, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions, violations of applicable privacy and other laws (including the release of private shareholder information) and attendant breach notification and credit monitoring costs, regulatory fines, penalties, litigation costs, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, forensic investigation and remediation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. Similar adverse consequences could result from cybersecurity incidents affecting issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, counterparties with which the Fund engages in transactions, governmental and other regulatory authorities, exchange and other financial market operators, banks, brokers, dealers, insurance companies and other financial institutions (including financial intermediaries and other service providers) and other parties. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to safeguard against and reduce the risk of any cybersecurity incidents in the future. In addition to administrative, technological and procedural safeguards, the LMPFA and Western Asset have established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent or reduce the impact of, such cybersecurity incidents. However, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified, as well as the rapid development of new threats. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by its service providers or any other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

Debt and Fixed Income Securities

The Fund may invest in a variety of debt and fixed income securities, which may be issued by governmental, corporate or other issuers. Debt securities may pay fixed, floating or variable rates of interest or interest at a rate contingent upon some other factor. Variable rate securities reset at specified intervals, while floating rate securities reset whenever there is a change in a specified index rate. In most cases, these reset provisions reduce the effect of market interest rates on the value of the security. However, some securities do not track the underlying index directly, but reset based on formulas that can produce an effect similar to leveraging; others may provide for interest payments that vary inversely with market rates. The market prices of these securities may fluctuate significantly when interest rates change.

These securities share principal risks. For example, the level of interest income generated by the Fund’s fixed income investments may decline due to a decrease in market interest rates. Thus, when fixed income securities mature or are sold, they may be replaced by lower-yielding investments. Also, their values fluctuate with changes in interest rates. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the value of the Fund’s fixed income investments. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of the Fund’s fixed income investments will generally decline. However, a change in interest rates will not have the same impact on all fixed rate securities. For example, the magnitude of these fluctuations will generally be greater when the Fund’s duration or average maturity is longer. In addition, certain fixed income securities are subject to credit risk, which is the risk that an issuer of securities will be unable to pay principal and interest when due, or that the value of the security will suffer because investors believe the issuer is unable to pay.

Fixed Income Securities Ratings. Securities rated in the fourth highest ratings category by a NRSRO, such as those rated BBB by S&P, or Baa by Moody’s, and unrated securities of comparable quality, are generally regarded as having adequate capacity to pay interest and repay principal but may have some speculative characteristics. Securities rated below the fourth highest ratings category by an NRSRO, including those rated below Baa by Moody’s or BBB by S&P, and unrated securities of comparable quality, are generally considered below “investment grade,” and may have speculative characteristics, including a greater possibility of default or bankruptcy of the issuers of such securities, market price volatility based upon interest rate sensitivity, questionable creditworthiness and relative liquidity of the secondary trading market. Changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to

 

S-8


lead to a weakened capacity for lower rated securities to make principal and interest payments, including a greater possibility of default or bankruptcy of the issuer, than is the case for high rated securities. Appendix A to this SAI contains further information concerning the rating categories of NRSROs and their significance.

Derivatives — Generally

A derivative is a financial instrument that has a value based on, or derived from, the value of one or more underlying reference assets or instruments or measures of value or interest rates (“underlying instruments”), such as a security, a commodity, a currency, an index, an interest rate or a currency exchange rate. A derivative can also have a value based on the likelihood that an event will or will not occur. The Fund may engage in a variety of transactions using derivatives, including without limitation futures, options, forwards, interest rate swaps and other swaps (including buying and selling credit default swaps and options on credit default swaps), foreign currency futures, forwards and options, and futures contracts, warrants and other synthetic instruments that are intended to provide economic exposure to particular securities, assets or issuers or to be used as a hedging technique. The Fund may use one or more types of these instruments without limit. The Fund reserves the ability to enter into other similar transactions which may be developed in the future to the extent Western Asset determines that they are consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies and applicable regulatory requirements.

The Fund may use derivatives for any purpose, including but not limited to, in order to seek to enhance income, yield or return, as a substitute for investing directly in a security or asset, or as a hedging technique in order to seek to manage risk in the Fund’s portfolio. The Fund may choose not to make use of derivatives for a variety of reasons, and no assurance can be given that any derivatives strategy employed will be successful. The Fund’s use of derivative instruments may be limited from time to time by applicable law and regulation, availability or by policies adopted by the Board or Manager.

The Fund may utilize multiple derivative instruments and combinations of derivative instruments to seek to adjust the risk and return characteristics of its overall position. Combined positions will typically contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions. It is possible that the combined position will not achieve its intended goal and will instead increase losses or risk to the Fund. Because combined positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.

The Fund may enter into derivatives with standardized terms that have no or few special or unusual components, which are generally traded on an exchange, as well as derivatives with more complex features, singly or in combination. Non-standardized derivatives are generally traded over the counter (“OTC”). OTC derivatives may be standardized or have customized features and may have limited or no liquidity. The Fund’s derivatives contracts may be centrally cleared or settled bilaterally directly with a counterparty. The Fund’s derivatives contracts may be cash settled or physically settled.

In addition to the instruments and strategies discussed in this section, additional opportunities in connection with derivatives and other similar or related techniques may become available to the Fund as a result of the development of new techniques, the development of new derivative instruments or a regulatory authority changing the range of permitted transactions. The Fund may utilize these opportunities and techniques to the extent that they are consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives and permitted by its investment limitations and applicable law and regulation. These opportunities and techniques may involve risks different from or in addition to those summarized herein.

Risks of Derivatives Generally. The use of derivatives involves special considerations and risks, certain of which are summarized below, and may result in losses to the Fund. In general, derivatives may increase the volatility of the Fund and may involve a small amount of cash to establish the derivative position relative to the magnitude of the risk or exposure assumed. Even a small investment in derivatives may magnify or otherwise increase investment losses to the Fund.

Market risk. Derivatives can be complex, and their success depends in part upon the portfolio manager’s ability to forecast correctly future market or other trends or occurrences or other financial or economic factors or the value of the underlying instrument. Even if the portfolio manager’s forecasts are correct, other factors may cause distortions or dislocations in the markets that result in losses or otherwise unsuccessful transactions. Derivatives may behave in unexpected ways, especially in abnormal or volatile market conditions. The market value of the derivative itself or the market value of underlying instruments may change in a way that is adverse to the Fund’s interest. There is no assurance that the use of derivatives will be advantageous to the Fund or that the portfolio manager will use derivatives to hedge appropriately.

 

S-9


Illiquidity risk. The Fund’s ability to exit a derivative position depends on the existence of a liquid market or, in the absence of such a market, the ability and willingness of the other party to the transaction (the “counterparty”) to enter into a transaction closing out the position. If there is no market or the Fund is not successful in its negotiations, the Fund may not be able to sell or unwind the derivative position at an advantageous or anticipated time or price. This may also be the case if the counterparty becomes insolvent or otherwise defaults under the derivative transaction. The Fund may be required to make delivery of portfolio securities or other underlying instruments in order to close out a position or to sell portfolio securities or assets at a disadvantageous time or price in order to obtain cash to close out the position. While a position remains open, the Fund continues to be subject to investment risk on a derivative. The Fund may or may not be able to take other actions or enter into other transactions, including hedging transactions, to limit or reduce its exposure under the derivative. Illiquidity risk may be enhanced if a derivative transaction is particularly large. Certain derivatives, including certain OTC options and swaps, may be considered illiquid and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitation on illiquid investments.

Leverage risk. Certain derivative transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund, meaning that the Fund can obtain significant investment exposure in return for meeting a relatively small margin or other investment requirement. An adverse change in the value of an underlying instrument can result in losses substantially greater than the amount required to establish the derivative position. When the Fund engages in transactions that have a leveraging effect, the value of the Fund is likely to be more volatile and certain other risks also are likely to be compounded. This is because leverage generally magnifies the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of an investment. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.

Margin risk. Certain derivatives require the Fund to make margin payments, a form of security deposit intended to protect against nonperformance of the derivative contract. The Fund may have to post additional margin if the value of the derivative position changes in a manner adverse to the Fund or if collateral provided by the Fund to secure its performance under the derivative contract decreases in value. Derivatives may be difficult to value, which may result in increased payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to the Fund. If the Fund has insufficient cash to meet additional margin requirements, it might need to sell assets or liquidate its derivative position at a disadvantageous time or price.

Speculation risk. Derivatives used for non-hedging purposes may result in losses that are not offset by increases in the value of portfolio holdings or declines in the cost of securities or other assets to be acquired. In the event that the Fund uses a derivative as an alternative to purchasing or selling other investments or in order to obtain desired exposure to an index or market, the Fund will be exposed to the same risks as are incurred in purchasing or selling the other investments directly, as well as the risks of the derivative transaction itself, such as market risk and counterparty credit risk.

Cover risk. As described below, the Fund may be required to maintain segregated assets as “cover,” or make margin payments when it takes positions in derivatives involving obligations to third parties (i.e., derivatives other than purchased options). If the Fund were unable to close out its positions in such derivatives, it might be required to continue to maintain such assets or accounts or make such payments until the position expired or matured. These requirements might impair the Fund’s ability to sell a portfolio security or make an investment at a time when it would otherwise be favorable to do so, or require that the Fund sell a portfolio security at a disadvantageous time.

Counterparty risk. Certain derivatives involve the risk of loss resulting from the actual or potential insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty or the failure by the counterparty to make required payments or otherwise comply with the terms of the contract. In the event of default by a counterparty, the Fund may have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, which may be limited by applicable law in the case of the counterparty’s bankruptcy. The Fund may not be able to recover amounts owed to it by an insolvent counterparty.

Operational risk. There may be incomplete or erroneous documentation or inadequate collateral or margin, or transactions may fail to settle. The Fund may have only contractual remedies in the event of a counterparty default, and there may be delays, costs or disagreements as to the meaning of contractual terms and litigation in enforcing those remedies.

Uncleared OTC risk. Uncleared OTC derivative transactions, such as options, swaps, forward contracts, and options on foreign currencies, are entered into directly with counterparties or financial institutions acting as market makers, rather than being traded on exchanges or other trading platforms. Because uncleared OTC derivatives and other transactions are traded between counterparties based on contractual relationships, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of the counterparty rather than that of the clearinghouse and clearing broker. Although the Fund intends to enter into such transactions only with counterparties which the Fund believes to be creditworthy, there can be no assurance that a counterparty will not default and that the Fund will not sustain a loss on a transaction as a result. Information available on counterparty creditworthiness may be incomplete or outdated, thus reducing the ability to anticipate counterparty defaults. The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under an uncleared OTC derivative in the event of the default or bankruptcy of the counterparty. To the extent a counterparty’s obligations are not fully secured by collateral, then the Fund is essentially an unsecured creditor of the counterparty. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies, but there is no assurance that a counterparty will be able to meet its obligations pursuant to such contracts or that, in the event of default, the Fund will succeed in enforcing contractual remedies. Counterparty credit risk still exists even if a counterparty’s obligations are secured by collateral because the Fund’s interest in collateral may not be perfected or additional collateral may not be promptly posted as required. Counterparty credit risk also may be more pronounced if a counterparty’s obligations exceed the amount of collateral held by the Fund (if any), the Fund is unable to exercise its interest in collateral upon default by the counterparty, or if the termination value of the instrument varies significantly from the marked-to-market value of the instrument.

 

S-10


Non-U.S. derivatives risk. Derivative transactions may be conducted OTC outside of the United States or traded on foreign exchanges or other trading platforms. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the price of, foreign securities or currencies. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (1) other foreign political, legal and economic factors, (2) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (3) delays in the Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (4) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms, procedures, margin requirements, fees, taxes or other charges than in the United States and (5) lower levels of volume and liquidity relative to United States derivatives markets.

Currency derivatives risk. Currency related transactions may be negatively affected by government exchange controls, blockages, and manipulations. Exchange rates may be influenced by factors extrinsic to a country’s economy. Also, there is no systematic reporting of last sale information with respect to foreign currencies. As a result, the information on which trading in currency derivatives is based may not be as complete as, and may be delayed beyond, comparable data for other types of transactions.

Turnover risk. Use of derivatives involves transaction costs, which may be significant. The Fund may be required to sell or purchase investments in connection with derivative transactions, potentially increasing the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and transaction costs. Use of derivatives also may increase the amount of taxable income to shareholders.

Risks Associated with Hedging with Derivatives. Derivative linked hedging strategies may fail to achieve their intended objectives, which may reduce the Fund’s return. Successful use of derivatives to hedge positions depends on the correlation between the price of the derivative and the price of the hedged asset. Derivatives hedging involves “basis risk”, or the risk that changes in the value of the derivative transaction will correlate imperfectly with changes in value of the hedged asset.

For example, the Fund may attempt to protect against declines in the value of the Fund’s portfolio assets by entering into a variety of derivatives transactions, including selling futures contracts, entering into swaps or purchasing puts on indices or futures contracts (short hedging). To the extent the short hedge derivative transaction fails to perfectly offset declines in the value of hedged Fund assets, the value of the Fund’s assets would decline, and the short hedge would not hedge or mitigate the loss in the value of the assets.

If the Fund has used derivatives to hedge or otherwise reduce the Fund’s risk exposure to a particular position and then disposes of that position at a time at which it cannot also settle, terminate or close out the corresponding hedge position, this may create net short investment exposure. Certain “short” derivative positions involve investment leverage, and the amount of the Fund’s potential loss is theoretically unlimited.

 

S-11


The Fund can use derivative instruments to establish a position in the market as a temporary substitute for the purchase of individual securities or other assets (long hedging) by buying futures contracts and/or calls on such futures contracts, indices or on securities or other assets, or entering into swaps. It is possible that when the Fund does so the market might decline. If the Fund then decides not to invest in the assets because of concerns that the market might decline further or for other reasons, the Fund will realize a loss on the hedge position that is not offset by a reduction in the price of the asset the Fund had intended to purchase.

Risk of Government Regulation of Derivatives. The regulation of derivatives transactions and funds that engage in such transactions is an evolving area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. It is impossible to fully predict the effects of new and existing legislation and regulation, but the effects could be substantial and adverse. Additional regulation could, among other things, make derivatives more costly, limit their availability or utility, otherwise adversely affect their performance or disrupt markets. Such regulation may limit or prevent the Fund from using derivatives as part of its investment strategy and could ultimately prevent the Fund from being able to achieve its investment goals. Limitations or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions could also prevent the Fund from using derivatives, adversely affect pricing or other factors relating to derivatives or adversely affect the availability of certain investments.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) has mandated broad changes to the OTC derivatives market and granted significant authority to the SEC and the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives markets. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and related regulations, OTC derivatives transactions are subject to comprehensive regulation, including mandatory clearing, margin and reporting requirements, among others. Similar regulations are being adopted in other jurisdictions around the world. While the new rules and regulations are designed to reduce systemic risk (i.e., the risk that the interdependence of large derivatives dealers could cause them to suffer liquidity, solvency or other challenges simultaneously), there is no assurance that they will achieve that result, and the ultimate impact of the regulations remains unclear. Additional regulation of derivatives may make derivatives more costly, limit their availability or utility, otherwise adversely affect their performance or disrupt markets.

Additionally, new regulations may result in increased uncertainty about counterparty risk and may limit the flexibility of the Fund to protect its interests in the event of an insolvency of a derivatives counterparty. In the event of a counterparty’s (or its affiliate’s) insolvency, the Fund’s ability to exercise remedies, such as the termination of transactions, netting of obligations and realization on collateral, could be stayed or eliminated under the rules of the applicable exchange or clearing corporation or under new special resolution regimes adopted in the United States, the European Union and various other jurisdictions. Such regimes provide government authorities with broad authority to intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulty. In particular, with respect to counterparties who are subject to such proceedings in the European Union, the liabilities of such counterparties to the Fund could be reduced, eliminated, or converted to equity in such counterparties (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”).

Cover. The Fund’s use of derivatives may create financial obligations to third parties which if not covered could be construed as “senior securities” (as defined in the 1940 Act). To the extent that the Fund determined that such obligations may be deemed to create “senior securities,” the Fund intends to segregate or earmark liquid assets or otherwise “cover” such obligations. The Fund may cover such obligations using methods that are currently or in the future permitted under the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder or orders issued by the SEC thereunder and to the extent deemed appropriate by the Fund, interpretations and guidance of the SEC staff.

The Fund segregates with its custodian or otherwise earmarks cash, cash equivalents or liquid assets in an amount the Fund believes to be adequate to ensure that it has sufficient liquid assets to meet its obligations under its derivatives contracts, or the Fund may engage in other measures to “cover” its obligations with respect to such

 

S-12


transactions. The amounts that are segregated or earmarked may be based on the derivative’s notional value or on the daily mark-to-market obligation under the derivatives contract and may be reduced by amounts on deposit with the applicable broker or counterparty to the derivatives transaction. The Fund may segregate or earmark amounts in addition to the amounts described above. For example, if the Fund writes a physically settled put option, it may segregate or earmark liquid assets equal to the exercise price of the option, less margin on deposit, or hold the underlying instrument directly; if the Fund writes a cash settled put option, it may segregate or earmark liquid assets equal to the amount the option is in the money (meaning the difference between the exercise price of the option and the current market price of the underlying instrument, when the exercise price of the option is higher than the market price of the underlying instrument), marked to market on a daily basis, less margin on deposit. Alternatively, the Fund may, in certain circumstances, enter into an offsetting position rather than segregating or designating liquid assets (e.g., the Fund may cover a written put option with a purchased put option with the same or higher exercise price or cover a written call option with a purchased call option with the same or lower exercise price).

The segregation of assets does not reduce the risks to the Fund of entering into transactions in derivatives. Additionally, although the portfolio manager attempts to ensure that the Fund has sufficient liquid assets in respect of its obligations under its derivative contracts, it is possible that the Fund’s liquid assets may be insufficient to support such obligations under its derivatives positions. The Fund may modify its asset segregation policies from time to time. The SEC has adopted new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act, which will require a fund that is not a “limited derivatives user” as described in Rule 18f-4(c)(4) to adopt a derivatives risk management program providing for specific items as required by the rule, including compliance with a VaR test. The provisions of Rule 18f-4 will replace the 1940 Act cover requirements for reverse repurchase agreements, similar financing transactions and derivatives transactions discussed in this Prospectus. Under Rule 18f-4(d), a fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions in reliance on the rule if the fund either (i) complies with the asset coverage requirements of Section 18 of the 1940 Act, and combines the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating its asset coverage ratio; or (ii) treats all reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions as derivatives transactions for all purposes under the rule. Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will be required by August 19, 2022. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may also increase the cost of the Fund’s investments in derivatives reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, which could adversely affect the value of your investment.

Foreign Currency Instruments and Hedging Strategies

The Fund may use options and futures contracts on foreign currencies and forward currency contracts and currency swap agreements (collectively, “Currency Instruments”), in order to seek to hedge against movements in the values of the foreign currencies in which the Fund’s securities are denominated or in order to seek to enhance the Fund’s return or yield. The Fund may also use such investments in order to seek to establish a short position or to obtain exposure to a market that would be more costly or difficult to access with other types of investments, such as bonds or currency. The Fund may also engage in foreign currency transactions on a spot (cash) basis at the rate prevailing in the currency exchange market at the time of the transaction. The Fund may determine not to hedge, and the Fund may be completely unhedged at any point in time. In cases when a particular currency is difficult to hedge or difficult to hedge against the U.S. dollar, the Fund may seek to hedge against price movements in that currency by entering into transactions using Currency Instruments on another currency or a basket of currencies, the value of which the portfolio manager believes will have a high degree of positive correlation to the value of the currency being hedged. The risk that movements in the price of the Currency Instrument will not correlate perfectly with movements in the price of the currency subject to the hedging transaction is magnified when this strategy is used.

