Close

Form N-14/A EA Series Trust

August 15, 2022 2:47 PM EDT

Get instant alerts when news breaks on your stocks. Claim your 1-week free trial to StreetInsider Premium here.

 

AS FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ON AUGUST 15, 2022

 

File No. 333-265923

 

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM N-14

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1
Post-Effective Amendment No.

 

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

 

EA Series Trust
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

19 East Eagle Road

Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(215) 882-9983

(Registrant’s Area Code and Telephone Number)

 

John R. Vogel

19 East Eagle Road

Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

Copy to:

Karen Aspinall, Esq.

Practus, LLP

11300 Tomahawk Creek Parkway, Suite 310

Leawood, Kansas 66211

 

Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering: As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement becomes effective under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

The Registrant hereby amends the 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 the Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to Section 8(a), may determine.

 

Title of Securities Being Registered: Shares of beneficial interest, with no par value, of the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF.

 

No filing fee is due because Registrant is relying on Section 24(f) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLUE CHIP FUND

(a series of Bridgeway Funds, Inc.)

 

IMPORTANT SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION

 

These materials are for a special meeting (the “Meeting”) of shareholders of the Blue Chip Fund (the “Fund”), a series of Bridgeway Funds, Inc. (“Bridgeway Funds”), which will be held on September 23, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., Central time, at 20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450, Houston, Texas 77046. These materials discuss a proposal to be voted on at the Meeting and contain a Notice of Special Meeting of Shareholders, a Proxy Statement/Prospectus (the “Proxy Statement/Prospectus”), and proxy card. A proxy card is, in essence, a ballot. When you complete a proxy card, it tells us how you wish the individuals named on your proxy card to vote on important issues relating to the Fund. If you complete, sign and return a proxy card, we’ll vote your proxy exactly as you tell us. If you simply sign and return a proxy card without indicating how your shares are to be voted, we’ll vote your proxy FOR the proposal which is in accordance with the Bridgeway Funds’ Board of Director’s recommendation on page 18 of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

The Meeting is currently planned to take place at a physical location. However, due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, Bridgeway Funds is planning for the possibility that the Meeting may be held virtually solely by means of remote communication or via a live webcast or that Bridgeway Funds may allow for virtual attendance. If Bridgeway Funds takes this step, it will publicly announce the decision in a press release that will also be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as definitive additional soliciting material, and Bridgeway Funds will post the announcement and additional information on its website at www.bridgewayfunds.com as soon as practicable before the Meeting. Bridgeway Funds recommends that you monitor this website for updated information, and please check this website in advance of the Meeting to confirm the status of the Meeting before planning to attend in person.

 

Your vote is important. Please take a moment after reviewing the enclosed materials to sign and return your proxy card in the enclosed postage paid return envelope. If you attend the Meeting, you may vote your shares in person. If you expect to participate in the Meeting, or have questions, please notify our proxy solicitor, AST, toll free at (866) 828-6951. You may also vote your shares by telephone, if eligible, or through a website established for that purpose by following the instructions that appear on the enclosed proxy card. If we do not hear from you after a reasonable amount of time, you may receive a telephone call from our proxy solicitor, AST, reminding you to vote your shares of the Fund.

 

 

 

 

BLUE CHIP FUND

20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450

Houston, Texas 77046

(800) 661-3550

 

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

To be held on September 23, 2022

 

To the shareholders of the Blue Chip Fund (the “Target Fund”):

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of a Special Meeting of Shareholders (the “Meeting”) of the Target Fund, a series of Bridgeway Funds, Inc. (“Bridgeway Funds”), which will be held on September 23, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. Central time, at 20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450, Houston, Texas 77046. The Meeting is being called for the following purpose:

 

1. To approve an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”) between Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the EA Series Trust (the “ETF Trust”), on behalf of the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF (the “Acquiring Fund”), a newly-created series of the ETF Trust, that provides for: (i) the acquisition of the assets and assumption of the liabilities of the Target Fund by the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for shares of the Acquiring Fund, (ii) the pro rata distribution of such shares to the shareholders of the Target Fund, and (iii) the complete liquidation and dissolution of the Target Fund.

 

2. To transact such other business as may properly come before the Meeting.

 

A copy of the Plan, which more completely sets forth the terms of the proposed reorganization of the Target Fund with and into the Acquiring Fund, is attached as Exhibit A to the Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

The Board of Directors of the Bridgeway Funds recommends that you cast your vote FOR the above Proposal as described in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

Please sign and promptly return the enclosed proxy card in the postage paid return envelope regardless of the number of shares owned.

 

Proxy card instructions may be revoked at any time before they are exercised by submitting a written notice of revocation or a subsequently executed proxy card or by attending the Meeting and voting in person.

 

The Meeting is currently planned to take place at a physical location. However, due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, Bridgeway Funds is planning for the possibility that the Meeting may be held virtually solely by means of remote communication or via a live webcast or that Bridgeway Funds may allow for virtual attendance. If Bridgeway Funds takes this step, it will publicly announce the decision in a press release that will also be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as definitive additional soliciting material, and Bridgeway Funds will post the announcement and additional information on its website at www.bridgewayfunds.com as soon as practicable before the Meeting. Bridgeway Funds recommends that you monitor this website for updated information, and please check this website in advance of the Meeting to confirm the status of the Meeting before planning to attend in person.

 

  By Order of the Board of Directors of Bridgeway Funds, Inc.,
   
  /s/ Deborah L. Hanna
  Deborah L. Hanna
  Secretary, Bridgeway Funds, Inc.
  August 15, 2022

 

If you have any questions, would like to vote your shares, or wish to obtain instructions on how to attend the Meeting and vote at the Meeting, please call AST, our proxy solicitor, toll free at (866) 828-6951, if eligible.

 

 

 

 

PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS

Dated August 15, 2022

 

Acquisition of the Assets and Assumption of the Liabilities of

BLUE CHIP FUND,

(a series of Bridgeway Funds, Inc.)

 

By and in Exchange for Shares of

 

EA BRIDGEWAY BLUE CHIP ETF

(a series of EA Series Trust)

 

This Proxy Statement/Prospectus (the “Proxy Statement/Prospectus”) solicits proxies to be voted at a Special Meeting of Shareholders, which will be held at 20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450, Houston, Texas 77046, on September 23, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., Central time (the “Meeting”), of the Blue Chip Fund (the “Target Fund”), a series of Bridgeway Funds, Inc. (“Bridgeway Funds”).

 

At the Meeting, shareholders of the Target Fund will be asked to approve or disapprove an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”). If the Target Fund’s shareholders vote to approve the Plan, the assets and the liabilities of the Target Fund will be acquired and assumed, respectively, by the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF (the “Acquiring Fund”), a newly-created series of EA Series Trust (the “ETF Trust”), in exchange solely for shares of the Acquiring Fund (“Acquiring Fund Shares”).

 

The Board of Directors of Bridgeway Funds (the “Board”) has fixed the close of business on July 22, 2022, as the record date (“Record Date”) for the determination of shareholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the Meeting and at any adjournment thereof. Shareholders of the Target Fund on the Record Date will be entitled to one vote for each share of the Target Fund held (and a proportionate fractional vote for each fractional share). This Proxy Statement/Prospectus, the enclosed Notice of Special Meeting of Shareholders, and the enclosed proxy card will be mailed on or about August 19, 2022, to all shareholders eligible to vote on the Plan that provides for the reorganization of the Target Fund with and into the Acquiring Fund.

 

If the Target Fund’s shareholders vote to approve the Plan, on the closing date of the reorganization, shareholders of the Target Fund will receive shares of the Acquiring Fund of equivalent aggregate net asset value (“NAV”) to their investment in the Target Fund immediately prior to the reorganization. The Target Fund will then be liquidated and dissolved.

 

The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund (each, a “Fund” and, collectively, the “Funds”) have identical investment objectives and substantially similar principal investment strategies. The Funds also have substantially the same principal investment risks, except that the Acquiring Fund will also be subject to certain principal investment risks due to its structure as an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”). Each Fund’s investment objective is to provide long-term total return on capital, primarily through capital appreciation, but also some income.

 

This Proxy Statement/Prospectus includes information about the Plan and the Acquiring Fund that you should know before voting on the Plan, which if approved, would result in your owning shares of the Acquiring Fund after the reorganization. You should retain this Proxy Statement/Prospectus for future reference. Additional information about the Target Fund, the Acquiring Fund and the proposed reorganization has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and can be found in the following documents:

 

The Prospectus of the Blue Chip Fund dated October 31, 2021, as supplemented, (the “Target Fund Prospectus”), which is incorporated by reference into and considered a part of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

i

 

 

The Prospectus of the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF dated August 11, 2022, (the “Acquiring Fund Prospectus”), accompanies this Proxy Statement/Prospectus and is also incorporated by reference into and considered a part of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

  A Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) dated August 11, 2022, relating to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, which has been filed with the SEC, is incorporated by reference into and considered a part of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

You may request a free copy of the Target Fund’s Prospectus and SAI dated October 31, 2021, as supplemented, and the Target Fund’s Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders, the SAI relating to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, and other information by calling 800-661-3550 or by writing to Bridgeway Funds, Inc. at c/o BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc., P.O. Box 9860, Providence, RI 02940-8060.

 

You may request a free copy of the Acquiring Fund’s Prospectus and SAI dated August 11, 2022 by calling (215) 882-9983. Because the Acquiring Fund has not yet commenced operations, no Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders is available.

 

You also may review and obtain copies of these documents from the SEC on the EDGAR Database via the internet at www.sec.gov or by sending an electronic request to the following email address: [email protected] The SEC charges a fee to copy any documents.

 

These securities have not been approved or disapproved by the SEC nor has the SEC passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense. An investment in the Funds is not a deposit with a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. You may lose money by investing in the Funds.

 

ii

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page
Cover Page   Cover
SUMMARY   1
What am I being asked to vote upon?   1
What will happen if shareholders approve the Plan?   1
How will the Reorganization affect me?   1
Will the Reorganization affect the way my investments are managed?   2
Are there any differences in risks between the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund?   2
How do the fees and expenses of the Acquiring Fund compare to the fees and expenses of the Target Fund?   4
Who will pay the costs in connection with the Reorganization?   5
What are some features of ETFs that differ from mutual funds?   5
What are the federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization?   6
How do the purchase procedures of the Funds compare?   6
How do the redemption procedures and exchange privileges of the Funds compare?   7
What is the anticipated timing of the Reorganization?   7
What happens if the Reorganization is not approved?   7
What do I need to do to prepare for the Reorganization?   8
What will happen if I don’t have a Brokerage Account that can accept ETF shares at the time of the Reorganization?   8
What if the Reorganization is approved by shareholders and I don’t want to hold ETF shares?   8
How will shareholder voting be handled?   9
What is the Board’s recommendation regarding the proposal?   9
COMPARISONS OF SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE FUNDS   10
Are there any significant differences between the investment objectives, policies and strategies of the Funds?   10
How do the principal investment risks of the Funds compare?   11
What are the purchase procedures of the Funds?   11
What are the redemption procedures and exchange privileges of the Funds?   12
Who manages the Funds?   12
What are the Funds’ investment management fee rates?   13
What are the fees and expenses of each Fund and what might they be after the Reorganization?   14
How do the performance records of the Funds compare?   16
Where can I find more financial and performance information about the Target Fund?   17
What are other key features of the Funds?   17

 

iii

 

 

REASONS FOR THE REORGANIZATION   18
INFORMATION ABOUT THE REORGANIZATION   21
How will the Reorganization be carried out?   21
Who will pay the expenses of the Reorganization?   22
What should I know about the Acquiring Fund Shares?   22
What are the capitalizations of the Funds and what might the Acquiring Fund’s capitalization be after the Reorganization?   22
COMPARISONS OF INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS   23
How do the investment objectives, strategies, policies and risks of the Funds compare?   23
FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE REORGANIZATION   27
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS   29
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS   29
VOTING INFORMATION   30
How many votes are necessary to approve the Plan?   30
How do I ensure my vote is accurately recorded?   30
May I revoke my proxy?   30
What other matters will be voted upon at the Meeting?   31
Who is entitled to vote?   31
How will proxies be solicited?   31
May I attend the Meeting?   32
Are there dissenters’ rights?   32
PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SHARES   33
SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS   33
ADJOURNMENT   33
EXHIBITS TO PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS   34

 

A.   Form of Agreement and Plan of Reorganization   A-1
B.   Financial Highlights of the Target Fund   B-1
C.   Principal Holders of Securities of the Target Fund   C-1
D.   Comparison of Target Fund and Acquiring Fund Fundamental Investment Restrictions   D-1
E.   Comparison of Maryland and Delaware Governing Instruments and State Law   E-1
     
Sample Proxy Ballot   35
Acquiring Fund Prospectus  
Acquiring Fund SAI    

 

iv

 

 

SUMMARY

 

This is only a summary of certain information contained in this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. You should read the more complete information in the rest of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, including the Plan (attached as Exhibit A) and the Acquiring Fund Prospectus (enclosed).

 

What am I being asked to vote upon?

 

The Target Fund, which is currently operated as a mutual fund, will be converted into an ETF through its reorganization (the “Reorganization”) into the newly-created Acquiring Fund that has the same investment objective and substantially similar principal investment strategies as the Target Fund. As an ETF, the Acquiring Fund’s shares will be traded on NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “NYSE”). The Reorganization will be accomplished in accordance with the Plan. Shareholders of the Target Fund are being asked to approve the Plan between Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the ETF Trust, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, that provides for: (1) the acquisition of the assets and the assumption of the liabilities of the Target Fund by the Acquiring Fund in exchange solely for shares of the Acquiring Fund, (2) the distribution of such shares to the shareholders of the Target Fund, and (3) the complete liquidation and dissolution of the Target Fund.

 

What will happen if shareholders approve the Plan?

 

If the Target Fund’s shareholders vote to approve the Plan and all other closing conditions of the Reorganization under the Plan are satisfied or waived, then shareholders of the Target Fund will become shareholders of the Acquiring Fund on or about October 14, 2022 and will no longer be shareholders of the Target Fund. Shareholders of the Target Fund will receive Acquiring Fund Shares with an equivalent aggregate NAV equal to the aggregate NAV of the shares of the Acquiring Fund owned by such shareholders immediately prior to the Reorganization.

 

In particular, the Plan provides that (1) the assets of the Target Fund will be acquired by the Acquiring Fund and the liabilities of the Target Fund will be assumed by the Acquiring Fund in exchange for Acquiring Fund Shares; and (2) the Acquiring Fund Shares received by the Target Fund in the exchange will then be distributed to shareholders of the Target Fund. After the Acquiring Fund Shares are distributed to the Target Fund’s shareholders, the Target Fund will be liquidated and dissolved.

 

How will the Reorganization affect me?

 

If the Reorganization is completed, you will cease to be a shareholder of the Target Fund and will become a shareholder of the Acquiring Fund. Upon completion of the Reorganization, Target Fund shareholders will own shares of the Acquiring Fund having an aggregate NAV equal to the aggregate NAV of the shares of the Target Fund (“Target Fund Shares”) that were owned immediately prior to the Reorganization. Shares of the Acquiring Fund will be transferred to a shareholder’s brokerage account, or if a shareholder does not have a brokerage account, the shares will be held by a transfer agent until a brokerage account is identified. A shareholder’s brokerage account statement will reflect a shareholder’s investment value based on market value instead of net asset value (i.e., NAV). If the shares are not transferred into a brokerage account within six months of the date of the Reorganization, the account may be converted to cash (subject to applicable federal or state laws, including but not limited to those concerning unclaimed property). However, shares of the Acquiring Fund are not issued in fractional shares. As a result, the Target Fund will redeem any fractional shares held by shareholders at NAV immediately prior to the Reorganization. Such redemption will result in a cash payment, which is expected to be small and will result in taxable gain or loss for shareholders who hold such fractional shares in a taxable account. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the effect of such redemption.

 

After the Reorganization, individual shares of the Acquiring Fund may only be purchased and sold on the NYSE, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems. Should a former Target Fund shareholder decide to purchase or sell shares in the Acquiring Fund after the Reorganization, the shareholder will need to place a trade through a broker who will execute the trade on an exchange at prevailing market prices. Because Acquiring Fund Shares trade at market prices rather than at NAV, Acquiring Fund Shares may trade at a price less than (discount) or greater than (premium) the Acquiring Fund’s NAV. Accordingly, former Target Fund shareholders will no longer be able to redeem shares directly from the Target Fund at NAV and must rely on the ability to sell shares on the NYSE. As with all ETFs, your broker may charge a commission for purchase and sale transactions, although ETFs trade with no transaction fees (“NTF”) on many platforms.