Currency Instruments Risks. In addition to the risks found under “Derivatives – Risks of Derivatives Generally,” Currency Instruments are subject to the following risks:

The value of Currency Instruments depends on the value of the underlying foreign currency relative to the U.S. dollar. Because foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market might involve substantially larger amounts than those involved in the Fund’s use of such Currency Instruments, the Fund could be disadvantaged by having to deal in the odd lot market (generally consisting of transactions of less than $1 million) for the underlying foreign currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots. There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies or any regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Quotation information generally is representative of very large transactions in the interbank market and thus might not reflect odd-lot transactions where rates might be less favorable. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global, round-the-clock market. To the extent the U.S. options or futures markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements might take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the U.S. markets for the Currency Instruments until they reopen.

Settlement of hedging transactions involving foreign currencies might be required to take place within the country issuing the underlying currency. Thus, the Fund might be required to accept or make delivery of the underlying foreign currency in accordance with any U.S. or foreign regulations regarding the maintenance of foreign banking arrangements by U.S. residents and might be required to pay any fees, taxes and charges associated with such delivery assessed in the issuing country.

 

S-13


Forward Currency Contracts

The Fund may enter into forward currency contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars or another currency at a future date and at a price set by the parties to the forward currency contract. Forward currency contracts are traded directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers (such as the Fund).

The Fund may purchase a forward currency contract to lock in the U.S. dollar price of a security denominated in a foreign currency that the Fund intends to acquire (a long hedge). The Fund may sell a forward currency contract to lock in the U.S. dollar equivalent of the proceeds from the anticipated sale of a security, dividend or interest payment denominated in a foreign currency (a short hedge). A “position hedge” is when the Fund owns a security denominated in, for example, euros and to protect against a possible decline in the euro’s value, the Fund enters into a forward currency contract to sell euros in return for U.S. dollars. A “position hedge” tends to offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations but would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors. A “proxy hedge” is when the Fund owns a security denominated in, for example, euros and to protect against a possible decline in the euro’s value, the Fund enters into a forward currency contract to sell a currency expected to perform similarly to the euro in return for U.S. dollars. A “proxy hedge” could offer advantages in terms of cost, yield or efficiency, but generally would not hedge currency exposure as effectively as a position hedge to the extent the proxy currency does not perform similarly to the targeted currency. The Fund could, in fact, lose money on both legs of the hedge, i.e., between the euro and proxy currency, and between the proxy currency and the dollar. The Fund also may use forward currency contracts to attempt to enhance return or yield. The Fund could use forward currency contracts to increase its exposure to foreign currencies that the portfolio manager believes might rise in value relative to the U.S. dollar, or shift its exposure to foreign currency fluctuations from one country to another. For example, if the Fund’s portfolio manager believes that the U.S. dollar will increase in value relative to the euro, the Fund could write a forward contract to buy U.S. dollars in three months at the current price in order to sell those U.S. dollars for a profit if the U.S. dollar does in fact appreciate in value relative to the euro. The cost to the Fund of engaging in forward currency contracts varies with factors such as the currency involved, the length of the contract period and the market conditions then prevailing. Because forward currency contracts are usually entered into on a principal basis, no fees or commissions are involved. When the Fund enters into a forward currency contract, it relies on the counterparty to make or take delivery of the underlying currency at the maturity of the contract. Failure by the counterparty to do so would result in the loss of any expected benefit of the transaction.

The precise matching of forward currency contract amounts, and the value of the securities involved generally will not be possible because the value of such securities, measured in the foreign currency, will change after the forward currency contract has been established. Thus, the Fund may need to purchase or sell foreign currencies in the spot (i.e., cash) market to the extent such foreign currencies are not covered by forward currency contracts. The projection of short-term currency market movements is extremely difficult, and the successful execution of a short-term hedging strategy is highly uncertain.

Successful use of forward currency contracts depends on the portfolio manager’s skill in analyzing and predicting currency values, among other factors. Forward currency contracts may substantially change the Fund’s exposure to changes in currency exchange rates and could result in losses to the Fund if currencies do not perform as the portfolio manager anticipates. There is no assurance that the portfolio manager’s use of forward currency contracts will be advantageous to the Fund or that the portfolio manager will hedge at an appropriate time.

Non-deliverable Forwards. The consummation of a deliverable foreign exchange forward requires the actual exchange of the principal amounts of the two currencies in the contract (i.e., settlement on a physical basis). Forward currency contracts in which the Fund may engage also include non-deliverable forwards (“NDFs”). NDFs are cash-settled, short-term forward contracts on foreign currencies (each a “Reference Currency”) that are non-convertible and that may be thinly traded or illiquid. NDFs involve an obligation to pay an amount equal to the difference between the prevailing market exchange rate for the Reference Currency and the agreed upon exchange rate, with respect to an agreed notional amount. NDFs are subject to many of the risks associated with derivatives in general and forward currency transactions, including risks associated with fluctuations in foreign currency and the risk that the counterparty will fail to fulfill its obligations.

 

S-14


Under the Dodd-Frank Act, NDFs are classified as “swaps” and are therefore subject to the full panoply of CFTC swap regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act. Although NDFs have historically been traded OTC, in the future, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, they may be subject to mandatory clearing. For more information on central clearing and trading of cleared swaps, see “Swaps” below. Non-centrally-cleared NDFs are subject to mandatory minimum margin requirements for uncleared swaps. Deliverable foreign exchange forwards that solely involve the exchange of two different currencies on a specific future date at a fixed rate agreed upon by the parties are not considered “swaps” and accordingly are not subject to many of the regulations that apply to NDFs.

Futures Contracts and Options on Future Contracts

Generally, a futures contract is an exchange-traded, standardized agreement that obligates the seller of the contract to deliver a specified quantity of an underlying instrument, such as a security, currency or commodity, to the purchaser of the contract, who has the obligation to take delivery of the underlying instrument, at a specified price and date. In the case of futures on indices, the two parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the level of the index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the contract originally was written. Options on futures give the purchaser the right to assume a position in a futures contract at the specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option.

Futures contracts, by their terms, have stated expirations and, at a specified point in time prior to expiration, trading in a futures contract for the current delivery month will cease. As a result, an investor wishing to maintain exposure to a futures contract with the nearest expiration must close out the position in the expiring contract and establish a new position in the contract for the next delivery month, a process referred to as “rolling.” The process of rolling a futures contract can be profitable or unprofitable depending in large part on whether the futures price for the subsequent delivery month is less than or more than the price of the expiring contract.

Futures contracts may be used for hedging and non-hedging purposes, such as to simulate full investment in the underlying instrument while retaining a cash balance for portfolio management purposes, as a substitute for direct investment in the underlying instrument, to facilitate trading, to reduce transaction costs, or to seek higher investment returns (e.g., when a futures contract or option is priced more attractively than the underlying instrument). In addition, futures strategies can be used to manage the average duration of the Fund’s fixed income portfolio, if applicable. The Fund may sell a debt futures contract or a call option thereon or purchase a put option on that futures contract to attempt to shorten the portfolio’s average duration. Alternatively, the Fund may buy a debt futures contract or a call option thereon or sell a put option thereon to attempt to lengthen the portfolio’s average duration.

At the inception of a futures contract the Fund is required to deposit “initial margin” with a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) in an amount at least equal to the amount designated by the futures exchange . Margin must also be deposited when writing a call or put option on a futures contract, in accordance with applicable exchange rules. Unlike margin in securities transactions, initial margin on futures contracts does not represent a borrowing, but rather is in the nature of a performance bond or good-faith deposit that is required to be returned to the Fund at the termination of the transaction if all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Under certain circumstances, such as periods of high volatility, the Fund may be required by an exchange to increase the level of its initial margin payment, and initial margin requirements might be increased generally in the future by regulatory action.

In addition to initial margin payments, during the life of the transaction “variation margin” or “settlement variation” payments are made to and from the FCM as the value of the margin and the underlying derivative transaction varies, a process known as “marking-to-market.” Variation margin is intended to represent a daily settlement of the Fund’s obligations to or from an FCM. When the Fund purchases an option on a futures contract, the premium paid plus transaction costs is all that is at risk. However, there may be circumstances when the purchase of an option on a futures contract would result in a loss to the Fund when the use of a futures contract would not, such as when there is no movement in the

 

S-15


value of the assets or currencies being hedged. In that case, the Fund would lose the premium it paid for the option plus transaction costs. In contrast, when the Fund purchases or sells a futures contract or writes a call or put option thereon, it is subject to daily variation margin calls that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. If the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it might need to sell securities at a time when such sales are disadvantageous.

Although some futures and options on futures call for making or taking delivery of the underlying instrument, generally those contracts are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures or options (involving the same instrument and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, the Fund realizes a gain, or if it is more, the Fund realizes a loss. If an offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, the Fund realizes a gain, or if it is less, the Fund realizes a loss. The Fund will also bear transaction costs for each contract, which will be included in these calculations. Positions in futures and options on futures may be closed only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a secondary market. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for a particular contract at a particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures contract or options position.

Under certain circumstances, futures exchanges may establish daily limits on the amount that the price of a futures contract or an option on a futures contract can vary from the previous day’s settlement price; once that limit is reached, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond the limit. Daily price limits do not limit potential losses because prices could move to the daily limit for several consecutive days with little or no trading, thereby preventing liquidation of unfavorable positions. If the Fund were unable to liquidate a futures contract or an option on a futures position due to the absence of a liquid secondary market, the imposition of price limits or otherwise, it could incur substantial losses. The Fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, except in the case of purchased options, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily variation margin payments and might be required to maintain the position being hedged by the future or option or to segregate cash or securities (or designate these assets on its books as segregated).

Among other factors, successful use of futures contracts and related options depends upon the ability of the portfolio manager to assess movements in the direction of prices of securities, commodities, measures of value, or interest or exchange rates, which requires different skills and techniques than assessing the value of individual securities. Moreover, futures contracts relate not to the current price level of the underlying instrument, but to the anticipated price level at some point in the future; accordingly trading of stock index futures may not reflect the trading of the securities that are used to formulate the index or even actual fluctuations in the index itself. There is, in addition, the risk that movements in the price of the futures contract will not correlate with the movements in the prices of the securities being hedged. Price distortions in the marketplace, resulting from increased participation by speculators in the futures market (among other things), may also impair the correlation between movements in the prices of futures contracts and movements in the prices of the hedged securities. If the price of the futures contract moves less than the price of securities that are the subject of the hedge, the hedge will not be fully effective; but if the price of the securities being hedged has moved in an unfavorable direction, the Fund would be in a better position than if it had not hedged at all. If the price of the securities being hedged has moved in a favorable direction, this advantage may be partially offset by losses on the futures position.

Positions in futures contracts may be closed out only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a market for such futures contracts. Although the Fund intends to purchase and sell futures only on exchanges or boards of trade where there appears to be a liquid market, there is no assurance that such a market will exist for any particular contract at any particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures position and, in the event of adverse price movements, the Fund would continue to be required to make variation margin payments. Options have a limited life and thus can be disposed of only within a specific time period.

Purchasers of options on futures contracts pay a premium in cash at the time of purchase which, in the event of adverse price movements, could be lost. Sellers of options on futures contracts must post initial margin and are subject to additional margin calls that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. Because of the 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 the Fund. In addition, the Fund’s activities in the futures markets may result in a higher portfolio turnover rate and additional transaction costs in the form of added brokerage commissions. In addition, applicable position limits may affect the hedging and investment activities of participants in derivatives markets and in the markets for the assets underlying such derivatives contracts, which could reduce the liquidity and adversely affect the pricing of derivatives contracts impacted by such position limits, thereby adversely affecting the performance of the Fund.

 

S-16


As noted above, exchanges may impose limits on the amount by which the price of a futures contract or related option is permitted to change in a single day. If the price of a contract moves to the limit for several consecutive days, the Fund may be unable during that time to close its position in that contract and may have to continue making payments of variation margin. The Fund may also be unable to dispose of securities or other instruments being used as “cover” during such a period. The CFTC and domestic exchanges have also established speculative position limits on the maximum speculative position that any person, or group of persons acting in concert, may hold or control in particular contracts and certain related swaps. Under current regulations, other accounts managed by the Manager or, if applicable, Subadviser are combined with the positions held by the Fund under the Manager’s or, if applicable, Subadviser’s management for position limit purposes. This trading could preclude additional trading by the Fund in such contracts.

When the Fund engages in futures transactions, it will also be exposed to the credit risk of its FCM. If the Fund’s FCM becomes bankrupt or insolvent, or otherwise defaults on its obligations to the Fund, the Fund may not receive all amounts owed to it in respect of its trading, even if the clearinghouse fully discharges all of its obligations. If an FCM were not to appropriately segregate client assets to the full extent required by the CEA, the Fund might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of an FCM. In the event of an FCM’s bankruptcy, the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of an FCM’s combined customer accounts, even if certain property held by an FCM is specifically traceable to the Fund (for example, U.S. Treasury bills deposited by the Fund). Such situations could arise due to various factors, or a combination of factors, including inadequate FCM capitalization, inadequate controls on customer trading and inadequate customer capital. In addition, in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of a clearinghouse, the Fund might experience a loss of funds deposited through its FCM as margin with the clearinghouse, a loss of unrealized profits on its open positions and the loss of funds owed to it as realized profits on closed positions. Such a bankruptcy or insolvency might also cause a substantial delay before the Fund could obtain the return of funds owed to it by an FCM who is a member of such clearinghouse.

Options

A call option gives the purchaser the right to buy, and obligates the writer to sell, a specified amount or value of a particular underlying asset or interest (such as a specified security, commodity, currency, interest rate, currency exchange rate or index) at an agreed-upon price (“strike price”). A put option gives the purchaser the right to sell, and obligates the writer to buy, a specified amount or value of a particular underlying asset or interest at an agreed-upon price. An American-style option may be exercised at any time during the term of the option, while a European-style option may be exercised only at the expiration of the option. Purchasers of options pay an amount, known as a premium, to the option writer in exchange for the right granted under the option contract.

The value of an option position will reflect, among other things, the current market value of the underlying instrument, the time remaining until expiration, the relationship of the strike price to the market price of the underlying instrument, the historical price volatility of the underlying instrument and general market conditions. If the purchaser does not exercise the option, it will expire and the purchaser will have only lost the premium paid. If a secondary market exists, a purchaser or the writer may terminate a put option position prior to its exercise by selling it in the secondary market at its current price. The Fund will pay a brokerage commission each time it buys or sells an option. Such commissions may be higher than those that would apply to direct purchases or sales of the underlying instrument.

Exchange-traded options in the United States are issued by a clearing organization affiliated with the exchange on which the option is listed and are standardized with respect to the underlying instrument, expiration date, contract size and strike price. In contrast, OTC options (options not traded on exchanges) are contracts between the Fund and a counterparty (usually a securities dealer or a bank) with no clearing organization guarantee. The terms of OTC options generally are established through negotiation with the other party to the option contract (the counterparty). For a discussion on options on futures see “Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts”.

Put Options. In return for receipt of the premium, the writer of a put option assumes the obligation to pay the strike price for the option’s underlying instrument if the buyer exercises the option. A put writer would generally expect to profit, although its gain would be limited to the amount of the premium it received, if the underlying instrument’s price remains greater than or equal to the strike price. If the underlying instrument’s price falls below the strike price, the put writer would expect to suffer a loss. The buyer of a put option can expect to realize a gain if the underlying instrument’s price falls enough to offset the cost of purchasing the option. Any losses suffered by the buyer would be limited to the amount of the premium plus related transaction costs.

 

S-17


Optional delivery standby commitments are a type of put that gives the buyer of an underlying instrument the right to sell the underlying instrument back to the seller on specified terms to induce a purchase of the underlying instrument.

Call Options. In return for the receipt of the premium, the writer of a call option assumes the obligation to sell the underlying instrument at the strike price to the buyer upon exercise of the option. A call writer would generally expect to profit, although its gain would be limited to the amount of the premium it received, if the option goes unexercised, which typically occurs when the underlying instrument’s price remains less than or equal to the strike price. If the underlying instrument’s prices were to rise above the strike price, the writer of the call option would generally expect to suffer a loss, which is theoretically unlimited. A call buyer’s maximum loss is the premium paid for the call option, whereas the buyer’s maximum profit is theoretically unlimited.

Straddles. A long straddle is the purchase of a call and a put option with the same expiration date and relating to the same underlying instrument where the strike price of the put is less than or equal to the strike price of the call. The Fund may enter into a long straddle when its portfolio manager believes that the underlying instrument’s price will move significantly during the term of the options. A short straddle is a combination of a call and a put written on the same underlying instrument with the same expiration date where the strike price of the put is less than or equal to the strike price of the call. In a covered short straddle, the underlying instrument is considered cover for both the put and the call that the Fund has written. The Fund may enter into a short straddle when the portfolio manager believes that it is unlikely that underlying instrument’s prices will experience volatility during the term of the options.

Options on Indices. Puts and calls on indices are similar to puts and calls on other underlying instruments except that all settlements are in cash and gains or losses depend on changes in the level of the index rather than on price movements of individual underlying instruments. The writer of a call on an index receives a premium and the obligation to pay the purchaser an amount of cash equal to the difference between the closing level of the index and the strike price times a specified multiple (“multiplier”), if the closing level of the index is greater than the strike price of the call. The writer of a put on an index receives a premium and the obligation to deliver to the buyer an amount of cash equal to the difference between the closing level of the index and strike price times the multiplier if the closing level is less than the strike price.

Options on Indices Risk. The risks of investment in options on indices may be greater than options on securities and other instruments. Because index options are settled in cash, when the Fund writes a call on an index it generally cannot provide in advance for other underlying instruments because it may not be practical for the call writer to hedge its potential settlement obligations by acquiring and holding the underlying securities. The Fund can offset some of the risk of writing a call index option by holding a diversified portfolio of securities similar to those on which the underlying index is based. However, the Fund cannot, as a practical matter, acquire and hold a portfolio containing exactly the same securities as underlie the index and, as a result, bears a risk that the value of the securities held will vary from the value of the index.

If the Fund exercises an index option before the closing index value for that day is available, there is the risk that the level of the underlying index may subsequently change. If such a change causes the exercised option to fall out-of-the-money, the Fund will be required to pay the difference between the closing index value and the strike price of the option (times the applicable multiplier) to the assigned writer.

Timing Risk. The hours of trading for options may not conform to the hours during which the underlying instrument are traded. To the extent that the options markets close before the markets for the underlying instrument, significant price and rate movements can take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets. Options are marked to market daily and their value will be affected by changes in the value of the underlying instrument, changes in the dividend rates of the underlying securities, an increase in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived volatility of the stock market and the underlying instrument and the remaining time to the options’ expiration. Additionally, the exercise price of an option may be adjusted downward before the option’s expiration as a result of the occurrence of certain corporate or other events affecting the underlying instrument, such as extraordinary dividends, stock splits, merger or other extraordinary distributions or events. A reduction in the exercise price of an option would reduce the Fund’s capital appreciation potential on an underlying instrument.