 

1

 

 

Will the Reorganization affect the way my investments are managed?

 

No. The Acquiring Fund will be managed using the same investment objective and substantially similar principal investment strategies currently used by the Target Fund, except that the Acquiring Fund may not purchase stock market index futures in order to equitize cash (i.e., to gain exposure to the U.S. equity market) due to the Acquiring Fund being structured as an ETF. Unlike mutual funds, such as the Target Fund, ETFs are not required to redeem shares directly from retail shareholders and as a result, the Acquiring Fund generally does not have to maintain a certain level of cash in order to maintain liquidity for redemptions, which may give the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio managers more flexibility to keep the portfolio more fully invested than a typical mutual fund.

 

Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (“Bridgeway”), 20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450, Houston, Texas 77046, serves as investment manager to the Target Fund and also provides certain administrative and oversight services to the Fund. Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers (“EA Advisers”), 19 East Eagle Road Havertown, PA 19083 serves as investment manager to the Acquiring Fund and also provides certain administrative and oversight services to the Acquiring Fund. EA Advisers is wholly-owned by Alpha Architect LLC. EA Advisers selects the Acquiring Fund’s sub-adviser and oversees the sub-adviser’s management of the Acquiring Fund. EA Advisers also provides trading, execution and various other administrative services and supervises the overall daily affairs of the Acquiring Fund.

 

EA Advisers and the ETF Trust have received an exemptive order (the “Order”) from the SEC that allows the Acquiring Fund to operate in a “manager of managers” structure whereby EA Advisers can appoint and replace unaffiliated sub-advisers, and enter into, amend and terminate sub-advisory agreements with such sub-advisers, each subject to ETF Trust Board approval, but without obtaining prior shareholder approval (“Manager of Managers Structure”). The Acquiring Fund will, however, inform shareholders of the hiring of any new sub-adviser within 90 days after the hiring. The Order provides the Acquiring Fund with greater flexibility and efficiency by preventing the Acquiring Fund from incurring the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of such sub-advisory agreements. Bridgeway Funds, and the Target Fund in specific, does not have a similar exemptive order.

 

For a more complete discussion, see the sections below titled: “COMPARISONS OF SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE FUNDS ‒ Are there any significant differences between the investment objectives, policies and strategies of the Funds?” and “How do the principal investment risks of the Funds compare?” and COMPARISONS OF INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS – How do the investment objectives, strategies, policies and risks of the Funds compare?” and “What are the principal investment risks associated with investments in the Funds?”

 

Are there any differences in risks between the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund?

 

Yes. While most of the principal risks of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund are the same, the Acquiring Fund is subject to certain risks unique to ETFs. The Acquiring Fund is subject to:

 

  Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Acquiring Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants (“APs”). In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, the Acquiring Fund Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

  Premium-Discount Risk. Acquiring Fund Shares may trade above or below their NAV. The market prices of Acquiring Fund Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of, and demand for, Acquiring Fund Shares on the NYSE or other securities exchanges. The trading price of Acquiring Fund Shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility or limited trading activity in Acquiring Fund Shares.

 

  Cost of Trading Risk. Investors buying or selling Acquiring Fund Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Acquiring Fund Shares.

 

  Trading Risk. Although Acquiring Fund Shares are listed on the NYSE, there can be no assurance that an active or liquid trading market for them will develop or be maintained. In addition, trading in Acquiring Fund Shares on the NYSE may be halted. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Acquiring Fund Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of its underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Acquiring Fund Shares, potentially causing the market price of Acquiring Fund Shares to deviate from its NAV.

 

2

 

 

The Acquiring Fund, but not the Target Fund, is subject to the following principal risk due to the Fund’s expected allocation in the information technology sector:

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector includes companies engaged in internet software and services, technology hardware and storage peripherals, electronic equipment and components, and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face rapid product obsolescence due to technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Failure to introduce new products, develop and maintain a loyal customer base or achieve general market acceptance for their products could have a material adverse effect on a company’s business. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on intellectual property and the loss of patent, copyright or trademark protections may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.

 

In addition, the Acquiring Fund is subject to the following risks, which the Target Fund is also generally subject to except that these risks are described differently in the Target Fund Prospectus:

 

  Investment Risk. When you sell your shares, they could be worth less than what you paid for them. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular industry or group of industries. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Therefore, you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

  Equity Investing Risk. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund holding equity securities, such as market fluctuations, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock prices. The values of equity securities could decline generally or could underperform other investments. In addition, securities may decline in value due to factors affecting a specific issuer, market or securities markets generally.

 

Statistical Approach. Bridgeway uses a statistical approach to manage the Funds and resists overriding the statistical models with qualitative or subjective data. However, Bridgeway will exclude stocks if the issuer of the stock is principally engaged in the tobacco industry. Bridgeway may also exclude stocks based on certain narrow social reasons including, but not limited to, if the issuer of the stock: (i) conducts or has direct investments in business operations in Sudan; or (ii) is substantially engaged in the production or trade of pornographic material. Other than companies principally engaged in the tobacco industry, the number of companies referenced in (i) and (ii) in the Bridgeway’s universe is usually “de minimis.”

 

Furthermore, the Target Fund, but not the Acquiring Fund, is subject to the following principal risks, which, in the case of Derivatives Risk, is not applicable to the ETF structure of the Acquiring Fund because the Acquiring Fund generally does not have to maintain a certain level of cash in order to maintain liquidity for redemptions:

 

  Capital Gains Risk. In order to keep each stock roughly equally weighted or if the Fund experiences extensive redemptions, the Target Fund’s investment adviser might need to sell some stocks, which could create capital gains. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will not distribute substantial capital gains, although the Target Fund’s investment adviser seeks to avoid doing so.

 

  Derivatives Risk. The Fund’s use of futures to equitize cash may increase the volatility of the Fund and, if the transaction is not successful, could result in a loss to the Fund. The use of futures could produce disproportionate gains or losses, more than the principal amount invested. Investing in futures involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other traditional investments and, in a down market, could become harder to value or sell at a fair price.

 

For a more complete discussion, see the sections below titled: COMPARISONS OF INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS – How do the investment objectives, strategies, policies and risks of the Funds compare?” and “What are the principal investment risks associated with investments in the Funds?”

 

3

 

 

How do the fees and expenses of the Acquiring Fund compare to the fees and expenses of the Target Fund?

 

The expense ratio for the Acquiring Fund will be the same as the net expense ratio of the Target Fund, however the management fee for the Acquiring Fund is higher than the Target Fund because the Acquiring Fund is subject to a unitary fee structure. Below is a table comparing the Annual Fund Operating Expenses of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund:

 

ANNUAL OPERATING EXPENSE TABLE FOR SHARES OF THE TARGET FUND

AND PROJECTED FEES FOR THE ACQUIRING FUND AFTER THE REORGANIZATION*

 

SHAREHOLDER FEES (paid directly from your investment) Target Fund

Pro Forma

Acquiring Fund

Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases None None
Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Reinvested Dividends None None
Redemption Fees None None
Exchange Fees None None

 

ANNUAL FUND
OPERATING EXPENSES
Target Fund

Pro Forma

Acquiring Fund

Management fees 0.08% 0.15%
Distribution and service (12b-1) fees None 0.00%
Other expenses 0.16% 0.00%2
Total annual Fund operating expenses 0.24% 0.15%
Fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement1 (0.09%) --
Total annual Fund operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement 0.15% 0.15%

 

* Expense ratios reflect annual fund operating expenses for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021 (as disclosed in the Target Fund’s current prospectus) of the Target Fund. The Acquiring Fund is newly organized and therefore has not yet had any operations as of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Pro forma numbers are calculated using information for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2022, assumes that the Reorganization occurred on April 1, 2021, and does not include the estimated costs of the Reorganization. The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund will not bear any Reorganization costs (excluding brokerage costs, if any).

 

1 Bridgeway, the investment adviser to the Target Fund pursuant to its Management Agreement with Bridgeway Funds, is contractually obligated to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses, if necessary, to ensure that net expenses do not exceed 0.15%. Fees and expenses attributable to investments in other funds (i.e., “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses”) are not included in the expense limitation. The expense limitation cannot be changed or eliminated without shareholder approval.

 

2 Other Expenses are estimated for the current fiscal year. The Target Fund charges a management fee and any remaining Fund expenses are paid by the Target Fund, which are reflected as “Other Expenses.” Total expenses of the Target Fund are subject to an overall expense limitation. The Acquiring Fund charges a unitary fee and Acquiring Fund expenses are paid from the unitary fee. “Other Expenses” of the Acquiring Fund are estimated to be 0.00% for the first fiscal year because the Acquiring Fund does not reasonably estimate that the Fund will incur any expenses that are not otherwise paid for by the unitary management fee.

 

4

 

 

In addition, the Acquiring Fund will be subject to a unitary fee structure, which will require the Acquiring Fund’s investment manager, Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers (“EA Advisers”), to pay the Acquiring Fund’s ordinary operating expenses without any increase in the total net operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement of the Acquiring Fund. The Acquiring Fund’s sub-adviser, Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (“Bridgeway”) is also the sponsor of the Acquiring Fund (“Fund Sponsor”). Under this arrangement, the Fund Sponsor has agreed to provide financial support to the Acquiring Fund and, in turn, EA Advisers has agreed to share with the Fund Sponsor a portion of profits, if any, generated by the Acquiring Fund’s advisory fee. Every month, the advisory fee is calculated and paid to EA Advisers.

 

If the amount of the unitary management fee exceeds the Acquiring Fund’s operating expenses and EA Advisers-retained amount, EA Advisers pays the net total to the Fund Sponsor. The amount paid to the Fund Sponsor represents both the sub-advisory fee and any remaining profits from the advisory fee. During months where there are no profits or the funds are not sufficient to cover the entire sub-advisory fee, the sub-advisory fee is automatically waived.

 

If the amount of the unitary management fee is less than the Acquiring Fund’s operating expenses and the EA Advisers-retained amount, Fund Sponsor is obligated to reimburse EA Advisers for the shortfall.

 

EA Advisers performs its services to the Acquiring Fund pursuant to the terms of an investment advisory agreement between the Acquiring Fund and EA Advisers. EA Advisers is entitled to receive the following advisory fee, expressed as an annual rate as a percentage of average daily net assets:

 

Fund Contractual Rate
EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF 0.15% on the first $3 billion
  0.13% on the next $7 billion
  0.12% on the next $10 billion
  0.11% on assets above $20 billion

 

For a more detailed comparison of the Funds’ fees and expenses, see the sections below titled “COMPARISONS OF SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE FUNDS ‒ What are the Funds’ investment management fee rates?” and “What are the fees and expenses of each Fund and what might they be after the Reorganization?

 

Who will pay the costs in connection with the Reorganization?

 

The estimated cost of the Reorganization is expected to be approximately $365,000. The cost of the Reorganization, including any costs directly associated with preparing, filing, printing and distributing to the shareholders of the Target Fund all materials relating to the Reorganization as well as the conversion costs associated with the Reorganization (but excluding brokerage costs, which are expected to be minimal, if any), will be borne by Bridgeway, the investment adviser for the Target Fund and sub-adviser for the Acquiring Fund, and EA Advisers, the investment adviser for the Acquiring Fund. Bridgeway and EA Advisers will share the costs of the Reorganization if the Reorganization is not consummated.

 

What are some features of ETFs that differ from mutual funds?

 

The following are some unique features of ETFs as compared to mutual funds:

 

Transparency. The Acquiring Fund will be a transparent ETF that operates with full transparency to its portfolio holdings. Following the Reorganization, the Acquiring Fund, like other fully transparent ETFs, will make its portfolio holdings public each day. This holdings information, along with other information about the Acquiring Fund, will be available on the Acquiring Fund’s website at www.bridgewayetfs.com.

 

Tax Efficiency. In a mutual fund, when portfolio securities are sold, including in order to rebalance holdings or to raise cash for redemptions, the sale can create taxable capital gains that affect all taxable shareholders of the mutual fund. In contrast, many ETFs create and redeem their shares in kind. ETFs do not recognize capital gains on in-kind distributions in redemption of their shares, which enables them to distribute appreciated securities to redeeming shareholders without recognizing gains on those securities. Thus, an ETF’s in-kind redemptions generally do not result in taxable distributions for its non-redeeming shareholders. Instead, non-redeeming ETF shareholders in an ETF that creates and redeems its shares in kind may recognize capital gains with respect to their ETF shares when they sell their ETF shares. The Acquiring Fund intends to create and redeem its shares in kind.

 

5

 

 

Sales of ETF Shares on an Exchange throughout the Day. ETFs provide shareholders with the opportunity to purchase and sell shares throughout the day at market-determined prices, instead of being required to wait to make a purchase or a redemption at the next calculated NAV per share at the end of the trading day. This means that when a shareholder decides to purchase or sell shares of the ETF, the shareholder can act on that decision immediately by contacting the shareholder’s broker to execute the trade. The market price of the ETF may be higher or lower than the ETF’s NAV per share, and may be higher or lower than the ETF’s next calculated NAV at the close of the trading day.

 

Sales only through a Broker. Unlike a mutual fund’s shares, individual shares of ETFs, like the Acquiring Fund, are not directly purchased or redeemed from the Acquiring Fund at NAV. Shares of the Acquiring Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Acquiring Fund only in block size creation units of 10,000 or more or multiples thereof, and only an AP may engage in purchase or redemption transactions directly with the Acquiring Fund. Once created, shares of the Acquiring Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a creation unit. Acquiring Fund Shares may only be purchased and sold on a stock exchange through a broker at market prices. When buying and selling shares through a financial intermediary, a shareholder may incur brokerage or other charges determined by the financial intermediary, although ETFs trade with no transaction fees (NTF) on many platforms. In addition, a shareholder of an ETF, such as the Acquiring Fund, may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than at NAV, shares of an ETF, like the Acquiring Fund, may trade at a price less than (discount) or greater than (premium) the ETF’s NAV. The trading prices of an ETF’s shares in the secondary market will fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on the supply and demand for the ETF’s shares and shares of the underlying securities held by the ETF, economic conditions and other factors.

 

In addition, the Acquiring Fund is subject to certain risks unique to operating as an ETF. For more information, see “Are there any differences in risks between the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund?” above.

 

What are the federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization?

 

The Reorganization is expected to constitute a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, (the “Code”) and generally is not expected to result in recognition of gain or loss by the Target Fund or its shareholders. However, immediately prior to the Reorganization, most shareholders will receive cash compensation for any fractional shares of the Target Fund that they hold. Such shareholders will generally be required to recognize taxable gain or loss, if any, upon the receipt of cash for their fractional shares, if any.

 

As a condition of the closing of the Reorganization and assuming the parties comply with the terms of the Plan, Bridgeway Funds and the ETF Trust will receive an opinion of counsel regarding the federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors about state and local tax consequences of the Reorganization, if any, because the information about tax consequences in this Proxy Statement/Prospectus relates only to the federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization. For more information, please see the section “FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE REORGANIZATION.”

 

How do the purchase procedures of the Funds compare?

 

Shares of the Target Fund are sold on a continuous basis by Foreside Fund Services, LLC (the “Distributor”) at the next calculated NAV per share at the end of the trading day that the NYSE is scheduled to be open for business. Acquiring Fund Shares may be purchased only on the NYSE, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market determined prices which means that the market price per share of the ETF may be higher or lower than the ETF’s NAV per share, and may be higher or lower than the ETF’s next calculated NAV at the close of the trading day.

 

Sales Charges. Shares of the Target Fund are not currently subject to a front-end sales charge or a contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”). No front-end sales charge or CDSC will be imposed on shares of the Target Fund exchanged for shares of the Acquiring Fund in connection with the Reorganization. Additionally, no sales charges are imposed on shares of the Acquiring Fund.

 

6

 

 

Rule 12b-1 Fees. Bridgeway Funds has adopted a Rule 12b-1 plan under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), which permits Bridgeway to pay up to 0.25% of the Target Fund’s average daily assets for sales and distribution of Target Fund Shares. In this plan, Bridgeway has agreed to pay directly all distribution costs associated with Target Fund shares. Shareholders of the Target Fund therefore pay no 12b-1 fees. The ETF Trust has adopted a Rule 12b-1 plan under the 1940 Act for the Acquiring Fund with an annual fee of up to 0.25%. As of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, the Acquiring Fund does not charge a Rule 12b-1 fee and does not anticipate that the Rule 12b-1 plan would be implemented at the time of the Reorganization or the foreseeable future.