 

S-18


Swaps

Generally, a swap agreement involves the exchange between two parties of their respective commitments to pay or receive cash flows, e.g., an exchange of floating rate payments for fixed-rate payments. Swaps may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC (OTC swaps) or, for certain types of swaps, must be executed through a centralized exchange or trading platform and be cleared through a regulated clearinghouse (cleared swaps). Swaps include but are not limited to, interest rate swaps, total return swaps, index swaps, inflation indexed swaps, currency swaps, credit default swaps and options on swaps or “swaptions”.

OTC swap agreements can be individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments (such as individual securities, baskets of securities and securities indices) or market factors. The swap returns are generally calculated with respect to a notional amount, that is, the nominal or face amount used to calculate the payments to be made between the parties to the OTC swap.

The Fund may enter into one or more swap agreements for hedging or non-hedging purposes, including but not limited to, to enhance returns, increase liquidity, protect against currency and security price fluctuations, manage duration and gain exposure to certain markets or securities in a more cost-efficient manner.

When the Fund enters into a swap agreement on a net basis, the net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap will be accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash, cash equivalent or liquid assets having an aggregate market value at least equal to the accrued excess will be segregated in an account with the Fund’s custodian that satisfies the requirements of the 1940 Act. The Fund will take similar action with respect to its total obligations under any swaps that are not entered into on a net basis and with respect to any caps or floors that are written by the Fund.

Depending on their structure, swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the Fund’s investments and its share price and yield and may affect the Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates (in the United States or abroad), foreign currency values, mortgage-backed security values, corporate borrowing rates or other market factors such as security prices or inflation rates.

Swap agreements used for hedging purposes may shift the Fund’s investment exposure from one type of investment to another. For example, if the Fund agrees to exchange payments in U.S. dollars for payments in foreign currency, the swap agreement would tend to decrease the Fund’s exposure to U.S. interest rates and increase its exposure to foreign currency and interest rates.

The absence of a central exchange or market for swap transactions may lead, in some instances, to difficulties in trading and valuation, especially in the event of market disruptions.

Cleared Swaps. Recent legislation and implementing regulations require certain swaps to be cleared through a regulated clearinghouse. Although this clearing mechanism is generally intended to reduce counterparty credit risk, it may disrupt or limit the swap market and may result in swaps being more difficult to trade or value. As swaps become more standardized, the Fund may not be able to enter into swaps that meet its investment needs. The Fund also may not be able to find a clearinghouse willing to accept a swap for clearing. In the context of a cleared swap, a clearing broker will act as intermediary on behalf of the fund, and a central clearing organization will be the counterparty to the transaction. The Fund will assume the risk that the clearing broker or clearing organization may be unable to perform its obligations.

When the Fund enters into a cleared swap transaction, the Fund is subject to the credit and counterparty risk of the clearing house and the clearing broker through which it holds its cleared position. Counterparty risk of market participants with respect to centrally cleared swaps is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system. A clearing broker is obligated by contract and by applicable law and regulation to segregate all funds received from customers with respect to cleared derivatives transactions from the clearing

 

S-19


member’s proprietary assets. However, all funds and other property received by a clearing broker from its customers generally are held by the clearing broker on a commingled basis in an omnibus account, and the clearing member may invest those funds in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulations. The assets of the Fund might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy or default of the Fund’s clearing member, because the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the clearing broker’s customers for a relevant account class. In addition, the clearing member is required to transfer to the clearing organization the amount of margin required by the clearing organization, which amounts generally are held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization for all customers of the clearing broker. Regulations promulgated by the CFTC require that the clearing broker notify the clearing house of the amount of initial margin provided by the clearing broker to the clearing organization that is attributable to each customer’s cleared swaps positions. However, if the clearing broker does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is subject to the risk that a clearing organization will use the Fund’s assets held in an omnibus account at the clearing organization to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the clearing broker to the clearing organization. In addition, clearing brokers generally provide to the clearing organization the net amount of variation margin required for cleared swaps for all of its customers in the aggregate, rather than the gross amount of each customer. The Fund is therefore subject to the risk that a clearing organization will not make variation margin payments owed to the Fund if another customer of the clearing broker has suffered a loss and is in default, and the risk that the Fund will be required to provide additional variation margin to the clearing house before the clearing house will move the Fund’s cleared derivatives transactions to another clearing broker. In addition, if a clearing broker does not comply with the applicable regulations or its agreement with the Fund, or in the event of fraud or misappropriation of customer assets by a clearing member, the Fund could have only an unsecured creditor claim in an insolvency of the clearing broker with respect to the margin held by the clearing broker.

In some ways, centrally cleared swaps arrangements are less favorable to the Fund than OTC swaps arrangements. For example, the Fund may be required to provide greater amounts of margin for cleared swaps than for OTC swaps. In addition, in contrast to OTC swaps, following a period of notice to the Fund, a clearing broker generally can require termination or transfer of existing cleared swaps at any time or increase applicable margin requirements above the margin that the clearing member broker previously required. Clearing houses also have broad rights to increase margin requirements for existing transactions or to terminate transactions at any time. Any increase in margin requirements or termination by the clearing member or the clearing house could interfere with the ability of the Fund to pursue its investment strategy. Further, any increase in margin requirements by a clearing broker could also expose the Fund to greater credit risk of its clearing broker, because margin for cleared swaps in excess of clearing house margin requirements typically is held by the clearing broker. While the documentation in place between the Fund and its clearing brokers generally provides that the clearing broker will accept for clearing all transactions submitted for clearing that are within credit limits (specified in advance) for the Fund, the Fund is still subject to the risk that no clearing member and clearing house will be willing or able to clear a transaction. In those cases, the transaction might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of the transaction, including loss of an increase in the value of the transaction and/or loss of hedging protection offered by the transaction. In addition, the documentation governing the relationship between the Fund and its clearing brokers is developed by the clearing brokers and generally is less favorable to the Fund than typical uncleared swap documentation. For example, this documentation generally includes a one-way indemnity by the Fund in favor of the clearing member, indemnifying the clearing broker against losses it incurs in connection with acting as the Fund’s clearing broker, and the documentation typically does not give the Fund any rights to exercise remedies if the clearing broker defaults or becomes insolvent.

Some types of cleared swaps are required to be executed on an exchange or on a swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform where multiple market participants can execute swaps by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants in the platform. While this execution requirement is designed to increase transparency and liquidity in the cleared swap market, trading on a SEF can create additional costs and risks for the Fund. For example, SEFs typically charge fees, and if the Fund executes swaps on a SEF through a broker intermediary, the intermediary may impose fees as well. In addition, the Fund may be obligated to a SEF, or a broker intermediary who executes cleared swaps on a SEF on the Fund’s behalf, against any losses or costs that may be incurred as a result of the Fund’s transactions on the SEF.

The Fund may enter into swap transactions with certain counterparties pursuant to master netting agreements. A master netting agreement provides that all swaps entered into between the Fund and that counterparty shall be regarded as parts of an integral agreement. If amounts are payable on a particular date in the same currency in respect of more than one swap transaction, the amount payable shall be the net amount. In addition, the master netting

 

S-20


agreement may provide that if one party defaults generally or on any swap, the counterparty can terminate all outstanding swaps with that party. As a result, to the extent the Fund enters into master netting agreements with a counterparty, the Fund may be required to terminate a greater number of swap agreements than if it had not entered into such an agreement in the event of a counterparty default, which may result in losses to the Fund.

Interest Rate Swaps, Caps and Floors. Interest rate swaps are agreements between two parties to exchange interest rate payment obligations. Typically, one party’s obligation is based on a fixed interest rate while the other party’s obligation is based on an interest rate that fluctuates with changes in a designated benchmark. An interest rate cap transaction entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined value, to receive payments on a notional amount from the party selling the cap. An interest rate floor transaction entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined value, to receive payments on a notional amount from the party selling the floor. A collar combines elements of buying a cap and a floor. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. Caps and floors typically have lower liquidity than swaps.

Options on Swaps (“Swaptions”). A swaption is a contract that gives the counterparty the right, but not the obligation to enter into a new swap agreement or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement, at some designated future time on specified terms. The Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions. Swaptions are generally subject to the same risks involved in the use of options and swaps. Depending on the terms of the option agreement, the Fund will generally incur a greater degree of risk when it writes a swaption than it will incur when it purchases a swaption. When the Fund purchases a swaption, only the amount of premium the Fund paid is at risk should the option expire unexercised. However, when a Fund writes a swaption, upon exercise of the option the Fund will become obligated according to the terms of the underlying agreement, which may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the premium it received.

Credit Default Swaps and Related Investments. The Fund may enter into credit default swap contracts for investment purposes and to add leverage to its investment portfolio. In these transactions, the Fund is generally required to pay the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default on, restructuring or downgrade of the debt obligation and/or a similar credit event. In return, the Fund would receive from the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no credit event has occurred. If no credit event occurs, the Fund would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its net assets, the Fund would be subject to potential loss of the par (or other agreed-upon) value it had undertaken to pay following the occurrence of a credit event. Credit default swap contracts involve special risks and may result in losses to the Fund. Credit default swaps may in some cases be illiquid, and they may increase the Fund’s aggregate market and credit risk since the Fund has exposure to both the issuer of the referenced obligation and the counterparty to the credit default swap and any custodian. As there is no central exchange or market for certain credit default swap transactions, they may be difficult to trade or value, especially in the event of market disruptions. It is possible that developments in the swap market, including new or modified government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to terminate existing credit default swap agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

The Fund may also purchase credit default swap contracts to attempt to hedge against the risk of default of debt obligations held in its portfolio, in which case the Fund would function as the counterparty referenced in the preceding paragraph. This would involve the risk that the investment may expire worthless and would only generate income in the event of an actual default or other credit event in relation to the obligor under the referenced obligation (or, as applicable, a credit downgrade or other indication of financial instability). It would also involve credit risk—that the seller may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to the Fund in the event of a default.

The Fund may invest in credit default swap index products that provide exposure to multiple credits. The Fund can either buy the index (take on credit exposure) or sell the index (pass credit exposure to a counterparty). Such investments are subject to the associated risks with investments in credit default swaps discussed above.

Distressed Debt Securities

Distressed debt securities are debt securities that are purchased in the secondary market and are the subject of bankruptcy proceedings or otherwise in default as to the repayment of principal and/or interest at the time of acquisition by the Fund or are rated in the lower rating categories (Ca or lower by Moody’s and CC or lower by S&P) or, if unrated, are in the judgment of the portfolio manager of equivalent quality. Investment in distressed debt securities is speculative and involves significant risk. The risks associated with high yield securities are heightened when investing in distressed debt securities.

 

S-21


The Fund may make such investments when the portfolio manager believes it is reasonably likely that the issuer of the distressed debt securities will make an exchange offer or will be the subject of a plan of reorganization pursuant to which the Fund will receive new securities (e.g., equity securities) and/or other assets. However, there can be no assurance that such an exchange offer will be made or that such a plan of reorganization will be adopted. In addition, a significant period of time may pass between the time at which the Fund makes its investment in distressed debt securities and the time that any such exchange offer or plan of reorganization is completed. During this period, it is unlikely that the Fund will receive any interest payments on the distressed debt securities, the Fund will be subject to significant uncertainty as to whether the exchange offer or plan will be completed and the Fund may be required to bear extraordinary expenses to protect or recover its investment. Even if an exchange offer is made or a plan of reorganization is adopted with respect to the distressed debt securities held by the Fund, there can be no assurance that the securities or other assets received by the Fund in connection with such exchange offer or plan of reorganization will not have a lower value or income potential than may have been anticipated when the investment was made. Moreover, any securities received by the Fund upon completion of an exchange offer or plan of reorganization may be restricted as to resale. As a result of the Fund’s participation in negotiations with respect to any exchange offer or plan of reorganization with respect to an issuer of distressed debt securities, the Fund may be restricted from disposing of such securities.

Duration

For the simplest fixed income securities, “duration” indicates the average time at which the security’s cash flows are to be received. For simple fixed income securities with interest payments occurring prior to the payment of principal, duration is always less than maturity. For example, a current coupon “bullet” bond with a maturity of 3.5 years (i.e., a bond that pays interest at regular intervals and that will have a single principal payment of the entire principal amount in 3.5 years) might have a duration of approximately three years. In general, the lower the stated or coupon rate of interest of a fixed income security, the closer its duration will be to its final maturity; conversely, the higher the stated or coupon rate of interest of a fixed income security, the shorter its duration will be compared to its final maturity.

Determining duration becomes more complex when fixed income security features like floating or adjustable coupon payments, optionality (for example, the right of the issuer to prepay or call the security), and structuring (for example, the right of the holders of certain securities to receive priority as to the issuer’s cash flows) are considered. The calculation of “effective duration” attempts to take into account optionality and other complex features. Generally, the longer the effective duration of a security, the greater will be the expected change in the percentage price of the security with respect to a change in the security’s own yield. By way of illustration, a security with an effective duration of 3.5 years might normally be expected to go down in price by 35 bps if its yield goes up by 10 bps, while another security with an effective duration of 4.0 years might normally be expected to go down in price by 40 bps if its yield goes up by 10 bps. The assumptions that are made about a security’s features and options when calculating effective duration may prove to be incorrect. For example, many mortgage pass-through securities may have stated final maturities of 30 years, but current prepayment rates, which can vary widely under different economic conditions, may have a large influence on the pass-through security’s response to changes in yield. In these situations, the Fund’s portfolio manager may consider other analytical techniques that seek to incorporate the security’s additional features into the determination of its response to changes in its yield.

A security may change in price for a variety of reasons. For example, floating rate securities may have final maturities of ten or more years, but their effective durations will tend to be very short. If there is an adverse credit event, or a perceived change in the issuer’s creditworthiness, these securities could experience a far greater negative price movement than would be predicted by the change in the security’s yield in relation to its effective duration. As a result, investors should be aware that effective duration is not an exact measurement and may not reliably predict a security’s price sensitivity to changes in yield or interest rates.

 

S-22


Equity Securities

Equity securities include exchange-traded and over-the-counter common and preferred stocks, warrants and rights, and securities convertible into Common Shares. Equity securities fluctuate in price based on changes in a company’s financial condition and overall market and economic conditions. The value of a particular security may decline due to factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as an increase in production costs, competitive conditions or labor shortages; or due to general market conditions, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or generally adverse investor sentiment. The value of an equity security can be more volatile than the market as a whole and can perform differently from the value of the market as a whole. The value of a company’s equity securities may deteriorate because of a variety of factors, including disappointing earnings reports by the issuer, unsuccessful products or services, loss of major customers, major litigation against the issuer or changes in government regulations affecting the issuer or the competitive environment.

Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”)

ETFs are ownership interests in investment companies, unit investment trusts, depositary receipts and other pooled investment vehicles that are traded on an exchange and that hold a portfolio of securities or other financial instruments (the “Underlying Assets”). The Underlying Assets are typically selected to correspond to the securities that comprise a particular broad based sector or international index, or to provide exposure to a particular industry sector or asset class, including precious metals or other commodities. “Short ETFs” seek a return similar to the inverse, or a multiple of the inverse, of a reference index. Short ETFs carry additional risks because their Underlying Assets may include a variety of financial instruments, including futures and options on futures, options on securities and securities indices, swap agreements and forward contracts, and a short ETF may engage in short sales. An ETF’s losses on short sales are potentially unlimited; however, the Fund’s risk would be limited to the amount it invested in the ETF. Certain ETFs are actively managed by a portfolio manager or management team that makes investment decisions on Underlying Assets without seeking to replicate the performance of a reference index or industry sector or asset class.

Unlike shares of typical open-end management investment companies or unit investment trusts, shares of ETFs are designed to be traded throughout the trading day and bought and sold based on market price rather than net asset value. Shares can trade at either a premium or discount to net asset value. The portfolios held by ETFs are typically publicly disclosed on each trading day and an approximation of actual net asset value is disseminated throughout the trading day. Because of this transparency, the trading prices of ETFs tend to closely track the actual net asset value of the Underlying Assets and the ETF will generally gain or lose value depending on the performance of the Underlying Assets. In the future, as new products become available, the Fund may invest in ETFs that do not have this same level of transparency and, therefore, may be more likely to trade at a larger discount or premium to actual net asset values.

Gains or losses on the Fund’s investment in ETFs will ultimately depend on the purchase and sale price of the ETF. An active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained and trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally. The performance of an ETF will be reduced by transaction and other expenses, including fees paid by the ETF to service providers. Investors in ETFs are eligible to receive their portion of income, if any, accumulated on the securities held in the portfolio, less fees and expenses of the ETF.

An investment in an ETF involves risks similar to investing directly in the Underlying Assets, including the risk that the value of the Underlying Assets may fluctuate in accordance with changes in the financial condition of their issuers, the value of securities and other financial instruments generally, and other market factors.

If an ETF is a registered investment company (as defined in the 1940 Act), the limitations applicable to the Fund’s ability to purchase securities issued by other investment companies apply absent exemptive relief. The SEC has granted orders for exemptive relief to certain ETFs that permit investments in those ETFs by other investment companies (such as the Fund) in excess of these limits. Under the orders, other investment companies generally may acquire up to 25% of the assets of an ETF. Some ETFs are not structured as investment companies and thus are not regulated under the 1940 Act.

 

S-23


Foreign Securities

The risks of investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers or issuers with significant exposure to non-U.S. markets may be related, among other things, to (i) differences in size, liquidity and volatility of, and the degree and manner of regulation of, the securities markets of certain non-U.S. markets compared to the securities markets in the U.S.; (ii) economic, political and social factors; and (iii) foreign exchange matters, such as restrictions on the repatriation of capital, fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the currencies in which the Fund’s portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, exchange control regulations and costs associated with currency exchange. The political and economic structures in certain foreign countries, particularly emerging markets, are expected to undergo significant evolution and rapid development, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries.

Unanticipated political or social developments may affect the values of the Fund’s investments in such countries. The economies and securities and currency markets of many emerging markets have experienced significant disruption and declines. There can be no assurances that these economic and market disruptions will not continue.

Legal remedies available to investors in certain foreign countries may be less extensive than those available to investors in the U.S. or other foreign countries. Accounting standards in other countries are also not necessarily the same as in the United States. If the accounting standards in another country do not require as much detail as U.S. accounting standards, it may be harder for the portfolio manager to completely and accurately determine a company’s financial condition. In addition, the U.S. Government has from time to time in the past imposed restrictions, through penalties and otherwise, on foreign investments by U.S. investors such as the Fund. Also, brokerage commissions and other costs of buying or selling securities often are higher in foreign countries than they are in the U.S. This reduces the amount the Fund can earn on its investments.

The Fund generally holds its foreign securities and cash in foreign banks and securities depositories. Some foreign banks and securities depositories may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In addition, there may be limited or no regulatory oversight over their operations. Also, the laws of certain countries may put limits on the Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a foreign bank or depository or issuer of a security or any of their agents goes bankrupt. In addition, it is often more expensive for the Fund to buy, sell and hold securities in certain foreign markets than in the U.S. The increased expense of investing in foreign markets reduces the amount the Fund can earn on its investments and typically results in a higher operating expense ratio for the Fund as compared to investment companies that invest only in the United States.