 

Brokerage Commissions. When buying and selling shares of an ETF through a financial intermediary, a shareholder may incur brokerage or other charges determined by the financial intermediary, although ETFs trade with no transaction fees (NTF) on many platforms. In addition, a shareholder of an ETF, such as the Acquiring Fund, may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). 

 

For a more complete discussion, see the section below titled “COMPARISONS OF SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE FUNDS ‒ What are the purchase procedures of the Funds?”

 

How do the redemption procedures and exchange privileges of the Funds compare?

 

Shares of the Target Fund may be sold (redeemed) at the next calculated NAV directly with the Target Fund each day that the NYSE is scheduled to be open for business. Unlike the Target Fund, individual shares of the Acquiring Fund are not sold at NAV per share directly by the Acquiring Fund. Shares of the Acquiring Fund generally may only be sold on exchanges and other trading platforms. Acquiring Fund Shares may be redeemed only on the NYSE, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market determined prices, which means that the market price per share of the ETF may be higher or lower than the ETF’s NAV per share and may be higher or lower than the ETF’s next calculated NAV at the close of the trading day.

 

Shareholders of the Target Fund may exchange their Target Fund Shares for shares of any other series of the Bridgeway Funds, provided that the fund shares to be acquired in the exchange are available to new investors in such other fund and the shareholder is eligible to invest in such shares. As an ETF, the Acquiring Fund does not provide for the exchange of shares.

 

Brokerage Commissions. When buying and selling shares of an ETF through a financial intermediary, a shareholder may incur brokerage or other charges determined by the financial intermediary, although ETFs trade with no transaction fees (NTF) on many platforms. In addition, a shareholder of an ETF, such as the Acquiring Fund, may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”).

 

For a more complete discussion, see the section below titled “COMPARISONS OF SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE FUNDS ‒ What are the redemption procedures and exchange privileges of the Funds?”

 

What is the anticipated timing of the Reorganization?

 

The Meeting is scheduled to occur on September 23, 2022. If the necessary shareholder approval is obtained and all other closing conditions of the Reorganization under the Plan are satisfied or waived, the Reorganization is currently expected to be completed on or about October 14, 2022.

 

What happens if the Reorganization is not approved?

 

If the Target Fund’s shareholders do not approve the Reorganization, the Target Fund may consider other alternatives, however, currently, there are no other proposed actions contemplated for the Target Fund. Until any such alternatives are acted upon, the Target Fund would continue its operations as a mutual fund, and would be overseen by the Board and managed by Bridgeway. 

 

7

 

 

What do I need to do to prepare for the Reorganization?

 

It is important for you to determine whether you hold your Target Fund shares in the type of account that can accommodate the Acquiring Fund Shares that will be received in the Reorganization. If you hold your shares of the Target Fund in an account directly with the Target Fund at the Target Fund’s transfer agent or in a brokerage account with a financial intermediary that only allows you to hold mutual fund shares, you will need to set up a brokerage account that allows investment in ETF shares if the Reorganization is approved and you continue to own shares of the Target Fund at the time of the Reorganization.

 

Transferring Target Fund shares to an already existing brokerage account. Transferring your shares from the Target Fund’s transfer agent to a brokerage account should be a simple process. If you have a brokerage account or a relationship with a brokerage firm, please talk to the broker and inform the broker that you would like to transfer a mutual fund position that you hold directly with the Target Fund into your brokerage account. Also inform your broker that such an account will need to be set up to accept ETF shares. If you do not have a brokerage account or a relationship with a brokerage firm, you will need to open an account if the Reorganization is approved and you continue to own shares of the Target Fund at the time of the Reorganization.

 

You should provide your broker with a copy of the quarterly statement from the Target Fund. The broker will require your account number with the Target Fund, which can be found on your statement. The broker will help you complete a form to initiate the transfer. Once you sign that form, the broker will submit the form to the transfer agent directly, and the shares will be transferred into your brokerage account.

 

Transferring Target Fund Shares from a Non-Accommodating Brokerage Account to a Brokerage Account that accepts ETF shares. The broker where you hold the Target Fund shares should be able to assist you in changing the characteristics of your brokerage account to an account that is permitted to invest in ETF shares. Contact your broker right away to make the necessary changes to your account.

 

You can contact your financial advisor or other financial intermediary for further information.

 

What will happen if I don’t have a Brokerage Account that can accept ETF shares at the time of the Reorganization?

 

If your shares are held in an account that cannot accept ETF shares at the time of the Reorganization of the Target Fund, the Acquiring Fund Shares received by you in the Reorganization will be held by a transfer agent, US Bank Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (“Stock Transfer Agent”), until a brokerage account is identified into which the Stock Transfer Agent can transfer the shares. As planned, if the Acquiring Fund Shares are not transferred into a brokerage account within six months of the date of the Reorganization, the Acquiring Fund Shares may be converted to cash and the cash proceeds will be sent to the accountholder of record (subject to applicable federal or state laws, including but not limited to those concerning unclaimed property). The conversion of Acquiring Fund Shares to cash may be subject to fees and expenses and will likely be a taxable event for shareholders who hold their shares in a taxable account. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the effect of such conversion. You may contact the Stock Transfer Agent after conversion by calling 1-800-236-4214.

 

What if the Reorganization is approved by shareholders and I don’t want to hold ETF shares?

 

If the Reorganization is approved and you do not want to receive ETF shares in connection with the Reorganization, you may redeem or exchange your Target Fund shares into another series of the Bridgeway Funds prior to the Reorganization. If a Target Fund shareholder redeems his or her shares or exchanges his or her shares into another series of the Bridgeway Funds and such shares are held in a taxable account, the shareholder will generally recognize a taxable gain or loss based on the difference between the Target Fund shareholder’s tax basis in the shares and the amount that the redeeming shareholder receives for them.

 

8

 

 

How will shareholder voting be handled?

 

Shareholders who own shares of the Target Fund at the close of business on July 22, 2022 (the “Record Date”), will be entitled to vote at the Meeting, and each share (or fractional share) of the Target Fund outstanding as of the Record Date is entitled to a number of votes equal to the net asset value of that share (or fractional share) in U.S. dollars as of the Record Date. This method of voting is referred to as “dollar-weighted” voting. Approval of the Reorganization by the Target Fund requires the affirmative vote of the lesser of: (i) a majority of the voting power of the outstanding voting securities of the Target Fund or (ii) 67% or more of the voting power of the voting securities of the Target Fund present or represented by proxy at the Meeting if the holders of shares representing more than 50% of the voting power of the outstanding voting securities of the Target Fund are present or represented by proxy (“1940 Act Majority Vote”). AST is a company that has been retained by the Target Fund to assist in the solicitation of proxies, and collect and tabulate shareholder votes. AST is not affiliated with the Funds or with Bridgeway Funds.

 

Please vote by proxy as soon as you receive this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. You may cast your vote by completing, signing, and mailing the enclosed proxy card(s), by calling the number on the enclosed proxy card(s) if eligible, or, online by following the on-line instructions if your account is eligible. If you vote by any of these methods, the persons appointed as proxies will officially cast your votes on your behalf at the Meeting. You may also attend the Meeting and cast your vote at the Meeting.

 

You can revoke your proxy or change your voting instructions at any time until the vote is taken at the Meeting. For more details about shareholder voting, see the “VOTING INFORMATION” section of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

What is the Board’s recommendation regarding the proposal?

 

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote FOR the Plan. At a meeting held on May 12, 2022, the Board, on behalf of the Target Fund, considered the proposal to reorganize the Target Fund with and into the Acquiring Fund, unanimously approved the Plan, and voted to recommend that shareholders of the Target Fund vote to approve the Plan. For the reasons set forth in the “REASONS FOR THE REORGANIZATION” section of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, the Board, including the Independent Directors (as defined below), have determined that participation in the Reorganization is in the best interests of the Target Fund. The Board also concluded that the interests of the existing shareholders of the Target Fund would not be diluted as a result of the Reorganization.

 

9

 

 

THE BOARD, ON BEHALF OF THE TARGET FUND, UNANIMOUSLY

RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE TO APPROVE THE PLAN.

 

COMPARISONS OF SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THE FUNDS

 

Are there any significant differences between the investment objectives, policies and strategies of the Funds?

 

The Target Fund and Acquiring Fund have identical investment objectives. The Target Fund and Acquiring Fund employ substantially similar principal investment strategies in seeking to achieve their objectives. As noted below, the main difference between the Funds’ principal investment strategies is that the Acquiring Fund may not purchase stock market index futures in order to equitize cash (i.e., to gain exposure to the U.S. equity market).

 

Investment Objectives and Strategies

 

Each Fund seeks to provide long-term total return on capital, primarily through capital appreciation, but also some income.

 

Each Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in blue-chip stocks, while seeking to minimize the distribution of capital gains and minimize costs, and through some income almost exclusively derived from dividends paid by companies held in each Fund’s portfolio. Under normal circumstances, each Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) in blue-chip stocks as determined at the time of purchase. For purposes of each Fund’s investments, Bridgeway, as adviser to the Target Fund and as sub-adviser to the Acquiring Fund, considers “blue-chip stocks” to be stocks issued by the largest 150 U.S. companies as defined by market capitalization. These stocks tend to be well-known and established companies. As of June 30, 2022, the stocks in this group generally had a market capitalization of more than $46.6 billion. As of June 30, 2022, approximately 100% of the Target Fund’s net assets were invested this way.

 

Bridgeway selects stocks within the blue-chip category using a model-driven statistical approach. The statistical approach was developed utilizing academic theory and incorporates logic, data, and evidence. Each Fund invests in securities in the blue-chip category that are selected by the proprietary model that primarily uses market capitalization ranking to establish a portfolio with reasonable industry diversification as determined by Bridgeway and excluding any tobacco companies. This process typically results in a portfolio of approximately 35 securities. At times, however, each Fund may hold more or fewer stocks as a result of corporate actions such as spin-offs or mergers and acquisitions. Although each Fund seeks investments across a number of sectors, from time to time, based on portfolio positioning, each Fund may have significant positions in particular sectors.

 

Concurrently, Bridgeway’s proprietary analysis is also applied to refine the weightings of the securities themselves. While each stock is roughly equally weighted in the Fund, the individual weights may be tailored according to environmental, social, and governance analysis (“ESG”) as described below.

 

Bridgeway’s investment process incorporates material ESG information as a consideration in the ongoing assessment of all potential portfolio securities. Bridgeway uses ESG research and/or ratings information provided by third parties in performing this analysis and considering ESG risks. As with any consideration used in assessing portfolio securities, Bridgeway may, at times, utilize ESG information to increase the weighting of an issuer with a good ESG record or decrease the weighting of an issuer with a poor ESG record. However, as ESG information is just one investment consideration, ESG considerations are not solely determinative in any investment decision made by Bridgeway.

 

The Target Fund, but not the Acquiring Fund, may purchase stock market index futures in order to equitize cash (i.e., to gain exposure to the U.S. equity market). ETFs are not required to redeem shares directly from retail shareholders and as a result, the Acquiring Fund generally does not have to maintain a certain level of cash in order to maintain liquidity for redemptions, which may give the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio managers more flexibility to keep the portfolio more fully invested than a typical mutual fund.

 

10

 

 

Investment Policies and Restrictions

 

The Target Fund and Acquiring Fund have adopted similar fundamental investment policies and restrictions regarding borrowing money, acting as underwriter, making loans, purchasing or selling real estate or physical commodities, issuing senior securities, concentrating in an industry, and operating as a diversified fund as defined by the 1940 Act. The Target Fund has adopted additional fundamental investment restrictions regarding the purchase of derivatives, the purchase of securities on margin, and the purchase of investments for the purpose of exercising control or management. Any differences between the Target Fund and Acquiring Fund fundamental investment policies and restrictions will not result in any material differences in the management between the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund.

 

For more information about the investment objectives, strategies and policies of the Funds please see the section entitled “COMPARISONS OF INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS” in this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

How do the principal investment risks of the Funds compare?

 

An investment in each Fund involves risks common to most U.S. large capitalization equity funds. You could lose money by investing in either Fund. Because the investment policies of the Funds are substantially identical, the Funds have substantially similar principal investment risks. The Funds have in common the principal investment risks of Blue-Chip Stocks Risk, Inflation Risk, Sector Risk, Focus Investing Risk, Management and Operational Risk, and Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing Risk. The Acquiring Fund is subject to the following additional risks unique to operating as an ETF: Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk, Premium Discount Risk, Cost of Trading Risk, and Trading Risk. The Acquiring Fund is subject to Investment Risk, Equity Investing Risk, and Statistical Approach Risk, which the Target Fund is also generally subject to except that these risks are described differently in the Target Fund Prospectus. Additionally, the Acquiring Fund is also subject to Information Technology Sector Risk based on the Fund’s expected allocation in the information technology sector. The Target Fund, but not the Acquiring Fund, is subject to Capital Gains Risk as a principal risk and Derivatives Risk. Derivatives Risk is not applicable to the ETF structure of the Acquiring Fund because the Acquiring Fund generally does not have to maintain a certain level of cash in order to maintain liquidity for redemptions.

 

For more information about the principal risks of the Funds, please see the section “COMPARISONS OF INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS – What are the principal investment risks associated with investments in the Funds?

 

What are the purchase procedures of the Funds?

 

Shares of each Fund are sold without a sales charge. Unlike the Target Fund, shares of the Acquiring Fund are not purchased at NAV directly with the Acquiring Fund. The Acquiring Fund will issue (or redeem) shares at NAV only to certain financial institutions that have entered into agreements with the Acquiring Fund’s distributor in large, aggregated blocks known as “Creation Units.” A Creation Unit of the Acquiring Fund consists of a specified number of shares as stated in the Acquiring Fund’s Prospectus. Creation Units are generally issued (or redeemed) in kind for securities (and an amount of cash) that the Acquiring Fund specifies each day at the NAV next determined after receipt of an order.

 

The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund have different procedures for the purchase of shares. Shares of the Target Fund are sold on a continuous basis at NAV by the Distributor. Shares of the Target Fund may be purchased directly through its transfer agent and through other authorized financial intermediaries. All initial investments must be made by check or wire, and additional investments may be made by check, wire, or ACH. The Target Fund requires a minimum investment of $2,000. Some retirement plans may have lower minimum initial investment. Certain exemptions apply as set forth in the Target Fund’s prospectus. See the Target Fund’s prospectus for more details. Acquiring Fund Shares may only be purchased on the NYSE, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market prices. Shares of the Acquiring Fund can be bought during the day like shares of other publicly traded companies. Buying Acquiring Fund Shares on an exchange involves certain costs. When buying shares through a financial intermediary, you may incur brokerage or other charges determined by your financial intermediary, although ETFs trade with no transaction fees (NTF) on many platforms. In addition, a shareholder of the Acquiring Fund may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares (ask) when buying shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Because Acquiring Fund Shares trade at market prices rather than at NAV, Acquiring Fund Shares may trade at a price less than (discount) or greater than (premium) the Acquiring Fund’s NAV. The trading prices of Acquiring Fund Shares in the secondary market will fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on the supply and demand for Acquiring Fund Shares and securities of the companies held by the Acquiring Fund, economic conditions and other factors, rather than the Acquiring Fund’s NAV, which is calculated at the end of each business day.

 

11

 

 

Holders of shares of the Target Fund will not be assessed a front-end sales charge or CDSC in connection with the Reorganization. Additional information and specific instructions explaining how to buy shares of each Fund are outlined in each Fund’s prospectus under the heading “Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares.”

 

Share purchases of the Target Fund may no longer be permitted approximately one week prior to the Reorganization. Investors should check the Bridgeway Funds’ website (bridgewayfunds.com) for further information.

 

What are the redemption procedures and exchange privileges of the Funds?

 

The Funds have different features for redeeming and exchanging shares.

 

The Target Fund processes redemption orders promptly, and shareholders will generally receive redemption proceeds within a week. Delays of up to 7 days may occur in cases of very large redemptions, excessive trading or during unusual market conditions. Redemption orders received in proper form by the close of the regular session of trading on the NYSE, generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, are processed at that day’s NAV. Redemption orders received after the close of the regular session of trading on the NYSE are processed at the NAV determined on the following business day. See the Target Fund’s prospectus for more details. The Acquiring Fund will redeem shares at NAV only in Creation Units, and shares generally may only be sold on exchanges and other trading platforms, as explained above in the section titled “What are the purchase procedures of the Funds?

 

Shareholders of the Target Fund may sell their shares and buy shares of another Bridgeway Fund by making a request in writing or by telephone (unless you declined telephone privileges on your account application). Exchange purchases are subject to the same minimum and subsequent investment levels as new accounts and to fund closing commitments. Because exchanges are treated as a sale and purchase for tax purposes, they are taxable transactions. See the Target Fund’s prospectus for more details. As an ETF, the Acquiring Fund does not provide for the exchange of shares.

 

Who manages the Funds?

 

The oversight of the operations of the Target Fund is the responsibility of the Board, and the management of the business of the Acquiring Fund is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees of the ETF Trust (the “ETF Trust Board”). The Board and the ETF Trust Board each elect officers, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the respective Fund.

 

Investment Manager of Target Fund. Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (“Bridgeway”), 20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450, Houston, Texas 77046, serves as investment manager and provides certain administrative and oversight services to the Target Fund.

 

Investment Manager of Acquiring Fund. Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers (“EA Advisers”), 19 East Eagle Road Havertown, PA 19083 serves as investment manager and provides certain administrative and oversight services to the Acquiring Fund. EA Advisers is wholly-owned by Alpha Architect LLC. EA Advisers selects the Acquiring Fund’s sub-adviser, oversees the sub-adviser’s management of the Acquiring Fund, provides trading, execution and various other administrative services and supervises the overall daily affairs of the Acquiring Fund.

 

Manager of Managers Structure

 

EA Advisers and the ETF Trust have received an exemptive order (the “Order”) from the SEC that allows the Acquiring Fund to operate in a “manager of managers” structure whereby EA Advisers can appoint and replace unaffiliated sub-advisers, and enter into, amend and terminate sub-advisory agreements with such sub-advisers, each subject to ETF Trust Board approval, but without obtaining prior shareholder approval (“Manager of Managers Structure”). The Acquiring Fund will, however, inform shareholders of the hiring of any new sub-adviser within 90 days after the hiring. The Order provides the Acquiring Fund with greater flexibility and efficiency by preventing the Acquiring Fund from incurring the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of such sub-advisory agreements.

 

The use of the Manager of Managers Structure with respect to the Acquiring Fund is subject to certain conditions that are set forth in the Order. Under the Manager of Managers Structure, EA Advisers has the ultimate responsibility, subject to oversight by the ETF Trust Board, to oversee sub-advisers and recommend their hiring, termination and replacement. EA Advisers will also, subject to the review and approval of the ETF Trust Board: set the Acquiring Fund’s overall investment strategy; evaluate, select and recommend sub-advisers to manage all or a portion of the Acquiring Fund’s assets; and implement procedures reasonably designed to ensure that each sub-adviser complies with the Acquiring Fund’s investment goal, policies and restrictions. Subject to review by the ETF Trust Board, EA Advisers will allocate and, when appropriate, reallocate the Acquiring Fund’s assets among sub-advisers and monitor and evaluate the sub-advisers’ performance.

 

12

 

 

Sub-Adviser to the Acquiring Fund. Bridgeway serves as the sub-adviser to the Acquiring Fund. As sub-adviser, Bridgeway, subject to EA Advisers’ overall supervision, provides the day-to-day management of the Fund’s investments.

 

Bridgeway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BCM Scorp Holdco, Inc., a Texas corporation, which is controlled by John N. R. Montgomery. John is also a Director and Vice President of Bridgeway Funds and a Portfolio Manager on all of the Bridgeway Funds, including the Target Fund.

 

Fund Management Team. The portfolio managers have responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Funds and operate as a team to develop ideas and implement investment strategy for each Fund. The day-to-day portfolio management of each Fund is the responsibility of Bridgeway. The portfolio managers of the Acquiring Fund will be the same as the portfolio managers for the Target Fund.

 

The portfolio managers responsible for the day-to-day management of the Target Fund and Acquiring Fund are John Montgomery, Elena Khoziaeva, Christine Wang, and Michael Whipple.

 

John Montgomery is the Chief Investment Officer for Bridgeway and Portfolio Manager for the Funds. John founded Bridgeway in 1993 and has worked at Bridgeway since its inception. He holds a BS in Engineering and a BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College and graduate degrees from MIT and Harvard Business School.

 

Elena Khoziaeva, CFA, is a Portfolio Manager and began working at Bridgeway in 1998. Her responsibilities include portfolio management, investment research, and statistical modeling. Elena earned a Bachelor of Economic Sciences degree from Belarussian State Economic University in Minsk and graduated with highest honors from the University of Houston with an MBA in accounting.

 

Christine L. Wang, CFA, CPA, is a Portfolio Manager and began working for Bridgeway in 2008. Her responsibilities include portfolio management, investment research, and statistical modeling. Christine holds an MS in Accounting from the University of Virginia and a BA in Sociology and Managerial Studies from Rice University. Christine is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Texas. Prior to joining Bridgeway, Christine worked in public accounting with a focus on energy trading and risk management from 2004 to 2008.

 

Michael Whipple, CFA, FRM, is a Portfolio Manager and began working at Bridgeway in 2002. His responsibilities include portfolio management, investment research, and statistical modeling. He holds a BS in Accountancy and Finance from Miami University in Ohio. Michael worked in public accounting with a focus on auditing from 1993 to 2000 before attending the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 2000 to 2002, where he earned his MBA.

 

The SAI for the Target Fund dated October 31, 2021, (the “Target Fund SAI”) and the SAI for the Acquiring Fund dated August 11, 2022 (the “Acquiring Fund SAI”), provide additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers, and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Funds. For information on how to obtain a copy of the Target Fund SAI and the Acquiring Fund SAI, please see the section entitled “INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS.”

 

What are the Funds’ investment management fee rates?

 

The investment management fee paid to Bridgeway, with respect to the Target Fund is equal to an annual rate of 0.08% of the Target Fund’s average daily net assets. Bridgeway is contractually obligated to waive fees and/or pay Target Fund expenses, if necessary, to ensure that the Target Fund’s net expenses do not exceed 0.15%. Fees and expenses attributable to investments in other funds (i.e., “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses”) are not included in the expense limitation. This expense limitation cannot be changed or eliminated without Target Fund shareholder approval. Bridgeway is responsible for the investment and reinvestment of the Target Fund’s assets and provides personnel and certain administrative services for the operation of the Funds’ daily business affairs.

 

EA Advisers will serve as investment manager to the Acquiring Fund. The Acquiring Fund will pay EA Advisers an advisory fee equal to an annual rate of 0.15% of the Acquiring Fund’s average daily net assets (the “Advisory Fee”). The Advisory Fee is a unitary management fee. Under the Advisory Agreement, EA Advisers bears all of the costs of the Acquiring Fund, except for the Advisory Fee, payments under the Acquiring Fund’s Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plan, brokerage expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes (including tax-related services), interest (including borrowing costs), litigation expenses (including class action-related services) and other non-routine or extraordinary expenses (including litigation to which the ETF Trust or the Acquiring Fund may be a party and indemnification of the Board of Trustees and officers of the ETF Trust with respect thereto).

 

13

 

 

EA Advisers is entitled to receive the following advisory fee, expressed as an annual rate as a percentage of average daily net assets:

 

Fund Contractual Rate
EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF 0.15% on the first $3 billion
  0.13% on the next $7 billion
  0.12% on the next $10 billion
  0.11% on assets above $20 billion

 

EA Advisers has entered into a fund sponsorship agreement with Bridgeway pursuant to which Bridgeway is also the sponsor of the Fund (“Fund Sponsor”). Under this arrangement, the Fund Sponsor has agreed to provide financial support to the Acquiring Fund (as described below) and, in turn, EA Advisers has agreed to share with the Fund Sponsor a portion of profits, if any, generated by the Acquiring Fund’s Advisory Fee (also as described below). If the amount of the unitary management fee exceeds the Acquiring Fund’s operating expenses and EA Advisers-retained amount, EA Advisers pays the net total to the Fund Sponsor. The amount paid to the Fund Sponsor represents both the sub-advisory fee and any remaining profits from the Advisory Fee. During months where there are no profits or the funds are not sufficient to cover the entire sub-advisory fee, the sub-advisory fee is automatically waived. If the amount of the unitary management fee is less than the Acquiring Fund’s operating expenses and EA Advisers-retained amount, Fund Sponsor is obligated to reimburse EA Advisers for the shortfall.

 

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, the Target Fund paid Bridgeway a net fee after waivers and expense reimbursements of $0 for its management services provided. Because the Acquiring Fund has not yet commenced operations, no management or other fees have been paid to EA Advisers.

 

What are the fees and expenses of each Fund and what might they be after the Reorganization?

 

Shareholders of the Funds pay various fees and expenses, either directly or indirectly. The tables below show the fees and expenses that you would pay if you were to buy, hold or sell shares of each Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below. The fees and expenses in the tables appearing below are based on the expenses of the Target Fund for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021 and the anticipated expenses of the Acquiring Fund during its first year of operation. The tables also show the pro forma expenses of the Acquiring Fund after giving effect to the Reorganization, based on pro forma net assets as of March 31, 2022. Pro forma numbers are estimated in good faith and are hypothetical. Actual expenses may vary significantly. You will not pay any sales load, CDSC, brokerage commission, redemption fee, or other transaction fee in connection with the receipt of Acquiring Fund Shares in the Reorganization.

 

14

 

 

ANNUAL OPERATING EXPENSE TABLE FOR SHARES OF THE TARGET FUND

AND PROJECTED FEES FOR THE ACQUIRING FUND AFTER THE REORGANIZATION*

 

SHAREHOLDER FEES (paid directly from your investment) Target Fund

Pro Forma

Acquiring Fund

Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Purchases None None
Sales Charge (Load) Imposed on Reinvested Dividends None None
Redemption Fees None None
Exchange Fees None None

 

ANNUAL FUND
OPERATING EXPENSES
Target Fund

Pro Forma

Acquiring Fund

Management fees 0.08% 0.15%
Distribution and service (12b-1) fees None 0.00%
Other expenses 0.16% 0.00%2
Total annual Fund operating expenses 0.24% 0.15%
Fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement1 (0.09%) --
Total annual Fund operating expenses after fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement 0.15% 0.15%

 

* Expense ratios reflect annual fund operating expenses for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021 (as disclosed in the Target Fund’s current prospectus) of the Target Fund. The Acquiring Fund is newly organized and therefore has not yet had any operations as of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Pro forma numbers are calculated using information for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2022, assumes that the Reorganization occurred on April 1, 2021, and does not include the estimated costs of the Reorganization. The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund will not bear any Reorganization costs (excluding brokerage costs, if any).

 

1 Bridgeway, the investment adviser to the Target Fund pursuant to its Management Agreement with Bridgeway Funds, is contractually obligated to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses, if necessary, to ensure that net expenses do not exceed 0.15%. Fees and expenses attributable to investments in other funds (i.e., “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses”) are not included in the expense limitation. The expense limitation cannot be changed or eliminated without shareholder approval.

 

2 Other Expenses are estimated for the current fiscal year. The Target Fund charges a management fee and any remaining Fund expenses are paid by the Target Fund, which are reflected as “Other Expenses.” Total expenses of the Target Fund are subject to an overall annual expense limitation. The Acquiring Fund charges a unitary fee and Acquiring Fund expenses are paid from the unitary fee. “Other Expenses” of the Acquiring Fund are estimated to be 0.00% for the first fiscal year because the Acquiring Fund does not reasonably estimate that the Fund will incur any expenses that are not otherwise paid for by the unitary management fee.

 

15

 

 

Example

 

These examples are intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Target Fund Shares with the cost of investing in the Acquiring Fund Shares, both before and after the Reorganization. The example assumes:

 

  You invest $10,000 in the Target Fund and in the Acquiring Fund for the periods shown;
     
  Your investment has a 5% return each year and the Funds’ operating expenses remain the same (except that any applicable fee waiver or expense reimbursement is reflected only through its expiration date);
     
  You reinvest all distributions and dividends without a sales charge;

 

Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

  1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Target Fund – (with or without redemption at end of period) $15 $48 $85 $192
Pro Forma – Acquiring Fund (assuming the Reorganization is completed)* $15 $48 $85 $192

 

* The expense example reflects annual fund operating expenses for the most recent fiscal year (as disclosed in the Target Fund’s current prospectuses) of the Target Fund. The Acquiring Fund is newly organized and therefore has not yet had any operations as of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Pro forma numbers are estimated as if the Reorganization had been completed as of April 1, 2021 and reflect the expense ratio for the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2022, and do not include the estimated costs of the Reorganization. The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund will not bear any Reorganization costs (excluding brokerage costs, if any).

 

How do the performance records of the Funds compare?

 

The Acquiring Fund is a newly formed “shell” fund that has not yet commenced operations, and therefore, has no performance history as of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. The Acquiring Fund has been organized solely in connection with the Reorganization to acquire the assets and assume the liabilities of the Target Fund and continue the business of the Target Fund, except that the Acquiring Fund will operate as an ETF instead of a mutual fund, subject to a new investment advisory agreement. After the Reorganization, the Target Fund will remain the “accounting survivor” and, as a result, the Acquiring Fund will continue to show the historical investment performance and returns of the Target Fund.

 

The historical performance of the Target Fund, as it is to be adopted by the Acquiring Fund, is included in the Acquiring Fund’s Prospectus that accompanies this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

The average annual total returns for Target Fund shares before and after taxes, as of June 30, 2022, are shown below.

 

Average Annual Total Returns 1 Year 5 Years 10 Years
Target Fund      
Return Before Taxes (9.32%) 11.29% 12.41%
Return After Taxes on Distributions (12.64%) 8.06% 10.49%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares (2.35%) 8.83% 10.16%
S&P 500® Index (reflects no deductions for fees, expenses or taxes) (Performance Benchmark for the Target Fund) (10.62%) 11.31% 12.96%

 

 

* After-tax returns are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown. Return After Taxes on Distribution and Sale of Fund Shares may be higher than other returns for the same period due to a potential tax benefit of realizing a capital loss upon the sale of Fund shares. After-tax returns shown are not relevant to investors who hold their Fund shares through tax-advantaged arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement plans.

 

The Target Fund’s past performance is not necessarily an indication of how the Funds will perform in the future. You can obtain updated performance information at bridgewayfunds.com or by calling 800-661-3550.

 

16

 

 

Where can I find more financial and performance information about the Target Fund?

 

Attached as Exhibit B below are the financial highlights tables of the Target Fund. The Target Fund’s Prospectus, the Target Fund’s Annual Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, and the Target Fund’s Semi-Annual Report for the period ended December 31, 2021, contain additional financial and performance information about the Target Fund. The documents are available free of charge upon request (see the section “INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS”). The Acquiring Fund is new and has no performance history as of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. The Acquiring Fund will adopt the financial history of the Target Fund following the Reorganization.

 

What are other key features of the Funds?

 

Service Providers. While the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund use different service providers, the Funds receive substantially the same services from their respective service providers. As indicated below, the Funds use the following service providers:

 

  Custodian. The Bank of New York Mellon, 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, is custodian of all securities and cash of the Target Fund. U.S. Bank National Association, 1555 North Rivercenter Drive, Suite 302, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212, serves as custodian of the Acquiring Fund’s securities and other assets.
     
  Fund Administration, Fund Accounting Services and Transfer Agent. The Bank of New York Mellon, 301 Bellevue Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19809 provides various administrative and accounting services to the Target Fund. BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc., 103 Bellevue Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19809 acts as transfer agent for the Target Fund. U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, 615 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202 is the administrator, fund accountant and transfer agent for the Acquiring Fund.
     
  Distributor. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, Maine 04101 is the distributor of the shares of the Target Fund. Quasar Distributors, LLC, 111 E. Kilbourn Ave, Suite 2200, Milwaukee, WI 53202, is the distributor of Creation Units for the Acquiring Fund.
     
  Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. BBD, LLP, 1835 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, serves as the Target Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. Cohen & Company, Ltd., 342 North Water Street, Suite 830, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the Acquiring Fund’s independent registered accounting firm. The independent registered public accounting firm for each Fund audits the financial statements included in each Fund’s Annual Report to Shareholders.