Securities of some foreign companies have lower liquidity, and their prices are more volatile, than securities of comparable domestic companies. Certain foreign countries are known to experience long delays between the trade and settlement dates of securities purchased or sold resulting in increased exposure of the Fund to market and foreign exchange fluctuations brought about by such delays, and to the corresponding negative impact on Fund liquidity.

Foreign Currency Risks

The U.S. dollar value of investments denominated in a foreign currency will vary with changes in currency exchange rates, which can be volatile. Accordingly, changes in the value of the currency in which the Fund’s investments are denominated relative to the U.S. dollar will affect the Fund’s net asset value. Exchange rates are generally affected by the forces of supply and demand in the international currency markets, the relative merits of investing in different countries and the intervention or failure to intervene of U.S. or foreign governments and central banks. However, currency exchange rates may fluctuate based on factors intrinsic to a country’s economy. Some emerging market countries also may have managed currencies, which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. In addition, emerging markets are subject to the risk of restrictions upon the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Any devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar in the currencies in which the Fund’s securities are quoted may reduce the Fund’s net asset value per share.

 

S-24


Investments in Emerging Markets

Investors are strongly advised to consider carefully the special risks involved in emerging markets, which are in addition to the usual risks of investing in developed foreign markets around the world.

The risks of investing in securities in emerging countries include: (i) less social, political and economic stability; (ii) the smaller size of the markets for such securities and lower volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity and in greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies that may restrict the Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation; (v) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; and (vi) military unrest, war and terrorism.

Investors should note that upon the accession to power of authoritarian regimes, the governments of a number of emerging market countries previously expropriated large quantities of real and personal property similar to the property which may be represented by the securities purchased by the Fund. The claims of property owners against those governments were never finally settled. There can be no assurance that any property represented by securities purchased by the Fund will not also be expropriated, nationalized, or otherwise confiscated at some time in the future. If such confiscation were to occur, the Fund could lose a substantial portion or all of its investments in such countries. The Fund’s investments would similarly be adversely affected by exchange control regulation in any of those countries.

Certain countries in which the Fund may invest may have vocal minorities that advocate radical religious or revolutionary philosophies or support ethnic independence. Any disturbance on the part of such individuals could carry the potential for widespread destruction or confiscation of property owned by individuals and entities foreign to such country and could cause the loss of the Fund’s investment in those countries.

Settlement mechanisms in emerging market securities may be less efficient and reliable than in more developed markets. In such emerging securities markets there may be delays and failures in share registration and delivery. In certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. The inability of the Fund to make intended securities purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of a portfolio security caused by settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in the value of the portfolio security or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, in possible liability to the purchaser. There may also be a danger that, because of uncertainties in the operation of settlement systems in individual markets, competing claims may arise in respect of securities held by or to be transferred to the Fund. Furthermore, compensation schemes may be non-existent, limited or inadequate to meet the Fund’s claims in any of these events.

Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, very negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging markets. While some emerging market countries have sought to develop a number of corrective mechanisms to reduce inflation or mitigate its effects, inflation may continue to have significant effects both on emerging market economies and their securities markets. In addition, many of the currencies of emerging market countries have experienced steady devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar and major devaluations have occurred in certain countries. Economies in emerging markets generally are heavily dependent upon international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by economic conditions, trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.

Because of the high levels of foreign-denominated debt owed by many emerging market countries, fluctuating exchange rates can significantly affect the debt service obligations of those countries. This could, in turn, affect local interest rates, profit margins and exports, which are a major source of foreign exchange earnings.

To the extent an emerging market country faces a liquidity crisis with respect to its foreign exchange reserves, it may increase restrictions on the outflow of any foreign exchange. Repatriation is ultimately dependent on the ability of the Fund to liquidate its investments and convert the local currency proceeds obtained from such liquidation into U.S. dollars. Where this conversion must be done through official channels (usually the central bank or certain

 

S-25


authorized commercial banks), the ability to obtain U.S. dollars is dependent on the availability of such U.S. dollars through those channels and, if available, upon the willingness of those channels to allocate those U.S. dollars to the Fund. The Fund’s ability to obtain U.S. dollars may be adversely affected by any increased restrictions imposed on the outflow of foreign exchange. If the Fund is unable to repatriate any amounts due to exchange controls, it may be required to accept an obligation payable at some future date by the central bank or other governmental entity of the jurisdiction involved. If such conversion can legally be done outside official channels, either directly or indirectly, the Fund’s ability to obtain U.S. dollars may not be affected as much by any increased restrictions except to the extent of the price which may be required to be paid in U.S. dollars. Furthermore, repatriation of investment income, capital and the proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval in some countries.

Many emerging market countries have little experience with the corporate form of business organization and may not have well-developed corporation and business laws or concepts of fiduciary duty in the business context. The Fund may encounter substantial difficulties in obtaining and enforcing judgments against individuals and companies located in certain emerging market countries. It may be difficult or impossible to obtain or enforce legislation or remedies against governments, their agencies and sponsored entities.

Disclosure and regulatory standards in emerging markets in many respects are less stringent than in the United States and other major markets. There also may be a lower level of monitoring and regulation of emerging markets and the activities of investors in such markets; enforcement of existing regulations has been extremely limited.

Trading in the securities of emerging markets presents additional credit and financial risks. The Fund may have limited access to, or there may be a limited number of, potential counterparties that trade in the securities of emerging market issuers. Governmental regulations may restrict potential counterparties to certain financial institutions located or operating in the particular emerging 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 hedging techniques may not be available or may be limited. The Fund may not be able to reduce or mitigate risks related to trading with emerging market counterparties.

The risk also exists that an emergency situation may arise in one or more emerging markets as a result of which trading of securities may cease or may be substantially curtailed and prices for the Fund’s portfolio securities in such markets may not be readily available. Although it might be theoretically possible to hedge for anticipated income and gains, the ongoing and indeterminate nature of the risks associated with emerging market investing (and the costs associated with hedging transactions) makes it very difficult to hedge effectively against such risks.

Investment in Chinese debt instruments through Bond Connect. Chinese debt instruments trade on the China Interbank Bond Market (“CIBM”) and may be purchased through a market access program that is designed to, among other things, enable foreign investment in the People’s Republic of China (“Bond Connect”). There are distinct operational and regulatory risks inherent in investing in debt instruments traded on the CIBM in addition to the risks typically associated with investments in emerging market countries. The prices of debt instruments traded on the CIBM may fluctuate significantly due to low trading volume and potential lack of liquidity. The rules to access debt instruments that trade on the CIBM through Bond Connect are relatively new and subject to change, which may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to invest in these instruments and to enforce its rights as a beneficial owner of these instruments. Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. In addition, securities offered through Bond Connect may lose their eligibility for trading through the program at any time, in which case they may be sold but can no longer be purchased through Bond Connect. There can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect the Fund’s investments or returns.

Investments made through Bond Connect are subject to order, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in China, which could pose risks to the Fund. CIBM does not support all trading strategies (such as short selling) and investments in Chinese debt instruments that trade on the CIBM are subject to the risks of suspension of trading without cause or notice, trade failure or trade rejection and default of securities depositories and counterparties. Furthermore, Chinese debt instruments purchased via Bond Connect will be held via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Central Money Markets Unit (“CMU”) maintained with a China-based depository (either the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (“CDCC”) or the

 

S-26


Shanghai Clearing House (“SCH”)). The Fund’s ownership interest in these Chinese debt instruments will not be reflected directly in book entry with CDCC or SCH and will instead only be reflected on the books of the Fund’s Hong Kong sub-custodian. Therefore, the Fund’s ability to enforce its rights as a bondholder may depend on CMU’s ability or willingness as record-holder of the bonds to enforce the Fund’s rights as a bondholder. Additionally, the omnibus manner in which Chinese debt instruments are held could expose the Fund to the credit risk of the relevant securities depositories and the Fund’s Hong Kong sub-custodian. While the Fund holds a beneficial interest in the instruments it acquires through Bond Connect, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are untested. In addition, courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. Moreover, Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules.

The Fund’s investments in Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect are generally subject to a number of regulations and restrictions, including Chinese securities regulations and listing rules, loss recovery limitations and disclosure of interest reporting obligations. The Fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Bond Connect. Bond Connect can only operate when both China and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. In addition, the trading, settlement and IT systems required for non-Chinese investors in Bond Connect are relatively new. In the event of systems malfunctions or extreme market conditions, trading via Bond Connect could be disrupted. The rules applicable to taxation of Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect remain subject to further clarification. Uncertainties in the Chinese tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments via Bond Connect could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund, which may negatively affect investment returns for shareholders.

Bond Connect trades are settled in Renminbi (“RMB”), and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB in Hong Kong, which cannot be guaranteed.

Europe – Recent Events

A number of countries in Europe have experienced severe economic and financial difficulties. Many non-governmental issuers, and even certain governments, have defaulted on, or been forced to restructure, their debts; many other issuers have faced difficulties obtaining credit or refinancing existing obligations; financial institutions have in many cases required government or central bank support, have needed to raise capital, and/or have been impaired in their ability to extend credit; and financial markets in Europe and elsewhere have experienced extreme volatility and declines in asset values and liquidity. These difficulties may continue, worsen or spread within and outside of Europe. Responses to the financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences.

Further defaults or restructurings by governments and others of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world. In addition, on June 23, 2016, voters in the United Kingdom approved withdrawal from the European Union. On March 29, 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union. On December 24, 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union struck a new trade and cooperation deal governing the future relationship of the two parties. The deal was approved by the United Kingdom Parliament on December 30, 2020 and is expected to be formally ratified by the European Union Parliament in 2021. Given the size and importance of the United Kingdom’s economy, uncertainty about its legal, political, and economic relationship with the remaining member states of the European Union may continue to be a source of instability. Moreover, other countries may seek to withdraw from the European Union and/or abandon the euro, the common currency of the European Union. A number of countries in Europe have suffered terror attacks, and additional attacks may occur in the future. Ukraine has experienced ongoing military conflict; this conflict may expand and military attacks could occur elsewhere in Europe. Europe has also been struggling with mass migration from the Middle East and Africa.

The ultimate effects of these events and other socio-political or geopolitical issues are not known but could profoundly affect global economies and markets. Whether or not the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in Europe or with significant exposure to European issuers or countries, these events could negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments.

 

S-27


Eurodollar or Yankee Obligations

Eurodollar bank obligations are U.S. dollar denominated debt obligations issued outside the U.S. capital markets by non-U.S. branches of U.S. banks and by non-U.S. banks. Yankee obligations are U.S. dollar denominated obligations issued in the U.S. capital markets by non-U.S. issuers. Eurodollar (and to a limited extent, Yankee) obligations are subject to certain sovereign risks. One such risk is the possibility that a non-U.S. government might prevent U.S. dollar denominated funds from flowing across its borders. Other risks include: adverse political and economic developments in a non-U.S. country; the extent and quality of government regulation of financial markets and institutions; the imposition of non-U.S. withholding taxes; and expropriation or nationalization of non-U.S. issuers.

Sovereign Government and Supranational Debt Obligations

The Fund may invest in all types of debt securities of governmental issuers in all countries, including emerging markets. These sovereign debt securities may include: debt securities issued or guaranteed by governments, governmental agencies or instrumentalities and political subdivisions located in emerging market countries; debt securities issued by government owned, controlled or sponsored entities located in emerging market countries; interests issued for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of instruments issued by any of the above issuers; Brady Bonds, which are debt securities issued under the framework of the Brady Plan as a means for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness; participations in loans between emerging market governments and financial institutions; or debt securities issued by supranational entities such as the World Bank. 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 or development. Included among these entities are the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Supranational organizations have no taxing authority and are dependent on their members for payments of interest and principal. There is no guarantee that one or more members of a supranational organization will continue to make capital contributions. If such contributions are not made, the organization may be unable to pay interest or repay principal on its debt securities, and the Fund may lose money on such investments. Further, the lending activities of such entities are limited to a percentage of their total capital, reserves and net income.

Sovereign debt is subject to risks in addition to those relating to non-U.S. investments generally. 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 foreign currency reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign currency exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward principal international lenders and the political constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Sovereign debtors may also be dependent on disbursements or assistance from foreign governments or multinational agencies, the country’s access to trade and other international credits, and the country’s balance of trade. Assistance may be dependent on a country’s implementation of austerity measures and reforms, economic performance and/or the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Some sovereign debtors have rescheduled their debt payments, declared moratoria on payments or restructured their debt to effectively eliminate portions of it, and similar occurrences may happen in the future. There is no bankruptcy proceeding by which sovereign debt on which governmental entities have defaulted may be collected in whole or in part.

Depository Receipts

Depositary receipts demonstrate ownership of shares of a foreign issuer and are alternatives to directly purchasing the underlying foreign security. Depositary receipts may be sponsored or unsponsored and include American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and non-voting depositary receipts (“NVDRs”). ADRs in registered form are typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company, traded in U.S. dollars, and are designed for use in the domestic market. GDRs, EDRs, NVDRs and other similar instruments may be issued by a U.S. or non-U.S. entity and may be traded in other currencies. GDRs are tradable both in the United States and Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. EDRs are issued in bearer form and are designed for use in European securities markets.

 

S-28


Depositary receipts in general are subject to many of the risks associated with foreign investing (e.g., increased market, illiquidity, currency, political, information and other risks), and even where traded in U.S. dollars are subject to currency risk if the underlying security is traded in a foreign currency. Unsponsored depositary receipts are issued without the participation of the issuer of the underlying foreign security and there may be less information available about such issuers than there is with respect to domestic companies and issuers of securities underlying sponsored depositary receipts. Even if there is information available, there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the depositary receipts.

High Yield (“Junk”) Bonds

High yield securities are medium or lower rated securities and unrated securities of comparable quality, sometimes referred to as “high yield” or “junk” bonds. Generally, such securities offer a higher current yield than is offered by higher rated securities, but also are predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal in accordance with the terms of the securities. The market values of certain of these securities also tend to be more sensitive to individual corporate developments and changes in economic conditions than higher quality bonds. In addition, medium and lower rated securities and comparable unrated securities generally present a higher degree of credit risk. The risk of loss because of default by issuers of these securities is significantly greater because medium and lower rated securities generally are unsecured and frequently subordinated to senior indebtedness. In addition, the market value of securities in lower rated categories is generally more volatile than that of higher quality securities, and the markets in which medium and lower rated securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its securities and calculating its net asset value. Moreover, the lack of a liquid trading market may restrict the availability of securities for the Fund to purchase and may also limit the ability of the Fund to sell securities at their fair value to respond to changes in the economy or the financial markets.

Lower rated debt obligations often have redemption features that permit an issuer to repurchase the security from the Fund before it matures. If an issuer exercises that right, the Fund may have to replace the security with a lower yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. If the Fund has to reduce its structural leverage, it may be forced to sell its higher rated bonds, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of the securities held by the Fund and increasing the exposure of the Fund to the risks of lower rated securities. Investments in lower rated zero coupon bonds may be more speculative and subject to greater fluctuations in value because of changes in interest rates than lower rated bonds that pay interest currently.

Subsequent to its purchase by the Fund, an issue of securities may cease to be rated or its rating may be reduced below the minimum required for purchase by the Fund (if applicable). Neither event will require sale of these securities by the Fund, but the portfolio manager will consider the event in determining whether the Fund should continue to hold the security.

Illiquid Investments and Restricted Securities

An illiquid security is any security which 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 security. Illiquid securities may be difficult to value, and the Fund may have difficulty disposing of such securities promptly. The Fund does not consider non-U.S. securities to be restricted if they can be freely sold in the principal markets in which they are traded, even if they are not registered for sale in the United States.

Restricted securities are securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on their resale, such as private placements. Such restrictions might prevent the sale of restricted securities at a time when the sale would otherwise be desirable. Under SEC regulations, certain restricted securities acquired through private placements can be traded freely among qualified purchasers. While restricted securities are generally presumed to be illiquid, it may be determined that a particular restricted security is liquid. Investing in these restricted securities could have the effect of increasing the Fund’s illiquidity if qualified purchasers become, for a time, uninterested in buying these securities.

 

S-29


Restricted securities may be sold only (1) pursuant to SEC Rule 144A or another exemption, (2) in privately negotiated transactions or (3) in public offerings with respect to which a registration statement is in effect under the 1933 Act. Rule 144A securities, although not registered in the U.S., may be sold to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. As noted above, the Fund may determine that some Rule 144A securities are liquid. Where registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable period may elapse between the time of the decision to sell and the time the Fund may be permitted to sell a restricted security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than prevailed when it decided to sell.

Investments in Other Investment Companies

Subject to applicable statutory and regulatory limitations described below, the Fund may invest in shares of other investment companies, including shares of open-end and closed-end investment companies affiliated or unaffiliated with the Fund, business development companies, exchange-traded funds and unregistered investment companies.

An investment in an investment company is subject to the risks associated with that investment company’s portfolio securities. Investments in closed-end funds may entail the additional risk that the market value of such investments may be substantially less than their net asset value. To the extent the Fund invests in shares of another investment company, the Fund will indirectly bear a proportionate share of that investment company’s advisory fees and other operating expenses. These fees are in addition to the advisory fees and other operational expenses incurred directly by the Fund. In addition, the Fund could incur a sales charge in connection with purchasing an investment company security or a redemption fee upon the redemption of such security.

Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act provides that a fund may not purchase or otherwise acquire the securities of other “registered investment companies” (as defined in the 1940 Act) if, as a result of such purchase or acquisition, it would own: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired investment company; (ii) securities issued by any one investment company having a value in excess of 5% of the fund’s total assets; or (iii) securities issued by all investment companies having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the fund’s total assets. Certain exceptions may be available from these limits such as when the Fund invests in certain exchange-traded funds or money-market funds or in investment companies that are part of the same group of investment companies as the Fund.

On October 7, 2020, the SEC adopted new Rule 12d1-4 that will permit investment companies, including the Fund, to invest in other investment companies beyond the statutory limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) without obtaining an exemptive order, provided certain conditions are met.

Investments in Affiliated Money Market Funds

The Fund may invest, to the extent permitted by applicable law, all or some of its short-term cash investments in a money market fund or similarly-managed pool advised by the Manager, Sub-Adviser or an affiliate of the Manager that may or may not be required to register with the SEC as an investment company. In connection with any such investments, the Fund, to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, may pay its share of expenses of the fund in which it invests, which may result additional expenses for the Fund.

London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) Replacement and Other Reference Rates Risk

Many debt securities, derivatives, and other financial instruments, including some of the Fund’s investments, utilize benchmark or reference rates such as LIBOR, European Interbank Offer Rate (“EURIBOR”), Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate (“SONIA”), and other similar types of reference rates for variable interest rate calculations. Instruments in which the Fund invests may pay interest at floating rates based on LIBOR or other similar types of reference rates or may be subject to interest caps or floors based on such reference rates. The Fund and issuers of instruments in which the Fund invests may also obtain financing at floating rates based on such reference rates. The elimination of a reference rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of reference rates could have an adverse impact on the market for—or value of—any securities or payments linked to those reference rates.