 

Distribution and Service (12b-1) Fees. The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund have adopted distribution plans pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (each a “Rule 12b-1 plan”). Under a Rule 12b-1 plan, the Funds may pay their respective distributor or others for the expenses of activities that are primarily intended to sell Acquiring Fund or Target Fund Shares.

 

The Target Fund 12b-1 plan. The Target Fund is subject to a Rule 12b-1 Plan that permits Bridgeway to pay up to 0.25% of the Target Fund’s average daily assets for sales and distribution of shares of the Target Fund. In this plan, the Adviser agreed to pay directly all distribution costs associated with Target Fund shares. Target Fund shareholders therefore pay no 12b-1 fees.

 

The ETF Trust 12b-1 plan. The Acquiring Fund is subject to a Rule 12b-1 Plan, under which the Acquiring Fund may be authorized to pay distribution fees of up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year to the Acquiring Fund’s distributor and other firms that provide distribution and shareholder services. In the event 12b-1 fees are charged, over time they would increase the cost of an investment in the Acquiring Fund because they would be paid on an ongoing basis. As of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, the maximum amount payable under the Acquiring Fund’s 12b-1 Plan is set at 0% until further action by the ETF Trust’s Board.

 

Fiscal Years. Each Fund has a fiscal/tax year end of June 30.

 

17

 

 

Dividends and Distributions. Each Fund generally pays dividends and distributes capital gains, if any, once in December and at such other times as are necessary. The Fund may distribute income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on a Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee a Fund will pay either income dividends or capital gain distributions. Your income dividends and capital gain distributions from the Target Fund will be automatically reinvested in additional shares at NAV unless you elect to receive them in cash. Your income dividends and capital gain distributions from the Acquiring Fund may be automatically reinvested in additional whole Acquiring Fund Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased the shares makes such option available.

 

Tax. The tax implications of an investment in each Fund are generally the same. However, the Acquiring Fund, as an ETF, may present certain tax efficiencies for investors over the Target Fund, which is a mutual fund. ETFs typically redeem their shares with in-kind distributions of assets, and they typically do not recognize capital gains on the in-kind redemption of their shares. The Acquiring Fund will typically create and redeem Creation Units on an in-kind basis, thereby minimizing the Acquiring Fund’s recognition of gains with respect to any appreciated securities it redeems in kind. In contrast, when portfolio securities are sold within the Target Fund, the sale can cause the recognition of capital gains within the Target Fund that generally would cause a taxable distribution to all of its shareholders—even if the shareholders may have an unrealized loss on their overall investment in the Target Fund. As a result, shareholders of the Acquiring Fund may pay less in taxes while they hold shares of the Acquiring Fund than they would if they held similar investments in the Target Fund. For more information about the tax implications of investments in the Funds, see the Target Fund Prospectus under the heading “Dividends, other distributions and taxes,” and the Acquiring Fund Prospectus under the heading “Distributions and Taxes.”

 

REASONS FOR THE REORGANIZATION

 

Before approving the Reorganization, the directors who are deemed to be independent Directors of the Board (each, an “Independent Director” and, collectively, the “Independent Directors”) under the 1940 Act, had multiple meetings with representatives of Bridgeway and with their counsel outside the presence of Bridgeway to discuss matters related to the Reorganization.

 

At a meeting held on February 12, 2020, representatives of Bridgeway provided a presentation to the Independent Directors that, among other things, compared mutual funds and ETFs, highlighting the benefits offered by each type of investment vehicle; summarized the ETF market generally; and described how ETFs operated and how a conversion of a mutual fund to an ETF might be accomplished.

 

At a meeting held on November 11, 2021, representatives of Bridgeway discussed a potential proposal to convert one or more series of the Bridgeway Funds to ETFs. They indicated that they were evaluating the impact a conversion might have on existing shareholders, how a conversion might be accomplished and alternatives to ETF conversions. After responding to various questions from the Independent Directors, Bridgeway agreed to preview any proposal with the Independent Directors in advance of the meeting at which they would be asked to take formal action to allow the Independent Directors sufficient time to discuss any proposal with management and their legal counsel.

 

At a meeting held on January 27, 2022, representatives of Bridgeway held a meeting with the Independent Directors to discuss Bridgeway’s current thinking on converting one or more series of the Bridgeway Funds into ETFs at some point in the future, subject to the Board’s approval. During that meeting, representatives of Bridgeway discussed, among other things, the current ETF market, developments since February 2020, management’s actions to date to evaluate possible fund-to-ETF conversions and various items that needed to be addressed before Bridgeway decided whether to make a formal recommendation to the Board. Representatives of Bridgeway also addressed either prior to or at that meeting certain questions that counsel to the Independent Directors had provided in advance of the meeting concerning proposed fund-to-ETF conversions.

 

18

 

 

At a meeting held on February 10, 2022, representatives of Bridgeway continued their discussion with the Independent Directors concerning the potential conversion of one or more series of the Bridgeway Funds into ETFs. During that meeting, representatives of EA Advisers provided an overview of their firm and the ETF Trust. The representatives of EA Advisers responded to questions from the Independent Directors.

 

At a meeting held on May 12, 2022, Bridgeway presented the Plan to the Board and provided the Board with data and analysis regarding the Reorganization. Based on the considerations described below, the Board, including the Independent Directors, determined that the Reorganization would be in the best interests of the Target Fund and that the interests of the Target Fund’s existing shareholders would not be diluted as a result of the Reorganization. At that meeting, the Board considered various factors, including those set forth below.

 

  The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund have identical investment objectives and substantially similar principal investment strategies.

 

  The portfolio management team from Bridgeway that currently manages the Target Fund would be primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Acquiring Fund.

 

  The total net annual fund operating expenses of the Acquiring Fund are expected to be the same as those of the Target Fund.

 

  The risks associated with owning shares of the Acquiring Fund are substantially similar to the risks associated with owning shares of the Target Fund, with some exceptions, including certain ETF specific risks.

 

  The net assets of the Target Fund over the past ten years and the greater potential for the Acquiring Fund to increase its assets over time compared to the Target Fund.

 

  The terms and conditions of the Plan, including the Acquiring Fund’s assumption of the assets and liabilities of the Target Fund.

 

  The Reorganization would be structured to be a tax-free reorganization for federal income tax purposes.

 

  The costs of the Reorganization, excluding any brokerage costs, would be borne by the Bridgeway and EA Advisers and not by the Target Fund or Acquiring Fund.

 

  The potential benefits of the Reorganization, including operational efficiencies, that may be achieved from the Reorganization.

 

  The benefits of the ETF structure, including increased flexibility to buy and sell shares at current market prices, the transparency of portfolio holdings as well as tax advantages of the ETF structure.

 

  The Target Fund shareholders will receive Acquiring Fund Shares with the same aggregate NAV as their Target Fund Shares (adjusted for distributions to redeem fractional shares, if any).

 

  After the Reorganization, the Acquiring Fund shareholders will be able to purchase and sell shares throughout the trading day at the then-prevailing market prices on the NYSE.

 

  The alternatives available to the shareholders of the Target Fund, including the ability to redeem or exchange their shares.

 

19

 

 

The Board considered the potential benefits afforded by the ETF structure, such as the potential for greater economies of scale that over time could potentially lead to a lower expense ratio for the Acquiring Fund.

 

In deciding whether to recommend approval of the Proposal to shareholders of the Target Fund, the Board also considered the fees, expense caps and expense ratios of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund.

 

Bridgeway informed the Board that the Reorganization would be structured as a tax-free reorganization for federal income tax purposes. Bridgeway also informed the Board that Bridgeway and EA Advisers would bear the costs of the Reorganization, which would include proxy solicitation costs but would exclude brokerage costs, if any.

 

The Board noted that the Reorganization would not result in the dilution of the interests of the Target Fund’s shareholders, because the value of the Target Fund’s assets would be calculated using the Target Fund’s valuation procedures, which do not differ from the Acquiring Fund’s valuation procedures, and all of the Target Fund’s shareholders would receive shares of the Acquiring Fund that are equal in total value to the shares of the Target Fund they hold immediately before the Reorganization (adjusted for distributions to redeem fractional shares, if any). Therefore, Bridgeway noted to the Board that the Reorganization would not result in any dilution of the interests of the existing shareholders of the Target Fund.

 

The Board noted that the Reorganization would permit shareholders continued exposure to the investment strategies of the Target Fund. The Board also noted that the Reorganization has the potential over time to lead to economies of scale that might lead to lower annual fund operating expenses for the Acquiring Fund. For the foregoing reasons, Bridgeway noted that the Reorganization would be in the best interests of the Target Fund and its shareholders.

 

The Board approved the Plan, concluding that the Reorganization is in the best interests of the Target Fund, and that the interests of existing shareholders of the Target Fund would not be diluted as a result of the Reorganization. The Board, including a majority of the Independent Directors, approved the Plan and made the foregoing determinations.

 

20

 

 

FOR THE REASONS DISCUSSED ABOVE, THE BOARD,
ON BEHALF OF THE TARGET FUND, UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS
THAT YOU VOTE “FOR” THE PLAN

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE REORGANIZATION

 

This is only a summary of the Plan. You should read the Plan, which is attached as Exhibit A, for more complete information about the Reorganization.

 

How will the Reorganization be carried out?

 

If the shareholders of the Target Fund approve the Plan, the Reorganization will be completed after various conditions are satisfied, including the preparation of certain documents. If the shareholders of the Target Fund do not approve the Plan, the Reorganization will not take place. The Target Fund will continue to operate as it currently does, and the Board of the Target Fund will consider such other actions as it deems necessary or appropriate.

 

If the Plan is approved by the Target Fund’s shareholders, any fractional shares held by shareholders will be redeemed, and the Target Fund will distribute the redemption proceeds to those shareholders. The redemption of shareholders’ fractional shares will generally be a taxable event for such shareholders and those shareholders are encouraged to consult their tax advisors to determine the effect of any such redemption.

 

On the closing date, which is scheduled to occur on or about October 14, 2022 (the “Closing Date”), but which may occur on an earlier or later date as the officers of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund may mutually agree, the Target Fund will transfer substantially all of its assets, free and clear of all liens, encumbrances, and claims whatsoever (except for liens or encumbrances that do not materially detract from the value or use of the Target Fund’s assets), to the Acquiring Fund and the Acquiring Fund will assume all liabilities of the Target Fund. In exchange, the Acquiring Fund will issue Acquiring Fund Shares that have an aggregate NAV equal to the dollar value of the net assets delivered to the Acquiring Fund by Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund. Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, will distribute to shareholders the Acquiring Fund Shares it receives. Each shareholder of the Target Fund will receive Acquiring Fund Shares with an aggregate NAV equal to the aggregate NAV of his or her shares of the Target Fund (and, immediately prior to the Reorganization, cash in lieu of fractional shares, if any). The Target Fund will accept requests for redemptions only if received in proper form before 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, on the Closing Date. Shareholders who wish to redeem shares after 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, on the Closing Date will have to sell their shares on an exchange using their brokerage account. The Target Fund will then terminate its existence, liquidate, and dissolve.

 

The obligations under the Plan are subject to various conditions, including, but not limited to:

 

  the Acquiring Fund’s Registration Statement on Form N-14 under the Securities Act of 1933, of which this Proxy Statement/Prospectus is a part, shall have been filed with the SEC, such Registration Statement shall have become effective, no stop-order suspending the effectiveness of the Registration Statement or any amendment or supplement thereto, shall have been issued prior to the Closing Date or shall be in effect at the Closing, and no proceedings for the issuance of such an order shall be pending or threatened on that date;

 

  the shareholders of the Target Fund shall have approved the Reorganization; and

 

  Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the ETF Trust, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, shall have received a tax opinion described further below, that the Reorganization is a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code and generally is not expected to result in the recognition of gain or loss for federal income tax purposes for the Target Fund, the Acquiring Fund or their shareholders.

 

Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the ETF Trust, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, may terminate or abandon the Plan at any time before or after the approval of the Plan by the shareholders of the Target Fund.

 

If the Target Fund’s shareholders do not approve the Reorganization, the Target Fund may consider other alternatives, however, currently, there are no other proposed actions contemplated for the Target Fund. Until any such alternatives are acted upon, the Target Fund would continue its operations as a mutual fund and would be overseen by the Board and managed by Bridgeway.

 

21

 

 

Who will pay the expenses of the Reorganization?

 

The estimated cost of the Reorganization is expected to be approximately $365,000. The cost of the Reorganization, including any costs directly associated with preparing, filing, printing and distributing to the shareholders of the Target Fund all materials relating to the Reorganization as well as the conversion costs associated with the Reorganization (but excluding brokerage costs, which are expected to be minimal, if any), will be borne by Bridgeway, the investment adviser for the Target Fund and sub-adviser for the Acquiring Fund, and EA Advisers, the investment adviser for the Acquiring Fund. Bridgeway and EA Advisers will share the costs of the Reorganization if the Reorganization is not consummated.

 

What should I know about the Acquiring Fund Shares?

 

As discussed above in the sections titled “How do the purchase procedures of the Funds compare?” and “What are the redemption procedures and exchange privileges of the Funds?,” unlike Target Fund Shares which may be purchased and redeemed directly with the Target Fund, Acquiring Fund Shares may only be purchased on the NYSE, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer. Therefore, if you do not have a brokerage account or your shares of the Target Fund are held in an account that cannot accept ETF shares at the time of the Reorganization of the Target Fund, you will be required to open a brokerage account in conjunction with the Reorganization or, alternatively, redeem your shares in the Target Fund. If you do nothing, the Acquiring Fund Shares received by you in the Reorganization will be held by a stock transfer agent, US Bank Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (“Stock Transfer Agent”), until a brokerage account is identified into which the Stock Transfer Agent can transfer the shares. As planned, if the Acquiring Fund Shares are not transferred into a brokerage account within six months of the date of the Reorganization, the Acquiring Fund Shares may be converted to cash and the cash proceeds will be sent to the accountholder of record (subject to applicable federal or state laws, including but not limited to those concerning unclaimed property). The conversion of Acquiring Fund Shares to cash may be subject to fees and expenses and will likely be a taxable event for shareholders who hold their shares in a taxable account.

 

What are the capitalizations of the Funds and what might the Acquiring Fund’s capitalization be after the Reorganization?

 

The following table sets forth as of July 31, 2022, the capitalization of the Target Fund and the projected capitalization of the Acquiring Fund as adjusted to give effect to the proposed Reorganization and assumes that the Reorganization is approved for the Target Fund. At the closing of the Reorganization, shareholders of the Target Fund will receive the Acquiring Fund Shares (and cash in lieu of fractional shares, if any) based on the relative NAVs per shares of the Funds as of 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, on the Closing Date.

 

  Target Fund

Pro Forma- Acquiring Fund after Reorganization

(estimated)

Net Assets $347,683,111 $347,683,1111
Total Shares Outstanding 26,622,700 26,622,7001
Net Asset Value Per Share $13.06 $13.06

 

1 Target Fund will redeem any fractional shares held by shareholders at NAV immediately prior to the Reorganization.

 

22

 

 

COMPARISONS OF INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES AND RISKS

 

This section describes the similarities and the key differences between the investment objectives, principal investment strategies and fundamental policies of the Funds, as well as the principal risks associated with such objectives, strategies and policies. For a complete description of the Acquiring Fund’s investment policies, strategies and risks, you should read the Acquiring Fund Prospectus, which accompanies this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, and the Acquiring Fund SAI, which is available upon request.

 

How do the investment objectives, strategies, policies and risks of the Funds compare?

 

The Target Fund is currently classified as an open-end fund under the 1940 Act (meaning a fund that issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis). As an open-end fund operating as a mutual fund, the Target Fund offers shares that are redeemable on each business day and daily liquidity. The Acquiring Fund is also classified as an open-end fund under the 1940 Act but operates as an ETF. As an ETF, the Acquiring Fund offers shares that are bought and sold on a national securities exchange, which gives investors the ability to buy their shares throughout the day at the current market price (which may be at a premium or discount to NAV).

 

The Target Fund and Acquiring Fund have identical investment objectives and substantially similar principal investment strategies. Each Fund’s investment objective and principal investment strategies are non-fundamental, which means they may be changed at any time by their respective board without shareholder approval and upon notice to shareholders.

 

Investment Objective. Each Fund seeks to provide long-term total return on capital, primarily through capital appreciation, but also some income.