 

S-30


The use of LIBOR came under pressure following manipulation allegations in 2012. Despite increased regulation and other corrective actions since that time, concerns have arisen regarding its viability as a benchmark due largely to reduced activity in the financial markets that it measures. In 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) announced that it will no longer encourage nor require banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. Subsequently, the FCA and the administrator of LIBOR announced a delay in the phase out of a majority of the U.S. dollar LIBOR publications (overnight and one, three, six and 12 months) until June 30, 2023, with the remainder of LIBOR publications to be phased out on schedule at the end of 2021. It is unclear whether LIBOR will continue to exist in its current or a modified form. Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. Based on the recommendations of the New York Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rate Committee (comprised of major derivative market participants and their regulators), the U.S. Federal Reserve began publishing a Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”) that is intended to replace U.S. Dollar LIBOR. Proposals for alternative reference rates for other currencies have also been announced or have already begun publication, such as SONIA in the United Kingdom.

Markets are slowly developing in response to these new rates, and transition planning is at a relatively early stage. Neither the effect of the transition process nor its ultimate success is known. The transition process may lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that currently rely on LIBOR to determine interest rates. The effect of any changes to—or discontinuation of—LIBOR on the Fund will vary depending on, among other things, provisions in individual contracts and whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and alternative reference rates for both legacy and new products and instruments. Because the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark may deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could materialize prior to the end of 2021.

Loans

Loans are negotiated and underwritten by a bank or syndicate of banks and other institutional investors. The Fund may acquire an interest in loans through the primary market by acting as one of a group of lenders of a loan. The primary risk in an investment in loans is that the borrower may be unable to meet its interest and/or principal payment obligations. The occurrence of such a default with regard to a loan in which the Fund had invested would have an adverse effect on the Fund’s net asset value. In addition, a sudden and significant increase in market interest rates may cause a decline in the value of these investments and in the Fund’s net asset value. Other factors, such as rating downgrades, credit deterioration, or large downward movement in stock prices, a disparity in supply and demand of certain securities or market conditions that reduce liquidity could reduce the value of loans, impairing the Fund’s net asset value. Loans may not be considered “securities” for certain purposes and purchasers, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws.

Loans in which the Fund may invest may be collateralized or uncollateralized and senior or subordinate. Investments in uncollateralized and/or subordinate loans entail a greater risk of nonpayment than do investments in loans which hold a more senior position in the borrower’s capital structure or that are secured with collateral. In the case of collateralized senior loans, however, there is no assurance that sale of the collateral would raise enough cash to satisfy the borrower’s payment obligation or that the collateral can or will be liquidated. As a result, the Fund might not receive payments to which it is entitled and thereby may experience a decline in the value of its investment and its net asset value. In the event of bankruptcy, liquidation may not occur and the court may not give lenders the full benefit of their senior positions. If the terms of a senior loan do not require the borrower to pledge additional collateral, the Fund will be exposed to the risk that the value of the collateral will not at all times equal or exceed the amount of the borrower’s obligations under the senior loans. To the extent that a senior loan is collateralized by stock in the borrower or its subsidiaries, such stock may lose all of its value in the event of bankruptcy of the borrower.

The Fund may also acquire an interest in loans by purchasing participations (“Participations”) in and/or assignments (“Assignments”) of portions of loans from third parties. By purchasing a Participation, the Fund acquires some or all of the interest of a bank or other lending institution in a loan to a borrower. Participations typically will result in the Fund’s having a contractual relationship only with the lender and not the borrower. The Fund will have the right to receive payments or principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the Participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower. In connection with purchasing Participations, the Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement relating to the loan, nor any rights of set-off against the borrower, and the Fund may not directly benefit from any collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the Participation. As a result, the Fund will assume the credit risk of both the borrower and the lender that is selling the Participation.

 

S-31


When the Fund purchases Assignments from lenders, the Fund will acquire direct rights against the borrower on the loan. However, since Assignments are arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and assignors, the rights and obligations acquired by the Fund as the purchaser of an Assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the lender from which the Fund is purchasing the Assignments. Certain of the Participations or Assignments acquired by the Fund may involve unfunded commitments of the lenders or revolving credit facilities under which a borrower may from time to time borrow and repay amounts up to the maximum amount of the facility. In such cases, the Fund would have an obligation to advance its portion of such additional borrowings upon the terms specified in the loan documentation.

The Fund may acquire loans of borrowers that are experiencing, or are more likely to experience, financial difficulty, including loans of borrowers that have filed for bankruptcy protection. Although loans in which the Fund will invest generally will be secured by specific collateral, there can be no assurance that liquidation of such collateral would satisfy the borrower’s obligation in the event of nonpayment of scheduled interest or principal, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a borrower, the Fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a senior loan.

In addition, the Fund may have difficulty disposing of its investments in loans. The liquidity of such securities is limited and the Fund anticipates that such securities could be sold only to a limited number of institutional investors. The lack of a liquid secondary market could have an adverse impact on the value of such securities and on the Fund’s ability to dispose of particular loans or Assignments or Participations when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event, such as a deterioration in the creditworthiness of the borrower. The lack of a liquid secondary market for loans may also make it more difficult for the Fund to assign a value to those securities for purposes of valuing the Fund’s investments and calculating its net asset value.

The issuer of a loan may offer to provide material, non-public information about the issuer to investors, such as the Fund. The Fund’s portfolio manager may avoid receiving this type of information about the issuer of a loan either held by or considered for investment by the Fund, because of prohibitions on trading in securities of issuers while in possession of such information. The decision not to receive material, non-public information may place the Fund at a disadvantage, relative to other loan investors, in assessing a loan or the loan’s issuer.

Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities

An asset-backed security is a fixed income security that derives its value primarily from cash flows relating to a pool of assets. There are a number of different types of asset-backed and related securities, including mortgage-backed securities, securities backed by other pools of collateral (such as automobile loans, student loans, sub-prime mortgages, and credit card receivables), collateralized mortgage obligations, and collateralized debt obligations.

Asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities differ from conventional bonds in that principal is paid over the life of the securities rather than at maturity. As a result, payments of principal of and interest on mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities are made more frequently than are payments on conventional debt securities. The average life of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities is likely to be substantially less than the original maturity of the underlying asset pools as a result of prepayments or foreclosures of mortgages, as applicable. In addition, holders of mortgage-backed securities and of certain asset-backed securities (such as asset-backed securities backed by home equity loans) may receive unscheduled payments of principal at any time representing prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or financial assets. When the holder of the security attempts to reinvest prepayments or even the scheduled payments of principal and interest, it may receive a rate of interest that is higher or lower than the rate on the mortgage-backed security or asset-backed security originally held. To the extent that mortgage-backed securities or asset-backed securities are purchased by the Fund at a premium, mortgage foreclosures and principal prepayments may result in a loss to the extent of the premium paid. To the extent the loans underlying a security representing an interest in a pool of mortgages or other assets are prepaid, the Fund may experience a loss (if the price at which the respective security was acquired by the Fund was at a premium over par, which represents the price at which the security will be redeemed upon prepayment) or a gain (if the price at which the respective security was acquired by the Fund was at a discount from par). In addition, prepayments of such securities held by the Fund will

 

S-32


reduce the share price of the Fund to the extent the market value of the securities at the time of prepayment exceeds their par value, and will increase the share price of the Fund to the extent the par value of the securities exceeds their market value at the time of prepayment. Prepayments may occur with greater frequency in periods of declining interest rates because, among other reasons, it may be possible for borrowers to refinance their outstanding obligation at lower interest rates. When market interest rates increase, the market values of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities decline. At the same time, however, refinancing slows, which lengthens the effective maturities of these securities. As a result, the negative effect of the rate increase on the market value of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities is usually more pronounced than it is for other types of fixed income securities.

Changes in the market’s perception of the mortgages or assets backing the security, the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the loan pool, the originator of the loans, or the financial institution providing any credit enhancement, will all affect the value of an asset-backed or mortgage-backed security, as will the exhaustion of any credit enhancement.

The risks of investing in asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities ultimately depend upon the payment of the underlying loans by the individual borrowers. In its capacity as purchaser of an asset-backed security or mortgage-backed security, the Fund would generally have no recourse to the entity that originated the loans in the event of default by the borrower. The risk of non-payment is greater for asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities that are backed by pools that contain subprime loans, but a level of risk exists for all loans. Market factors adversely affecting loan repayments may include a general economic turndown and high unemployment. Mortgage-backed securities may be adversely affected by a general slowdown in the real estate market, a drop in the market prices of real estate, or an increase in interest rates resulting in higher mortgage payments by holders of adjustable rate mortgages.

Additional information regarding different types of asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities is provided below. Governmental, government-related or private entities may create pools of loan assets offering pass-through investments in addition to those described below. As new types of asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities are developed and offered to investors, the portfolio manager may, consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies, consider making investments in such new types of securities.

Mortgage-Backed Securities. Mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) represent interests in pools of mortgage loans made by lenders such as savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers, commercial banks and others, to finance purchases of homes, commercial buildings or other real estate. The individual mortgage loans are assembled for sale to investors (such as the Fund) by various governmental or government-related agencies and private organizations, such as dealers.

Government-sponsored MBS. Some government sponsored mortgage-related securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), the principal guarantor of such securities, is a wholly owned United States government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Other government-sponsored mortgage-related securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Issuers of such securities include Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (formally known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored corporation which is subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Pass-through securities issued by Fannie Mae are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress and subject to general regulation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Participation certificates representing interests in mortgages from Freddie Mac’s national portfolio are guaranteed as to the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal by Freddie Mac. The U.S. government has provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the past, but there can be no assurances that it will support these or other government-sponsored entities in the future.

Under the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s “Single Security Initiative,” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to operate a common securitization platform for the issuance of Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities (“UMBS”), which generally aligns the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac participation certificates. In June 2019 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began issuing UMBS in place of their “to be announced”- eligible mortgage-backed securities. The effect of the issuance of UMBS on the market for mortgage-backed securities is uncertain.

 

S-33


Privately Issued MBS. Unlike MBS issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or certain government-sponsored entities, MBS issued by private issuers do not have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee, but may have credit enhancement provided by external entities such as banks or financial institutions or achieved through the structuring of the transaction itself.

In addition, MBS that are issued by private issuers are not subject to the underwriting requirements for the underlying mortgages that are applicable to those MBS that have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee. As a result, the mortgage loans underlying private MBS may, and frequently do, have less favorable collateral, credit risk or other underwriting characteristics than government or government-sponsored MBS and have wider variances in a number of terms including interest rate, term, size, purpose and borrower characteristics. Privately issued pools more frequently include second mortgages, high loan-to-value mortgages and manufactured housing loans. The coupon rates and maturities of the underlying mortgage loans in a private-label MBS pool may vary to a greater extent than those included in a government guaranteed pool, and the pool may include subprime mortgage loans. Subprime loans refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans. For these reasons, the loans underlying these securities have had in many cases higher default rates than those loans that meet government underwriting requirements.

Privately issued mortgage-backed securities are not traded on an exchange and there may be a limited market for the securities, especially when there is a perceived weakness in the mortgage and real estate market sectors. Without an active trading market, mortgage-backed securities held in the Fund’s portfolio may be particularly difficult to value because of the complexities involved in assessing the value of the underlying mortgage loans.

Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities. Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities (“ARMBS”) are pass-through securities collateralized by mortgages with adjustable rather than fixed rates. Adjustable rate mortgages eligible for inclusion in a mortgage pool generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a set number of scheduled monthly payments. After that schedule of payments has been completed, the interest rates of the adjustable rate mortgages are subject to periodic adjustment based on changes to a designated benchmark index.

Mortgages underlying most ARMBS may contain maximum and minimum rates beyond which the mortgage interest rate may not vary over the lifetime of the mortgage. In addition, certain adjustable rate mortgages provide for additional limitations on the maximum amount by which the mortgage interest rate may adjust for any single adjustment period. In the event that market rates of interest rise more rapidly to levels above that of the maximum rate for the adjustable rate mortgages underlying an ARMBS, the ARMBS’ coupon may represent a below market rate of interest. In these circumstances, the market value of the ARMBS will likely have fallen. During periods of declining interest rates, income to the Fund derived from adjustable rate mortgages that remain in the mortgage pool underlying the ARMBS may decrease in contrast to the income on fixed rate mortgages, which will remain constant. Adjustable rate mortgages also have less potential for appreciation in value as interest rates decline than do fixed rate investments. In addition, the current yields on ARMBS may be different than market yields during interim periods between coupon reset dates.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”) are structured with two or more classes of securities that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have at least one class receiving only a small portion of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (“IO” or interest-only class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (“PO” or principal-only class). The yield to maturity on IOs, POs and other mortgage-backed securities that are purchased at a substantial premium or discount generally are extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on such securities’ yield to maturity. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities even if the securities have received the highest rating by a NRSRO.

 

S-34


SMBS have greater volatility than other types of securities. Although SMBS are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, the market for such securities has not yet been fully developed. Accordingly, the secondary market for SMBS may be more volatile and have lower liquidity than that for other MBS, potentially limiting the Fund’s ability to buy or sell SMBS at any particular time.

Collateralized mortgage obligations. Another type of security representing an interest in a pool of mortgage loans is known as a collateralized mortgage obligation (“CMO”). CMOs represent interests in a short-term, intermediate-term or long-term portion of a mortgage pool. Each portion of the pool receives monthly interest payments, but the principal repayments pass through to the short-term CMO first and to the long-term CMO last. A CMO permits an investor to more accurately predict the rate of principal repayments. CMOs are issued by private issuers, such as broker-dealers, and by government agencies, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Investments in CMOs are subject to the same risks as direct investments in the underlying mortgage-backed securities. In addition, in the event of a bankruptcy or other default of a broker that issued the CMO held by the Fund, the Fund could experience delays in liquidating both its position and losses. The Fund may invest in CMOs in any rating category of the recognized rating services and may invest in unrated CMOs. The Fund may also invest in “stripped” CMOs, which represent only the income portion or the principal portion of the CMO. The values of stripped CMOs are very sensitive to interest rate changes; accordingly, these instruments present a greater risk of loss than conventional mortgage-backed securities.

Tiered index bonds. Tiered index bonds are relatively new forms of mortgage-related securities. The interest rate on a tiered index bond is tied to a specified index or market rate. So long as this index or market rate is below a predetermined “strike” rate, the interest rate on the tiered index bond remains fixed. If, however, the specified index or market rate rises above the “strike” rate, the interest rate of the tiered index bond will decrease. Thus, under these circumstances, the interest rate on a tiered index bond, like an inverse floater, will move in the opposite direction of prevailing interest rates, with the result that the price of the tiered index bond would decline and may be considerably more volatile than that of a fixed-rate bond.

Other Asset-Backed Securities – Additional Information

Similar to mortgage-backed securities, other types of asset-backed securities may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government (including those whose securities are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government), foreign governments (or their agencies or instrumentalities), or non-governmental issuers. These securities include securities backed by pools of automobile loans, educational loans, home equity loans, and credit card receivables. The underlying pools of assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose entities. These securities may be subject to the risks described above under “Mortgage-Backed and Other Asset-Backed Securities — General,” including risks associated with changes in interest rates and prepayment of underlying obligations.

Certain types of asset-backed securities present additional risks that are not presented by mortgage-backed securities. In particular, certain types of asset-backed securities may not have the benefit of a security interest in the related assets. For example, many securities backed by credit card receivables are unsecured. Even when security interests are present, the ability of an issuer of certain types of asset-backed securities to enforce those interests may be more limited than that of an issuer of mortgage-backed securities. For instance, automobile receivables generally are secured by automobiles rather than by real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying assets. In addition, because of the large number of underlying vehicles involved in a typical issue of asset-backed securities and technical requirements under state law, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in all of the automobiles. Therefore, recoveries on repossessed automobiles may not be available to support payments on these securities.

In addition, certain types of asset-backed securities may experience losses on the underlying assets as a result of certain rights provided to consumer debtors under federal and state law. In the case of certain consumer debt, such as credit card debt, debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on their credit cards (or other debt), thereby reducing their balances due. For instance, a debtor may be able to offset certain damages for which a court has determined that the creditor is liable to the debtor against amounts owed to the creditor by the debtor on his or her credit card.

 

S-35


Additionally, an asset-backed security is subject to risks associated with the servicing agent’s or originator’s performance. For example, a servicing agent or originator’s mishandling of documentation related to the underlying collateral (e.g., failure to properly document a security interest in the underlying collateral) may affect the rights of the security holders in and to the underlying collateral.

Asset-backed commercial paper. The Fund may purchase commercial paper, including asset-backed commercial paper (“ABCP”) that is issued by structured investment vehicles or other conduits. These conduits may be sponsored by mortgage companies, investment banking firms, finance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms and special purpose finance entities. ABCP typically refers to a debt security with an original term to maturity of up to 270 days, the payment of which is supported by cash flows from underlying assets, or one or more liquidity or credit support providers, or both. Assets backing ABCP, which may be included in revolving pools of assets with large numbers of obligors, include credit card, car loan and other consumer receivables and home or commercial mortgages, including subprime mortgages. The repayment of ABCP issued by a conduit depends primarily on the cash collections received from the conduit’s underlying asset portfolio and the conduit’s ability to issue new ABCP. Therefore, there could be losses to the Fund investing in ABCP in the event of credit or market value deterioration in the conduit’s underlying portfolio, mismatches in the timing of the cash flows of the underlying asset interests and the repayment obligations of maturing ABCP, or the conduit’s inability to issue new ABCP. To protect investors from these risks, ABCP programs may be structured with various protections, such as credit enhancement, liquidity support, and commercial paper stop-issuance and wind-down triggers. However there can be no guarantee that these protections will be sufficient to prevent losses to investors in ABCP.

Some ABCP programs provide for an extension of the maturity date of the ABCP if, on the related maturity date, the conduit is unable to access sufficient liquidity through the issue of additional ABCP. This may delay the sale of the underlying collateral and the Fund may incur a loss if the value of the collateral deteriorates during the extension period. Alternatively, if collateral for ABCP deteriorates in value, the collateral may be required to be sold at inopportune times or at prices insufficient to repay the principal and interest on the ABCP. ABCP programs may provide for the issuance of subordinated notes as an additional form of credit enhancement. The subordinated notes are typically of a lower credit quality and have a higher risk of default. A fund purchasing these subordinated notes will therefore have a higher likelihood of loss than investors in the senior notes.

Collateralized debt obligations. The Fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which include collateralized bond obligations (“CBOs”), CLOs and other similarly structured securities. CDOs are types of asset-backed securities. A CBO is a trust or other special purpose entity (“SPE”) which is typically backed by a diversified pool of fixed income securities (which may include high risk, below investment grade securities). A CLO is a trust or other SPE that is typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and non-U.S. senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. Although certain CDOs may receive credit enhancement in the form of a senior-subordinate structure, over-collateralization or bond insurance, such enhancement may not always be present, and may fail to protect the Fund against the risk of loss on default of the collateral. Certain CDOs may use derivatives contracts to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI. CDOs may charge management fees and administrative expenses, which are in addition to those of the Fund.

For both CBOs and CLOs, the cashflows from the SPE are split into two or more portions, called tranches, varying in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche, which bears the first loss from defaults from the bonds or loans in the SPE and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default (though such protection is not complete). Since it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CBO or CLO typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying securities, and may be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity tranche, CBO or CLO tranches can experience substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as investor aversion to CBO or CLO securities as a class. Interest on certain tranches of a CDO may be paid in kind (paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash), which involves continued exposure to default risk with respect to such payments.

 

S-36


The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Normally, CBOs, CLOs and other CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs, allowing a CDO to qualify for Rule 144A transactions. In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed income securities discussed elsewhere in this SAI and the Prospectus (e.g., interest rate risk and credit risk), CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the collateral may decline in value or default or its credit rating may be downgraded, if rated by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of CDOs that are subordinate to other tranches; (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results; and (v) the CDO’s manager may perform poorly.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

In a mortgage dollar roll, also known as a forward roll transaction, the Fund sells MBS for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) MBS on a specified future date. The Fund may enter into a mortgage dollar roll commitment with the intention of entering into an offsetting transaction whereby, rather than accepting delivery of the security on the specified future date, the Fund sells the security and then agrees to repurchase a similar security at a later time. In this case, the Fund forgoes interest on the security during the roll period and is compensated by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale of the security and by the difference between the sale price and the lower repurchase price at the future date. At the time the Fund enters into a mortgage dollar roll commitment, the Fund will set aside cash or other appropriate liquid securities with a value at least equal to the Fund’s obligation under the commitment. The Fund’s liquidity and ability to manage its assets might be affected when it sets aside cash or portfolio securities to cover such commitments.

Mortgage dollar rolls involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is obligated to repurchase under the agreement may decline below the repurchase price. In the event the buyer of securities under a mortgage dollar roll files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the Fund’s use of proceeds of the dollar roll may be restricted pending a determination by the other party, or its trustee or receiver, whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities.

Forward roll transactions may have a leveraging effect on the Fund, making the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increasing the Fund’s overall investment exposure. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls may depend on the portfolio manager’s ability to correctly predict interest rates and prepayments. There is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed.

Municipal Securities

Municipal securities (which are also referred to herein as “municipal obligations” or “municipal bonds”) generally include debt obligations (including, but not limited to bonds, notes or commercial paper) issued by or on behalf of any of the 50 U.S. states and their political subdivisions, agencies and public authorities, certain other governmental issuers (such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam) or other qualifying issuers, participations or other interests in these securities and other related investments. The interest paid on municipal securities is generally excluded from gross income for regular U.S. federal income tax purposes, although it may be subject to the U.S. federal alternative minimum tax. The Fund does not anticipate holding municipal securities in sufficient quantities to qualify to pay exempt-interest dividends. As a result, distributions to the Fund’s shareholders of interest earned by the Fund are expected to be treated for federal income tax purposes as ordinary dividends without regard to the character of any interest that was received on municipal securities.

Preferred Securities

There are two basic types of preferred securities: traditional and hybrid-preferred securities. Traditional preferred securities consist of preferred stock issued by an entity taxable as a corporation. Preferred stocks, which may offer fixed or floating rate dividends, are perpetual instruments and considered equity securities. Preferred stocks are

 

S-37


subordinated to debt instruments in a company’s capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income and claim to corporate assets, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than debt instruments. Alternatively, hybrid-preferred securities may be issued by corporations, generally in the form of interest-bearing notes with preferred securities characteristics, or by an affiliated trust or partnership of the corporation, generally in the form of preferred interests in subordinated debentures or similarly structured securities. The hybrid-preferred securities market consists of both fixed and adjustable coupon rate securities that are either perpetual in nature or have stated maturity dates.

Traditional Preferred Securities. Traditional preferred securities pay fixed or floating dividends to investors and have “preference” over Common Shares in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of a company’s assets. This means that a company must pay dividends on preferred stock before paying any dividends on its Common Shares. In order to be payable, distributions on such preferred securities must be declared by the issuer’s board of trustees. Income payments on preferred securities may be cumulative, causing dividends and distributions to accumulate even if not declared by the board of trustees or otherwise made payable. In such a case, all accumulated dividends must be paid before any dividend on the Common Shares can be paid. However, many traditional preferred stocks are non-cumulative, in which case dividends do not accumulate and need not ever be paid. There is no assurance that dividends or distributions on the traditional preferred securities in which the Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable. Preferred securities may also contain provisions under which payments must be stopped (i.e., stoppage is compulsory, not discretionary). The conditions under which this occurs may relate to, for instance, capitalization levels. Hence, if a company incurs significant losses that deplete retained earnings automatic payment stoppage could occur. In some cases the terms of the preferred securities provide that the issuer would be obligated to attempt to issue Common Shares to raise funds for the purpose of making the preferred payments. However, there is no guarantee that the issuer would be successful in placing Common Shares.

Preferred stockholders usually have no right to vote for corporate trustees or on other matters. Shares of traditional preferred securities have a liquidation preference that generally equals the original purchase price at the date of issuance. The market value of preferred securities may be affected by, among other factors, favorable and unfavorable changes impacting the issuer or industries in which they operate, movements in interest rates and inflation, and the broader economic and credit environments, and by actual and anticipated changes in tax laws, such as changes in corporate and individual income tax rates. Because the claim on an issuer’s earnings represented by traditional preferred securities may become onerous when interest rates fall below the rate payable on such securities, the issuer may redeem the securities. Thus, in declining interest rate environments in particular, the Fund’s holdings of higher rate-paying fixed rate preferred securities may be reduced, and the Fund may be unable to acquire securities of comparable credit quality paying comparable rates with the redemption proceeds.

Hybrid-Preferred Securities. Hybrid-preferred securities are typically junior and fully subordinated liabilities of an issuer or the beneficiary of a guarantee that is junior and fully subordinated to the other liabilities of the guarantor. In addition, hybrid-preferred securities typically permit an issuer to defer the payment of income for eighteen months or more without triggering an event of default. Generally, the maximum deferral period is five years. Because of their subordinated position in the capital structure of an issuer, the ability to defer payments for extended periods of time without default consequences to the issuer, and certain other features (such as restrictions on common dividend payments by the issuer or ultimate guarantor when full cumulative payments on the hybrid preferred securities have not been made), these hybrid-preferred securities are often treated as close substitutes for traditional preferred securities, both by issuers and investors. Hybrid-preferred securities have many of the key characteristics of equity due to their subordinated position in an issuer’s capital structure and because their quality and value are heavily dependent on the profitability of the issuer rather than on any legal claims to specific assets or cash flows. Hybrid-preferred securities include, but are not limited to, trust preferred securities (TRUPS®); enhanced trust preferred securities (Enhanced TRUPS®); trust-originated preferred securities (TOPrS®); monthly-income preferred securities (MIPS®); quarterly-income bond securities (QUIBS®); quarterly-income debt securities (QUIDS®); quarterly-income preferred securities (QUIPSSM); corporate trust securities (CorTS®); public income notes (PINES®); and other hybrid-preferred securities. Hybrid-preferred securities are typically issued with a final maturity date. In certain instances, a final maturity date may be extended and/or the final payment of principal may be deferred at the issuer’s option for a specified time without default. No redemption can typically take place unless all cumulative payment obligations have been met, although issuers may be able to engage in open-market repurchases without regard to whether all payments have been paid.

 

S-38


Many hybrid-preferred securities are issued by trusts or other special purpose entities established by operating companies and are not a direct obligation of an operating company. At the time the trust or special purpose entity sells such preferred securities to investors, it purchases debt of the operating company (with terms comparable to those of the trust or special purpose entity securities), and the operating company deducts for tax purposes the interest paid on the debt held by the trust or special purpose entity. The trust or special purpose entity is generally required to be treated as transparent for U.S. federal income tax purposes such that the holders of the trust preferred securities are treated as owning beneficial interests in the underlying debt of the operating company. Accordingly, payments on the hybrid-preferred securities are generally treated as interest rather than dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, are not eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate taxpayers or the reduced rates of tax that apply to qualified dividend income for non-corporate taxpayers. The trust or special purpose entity in turn is a holder of the operating company’s debt and has priority with respect to the operating company’s earnings and profits over the operating company’s Common Shareholders, but is typically subordinated to other classes of the operating company’s debt. Typically a preferred security has a credit rating that is lower than that of its corresponding operating company’s senior debt securities.

Within the category of hybrid-preferred securities are senior debt instruments that trade in the broader preferred securities market. These debt instruments, which are sources of long-term capital for the issuers, have structural features similar to other preferred securities such as maturities ranging from 30 years to perpetuity, call features, quarterly payments, exchange listings and the inclusion of accrued interest in the trading price. Preferred securities may be subject to changes in regulations and there can be no assurance that the current regulatory treatment of preferred securities will continue.

Ratings as Investment Criteria

In general, the ratings of NRSROs represent the opinions of these agencies as to the quality of securities that they rate. Such ratings, however, are relative and subjective, are not absolute standards of quality and do not evaluate the market value risk of the securities. These ratings will be used by the Fund as initial criteria for the selection of portfolio securities, but the Fund also will rely upon the independent advice of the portfolio manager to evaluate potential investments. Among the factors that will be considered are the long-term ability of the issuer to pay principal and interest and general economic trends. Appendix A to this SAI contains further information concerning the rating categories of NRSROs and their significance.

If a security is rated by different agencies and receives different ratings from these agencies, the Fund will treat the security as being rated in the highest rating category received from an agency.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)

REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in income producing real estate or real estate-related loans or interests. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with the applicable requirements of the Code. Debt securities issued by REITs, for the most part, are general and unsecured obligations and are subject to risks associated with REITs. Like mutual funds, REITs have expenses, including advisory and administration fees paid by certain REITs and, as a result, the Fund is indirectly subject to those fees if the Fund invests in REITs.

Investing in REITs involves certain risks, including declines in the value of the underlying real estate, risks related to general and local economic conditions, possible lack of availability of mortgage funds, overbuilding, extended vacancies of properties, increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, losses due to costs resulting from the clean-up of environmental problems, liability to third parties for damages resulting from environmental problems, casualty or condemnation losses, limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values and in the appeal of properties to tenants. Equity REITs may also be subject to property and casualty risks as their insurance policies may not completely recover repair or replacement of assets damaged by fires, floods, earthquakes or other natural disasters. REITs whose underlying assets are concentrated in properties used by

 

S-39


a particular industry, such as healthcare, are also subject to industry-related risks. Certain “special purpose” REITs may invest their assets in specific real estate sectors, such as hotels, nursing homes or warehouses, and are therefore subject to the risks associated with adverse developments in any such sectors.

REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are subject to interest rate risks. When interest rates decline, the value of a REIT’s investment in fixed income 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 decline. If the REIT invests in adjustable rate debt instruments the interest rates on which are reset periodically, yields on a REIT’s investments in such loans will gradually align themselves to reflect changes in market interest rates. This causes the value of such investments to fluctuate less dramatically in response to interest rate fluctuations than would investments in fixed-rate obligations. However, REIT shares can be more volatile than, and perform differently from, larger company securities since REITs tend to be small- to medium-sized companies in relation to the equity markets as a whole. 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 larger company securities.

REITs are dependent upon the skills of their managers and are generally not diversified. REITs may be highly leveraged, and financial covenants may affect the ability of REITs to operate effectively. REITs are generally dependent upon maintaining cash flows to repay borrowings, to cover operating costs, and to make distributions to shareholders and are subject to the risk of default by lessees and borrowers. In the event of a default by a borrower or lessee, the REIT may experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting its investments. If REITs are net sellers of assets or do not reinvest principal, they are also subject to self-liquidation. In addition, REITs could possibly fail to qualify for tax-free pass-through of net income and gains under the Code or to maintain their exemptions from registration as an investment company under the 1940 Act. In the event of any such failure to qualify as a REIT under the Code, the company would be subject to corporate level taxation, significantly reducing the return to the Fund on its investment in such company.

Repurchase Agreements

Under the terms of a typical repurchase agreement, the Fund would acquire one or more underlying debt securities from a counterparty (typically a bank or a broker-dealer), subject to the counterparty’s obligation to repurchase, and the Fund to resell, the securities at an agreed-upon time and price. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements where the underlying collateral consists entirely of cash items and/or securities of the U.S. Government, its agencies, its instrumentalities, or U.S. Government sponsored enterprises. The Fund may also enter into repurchase agreements where the underlying collateral consists of other types of securities, including securities the Fund could not purchase directly. For such repurchase agreements, the underlying securities which serve as collateral may include, but are not limited to, U.S. government securities, municipal securities, corporate debt obligations, asset-backed securities (including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”)), convertible securities and common and preferred stock and may be of below investment grade quality. The repurchase price is typically greater than the purchase price paid by the Fund, thereby determining the Fund’s yield. A repurchase agreement is similar to, and may be treated as, a secured loan, where the Fund loans cash to the counterparty and the loan is secured by the underlying securities as collateral. All repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund are required to be collateralized so that at all times during the term of a repurchase agreement, the value of the underlying securities is at least equal to the amount of the repurchase price. Also, the Fund or its custodian is required to have control of the collateral, which the portfolio manager believes will give the Fund a valid, perfected security interest in the collateral.

Repurchase agreements could involve certain risks in the event of default or insolvency of the counterparty, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Fund’s ability to dispose of the underlying securities, the risk of a possible decline in the value of the underlying securities during the period in which the Fund seeks to assert its right to them, the risk that there may be a limited market or no market for disposition of such underlying securities, the risk of incurring expenses associated with asserting those rights and the risk of losing all or part of the income from the agreement. The Fund will seek to mitigate these risks but there is no guarantee that such efforts will be successful. If the Fund enters into a repurchase agreement involving securities the Fund could not purchase directly, and the counterparty defaults, the Fund may become the holder of such securities. Repurchase agreements collateralized by securities other than U.S. government securities may be subject to greater risks and are more likely to have a term to maturity of longer than seven days. Repurchase agreements with a maturity of more than seven days are considered to be illiquid.

 

S-40


Repurchase agreements may be entered into or novated with a financial clearinghouse, which would become the Fund’s counterparty. The Fund would then become subject to the rules of the clearinghouse, which may limit the Fund’s rights and remedies (including recourse to collateral) or delay or restrict the rights and remedies, and expose the Fund to the risks of the clearinghouses’ insolvency.

Pursuant to an exemptive order issued by the SEC, the Fund, along with other affiliated entities managed by the Manager, may transfer uninvested cash balances into one or more joint accounts for the purpose of entering into repurchase agreements secured by cash and U.S. government securities, subject to certain conditions.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. A reverse repurchase agreement has the characteristics of a secured borrowing by the Fund and creates leverage in the Fund’s portfolio. In a reverse repurchase transaction, the Fund sells a portfolio instrument to another person, such as a financial institution or broker-dealer, in return for cash. At the same time, the Fund agrees to repurchase the instrument at an agreed-upon time and at a price that is greater than the amount of cash that the Fund received when it sold the instrument, representing the equivalent of an interest payment by the Fund for the use of the cash. During the term of the transaction, the Fund will continue to receive any principal and interest payments (or the equivalent thereof) on the underlying instruments.

The Fund may engage in reverse repurchase agreements as a form of leverage and for temporary or emergency purposes. Unless otherwise limited in the Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI, the Fund may also engage in reverse repurchase agreements to the extent permitted by its fundamental investment policies in order to raise additional cash to be invested by the Fund’s portfolio manager in other securities or instruments in an effort to increase the Fund’s investment returns.

During the term of the transaction, the Fund will remain at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the instruments subject to the reverse repurchase agreement as if it had not entered into the transaction. When the Fund reinvests the proceeds of a reverse repurchase agreement in other securities, the Fund will also be at risk for any fluctuations in the market value of the securities in which the proceeds are invested. Like other forms of leverage, this makes the value of an investment in the Fund more volatile and increases the Fund’s overall investment exposure. In addition, if the Fund’s return on its investment of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement does not equal or exceed the implied interest that it is obligated to pay under the reverse repurchase agreement, engaging in the transaction will lower the Fund’s return.

When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it is subject to the risk that the buyer under the agreement may file for bankruptcy, become insolvent or otherwise default on its obligations to the Fund. In the event of a default by the counterparty, there may be delays, costs and risks of loss involved in the Fund’s exercising its rights under the agreement, or those rights may be limited by other contractual agreements or obligations or by applicable law.

In addition, the Fund may be unable to sell the instruments subject to the reverse repurchase agreement at a time when it would be advantageous to do so, or may be required to liquidate portfolio securities at a time when it would be disadvantageous to do so in order to make payments with respect to its obligations under a reverse repurchase agreement. This could adversely affect the Fund’s strategy and result in lower fund returns. At the time the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund is required to set aside cash or other appropriate liquid securities in the amount of the Fund’s obligation under the reverse repurchase agreement or take certain other actions in accordance with SEC guidelines, which may affect the Fund’s liquidity and ability to manage its assets. Although complying with SEC guidelines would have the effect of limiting the amount of fund assets that may be committed to reverse repurchase agreements and other similar transactions at any time, it does not otherwise mitigate the risks of entering into reverse repurchase agreements.

The Fund will not engage in reverse repurchase agreements if its total borrowings exceed 33-1/3% of its total assets.

 

S-41


Securities Lending

The Fund may lend its portfolio securities, provided that cash or equivalent collateral, equal to at least 100% of the market value of such securities, is continuously maintained by the other party with the Fund. During the pendency of the transaction, the other party will pay the Fund an amount equivalent to any dividends or interest paid on such securities, and the Fund may invest the cash collateral and earn additional income, or it may receive an agreed upon amount of interest income from the other party who has delivered equivalent collateral. These transactions are subject to termination at the option of the Fund or the other party. The Fund may pay administrative and custodial fees in connection with these transactions and may pay a negotiated portion of the interest earned on the cash or equivalent collateral to the other party or placing agent or broker.

Although voting rights or rights to consent with respect to the relevant securities generally pass to the other party, the Fund will make arrangements to vote or consent with respect to a material event affecting such securities. SEC guidance currently states that a fund may loan securities equal in value to no more than one third of its total asset value, including collateral received in connection with such transactions (at market value computed at the time of the transaction). The risks in lending portfolio securities include possible delay in recovery of the securities or possible loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. The Fund runs the risk that the counterparty to a loan transaction will default on its obligation and that the value of the collateral received may decline before the Fund can dispose of it. If the Fund receives cash as collateral and invests that cash, the Fund is subject to the risk that the collateral will decline in value before the Fund must return it to the counterparty. Subject to the foregoing, loans of fund securities are effectively borrowings by the Fund and have economic characteristics similar to reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund does not currently intend to engage in securities lending, although it may engage in transactions (such as reverse repurchase agreements) which have similar characteristics.

Short-Term Trading

Fund transactions will be undertaken principally to accomplish the Fund’s investment objective in relation to anticipated movements in the general level of interest rates, but the Fund may also engage in short-term trading consistent with its investment objective.

Stripped Securities

Stripped securities may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government, or by private originators of, or investors in, government securities or mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. Stripped securities have greater volatility than other types of securities. Although mortgage securities are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, the market for such securities has not yet been fully developed. Accordingly, stripped securities may be illiquid.

Stripped securities are structured with two or more classes of securities that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of assets. A common type of stripped mortgage security will have at least one class receiving only a small portion of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (“IO” or interest-only class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (“PO” or principal-only class). The yield to maturity on IOs, POs and other mortgage-backed securities that are purchased at a substantial premium or discount generally are extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on such securities’ yield to maturity. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities even if the securities have received the highest rating by a NRSRO.