 

Investment Strategies. Each Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in blue-chip stocks, while seeking to minimize the distribution of capital gains and minimize costs, and through some income almost exclusively derived from dividends paid by companies held in each Fund’s portfolio. Under normal circumstances, each Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) in blue-chip stocks as determined at the time of purchase. For purposes of each Fund’s investments, Bridgeway, as adviser to the Target Fund and as sub-adviser to the Acquiring Fund, considers “blue-chip stocks” to be stocks issued by the largest 150 U.S. companies as defined by market capitalization. These stocks tend to be well-known and established companies. As of June 30, 2022, the stocks in this group generally had a market capitalization of more than $46.6 billion. As of June 30, 2022, approximately 100% of the Target Fund’s net assets were invested this way.

 

Bridgeway selects stocks within the blue-chip category using a model-driven statistical approach. The statistical approach was developed utilizing academic theory and incorporates logic, data, and evidence. Securities in the blue-chip category are selected by the proprietary model that primarily uses market capitalization ranking to establish a portfolio with reasonable industry diversification as determined by Bridgeway and excluding any tobacco companies. This process typically results in a portfolio of approximately 35 securities. At times, however, each Fund may hold more or fewer stocks as a result of corporate actions such as spin-offs or mergers and acquisitions. Although each Fund seeks investments across a number of sectors, from time to time, based on portfolio positioning, each Fund may have significant positions in particular sectors.

 

Concurrently, Bridgeway’s proprietary analysis is also applied to refine the weightings of the securities themselves. While each stock is roughly equally weighted in the Fund, the individual weights may be tailored according to environmental, social, and governance analysis (“ESG”) as described below.

 

Bridgeway’s investment process incorporates material ESG information as a consideration in the ongoing assessment of all potential portfolio securities. Bridgeway uses ESG research and/or ratings information provided by third parties in performing this analysis and considering ESG risks. As with any consideration used in assessing portfolio securities, Bridgeway may, at times, utilize ESG information to increase the weighting of an issuer with a good ESG record or decrease the weighting of an issuer with a poor ESG record. However, as ESG information is just one investment consideration, ESG considerations are not solely determinative in any investment decision made by Bridgeway.

 

23

 

 

The Target Fund, but not the Acquiring Fund, may purchase stock market index futures in order to equitize cash (i.e., to gain exposure to the U.S. equity market). ETFs are not required to redeem shares directly from retail shareholders and as a result, the Acquiring Fund generally does not have to maintain a certain level of cash in order to maintain liquidity for redemptions, which may give the Acquiring Fund’s portfolio managers more flexibility to keep the portfolio more fully invested than a typical mutual fund.

 

The Funds have adopted similar fundamental investment restrictions, which may not be changed without prior shareholder approval. In particular, the Funds share fundamental investment restrictions regarding borrowing money, acting as underwriter, making loans, purchasing or selling real estate or physical commodities, issuing senior securities, concentrating in an industry, and operating as a diversified fund as defined by the 1940 Act. However, the Target Fund has adopted additional fundamental investment restrictions regarding the purchase of derivatives, the purchase of securities on margin, and the purchase of investments for the purpose of exercising control or management. Attached as Exhibit D is a chart comparing the fundamental investment restrictions of the Target Fund and Acquiring Fund.

 

What are the principal investment risks associated with investments in the Funds?

 

Like all investments, an investment in each Fund involves risks. There is no assurance that any open-end fund will meet its investment objectives. The achievement of each Fund’s objective depends upon market conditions, generally, and on each Fund’s investment manager’s analytical and portfolio management skills. The risks associated with an investment in the Target Fund and Acquiring Fund are identical, except that the Acquiring Fund is subject to certain risks unique to its operation as an ETF and the Target Fund is subject to certain risks that do not apply to the Acquiring Fund.

 

Each Fund is subject to the following common principal risks:

 

Blue-Chip Stocks Risk—The Funds are subject to the risk that blue-chip stocks will underperform other kinds of investments for a period of time. This risk is true of any market segment. Large companies do not have the same growth potential of smaller companies and shareholders of large companies have less overall influence than they would in smaller companies.

 

Inflation Risk—While large companies tend to exhibit less price volatility than small companies, historically they have not recovered as fast from a market decline. Consequently, the Funds may expose shareholders to higher inflation risk (the risk that the Fund value will not keep up with inflation) than some other stock market investments.

 

Sector Risk—Companies with similar characteristics may be grouped together in broad categories called sectors. A certain sector may underperform other sectors or the market as a whole. As the Adviser or Sub-Adviser allocates more of the Funds” portfolio holdings to a particular sector, each Fund’s performance will be more susceptible to any economic, business or other developments which generally affect that sector.

 

Focus Investing Risk—The Funds seeks to hold the stocks of approximately 35 companies. As a result, each Fund invests a high percentage of its assets in a small number of companies, which may add to Fund volatility.

 

Management and Operational Risk—The Adviser or Sub-Adviser use statistical analyses and models to select investments for the Funds. Any imperfections, errors or limitations in the models or analyses and therefore any decisions made in reliance on such models or analyses could expose each Fund to potential risks. In addition, the models used by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser assume that certain historical statistical relationships will continue. These models are constructed based on historical data supplied by third parties and, as a result, the success of relying on such models may depend heavily on the accuracy and reliability of the supplied historical data.

 

Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing Risk—The Funds’ incorporation of ESG considerations in its investment strategy may cause it to make different investments than a fund that has a similar investment style but does not incorporate such considerations in its strategy. As with the use of any considerations involved in investment decisions, there is no guarantee that the ESG investment considerations used by the Funds will result in the selection of issuers that will outperform other issuers or help reduce risk in the Funds. The Funds may underperform funds that do not incorporate these considerations.

 

The Acquiring Fund, but not the Target Fund, is subject to the following principal risk due to the Fund’s expected allocation in the information technology sector:

 

24

 

 

Information Technology Sector Risk—The information technology sector includes companies engaged in internet software and services, technology hardware and storage peripherals, electronic equipment and components, and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face rapid product obsolescence due to technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Failure to introduce new products, develop and maintain a loyal customer base or achieve general market acceptance for their products could have a material adverse effect on a company’s business. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on intellectual property and the loss of patent, copyright or trademark protections may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.

 

The Acquiring Fund is subject to the following risks unique to its operation as an ETF:

 

Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk—The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants (“APs”). In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

Premium-Discount Risk—The Shares may trade above or below their net asset value (“NAV”). The market prices of Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of, and demand for, Shares on the NYSE or other securities exchanges. The trading price of Shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility or limited trading activity in Shares.

 

Cost of Trading Risk—Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares.

 

Trading Risk—Although the Shares are listed on the NYSE, there can be no assurance that an active or liquid trading market for them will develop or be maintained. In addition, trading in Shares on the NYSE may be halted. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of the Fund’s Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of its underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than the Fund’s Shares, potentially causing the market price of the Fund’s Shares to deviate from its NAV.

 

In addition, the Acquiring Fund is subject to the following risks, which the Target Fund is also generally subject to except that these risks are described differently in the Target Fund Prospectus:

 

Investment Risk—When you sell your Shares of the Fund, they could be worth less than what you paid for them. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular industry or group of industries. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Therefore, you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

Equity Investing Risk—An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund holding equity securities, such as market fluctuations, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock prices. The values of equity securities could decline generally or could underperform other investments. In addition, securities may decline in value due to factors affecting a specific issuer, market or securities markets generally.

 

25

 

 

Statistical Approach—The Sub-Adviser uses a statistical approach to manage the Funds and resists overriding the statistical models with qualitative or subjective data. However, the Sub-Adviser will exclude stocks if the issuer of the stock is principally engaged in the tobacco industry. The Sub-Adviser may also exclude stocks based on certain narrow social reasons including, but not limited to, if the issuer of the stock: (i) conducts or has direct investments in business operations in Sudan; or (ii) is substantially engaged in the production or trade of pornographic material. Other than companies principally engaged in the tobacco industry, the number of companies referenced in (i) and (ii) in the Sub-Adviser’s universe is usually “de minimis.”

 

Furthermore, the Target Fund, but not the Acquiring Fund, is subject to the following principal risks, which, in the case of Derivatives Risk, is not applicable to the Acquiring Fund since the Acquiring Fund, unlike the Target Fund, will not purchase stock market index futures in order to equitize cash (i.e., to gain exposure to the U.S. equity market) because the Acquiring Fund generally does not have to maintain a certain level of cash in order to maintain liquidity for redemptions:

 

Capital Gains Risk—In order to keep each stock roughly equally weighted or if the Target Fund experiences extensive redemptions, the Adviser might need to sell some stocks, which could create capital gains. There can be no guarantee that the Target Fund will not distribute substantial capital gains, although the Adviser seeks to avoid doing so.

 

Derivatives Risk—The Target Fund’s use of futures to equitize cash may increase the volatility of the Fund and, if the transaction is not successful, could result in a loss to the Target Fund. The use of futures could produce disproportionate gains or losses, more than the principal amount invested. Investing in futures involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other traditional investments and, in a down market, could become harder to value or sell at a fair price.

 

For more information about the investment risks associated with investments in the Target Fund, see the Target Fund Prospectus under the heading “Additional Fund Information–Principal Risks” and the Target Fund’s SAI under the heading “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON PORTFOLIO INSTRUMENTS, STRATEGIES, RISKS AND INVESTMENT POLICIES” For more information about the investment risks associated with investments in the Acquiring Fund, see the Acquiring Fund Prospectus under the heading “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND’S RISKS” and the Acquiring Fund’s SAI under the heading “INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE, INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS”

 

26

 

 

FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE REORGANIZATION

 

The following is a general summary of some of the important U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization and is based upon the current provisions of the Code, existing U.S. Treasury Regulations thereunder, current administrative rulings of the IRS and published judicial decisions, all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. These considerations are general in nature and individual shareholders should consult their own tax advisors as to the federal, state, local, and foreign tax considerations applicable to them and their individual circumstances. These same considerations generally do not apply to shareholders who hold their shares in a tax-advantaged account, such as an individual retirement account (IRA) or qualified retirement plan.

 

As a condition of closing the Reorganization, Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the ETF Trust, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, will receive an opinion of Stradley Ronon Stevens Young, LLP (“Stradley Ronon”) to the effect that for federal income tax purposes:

 

  The Reorganization will constitute a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code, and each of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund will be a “party to a reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(b) of the Code, plus, a redemption of fractional shares of the Target Fund immediately before the Closing;
     
  No gain or loss will be recognized by the Target Fund upon the transfer of all the Assets of the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund solely in exchange for shares of the Acquiring Fund and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all the Liabilities of the Target Fund, or upon the distribution of the shares of the Acquiring Fund to the Target Fund Shareholders, except for (A) gain or loss that may be recognized on the transfer of “section 1256 contracts” as defined in Section 1256(b) of the Code, (B) gain that may be recognized on the transfer of stock in a “passive foreign investment company” as defined in Section 1297(a) of the Code, and (C) any other gain or loss that may be required to be recognized upon the transfer of an asset regardless of whether such transfer would otherwise be a non-recognition transaction under the Code;
     
  The tax basis in the hands of the Acquiring Fund of each Asset transferred from the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization will be the same as the tax basis of such Asset in the hands of the Target Fund immediately prior to the transfer thereof, increased by the amount of gain (or decreased by the amount of loss), if any, recognized by the Target Fund on the transfer;
     
  The holding period in the hands of the Acquiring Fund of each Asset transferred from the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization, other than Assets with respect to which gain or loss is required to be recognized, will include the Target Fund’s holding period for such Asset (except where investment activities of the Acquiring Fund have the effect of reducing or eliminating the holding period with respect to an asset);
     
  No gain or loss will be recognized by the Acquiring Fund upon its receipt of all the Assets of the Target Fund solely in exchange for shares of the Acquiring Fund and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all the Liabilities of the Target Fund as part of the Reorganization;
     
  No gain or loss will be recognized by the Target Fund Shareholders upon the exchange of their shares of the Target Fund for shares of the Acquiring Fund as part of the Reorganization (except with respect to cash received by Target Fund Shareholders in redemption of fractional shares prior to the Reorganization);
     
  The aggregate tax basis of the shares of the Acquiring Fund Shares each Target Fund Shareholder receives in the Reorganization will be the same as the aggregate tax basis of the shares of the Target Fund exchanged therefor; and
     
  Each Target Fund Shareholder’s holding period for the shares of the Acquiring Fund received in the Reorganization will include the Target Fund Shareholder’s holding period for the shares of the Target Fund exchanged therefor, provided that the Target Fund Shareholder held such shares of the Target Fund as capital assets on the date of the exchange.

 

27

 

 

In rendering the opinion, Stradley Ronon will rely upon, among other things, certain facts and assumptions and certain representations of the Bridgeway Funds, the Target Fund, the ETF Trust, and the Acquiring Fund. The condition that the parties to the Reorganization receive such an opinion may not be waived.

 

Shares of the Acquiring Fund are not issued in fractional shares. As a result, the Target Fund will redeem any fractional shares held by shareholders at NAV immediately prior to the Reorganization. Such redemption will result in a cash payment, which is expected to be small and result in taxable gain or loss for shareholders who hold such fractional shares in a taxable account. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the effect of such redemption.

 

Neither of the Funds have requested nor will request an advance ruling from the IRS as to the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the Reorganization. An opinion of counsel is not binding on the IRS or a court, and no assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or a court would not sustain, a contrary position. A copy of the opinion will be filed with the SEC and will be available for public inspection after the Closing Date of the Reorganization. See “INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS.”

 

By reason of the Reorganization, the Acquiring Fund will succeed to and take into account any capital loss carryforwards of the Target Fund. The Reorganization is not expected to independently result in limitations on the Acquiring Fund’s ability to use any capital loss carryforwards of the Target Fund. However, the capital loss carryforwards may subsequently become subject to an annual limitation as a result of sales of the Acquiring Fund Shares or other reorganization transactions in which the Acquiring Fund might engage post-Reorganization. As of June 30, 2022, the Target Fund did not have any capital loss carryovers.

 

State and Local Tax Considerations. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors about potential state and local tax considerations as a result of the Reorganization.

 

28

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

Information about each Fund is included in each Fund’s Prospectus. The Acquiring Fund Prospectus and the Target Fund Prospectus are each incorporated by reference into and are considered a part of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. The Acquiring Fund Prospectus also accompanies this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Additional information about the Funds is included in each Fund’s SAI. Each Fund’s SAI is incorporated into its respective Prospectus and into the SAI dated August 15, 2022 relating to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, each of which has been filed with the SEC. The SAI relating to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus is also considered part of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus and is incorporated by reference into this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Information about the Target Fund is also included in the Target Fund’s Annual Report to Shareholders (for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021) and the Target Fund’s Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders (for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2021).

 

You may request a free copy of the Target Fund’s Prospectus and SAI, and the Target Fund’s Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders, the SAI relating to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, and other information by calling 800-661-3550 or by writing to Bridgeway Funds, Inc. at c/o BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc., P.O. Box 9860, Providence, RI 02940-8060.

 

You may request a free copy of the Acquiring Fund’s Prospectus and SAI, and the Acquiring Fund’s Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders, the SAI relating to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus, and other information by calling (215) 882-9983.

 

Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the ETF Trust, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, file proxy materials, reports and other information with the SEC in accordance with the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the 1940 Act. These materials can be viewed on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov, and may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following email address: [email protected].

 

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNDS

 

The following is a discussion of the organization of the Funds and, where applicable, of the Bridgeway Funds and ETF Trust. More detailed information about each Fund’s current structure is contained in each Fund’s SAI.

 

Comparison of Capital Structure. The Target Fund is a diversified series of Bridgeway Funds. Bridgeway Funds is a Maryland corporation, incorporated under the name Bridgeway Fund, Inc. on October 19, 1993. Bridgeway Funds is registered with the SEC.

 

The Acquiring Fund is a diversified series of the ETF Trust. The ETF Trust is a Delaware statutory trust formed on October 11, 2013. The ETF Trust is registered with the SEC.

 

Bridgeway Funds is authorized to issue 1,915,000,000 shares of common stock with a par value of $.001. The ETF Trust is authorized to issue an unlimited number of shares without par value. Each Fund may issue fractional shares, but the Acquiring Fund does not intend to issue fractional shares. Shares of each Fund are fully paid and nonassessable and have no preference, preemptive or subscription rights. The Target Fund’s and the Acquiring Fund’s shareholders have no appraisal rights.