Structured Notes and Related Instruments

“Structured” notes and other related instruments, including indexed securities, are derivative debt instruments, the interest rate or principal of which is determined by an unrelated underlying instrument (for example, a currency, security, commodity or index thereof). Structured instruments are generally privately negotiated debt obligations issued by corporations, including banks, as well as by governmental agencies and frequently are assembled

 

S-42


in the form of medium-term notes, but a variety of forms are available and may be used in particular circumstances. The terms of such structured instruments normally provide that their principal and/or interest payments are to be adjusted upwards or downwards (but ordinarily not below zero) to reflect changes in the underlying instrument while the instruments are outstanding. As a result, the interest and/or principal payments that may be made on a structured product may vary widely. The rate of return on structured notes may be determined by applying a multiplier to the performance or differential performance of the underlying instrument or other asset(s). Application of a multiplier involves leverage that will serve to magnify the potential for gain and the risk of loss. Investment in indexed securities and structured notes involves certain risks, including the credit risk of the issuer and the normal risks of price changes in response to changes in interest rates. Further, in the case of certain indexed securities or structured notes, a decline in the underlying instrument may cause the interest rate to be reduced to zero, and any further declines in the underlying instrument may then reduce the principal amount payable on maturity. Finally, these securities may have lower liquidity than other types of securities and may be more volatile than their underlying instruments. Subordinated “structured” notes, which are subordinated to the right of payment of another class of the structured note, typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated “structured” notes.

Subordinated Securities

Subordinated securities include securities which are subordinated or “junior” to more senior securities of the issuer, or which represent interests in pools of such subordinated or junior securities. Such securities may include so-called “high yield” securities or “junk” bonds (i.e., bonds that are rated below investment grade by a rating agency or that are determined by the Fund’s portfolio manager to be of equivalent quality) and preferred stock. Under the terms of subordinated securities, payments that would otherwise be made to their holders may be required to be made to the holders of more senior securities, and/or the subordinated or junior securities may have junior liens, if they have any rights at all, in any collateral (meaning proceeds of the collateral are required to be paid first to the holders of more senior securities). As a result, subordinated or junior securities will be disproportionately adversely affected by a default or even a perceived decline in creditworthiness of the issuer.

U.S. Government Securities

U.S. Government securities include (1) U.S. Treasury bills (maturity of one year or less), U.S. Treasury notes (maturity of one to ten years) and U.S. Treasury bonds (maturities generally greater than ten years); (2) obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies or instrumentalities which are supported by any of the following: (a) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government (such as certificates issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”)); (b) the right of the issuer to borrow an amount limited to a specific line of credit from the U.S. Government (such as obligations of the Federal Home Loan Banks); (c) the discretionary authority of the U.S. Government to purchase certain obligations of agencies or instrumentalities (such as securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association); or (d) only the credit of the agency or instrumentality (such as securities issued by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation); and (3) obligations issued by non-governmental entities (like financial institutions) that carry direct guarantees from U.S. government agencies as part of government initiatives in response to a market crisis or otherwise. Agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. Government include but are not limited to: Farmers Home Administration, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Federal Housing Administration, Federal Land Banks, Federal Financing Bank, Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Farm Credit Bank System, Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Federal National Mortgage Association, General Services Administration, Government National Mortgage Association, Student Loan Marketing Association, United States Postal Service, Maritime Administration, Small Business Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, Washington D.C. Armory Board and any other instrumentality established or sponsored by the U.S. Government.

In the case of obligations not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the Fund must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States itself in the event the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitments. Neither the U.S. Government nor any of its agencies or instrumentalities guarantees the market value of the securities they issue. Therefore, the market value of such securities will fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates and other factors. In addition, any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the U.S. Government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities.

 

S-43


U.S. Treasury Obligations

U.S. Treasury obligations are direct debt obligations issued by the U.S. government. Treasury bills, with maturities normally from 4 weeks to 52 weeks, are typically issued at a discount as they pay interest only upon maturity. Treasury bills are non-callable. Treasury notes have a maturity between two and ten years and typically pay interest semi-annually, while Treasury bonds have a maturity of over ten years and pay interest semi-annually. U.S. Treasury obligations also include STRIPS, TIPS, and FRNs. STRIPS are Treasury obligations with separately traded principal and interest component parts of such obligations that are transferable through the federal book-entry system. The principal and interest components of U.S. Treasury bonds with remaining maturities of longer than ten years are eligible to be traded independently under the STRIPS program. Under the STRIPS program, the principal and interest components are separately issued through depository financial institutions, which then trade the component parts separately. Each interest payment and the principal payment becomes a separate zero-coupon security. STRIPS pay interest only at maturity. The interest component of STRIPS may be more volatile than that of U.S. Treasury bills with comparable maturities. TIPS are Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, the principal of which increases with inflation and decreases with deflation. The inflation adjustment is based on a two month-lagged value of the non-seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U). TIPS entitle the holder, upon maturity, to the adjusted principal or original principal, whichever is greater, thus providing a deflation floor. TIPS pay interest twice a year, at a fixed rate. The rate is applied to the adjusted principal; so, like the principal, interest payments rise with inflation and fall with deflation. However, because the interest rate is fixed, TIPS may lose value when market interest rates increase, particularly during periods of low inflation. FRNs are floating rate notes, the interest on which is indexed to the most recent 13-week Treasury bill auction High Rate, which is the highest accepted discount rate in a Treasury bill auction.

Variable and Floating Rate Securities

Variable and floating rate securities provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the obligations. The terms of such obligations provide that interest rates are adjusted periodically based upon an interest rate adjustment index as provided in the respective obligations. The adjustment intervals may be regular, and range from daily up to annually, or may be event-based, such as based on a change in the prime rate.

The Fund may invest in floating rate debt instruments (“floaters”) and engage in credit spread trades. The interest rate on a floater is a variable rate which is tied to another interest rate, such as a corporate bond index or U.S. Treasury bill rate. The interest rate on a floater resets periodically, typically every six months. While, because of the interest rate reset feature, floaters may provide the Fund with a certain degree of protection against rising interest rates, the Fund will participate in any declines in interest rates as well. A credit spread trade is an investment position relating to a difference in the prices or interest rates of two bonds or other securities or currencies, where the value of the investment position is determined by movements in the difference between the prices or interest rates, as the case may be, of the respective securities or currencies.

The Fund may also invest in inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”). The interest rate on an inverse floater resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floating rate security may exhibit greater price volatility than a fixed rate obligation of similar credit quality.

A floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher degree of leverage inherent in some floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values.

The Fund may also invest in variable amount master demand notes, which permit the indebtedness thereunder to vary in addition to providing for periodic adjustments in the interest rate. The absence of an active secondary market with respect to particular variable and floating rate instruments could make it difficult for the Fund to dispose of a variable or floating rate note if the issuer were to default on its payment obligation or during periods that the Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights, and the Fund could, for these or other reasons, suffer a loss with respect to such instruments. In determining average-weighted portfolio maturity, an instrument will be deemed to have a maturity equal to either the period remaining until the next interest rate adjustment or the time the Fund can recover payment of principal as specified in the instrument, depending on the type of instrument involved.

 

S-44


When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

The Fund may purchase securities on a “when-issued” or “to be announced” or “forward delivery” basis. The payment obligation and the interest rate that will be received on the “when-issued” securities are fixed at the time the buyer enters into the commitment although settlement, i.e., delivery of and payment for the securities, takes place at a later date. In a “to be announced” transaction, the Fund commits to purchase securities for which all specific information is not known at the time of the trade.

Securities purchased on a “when-issued” or “forward delivery” basis are subject to changes in value based upon the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and changes, real or anticipated, in the level of interest rates. The value of these securities experiences appreciation when interest rates decline and depreciation when interest rates rise. Purchasing securities on a “when-issued” or “forward delivery” basis can involve a risk that the yields available in the market on the settlement date may actually be higher or lower than those obtained in the transaction itself. At the time the Fund enters into a “when-issued” or “forward delivery” commitment, the Fund will set aside cash or other appropriate liquid securities with a value at least equal to the Fund’s obligation under the commitment. The Fund’s liquidity and ability to manage its assets might be affected when it sets aside cash or portfolio securities to cover such commitments.

An increase in the percentage of the Fund’s assets committed to the purchase of securities on a “when-issued” basis may increase the volatility of its net asset value.

Zero-Coupon, Pay-In-Kind and Deferred Interest Securities

Zero Coupon Bond. A zero coupon bond is a security that makes no fixed interest payments but instead is sold at a discount from its face value. The bond is redeemed at its face value on the specified maturity date. Zero coupon bonds may be issued as such, or they may be created by a broker who strips the coupons from a bond and separately sells the rights to receive principal and interest. The prices of zero coupon bonds tend to fluctuate more in response to changes in market interest rates than do the prices of interest-paying debt securities with similar maturities. Zero coupon bonds with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance will be treated as debt obligations that are issued with original issue discount (“OID”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Generally, the OID is treated as interest income and is included in the Fund’s income and required to be distributed by the Fund over the term of the bond, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, upon partial or full repayment or disposition of the bond. The Fund may thus be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount which is greater than the total amount of cash the Fund actually received, and may have to dispose of other securities, including at times when it may be disadvantageous to do so, to generate the cash necessary for the distribution of income attributable to its zero coupon bonds.

Pay-In-Kind Securities. Pay-in-kind securities are bonds which pay interest through the issuance of additional debt or equity securities. Pay-in-kind securities have characteristics similar to those of zero coupon securities, but interest on such securities may be paid in the form of obligations of the same type rather than cash. Similar to zero coupon obligations, pay-in-kind bonds also carry additional risk as holders of these types of securities realize no cash until the cash payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer defaults, the Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The market price of pay-in-kind bonds is affected by interest rate changes to a greater extent, and therefore tends to be more volatile, than that of securities which pay interest in cash. Similar to zero coupon bonds, current federal income tax law requires the holder of pay-in-kind bonds to accrue income with respect to these securities prior to the receipt of cash payments. To maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid liability for federal income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to distribute income accrued with respect to these securities and may have to dispose of portfolio securities under disadvantageous circumstances in order to generate cash to satisfy these distribution requirements.

 

S-45


Deferred Interest Bonds. Deferred interest bonds are debt obligations that generally provide for a period of delay before the regular payment of interest begins and that are issued at a significant discount from face value. The original discount approximates the total amount of interest the bonds will accrue and compound over the period until the first interest accrual date at a rate of interest reflecting the market rate of the security at the time of issuance. Although this period of delay is different for each deferred interest bond, a typical period is approximately one-third of the bond’s term to maturity. Such investments benefit the issuer by mitigating its initial need for cash to meet debt service, but some also provide a higher rate of return to attract investors who are willing to defer receipt of such cash. Similar to zero coupon bonds, current federal income tax law generally requires the holder of deferred interest bonds to accrue income with respect to these securities before the regular payment of interest begins. To maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid liability for federal income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to distribute income accrued with respect to these securities and may have to dispose of portfolio securities under disadvantageous circumstances in order to generate cash to satisfy these distribution requirements.

Zero-coupon, pay-in-kind and deferred interest securities may be subject to greater fluctuation in value and lesser liquidity in the event of adverse market conditions than comparably rated securities paying cash interest at regular interest payment periods.

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

Board of Trustees

The overall management of the business and affairs of the Fund is vested in the Board of Trustees. Following the initial public offering of shares, the Board of Trustees will be classified, with respect to the time for which members of the Board of Trustees (“Trustees”) severally hold office, into three classes — Class I, Class II and Class III— as nearly equal in number as reasonably possible, with the Trustees in each Class to hold office until their successors are elected and qualified. At each succeeding annual meeting of shareholders, the successors to the Class of Trustees whose terms expire at that meeting shall be elected to hold office for terms expiring at the later of the annual meeting of shareholders held in the third year following the year of their election or the election and qualification of their successors.

The Trustees of the Fund, their ages, their principal occupations during the past five years (their titles may have varied during that period), the number of investment companies or portfolios in the Fund Complex (as defined below) that each Trustee oversees, and the other board memberships held by each Trustee is set forth below.

 

Name, Address(1) and
Age

  Position(s)
with Fund
  Term of
Office

and
Length
of Time
Served
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  Number of
Investment
Companies in
Fund
Complex(2)
Overseen by
Trustee
 

Other Trustee Positions
Held by Director
During Past Five Years

NON-INTERESTED TRUSTEES:

   

Name, Address(1) and
Age

  Position(s)
with Fund
  Term of
Office

and
Length
of Time
Served
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  Number of
Investment
Companies in
Fund
Complex(2)
Overseen by
Trustee
 

Other Trustee Positions
Held by Director
During Past Five Years

Carol L. Colman Birth year: 1946   Trustee and
Member of
Audit and
Compensation
Committees
and Chair of
Pricing and
Valuation and
Nominating
Committees
  Since

inception

Class I

   President, Colman Consulting Co.   21   None
Paolo M. Cucchi Birth year: 1941   Trustee and
Member of
Audit,
Nominating
and Pricing
and Valuation
Committees
and Chair of
Compensation
Committee
  Since

inception

Class III

   Emeritus Professor of French and Italian at Drew University (since 2014); formerly, Professor of French and Italian at Drew University (2009 to 2014); Vice President and Dean of College of Liberal Arts at Drew University (1984 to 2009)   21   None

William R. Hutchinson

Birth year: 1942

  Lead
Independent
Trustee and
Member of
Audit,
Nominating,
Compensation
and Pricing
and Valuation
Committees
  Since

inception

Class II

   President, W.R. Hutchinson & Associates Inc. (consulting)   21   Director (since 1994) and formerly, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board (December 2009 to April 2020), Associated Banc Corp. (banking)

Name, Address(1) and
Age

  Position(s)
with Fund
  Term of
Office

and
Length
of Time
Served
  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

  Number of
Investment
Companies in
Fund
Complex(2)
Overseen by
Trustee
   

Other Trustee Positions
Held by Director
During Past Five Years

Eileen A. Kamerick

Birth year: 1958

  Trustee and
Member of
Nominating,
Compensation
and Pricing
and Valuation
Committees
and Chair of
Audit
Committee
  Since

inception

Class II

   Chief Executive Officer, The Governance Partners, LLC (consulting firm) (since 2015); National Association of Corporate Directors Board Leadership Fellow (since 2016) and financial expert; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center (since 2021); Adjunct Professor, The University of Chicago Law School (since 2018); Adjunct Professor, Washington University in St. Louis and University of Iowa law schools (since 2007); formerly, Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ConnectWise, Inc. (software and services company) (2015 to 2016); Chief Financial Officer, Press Ganey Associates (health care informatics company) (2012 to 2014); Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer, Houlihan Lokey (international investment bank) and President, Houlihan Lokey Foundation (2010 to 2012)     21     Director of ACV Auctions Inc. (since 2021); Trustee of AIG Funds and Anchor Series Trust (since 2018); Hochschild Mining plc (precious metals company) (since 2016); Director of Associated Banc-Corp (financial services company) (since 2007)

INTERESTED TRUSTEES:

   

Jane E. Trust, CFA*

Born 1962

  Chairman,
President and
Chief
Executive
Officer
  Since
Inception
Class III
  

Senior Vice President, Fund Board Management, Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Officer and/or Trustee/Director of 147 funds associated with Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (“LMPFA”) or its affiliates (since 2015); President and Chief Executive Officer of LMPFA (since 2015); formerly, Senior Managing Director (2018 to 2020) and Managing Director (2016 to 2018) of Legg Mason & Co., LLC (“Legg Mason & Co.”); Senior Vice President of LMPFA (2015)

    145     None

Daniel P. Cronin**

Birth year: 1946

  Trustee   Since

inception

Class I

   Retired; formerly, Associate General Counsel, Pfizer, Inc.     21     None

Nisha Kumar**

Birth year: 1970

  Trustee   Since

inception

Class III

   Managing Director and the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Greenbriar Equity Group, LP (since 2011); formerly, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Rent the Runway, Inc. (2011); Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AOL LLC, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (2007 to 2009). Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.     21     Director of The India Fund, Inc. (since 2016); formerly, Director of Aberdeen Income Credit Strategies Fund (2017-2018); and Director of The Asia Tigers Fund, Inc. (2016 to 2018))

 

S-46


 

*

Ms. Trust is an “interested person” as defined in the 1940 Act because she is an officer of LMPFA and certain of its affiliates.

**

Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar is each considered an “interested person” as defined in the 1940 Act until the distribution of the securities in this offering is completed because each of them has a beneficial interest in a security issued by certain principal underwriters in the offering or by a controlling person of such principal underwriter.

 

(1)

Unless otherwise indicated, the business address of the persons listed above is c/o Chairman of the Fund, Legg Mason & Co., LLC (“Legg Mason & Co.”), 620 Eighth Avenue, 47th Floor, New York, NY 10018.

 

(2)

The term “Fund Complex” means two or more registered investment companies that:

 

  a)

hold themselves out to investors as related companies for purposes of investment and investor services; or

 

  b)

have a common investment adviser or that have an investment adviser that is an affiliated person of the investment adviser of any of the other registered investment companies.

The following table shows the dollar range of equity securities as of December 31, 2020 owned by the Trustees in the Fund and in other investment companies overseen by the Trustees within the same family of investment companies as of Investment companies are considered to be in the same family if they share the same investment adviser or principal underwriter and hold themselves out to investors as related companies for purposes of investment and investor services.

 

Name of Trustee

   Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in the Fund(2) ($)
     Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in All Registered

Investment Companies Overseen
by the Trustee in the Family of
Investment Companies(1) ($)
 

Non-Interested Trustees:

     

Carol L. Colman

     None        Over $100,000  

Paolo M. Cucchi

     None        $10,001-$50,000  

William R. Hutchinson

     None        Over $100,000  

Eileen Kamerick

     None        Over $100,000  

Interested Trustees:

     

Jane Trust

     None        None  

Daniel P. Cronin

     None        Over $100,000  

Nisha Kumar

     None        None  

 

S-47


 

(1)

The term “family of investment companies” means any two or more registered investment companies that share the same investment adviser or principal underwriter or hold themselves out to investors as related companies for purposes of investment and investor services.

 

(2)

As of May 1, 2021. The Trustees could not own shares in the Fund as of December 31, 2020 because the Fund had not yet begun investment operations.

None of the non-interested Trustees Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar, nor their family members, owned beneficially or of record securities issued by LMPFA, Western Asset, or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with LMPFA or Western Asset as of December 31, 2020.

Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar own a direct or indirect beneficial interest in securities issued by certain principal underwriters in the offering or by a controlling person of such principal underwriter. None of the non-interested Trustees, nor their family members, owned beneficially or of record securities issued by a principal underwriter or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with a principal underwriter as of December 31, 2020.

The members of the Board of Trustees who are not “interested persons,” as defined in the 1940 Act, Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar receive an annual fee, a fee for each meeting of the Fund’s Board of Trustees and committee meetings attended and are reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at such meetings. Ms. Trust and the Fund’s officers do not receive compensation from the Fund or any other fund in the Fund Complex of which the Fund is a part that is a U.S. registered investment company, but are reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses relating to attendance at such meetings.

Trustee Compensation

The following table sets forth estimated compensation to be paid by the Fund projected during the Fund’s first fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 after commencement of operations. No remuneration will be paid by the Fund to Ms. Trust during the Fund’s first fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. Ms. Trust is an “interested person” as defined in the 1940 Act of LMPFA and its affiliates.