 

A more detailed description and comparison of Maryland and Delaware governing instruments and state law is included as Exhibit E of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

29

 

 

VOTING INFORMATION

 

How many votes are necessary to approve the Plan?

 

A 1940 Act Majority Vote, as defined herein, is required to approve the Reorganization. Each share (or fractional share) of the Target Fund outstanding as of the Record Date that is held by a Target Fund shareholder is entitled to a number of votes equal to the net asset value of that share (or fractional share) in U.S. dollars as of the Record Date. If sufficient votes to approve the Reorganization are not received by the date of the Meeting, the Meeting may be adjourned to permit further solicitation of proxies.

 

Shares representing one-third, or thirty-three and one-third percent (33 1/3%) of the issued and outstanding shares of the Target Fund that are entitled to vote at the Meeting or by proxy as of the Record Date shall be a quorum for the transaction of business at the Meeting. Under relevant state law and the Target Fund’s articles of incorporation and its bylaws, abstentions and broker non-votes (that is, proxies from brokers or nominees indicating that such persons have not received instructions from the beneficial owner or other persons entitled to vote shares on a particular matter with respect to which the brokers or nominees do not have discretionary power) will be treated as votes present at the Meeting; abstentions and broker non-votes, however, will be treated as shares voted against a proposal. Treating broker non-votes as votes against a proposal can have the effect of causing shareholders who choose not to participate in the proxy vote to prevail over shareholders who cast votes or provide voting instructions to their brokers or nominees. In order to prevent this result, the Target Fund may request that selected brokers or nominees refrain from returning proxies on behalf of shares for which voting instructions have not been received from beneficial owners or persons entitled to vote. The Target Fund also may request that selected brokers or nominees return proxies on behalf of shares for which voting instructions have not been received if doing so is necessary to obtain a quorum. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not be voted “FOR” or “AGAINST” any adjournment.

 

How do I ensure my vote is accurately recorded?

 

You can vote in any one of four ways:

 

  By mail, with the enclosed proxy card(s);
     
  At the Meeting;
     
  By telephone, if eligible; or
     
  Online.

 

A proxy card is, in essence, a ballot. When you vote your proxy, it tells us how you want to vote on important issues relating to the Target Fund. If you simply sign, date and return a proxy card but give no voting instructions, your shares will be voted in favor of the Reorganization and in accordance with the views of management upon any unexpected matters that come before the Meeting or adjournment of the Meeting. If your shares are held of record by a broker-dealer and you wish to vote at the Meeting, you should obtain a legal proxy from your broker of record and present it at the Meeting.

 

May I revoke my proxy?

 

Proxies will have the authority to vote and act on behalf of shareholders at any adjournment of the Meeting. If a proxy is authorized to vote for a shareholder, the shareholder may revoke the authorization at any time before it is exercised by sending in another proxy card with a later date or by notifying the Secretary of the Target Fund in writing at the address of the Target Fund set forth on the cover page of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus before the Meeting that the shareholder has revoked its proxy. In addition, although merely attending the Meeting will not revoke your proxy, if a shareholder is present at the Meeting, the shareholder may withdraw the proxy and vote at the Meeting. However, if your shares are held through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary you will need to obtain a “legal proxy” from them in order to vote your shares at the Meeting.

 

30

 

 

What other matters will be voted upon at the Meeting?

 

The Board does not intend to bring any matters before the Meeting other than that described in this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. The Board is not aware of any other matters to be brought before the Meeting by others. If any other matter legally comes before the Meeting, proxies for which discretion has been granted will be voted in accordance with the views of Management of the Bridgeway Funds.

 

Who is entitled to vote?

 

Shareholders of record of the Target Fund on the Record Date will be entitled to vote at the Meeting. The Target Fund has 26,656,311 shares outstanding, totalling $340,233,154 in net assets as of the Record Date.

 

How will proxies be solicited?

 

AST, a professional proxy solicitation firm (the “Solicitor”), has been engaged to assist in the solicitation of proxies, at an estimated cost of approximately $200,000 which will be borne by Bridgeway and EA Advisers. Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, expects that the solicitation will be primarily by mail. As the date of the Meeting approaches, however, certain shareholders of the Target Fund may receive a telephone call from a representative of the Solicitor if their votes have not yet been received. Authorization to permit the Solicitor to execute proxies may be obtained by telephonic instructions from shareholders of the Target Fund. Proxies that are obtained telephonically will be recorded in accordance with the procedures set forth below. Bridgeway Funds believes that these procedures are reasonably designed to ensure that both the identity of the shareholder casting the vote and the voting instructions of the shareholder are accurately determined.

 

In all cases where a telephonic proxy is solicited, the Solicitor representative is required to ask for each shareholder’s full name and address and to confirm that the shareholder has received the proxy materials in the mail or by other acceptable means. If the shareholder is a corporation or other entity, the Solicitor representative is required to ask for the person’s title and for confirmation that the person is authorized to direct the voting of the shares. If the information solicited agrees with the information provided to the Solicitor, then the Solicitor representative may ask for the shareholder’s instructions on the proposal described in this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. Although the Solicitor representative is permitted to answer questions about the process, he or she is not permitted to recommend to the shareholder how to vote, other than by reading any recommendation set forth in this Proxy Statement/Prospectus. The Solicitor representative will record the shareholder’s instructions on a proxy card. Within 72 hours, the shareholder will be sent a letter to confirm his or her vote and asking the shareholder to call the Solicitor immediately if his or her instructions are not correctly reflected in the confirmation.

 

If a shareholder wishes to participate in the Meeting, but does not wish to give a proxy by telephone or online, the shareholder may submit the proxy card(s) originally sent with this Proxy Statement/Prospectus or attend the Meeting.

 

Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, will request broker-dealer firms, custodians, nominees, and fiduciaries to forward proxy material to the beneficial owners of the shares of record. Certain officers and representatives of the Bridgeway Funds or its affiliates, who will receive no extra compensation for their services, may solicit proxies by telephone or personally.

 

Bridgeway Funds, on behalf of the Target Fund, expects that, before the Meeting, broker-dealer firms holding shares of the Target Fund in “street name” for their customers will request voting instructions from their customers and beneficial owners. If these instructions are not received by the date specified in the broker-dealer firms’ proxy solicitation materials, Bridgeway Funds understands that current New York Stock Exchange rules do not permit the broker-dealers to vote on the Plan, on behalf of their customers and beneficial owners.

 

31

 

 

May I attend the Meeting?

 

Yes. If you expect to participate in the shareholder meeting, or have questions, please notify our proxy solicitor, AST, toll free at (866) 828-6951. You may also vote your shares by telephone, if eligible, or through a website established for that purpose by following the instructions that appear on the enclosed proxy card.

 

The Meeting is currently planned to take place at a physical location. However, due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, Bridgeway Funds is planning for the possibility that the Meeting may be held virtually solely by means of remote communication or via a live webcast or that Bridgeway Funds may allow for virtual attendance. If Bridgeway Funds takes this step, it will publicly announce the decision in a press release that will also be filed with the SEC as definitive additional soliciting material, and Bridgeway Funds will post the announcement and additional information on its website at www.bridgewayfunds.com as soon as practicable before the Meeting. Bridgeway Funds recommends that you monitor this website for updated information, and please check this website in advance of the Meeting to confirm the status of the Meeting before planning to attend in person.

 

If you were a registered holder of Target Fund shares as of the Record Date (i.e., you held shares in your own name directly with the Fund’s transfer agent), please include your full name, address and the control number found on your enclosed proxy form in an email to the Solicitor at [email protected] The Solicitor will then email you the instructions to register for the Meeting. After you register for the Meeting, you will receive an email confirmation of your registration.

 

If you held Target Fund shares through an intermediary (such as a bank, broker or other custodian) as of the Record Date, you must first register in advance to access your individual control number in order to attend the Meeting. To register and receive your individual control number, you must email proof of your proxy power (“Legal Proxy”) from your intermediary indicating that you are the beneficial owner of the shares in the Target Fund on the Record Date and authorizing you to vote (you may forward the email from your intermediary or attach an image of your Legal Proxy), along with your name and email address, to the Solicitor at [email protected] with “Legal Proxy” included in the subject line. The email must also state whether before the Meeting you authorized a proxy to vote for you and, if so, how you instructed such proxy to vote. The Solicitor will then email you the instructions to register for the Meeting. After you register, you will receive a confirmation of your registration and an individual control number by email from the Solicitor. The Solicitor also will email your Meeting credentials for participation in the Meeting and instructions for voting during the Meeting.

 

Are there dissenters’ rights?

 

If the Reorganization is approved at the Meeting, Target Fund shareholders will not have the right to dissent and obtain payment of the fair value of their shares because the exercise of dissenters’ rights is subject to the forward pricing requirements of Rule 22c-1 under the 1940 Act, which supersedes state law. Shareholders of the Target Fund, however, have the right to redeem their shares at net asset value subject to applicable deferred sales charges and/or redemption fees (if any) until the Closing Date of the Reorganization. After the Closing Date, shareholders may sell their shares on the NYSE, other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through their broker-dealer.

 

32

 

 

PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SHARES

 

As of the Record Date, the officers and director of Bridgeway Funds, as a group, owned of record and beneficially less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Target Fund’s outstanding shares. As of the Record Date, the Acquiring Fund was not operational and, therefore, had no shareholders.

 

From time to time, the number of Fund shares held in “street name” accounts of various securities dealers for the benefit of their clients or in centralized securities depositories may exceed 5% of the total shares outstanding. To the knowledge of the Target Fund, no other persons owned (beneficially or of record) 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the Target Fund as of the Record Date, except as listed in Exhibit C to this Proxy Statement/Prospectus.

 

SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS

 

The Funds do not generally hold annual meetings of shareholders. A shareholder desiring to submit a proposal intended to be presented at any meeting of shareholders of the Target Fund hereafter called should send the proposal to the Target Fund at the Target Fund’s principal offices so that it is received within a reasonable time before the proxy materials are printed and mailed. If the proposed Reorganization is approved and completed for the Target Fund, shareholders of such Target Fund will become shareholders of the Acquiring Fund and, thereafter, will be subject to the notice requirements of the Acquiring Fund. The mere submission of a proposal by a shareholder does not guarantee that such proposal will be included in a proxy statement because compliance with certain rules under the federal securities laws is required before inclusion of the proposal is required. Also, the submission does not mean that the proposal will be presented at a future meeting. For a shareholder proposal to be considered at a future shareholder meeting, it must be a proper matter for consideration under applicable law.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

The Meeting with respect to the Target Fund may, by action of the chair of the Meeting and without any action by shareholders, be adjourned from time to time with respect to one or more matters to be considered at the Meeting, whether or not a quorum is present with respect to such matter. Such authority to adjourn the Meeting may be used for any reason whatsoever, including to allow time for further solicitation of proxies in the event that a quorum is not present at the Meeting or in the event that a quorum is present but sufficient votes have not been received to approve the Proposal. Any adjournment will not delay or otherwise affect the effectiveness and validity of any business transacted at the Meeting prior to adjournment and any business may be transacted at the adjourned meeting that might have been transacted at the Meeting. Unless otherwise instructed by a shareholder granting a proxy, the persons designated as proxies may use their discretionary authority to vote as instructed by management of the Target Fund on questions of adjournment, to the extent permitted under applicable federal securities laws, state law, and Bridgeway Funds’ governing instruments. If the Meeting is adjourned to another time or place, written notice need not be given of the adjourned meeting if the time and place is announced at the Meeting, unless a new record date is fixed.

 

  By Order of the Board of Directors of Bridgeway Funds, Inc.,
   
  /s/ Tammira Philippe
  Tammira Philippe
  President

 

August 15, 2022

 

33

 

 

EXHIBITS TO PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS

 

Exhibit

 

A.   Form of Agreement and Plan of Reorganization
B.   Financial Highlights of the Target Fund
C.   Principal Holders of Securities of the Target Fund
D.   Comparison of Target Fund and Acquiring Fund Fundamental Investment Restrictions
E   Comparison of Maryland and Delaware Governing Instruments and State Law

 

34

 

 

EXHIBIT A

 

FORM OF AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF REORGANIZATION

 

THIS AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF REORGANIZATION (“Agreement”) is adopted as of this day of [     ], 2022 by and among: (i) Bridgeway Funds, Inc. (the “Target Entity”), on behalf of its series the Blue Chip Fund (the “Target Fund”); and (ii) EA Series Trust (the “Acquiring Entity”), on behalf of its series the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF (the “Acquiring Fund”). Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (“Bridgeway”) and Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers (“EA Advisers”) join this Agreement solely for purposes of Section 9.2.

 

WHEREAS, the parties hereto intend for the Acquiring Fund and the Target Fund to enter into a transaction pursuant to which: (i) the Acquiring Fund will acquire the Assets (as such term is defined in Section 1.1(b)) of the Target Fund in exchange for shares of the Acquiring Fund of equal value to the Net Assets (as such term is defined in Section 1.1(c)) of the Target Fund and the assumption of the Liabilities (as such term is defined in Section 1.1(c)), and (ii) the Target Fund will distribute such shares of the Acquiring Fund to shareholders of the Target Fund, in connection with the complete liquidation of the Target Fund, all upon the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth in this Agreement (such transaction, the “Reorganization”). Following its liquidation, the Target Fund will be dissolved. The Acquiring Fund is, and will be immediately prior to Closing (as defined in Section 3.1), a shell series, without assets (other than seed capital, which shall be paid out in redemption of the Initial Shares prior to the Reorganization, pursuant to Section 4.2(q)) or liabilities, created for the purpose of acquiring the Assets and assuming the Liabilities of the Target Fund;

 

WHEREAS, each of the Target Entity and the Acquiring Entity is an open-end, registered investment company of the management type; and

 

WHEREAS, this Agreement is intended to be and is adopted as a plan of reorganization and liquidation with respect to the Reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a)(1) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“Code”), plus, as provided in Section 5.1(p), a redemption of fractional shares of the Target Fund immediately before the Closing (as defined in Section 3.1).

 

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and of the covenants and agreements hereinafter set forth, the parties hereto, intending to be legally bound hereby, covenant and agree as follows:

 

1. DESCRIPTION OF THE REORGANIZATION

 

1.1. Provided that all conditions precedent to the Reorganization set forth herein have been satisfied or, to the extent legally permissible, waived as of the Closing Time (as defined in Section 3.1), and based on the representations and warranties each party provides to the others, the Target Entity and the Acquiring Entity agree to take the following steps with respect to the Reorganization:

 

(a) The Target Fund shall transfer all of its Assets, as defined and set forth in Section 1.1(b), to the Acquiring Fund, and the Acquiring Fund in exchange therefor shall assume the Liabilities, as defined and set forth in Section 1.1(c), and deliver to the Target Fund for distribution to the shareholders of the Target Fund the number of Acquiring Fund shares, all as determined in the manner set forth in Section 2.

 

(b) The assets of the Target Fund to be transferred to the Acquiring Fund shall consist of all property, goodwill, and assets of every description and all interests, rights, privileges and powers of the Target Fund that are shown as an asset on the books and records of the Target Fund as of the Closing Time (collectively, the “Assets”). The Assets of the Target Fund shall be delivered to the Acquiring Fund free and clear of all liens, encumbrances, hypothecations and claims whatsoever (except for liens or encumbrances that do not materially detract from the value or use of the Target Fund Assets), and there shall be no restrictions on the full transfer thereof (except for those imposed by the federal or state securities laws).

 

A-1

 

 

(c) The Acquiring Fund shall assume and pay when due all obligations and liabilities of the Target Fund, existing on or after the Closing Date, whether absolute, accrued, contingent or otherwise (except that certain expenses of the Reorganization contemplated hereby to be paid by the persons as provided in Section 9.2 hereof shall not be assumed or paid by the Acquiring Fund) (collectively, the “Liabilities”), and such Liabilities shall become the obligations and liabilities of the Acquiring Fund. The Target Fund will use its reasonable best efforts to discharge all known Liabilities prior to or at the Valuation Date (as defined in Section 2.1(a)) to the extent permissible and consistent with its own investment objectives and policies. The Assets minus the Liabilities of the Target Fund shall be referred to herein as the Target Fund’s “Net Assets.”