 

Name of Trustee

   Aggregate
Compensation
from the Fund
     Total
Compensation
from the Fund
and Fund
Complex(1)
 

Non-Interested Trustees:

     

Carol L. Colman

     $14,884.07        $342,000  

Paolo M. Cucchi

     $13,926.61        $320,000  

William R. Hutchinson

     $16,494.33        $379,000  

Eileen Kamerick

     $15,536.88        $357,000  

Interested Trustees:(2)

     

Daniel P. Cronin

     $14,444.46        $337,000  

Nisha Kumar

     $13,926.61        $320,000  

 

(1)

“Fund Complex” means two or more Funds (a registrant or, where the registrant is a series company, a separate portfolio of the registrant) that hold themselves out to investors as related companies for purposes of investment and investor services or have a common investment adviser or have an investment adviser that is an affiliated person of the investment adviser of any of the other Funds.

(2)

Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar are not “interested persons” of any other fund in the Fund Complex. Following the completion of this offering, Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar will become noninterested Trustees of the Fund.

The Independent Trustees, Mr. Cronin and Ms. Kumar receive $150,000 per annum plus (a) a fee of $25,000 for attendance at each regular meeting of the Board of Trustees and (b) a fee of $2,000 for each telephonic meeting of the Board of Trustees. In addition to the payments described above, the Lead Independent Trustee of the Board of Trustees receives $55,000, the chairperson of the Audit Committee receives $35,000, each member of the Audit Sub-Committee receives $15,000, the chairperson of the Nominating Committee receives $15,000, the chairperson of the Pricing and Valuation Committee receives $20,000, the chairperson of the Compensation Committee receives $15,000 and the Compliance Liaison receives $15,000. The annual compensation, fees and expenses are allocated among all the funds in the fund complex, including the Fund, on the basis of average net assets.

Board Committees

The standing committees of the Board are the Audit Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Pricing Committee.

The Audit Committee is composed of all Trustees who have been determined not to be “interested persons” of the Fund, LMPFA, Western Asset, the Non-U.S. Subadvisers or their affiliates within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and who are “independent” as defined in the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) listing standards. The members of the Audit Committee are all of the Independent Trustees: Mses. Colman and Kamerick and Messrs. Cucchi and Hutchinson. The Chairman is Ms. Kamerick. The principal functions of the Audit Committee are: to (a) oversee

 

S-48


the scope of the Fund’s audit, the Fund’s accounting and financial reporting policies and practices and its internal controls and enhance the quality and objectivity of the audit function; (b) approve and recommend to the Independent Board Members (as such term is defined in the Audit Committee Charter) for their ratification, the selection, appointment, retention or termination of the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, as well as approving the compensation thereof; and (c) approve all audit and permissible non-audit services provided to the Fund and certain other persons by the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm.

The Nominating Committee’s principal function is to select and nominate candidates for election as Trustees of the Fund. The members of the Nominating Committee are all of the Independent Trustees: Mses. Colman and Kamerick and Messrs. Cucchi and Hutchinson. The Chairman for this Fund is Ms. Colman. Only Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Fund as defined in the 1940 Act and who are “independent” as defined in the NYSE listing standards are members of either Fund’s Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee may accept nominees recommended by a shareholder as it deems appropriate. Common Shareholders who wish to recommend a nominee for the Fund’s Board should send recommendations to the Fund’s Secretary that include all information relating to such person that is required to be disclosed in solicitations of proxies for the election of Trustees. A recommendation must be accompanied by a written consent of the individual to stand for election if nominated by the Board of Trustees and to serve if elected by the shareholders.

The principal function of the Pricing and Valuation Committee is to assist the Board with its oversight of the process for valuing portfolio securities in light of applicable law, regulatory guidance and applicable policies and procedures adopted by the Fund. The members of the Pricing and Valuation Committee are all of the Independent Trustees: Mses. Colman and Kamerick and Messrs. Cucchi and Hutchinson. The Chairman is Ms. Colman.

The principal function of the Compensation Committee is to recommend the appropriate compensation of the Independent Trustees for their service on the Board and the committees of the Board. The members of the Compensation Committee are all of the Independent Trustees: Mses. Colman and Kamerick and Messrs. Cucchi and Hutchinson. The Chairman is Mr. Cucchi.

Officers of the Fund

The Fund’s executive officers are chosen each year at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees to hold office until their respective successors are duly elected and qualified. In addition to Ms. Trust, the Fund’s Chairman, CEO and President, the executive officers of the Fund currently are:

 

Name, Address and Age

   Position(s) Held
with Fund
   Length of
Time Served
  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Fred Jensen

Legg Mason & Co.

620 Eighth Avenue, 47th Floor,

New York, NY 10018

Birth Year: 1963

   Chief
Compliance
Officer
   Since Inception   

Director - Global Compliance of Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Managing Director of Legg Mason & Co. (2006 to 2020); Director of Compliance, Legg Mason Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (2006 to 2020); formerly, Chief Compliance Officer of Legg Mason Global Asset Allocation (prior to 2014); Chief Compliance Officer of Legg Mason Private Portfolio Group (prior to 2013); formerly, Chief Compliance Officer of The Reserve Funds (investment adviser, funds and broker-dealer) (2004) and Ambac Financial Group (investment adviser, funds and broker-dealer) (2000 to 2003).

Jenna Bailey

Legg Mason & Co.

100 First Stamford Place

Stamford, CT 06902

Birth Year: 1978

   Identity Theft

Prevention
Officer

   Since Inception   

Senior Compliance Analyst of Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Identity Theft Prevention Officer of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2015); formerly, Compliance Officer of Legg Mason & Co. (2013 to 2020); Assistant Vice President of Legg Mason & Co. (2011 to 2020)

George P. Hoyt

Legg Mason & Co.

100 First Stamford Place

Stamford, CT 06902

Birth year: 1965

   Secretary and
Chief Legal
Officer
   Since Inception    Associate General Counsel of Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Secretary and Chief Legal Officer of certain mutual funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2020); formerly, Managing Director (2016 to 2020) and Associate General Counsel for Legg Mason & Co. and Assistant Secretary of certain mutual funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (2006 to 2020)

 

S-49


Name, Address and Age

   Position(s) Held
with Fund
   Length of
Time Served
  

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years

Thomas C. Mandia

Legg Mason & Co.

100 First Stamford Place

6th Floor

Stamford, CT 06902

Birth year: 1962

   Assistant
Secretary
   Since Inception   

Senior Associate General Counsel of Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Secretary of LMPFA (since 2006); Assistant Secretary of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2006); Secretary of LM Asset Services, LLC (“LMAS”) (since 2002) and Legg Mason Fund Asset Management, Inc. (“LMFAM”) (since 2013) (formerly registered investment advisers); formerly, Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel of Legg Mason & Co. (2005 to 2020)

Jeanne M. Kelly

Legg Mason & Co.

620 Eighth Avenue

47th Floor

New York, NY 10018

Birth year: 1951

   Senior Vice
President
   Since Inception   

U.S. Fund Board Team Manager, Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Senior Vice President of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates (since 2007); Senior Vice President of LMPFA (since 2006); President and Chief Executive Officer of LMAS and LMFAM (since 2015); formerly, Managing Director of Legg Mason & Co. (since 2005 to 2020); Senior Vice President of LMFAM (2013 to 2015)

Christopher Berarducci

Legg Mason & Co.

620 Eighth Avenue

47th Floor

New York, NY 10018

Birth year: 1974

   Treasurer and
Principal
Financial Officer
   Since Inception   

Vice President, Fund Administration and Reporting, Franklin Templeton (since 2020); Treasurer (since 2010) and Principal Financial Officer (since 2019) of certain funds associated with Legg Mason & Co. or its affiliates; formerly, Managing Director (2020), Director 2015 to 2020), and Vice President (2011 to 2015) of Legg Mason & Co.

INVESTMENT MANAGER

Investment Manager and Subadvisers

The Fund retains LMPFA to act as its investment manager. LMPFA is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Templeton. LMPFA serves as the investment manager to numerous individuals and institutions and other investment companies. The investment management agreement (the “Management Agreement”) between LMPFA and the Fund provides that LMPFA will manage the operations of the Fund, subject to the supervision, direction and approval of the Fund’s Board and the objectives and the policies stated in the Prospectus and this Statement of Additional Information.

Pursuant to the Management Agreement, LMPFA manages the Fund’s investment portfolio, directs purchases and sales of portfolio securities and reports thereon to the Fund’s officers and Trustees regularly. LMPFA also provides the office space, facilities, equipment and personnel necessary to perform the following services for the Fund: SEC compliance, including record keeping, reporting requirements and registration statements and proxies; supervision of Fund operations, including coordination of functions of the transfer agent, custodian, accountants, counsel and other parties performing services or operational functions for the Fund; and certain administrative and clerical services, including certain accounting services and maintenance of certain books and records.

 

S-50


Pursuant to a subadvisory agreement, LMPFA has delegated the day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund to Western Asset (the “Subadvisory Agreement”). Western Asset is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Templeton. Investment decisions for the Fund are made independently from those of other funds or accounts managed by Western Asset. Such other funds or accounts may also invest in the same securities as the Fund. If those funds or accounts are prepared to invest in, or desire to dispose of, the same security at the same time as the Fund, however, transactions in such securities will be made, insofar as feasible, for the respective funds and accounts in a manner deemed equitable to all. In some cases, this procedure may adversely affect the size of the position obtained for or disposed of by the Fund or the price paid or received by the Fund. In addition, because of different investment objectives, a particular security may be purchased for one or more funds or accounts when one or more funds or accounts are selling the same security.

In connection with Western Asset’s service to the Fund, Western Asset Management Company Limited in London (“Western Asset London”), Western Asset Management Company Pte. Ltd. in Singapore (“Western Asset Singapore”) and Western Asset Management Company Ltd. in Japan (“Western Asset Japan” and, together with Western Asset London and Western Asset Singapore, the “Non-U.S. Subadvisers”) will provide certain subadvisory services to the Fund pursuant to subadvisory agreements with each of Western Asset London, Western Asset Japan and Western Asset London (collectively, the “Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements”).

Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset London are responsible, generally, for managing Asian (excluding Japan), Japanese, and global and non-U.S. dollar fixed income mandates, respectively.

Western Asset London was founded in 1984 and has offices at 10 Exchange Square, Primrose Street, London EC2A2EN. Western Asset Singapore was established in 2000 and has offices at 1 George Street #23-01, Singapore 049145. Western Asset Japan was founded in 1991 and has offices at 36F Shin-Marunouchi Building, 5-1 Marunouchi 1-Chome Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100-6536, Japan.

Western Asset will pay each of Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan a fee for its services at no additional expense to the Fund. Each of the Non-U.S. Subadvisers will receive a fee from Western Asset payable monthly, in an amount equal to 0.56% of the Fund’s average daily net assets related to the Fund’s assets that Western Asset allocates to each of the Non-U.S. Subadvisers.

Each of the Management Agreement, the Subadvisory Agreement and the Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements have an initial term of two years and continue in effect from year to year thereafter if such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by the Fund’s Board or by a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, and in either event, by a majority of the disinterested Trustees of the Board with such disinterested Trustees casting votes in person at a meeting called for such purpose. The Board or the holders of a majority of the Fund’s shares may terminate the Management Agreement on sixty days’ written notice without penalty and LMPFA may terminate the agreement on ninety days’ written notice without penalty. The Management Agreement terminates automatically in the event of an assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act). The Subadvisory Agreement may be terminated without penalty by the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, in each case on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice to Western Asset, or by Western Asset upon not less than 90 days’ written notice to the Fund and LMPFA, and will be terminated upon the mutual written consent of LMPFA and Western Asset. The Subadvisory Agreement terminates automatically in the event of an assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

Each of the Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements may be terminated without penalty by the Board or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, in each case on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice to the Non U.S. Subadviser, or by the Non-U.S. Subadviser upon not less than 90 days’ written notice to the Fund and Western Asset, and will be terminated upon the mutual written consent of Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadviser. Each of the Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements terminates automatically in the event of an assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).

Under the terms of the Management Agreement, the Subadvisory Agreement and the Non-U.S. Subadvisory Agreements, none of LMPFA, Western Asset and the Non-U.S. Subadvisers, respectively, will be liable for losses or damages incurred by the Fund, unless such losses or damages are attributable to the willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of LMPFA, Western Asset or the Non-U.S. Subadvisers, as the case may be, or from reckless disregard by them of their obligations and duties under the relevant agreement.

 

S-51


Each of Western Asset London, Western Asset Singapore and Western Asset Japan is a corporation organized under the laws of England, Singapore and Japan, respectively. Each of the Non-U.S. Subadvisers is registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended and has irrevocably designated the Secretary of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as its agent to accept service of process in any suit, action or proceeding to enforce the provisions of U.S. securities laws. There can be no assurance that the Non-U.S. Subadvisers will have any assets in the United States that could be attached in connection with any action, suit or proceeding. In addition, it may not be possible to enforce judgments of U.S. courts or liabilities in original actions predicated upon civil liability provisions of U.S. law in foreign courts against any of the Non-U.S. Subadvisers.

Principal Owner of Common Shares

Prior to the public offering of the Common Shares, Franklin Resources purchased Common Shares from the Fund in an amount satisfying the net worth requirements of Section 14(a) of the 1940 Act, which requires the Fund to have a net worth of at least $100,000 prior to making a public offering. As of the date of this SAI, Franklin Resources owned 100% of the Fund’s outstanding Common Shares and therefore may be deemed to control the Fund until such time as it owns 25% or less of the Fund’s outstanding Common Shares, which is expected to occur upon the closing of this offering. The address of Franklin Resources is One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, California 94403. Franklin Resources is organized under the laws of the State of Delaware.

Portfolio Management

Unless otherwise indicated, the information below is provided as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information.

The table below identifies the number of accounts (other than the Fund) for which the Fund’s portfolio managers have day-to-day management responsibilities and the total assets in such accounts, within each of the following categories: registered investment companies, other pooled investment vehicles and other accounts. For each category, the number of accounts and total assets in the accounts where fees are based on performance is also indicated as April 30, 2021.

 

Name of Portfolio Manager Type of Account Number of
Accounts
Managed
Total Assets
Managed
(billions)
Number of
Accounts
Managed for
which
Advisory Fee
is
Performance-
Based
Assets
Managed for
which
Advisory Fee
is
Performance-
Based
(billions)
S. Kenneth Leech   Other Registered Investment Companies 97 $170.81 None None
  Other Pooled Vehicles 234 $81.28 10 $1.19
  Other Accounts 644 $227.54 25 $17.29
Michael C. Buchanan   Other Registered Investment Companies 33 $20.37 None None
  Other Pooled Vehicles 69 $24.41 5 $0.48
  Other Accounts 161 $76.81 10 $7.72
Greg E. Handler   Other Registered Investment Companies 2 $3.71 None None
  Other Pooled Vehicles 11 $3.05 2 $0.11
  Other Accounts 8 $0.77 3 $0.46
Christopher F. Kilpatrick   Other Registered Investment Companies 8 $2.93 None None
  Other Pooled Vehicles 5 $0.56 None None
  Other Accounts None None None None
Annabel Rudebeck   Other Registered Investment Companies 6 $5.73 None None
  Other Pooled Vehicles 24 $6.24 1 $0.10
  Other Accounts 24 $9.17 2 $1.36

 

S-52


 

(1)

The numbers above reflect the overall number of portfolios managed by employees of the Western Asset. Mr. Leech is involved in the management of all the Western Asset’s portfolios, but he is not solely responsible for particular portfolios. Western Asset’s investment discipline emphasizes a team approach that combines the efforts of groups of specialists working in different market sectors. They are responsible for overseeing implementation of Western Asset’s overall investment ideas and coordinating the work of the various sector teams. This structure ensures that client portfolios benefit from a consensus that draws on the expertise of all team members.

Portfolio Manager Compensation

With respect to the compensation of the portfolio managers, Western Asset’s compensation system assigns each employee a total compensation range, which is derived from market surveys that benchmark each role with its job function and peer universe. This method is designed to reward employees with total compensation reflective of the external market value of their skills, experience and ability to produce desired results. Standard compensation includes competitive base salaries, generous employee benefits and a retirement plan.

In addition, Western Asset’s employees are eligible for bonuses. These are structured to closely align the interests of employees with those of Western Asset, and are determined by the professional’s job function and pre-tax performance as measured by a formal review process. All bonuses are completely discretionary. The principal factor considered is a portfolio manager’s investment performance versus appropriate peer groups and benchmarks (e.g., a securities index and with respect to a fund, the benchmark set forth in the fund’s Prospectus to which the fund’s average annual total returns are compared or, if none, the benchmark set forth in the fund’s annual report). Performance is reviewed on a one, three and five year basis for compensation—with three years having the most emphasis. Western Asset may also measure a portfolio manager’s pre-tax investment performance against other benchmarks, as it determines appropriate. Because portfolio managers are generally responsible for multiple accounts (including the funds) with similar investment strategies, they are generally compensated on the performance of the aggregate group of similar accounts, rather than a specific account. Other factors that may be considered when making bonus decisions include client service, business development, length of service to Western Asset, management or supervisory responsibilities, contributions to developing business strategy and overall contributions to Western Asset’s business.

Finally, in order to attract and retain top talent, all professionals are eligible for additional incentives in recognition of outstanding performance. These are determined based upon the factors described above and include long-term incentives that vest over a set period of time past the award date.

Portfolio Manager Securities Ownership

The Fund is a newly-organized closed-end management investment company. Accordingly, as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information, none of the portfolio managers beneficially owned any securities issued by the Fund.

Proxy Voting Policies

Although individual Trustees may not agree with particular policies or votes by LMPFA or Western Asset, the Fund’s Board has delegated proxy voting discretion to LMPFA and/or the Western Asset, believing that LMPFA and/or Western Asset should be responsible for voting because it is a matter relating to the investment decision making process.

 

S-53


LMPFA delegates the responsibility for voting proxies for the Fund to Western Asset through its contracts with Western Asset. Western Asset will use its own proxy voting policies and procedures to vote proxies. Accordingly, LMPFA does not expect to have proxy voting responsibility for the Fund. Should LMPFA become responsible for voting proxies for any reason, such as the inability of Western Asset to provide investment advisory services, LMPFA shall utilize the proxy voting guidelines established by the most recent subadviser to vote proxies until a new subadviser is retained. In the case of a material conflict between the interests of LMPFA (or its affiliates if such conflict is known to persons responsible for voting at LMPFA) and the Fund, the Board of Trustees of LMPFA shall consider how to address the conflict and/or how to vote the proxies. LMPFA shall maintain records of all proxy votes in accordance with applicable securities laws and regulations, to the extent that LMPFA votes proxies. LMPFA shall be responsible for gathering relevant documents and records related to proxy voting from Western Asset and providing them to the Fund as required for the Fund to comply with applicable rules under the 1940 Act.

LMPFA’s proxy voting policy governs in determining how proxies relating to the Fund’s portfolio securities are voted and is attached as Appendix B hereto. Western Asset’s proxy voting policy is attached as Appendix C hereto. The voting policies of Western London, Western Singapore and Western Asset Japan are attached hereto as Appendix D, E and F, respectively. Information regarding how the Fund voted proxies (if any) relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available without charge (1) by calling 888-425-6432, (2) on the Fund’s website at http://www.leggmason.com/cef and (3) on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov on Form N-PX.

Codes of Ethics

Pursuant to Rule