 

(d) As soon as is reasonably practicable after the Closing, the Target Fund will distribute to its shareholders of record (“Target Fund Shareholders”) the shares of the Acquiring Fund received by the Target Fund pursuant to Section 1.1(a), on a pro rata basis, and without further notice the outstanding shares of the Target Fund will be redeemed and cancelled as permitted by its Corporate Governing Documents (as defined in Section 4.1(a)) and applicable law, and the Target Fund will as promptly as practicable completely liquidate and dissolve as permitted by its Corporate Governing Documents and applicable law. Such distribution to the Target Fund Shareholders and liquidation of the Target Fund will be accomplished by the transfer of the Acquiring Fund’s shares then credited to the account of the Target Fund on the books of the Acquiring Fund to open accounts on the share records of the Acquiring Fund in the names of the Target Fund Shareholders. The aggregate net asset value of the Acquiring Fund’s shares to be so credited to the Target Fund Shareholders shall be equal to the aggregate net asset value of the Target Fund’s shares owned by the Target Fund Shareholders on the Valuation Date (following the redemption of fractional shares pursuant to Section 5.1(p)). For Target Fund Shareholders that hold Target Fund shares through accounts that are not permitted to hold Acquiring Fund shares, Acquiring Fund shares may be held by a transfer agent of the Acquiring Fund for the benefit of such Target Fund Shareholders pending delivery of information with respect to accounts that are permitted to hold Acquiring Fund shares. The Acquiring Fund shall not issue certificates representing the Acquiring Fund’s shares in connection with such exchange.

 

(e) Any transfer taxes payable upon issuance of the Acquiring Fund’s shares in a name other than the registered holder of the Target Fund’s shares on the books and records of the Target Fund as of that time shall, as a condition of such issuance and transfer, be paid by the person to whom the Acquiring Fund’s shares are to be issued and transferred.

 

(f) Ownership of the Acquiring Fund’s shares will be shown on its books, as such are maintained by the Acquiring Fund’s transfer agent.

 

(g) Immediately after the Closing Time, the share transfer books relating to the Target Fund shall be closed and no transfer of shares shall thereafter be made on such books.

 

2. VALUATION

 

2.1. With respect to the Reorganization:

 

(a) The value of the Target Fund’s Assets shall be the value of such Assets computed as of immediately after the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) less the value of any cash or other assets used to redeem fractional shares pursuant to Section 5.1(p), which shall reflect the declaration of any dividends, on the Closing Date (the “Valuation Date”), using the valuation procedures set forth in the then-current prospectus for the Target Fund and the valuation procedures established by the Target Entity’s board of directors. On the Valuation Date, the Target Fund shall record the value of the Assets, as valued pursuant to this Section 2.1(a), on a valuation report (the “Valuation Report”) and deliver a copy of the Valuation Report to the Acquiring Fund by 7:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on the Valuation Date, or as soon as practicable thereafter.

 

A-2

 

 

(b) The net asset value per share of the Acquiring Fund shares issued in connection with the Reorganization shall be the net asset value per share of the Target Fund as of the close of business on the Valuation Date (following the redemption of fractional shares pursuant to Section 5.1(p)).

 

(c) The number of Acquiring Fund shares issued in exchange for the Target Fund’s Net Assets shall equal the number of shares of the Target Fund outstanding as of the Valuation Date (following the redemption of fractional shares pursuant to Section 5.1(p)). All Acquiring Fund shares delivered to a Target Fund Shareholder will be delivered at net asset value without the imposition of a sales load, commission, transaction fee or other similar fee.

 

(d) All computations of value shall be made by the Target Fund or its designated recordkeeping agent using the valuation procedures described in this Section 2 and shall be subject to review by the Acquiring Fund and/or its recordkeeping agent, and, if requested by either the Target Entity or the Acquiring Entity, by the independent registered public accountant of the requesting party.

 

3. CLOSING AND CLOSING DATE

 

3.1. The Reorganization shall close on October 14, 2022, or such other date as the authorized officers of the parties may agree (the “Closing Date”). All acts taking place at the closing of the Reorganization (“Closing”) shall, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions in this Agreement, be deemed to take place simultaneously as of the later of 7:01 p.m. Eastern time or the finalization of the Target Fund’s net asset value on the Closing Date of the Reorganization, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties (the “Closing Time”). The Closing of the Reorganization shall be held in person, by facsimile, email or such other communication means as the parties may reasonably agree. In respect of the Reorganization, the Target Fund shall notify the Acquiring Fund of any portfolio security held by the Target Fund in other than book-entry form at least five (5) business days prior to the Closing Date.

 

3.2. With respect to the Reorganization:

 

(a) The Target Fund’s portfolio securities, investments or other assets that are represented by a certificate or other written instrument shall be transferred and delivered by the Target Fund as of the Closing Time to the Acquiring Fund’s custodian for the account of the Acquiring Fund duly endorsed in proper form for transfer and in such condition as to constitute good delivery thereof. The Target Entity shall direct the Target Fund’s custodian (the “Target Custodian”) to deliver to the Acquiring Fund’s custodian as of the Closing Date by book entry, in accordance with the customary practices of Target Custodian and any securities depository (as defined in Rule 17f-4 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”)), in which the Assets are deposited, the Target Fund’s portfolio securities and instruments so held. The Target Fund’s portfolio securities represented by a certificate or other written instrument shall be presented by the Target Custodian to the Acquiring Fund’s custodian. The cash to be transferred by the Target Fund shall be delivered to the Acquiring Fund’s custodian by wire transfer of federal funds or other appropriate means on the Closing Date. If the Target Fund is unable to make such delivery on the Closing Date in the manner contemplated by this Section for the reason that any of such securities or other investments purchased prior to the Closing Date have not yet been delivered to the Target Fund or its broker, then the Acquiring Fund may, in its sole discretion, waive the delivery requirements of this Section with respect to said undelivered securities or other investments if the Target Fund has, by or on the Closing Date, delivered to the Acquiring Fund or its custodian executed copies of an agreement of assignment and escrow and due bills executed on behalf of said broker or brokers, together with such other documents as may be required by the Acquiring Fund or its custodian, such as brokers’ confirmation slips.

 

A-3

 

 

(b) At such time prior to the Closing Date as the parties mutually agree, the Target Fund shall provide instructions and related information to the Acquiring Fund or its transfer agent with respect to the Target Fund Shareholders, including names, addresses, dividend reinvestment elections, if any, and tax withholding status of the Target Fund Shareholders as of the date agreed upon (such information to be updated as of the Closing Date, as necessary). The Acquiring Fund and its transfer agent shall have no obligation to inquire as to the validity, propriety or correctness of any such instruction, information or documentation, but shall, in each case, assume that such instruction, information or documentation is valid, proper, correct and complete.

 

(c) At the Closing, each party shall deliver to the other such bills of sale, checks, assignments, certificates, if any, receipts or other documents as such other party or its counsel may reasonably request.

 

(d) In the event that on the Valuation Date or the Closing Date of the Reorganization (i) the NYSE or another primary trading market for portfolio securities of the Target Fund (each, an “Exchange”) shall be closed to trading or trading thereupon shall be restricted, or (ii) trading or the reporting of trading on such Exchange or elsewhere shall be disrupted so that, in the judgment of the board of trustees of the Acquiring Entity or the board of directors of the Target Entity, or the authorized officers of such entities, accurate appraisal of the value of the net assets of the Acquiring Fund or the Target Fund, respectively, is impracticable, the Valuation Date and the Closing Date shall be postponed until the first business day after the day when trading shall have been fully resumed and reporting shall have been restored or such later dates as may be mutually agreed in writing by an authorized officer of each party.

 

4. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES

 

4.1. The Target Entity, on behalf of itself or, where applicable for the Target Fund, represents and warrants to the Acquiring Entity and the Acquiring Fund as follows:

 

(a) The Target Entity is a corporation created under the laws of the State of Maryland on October 19, 1993, and is validly existing and in good standing under the laws of that state, with power under the Target Entity’s articles of incorporation and bylaws, as applicable (“Corporate Governing Documents”), to own all of its assets, to carry on its business as it is now being conducted and to enter into this Agreement and perform its obligations hereunder. The Target Fund is a duly established and designated separate series of the Target Entity;

 

(b) The Target Entity is a registered investment company classified as a management company of the open-end type, and its registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) as an investment company under the 1940 Act, and the registration of the shares of the Target Fund under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“1933 Act”), is in full force and effect, and will be in full force and effect on the Closing Date, and no action or proceeding to revoke or suspend such registrations is pending, or to the knowledge of the Target Fund, threatened. All issued and outstanding shares of the Target Fund have been offered for sale in conformity in all material respects with applicable federal and state securities laws;

 

(c) No consent, approval, authorization, or order of any court or governmental authority or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is required for the consummation by the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, of the transactions contemplated herein, except such as have been obtained or will be obtained at or prior to the Closing Date under the 1933 Act, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“1934 Act”), the 1940 Act, and state securities or blue sky laws (which term as used herein shall include the laws of the District of Columbia and of Puerto Rico), each of which, as required, shall have been obtained on or prior to the Closing Date. No consent of or notice to any other third party or entity is required for the consummation by the Target Fund of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, except that such transaction will require approval of the Target Fund shareholders;

 

A-4

 

 

(d) The current prospectus and statement of additional information and current shareholder reports of the Target Fund prior to the date of this Agreement, conform or conformed at the time of their use in all material respects to the applicable requirements of the 1933 Act and the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder and do not or did not at the time of their use include any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which they were made, not materially misleading;

 

(e) The Target Fund is in compliance in all material respects with, and during the three (3) years prior to the date of this Agreement was in compliance in all material respects with, the requirements of, and the rules and regulations under, the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act and the 1940 Act, state securities laws and all other applicable federal and state laws or regulations. The Target Fund is in compliance in all material respects with, and during the three (3) years prior to the date of this Agreement was in compliance in all material respects with, its investment objectives, policies, guidelines and restrictions and compliance procedures, and the value of the Net Assets of the Target Fund is, and during such period was, determined using portfolio valuation methods that, in the reasonable judgment of the Target Fund, comply in all material respects with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder and the pricing and valuation policies of the Target Fund and there have been no material miscalculations of the net asset value of the Target Fund or the net asset value per share of the Target Fund during the twelve (12) month period preceding the date hereof that have not been remedied or will not be remedied prior to the Closing Date in accordance with the Target Fund’s policies and procedures that, individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect on the Target Fund or its Assets, and all such calculations have been made in accordance with the applicable provisions of the 1940 Act. All advertising and sales material used by the Target Fund during the twelve (12) months prior to the date of this Agreement complied in all material respects, at the time such material was used, with applicable law and the rules and regulations of FINRA;

 

(f) Except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted, in writing, by or on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, the Target Fund will as of the Closing Time have good and marketable title to the Assets and full right, power, and authority to sell, assign, transfer and deliver such Assets free of adverse claims, including any liens or other encumbrances, and upon delivery and payment for such Assets, the Acquiring Fund will acquire good and marketable title thereto, free of adverse claims and subject to no restrictions on the full transfer thereof, including, without limitation, such restrictions as might arise under the 1933 Act;

 

(g) Except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted, in writing, by or on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, the Target Fund is not engaged currently, and the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will not result, in (i) a material violation of the Target Entity’s Corporate Governing Documents or of any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease or other undertaking to which the Target Fund or the Target Entity is a party or by which it is bound, or (ii) the acceleration of any obligation, or the imposition of any lien, encumbrance, penalty or additional fee under any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease, judgment or decree to which the Target Fund or Target Entity is a party or by which it is bound;

 

(h) Except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted, in writing, by or on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, all material contracts or other commitments of the Target Fund (other than this Agreement and certain investment contracts, including swap agreements, options, futures and forward contracts) will terminate or be terminated with respect to the Target Fund without liability to the Target Fund or may otherwise be assigned to the Acquiring Fund without the payment of any fee (penalty or otherwise) or acceleration of any obligations of the Target Fund on or prior to the Closing Date;

 

A-5

 

 

(i) Except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted, in writing, by or on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, no litigation or administrative proceeding or investigation of or before any court, tribunal, arbitrator, governmental body, regulatory agency or FINRA is presently pending or, to the Target Fund’s knowledge, threatened against the Target Fund that, if adversely determined, would materially and adversely affect the Target Fund’s financial condition or the conduct of its business or the Target Fund’s ability to consummate the transactions contemplated by this Agreement. The Target Fund and the Target Entity, without any special investigation or inquiry, know of no facts that might form the basis for the institution of such proceedings and neither the Target Entity nor the Target Fund is a party to or subject to the provisions of any order, decree or judgment of any court, governmental body, regulatory agency or FINRA that materially and adversely affects its business or its ability to consummate the transactions herein contemplated. The Target Fund is not in violation of, and has not violated within the past three years, nor, to the knowledge of the Target Entity, is the Target Fund under investigation with respect to or has the Target Fund been threatened to be charged with or given notice of any violation of, any applicable law or regulation. The Target Fund (i) does not have outstanding any option to purchase or other right to acquire shares of the Target Fund issued or granted by or on behalf of the Target Fund to any person; (ii) has not entered into any contract or agreement or amendment of any contract or agreement or terminated any contract or agreement, in each case material to the operation of the Target Fund, except as otherwise contemplated by this Agreement or as disclosed to the Acquiring Fund; (iii) has not incurred any indebtedness, other than in the ordinary course of business consistent with the investment objective and policies of the Target Fund; (iv) has not entered into any amendment of its Corporate Governing Documents that has not been disclosed to the Acquiring Fund; (v) does not have outstanding any grant or imposition of any lien, claim, charge or encumbrance (other than encumbrances arising in the ordinary course of business) upon any asset of the Target Fund other than any liens for taxes not yet due and payable; and (vi) has not entered into any agreement or made any commitment to do any of the foregoing except as disclosed to the Acquiring Fund;

 

(j) The financial statements of the Target Fund for the Target Fund’s most recently completed fiscal year have been audited by the independent registered public accounting firm identified in the Target Fund’s prospectus or statement of additional information included in the Target Fund’s registration statement on Form N-1A. Such statements, as well as the unaudited, semi-annual financial statements for the semi-annual period next succeeding the Target Fund’s most recently completed fiscal year, if any, were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) consistently applied, and such statements (copies of which have been furnished or made available to the Acquiring Fund) present fairly, in all material respects, the financial condition of the Target Fund as of such date in accordance with GAAP, and there are no known contingent liabilities of the Target Fund required to be reflected on a balance sheet (including the notes thereto) in accordance with GAAP as of such date not disclosed therein. No significant deficiency, material weakness, fraud, significant change or other factor that could significantly affect the internal controls of the Target Fund has been disclosed or is required to be disclosed in the Target Fund’s reports on Form N-CSR and, to the knowledge of the Target Fund, no such disclosure will be required as of the Closing Date;

 

(k) Since the last day of the Target Fund’s most recently completed fiscal year, there has not been any material adverse change in the Target Fund’s financial condition, assets, liabilities or business, other than changes occurring in the ordinary course of business, except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted by the Acquiring Fund in writing. For the purposes of this subparagraph, a decline in net asset value due to declines in market values of securities held by the Target Fund, the redemption of the Target Fund’s shares by shareholders of the Target Fund or the discharge of the Target Fund’s ordinary course liabilities shall not constitute a material adverse change;

 

A-6

 

 

(l) On the Closing Date, all material Tax Returns (as defined below) of the Target Fund required by law to have been filed by such date (including any extensions) shall have been filed and are or will be true, correct and complete in all material respects, and all Taxes (as defined below) shown as due or claimed to be due by any government entity shall have been paid or provision has been made for the payment thereof. To the Target Fund’s knowledge, no such Tax Return is currently under audit by any federal, state, local or foreign Tax authority; no assessment has been asserted with respect to such Tax Returns; there are no levies, liens or other encumbrances on the Target Fund or its assets resulting from the non-payment of any Taxes; no waivers of the time to assess any such Taxes are outstanding nor are any written requests for such waivers pending; and adequate provision has been made in the Target Fund financial statements for all Taxes in respect of all periods ended on or before the date of such financial statements. The Target Fund is in compliance in all material respects with applicable regulations of the Internal Revenue Service (the “Service”) pertaining to the reporting of distributions on and redemptions of its shares and to withholding in respect of distributions to shareholders, and is not liable for any material penalties that could be imposed thereunder. As used in this Agreement, “Tax” or “Taxes” means any tax, governmental fee or other like assessment or charge of any kind whatsoever (including, but not limited to, excise tax and withholding on amounts paid to or by any person), together with any interest, penalty, addition to tax or additional amount imposed by any governmental authority (domestic or foreign) responsible for the imposition of any such tax. “Tax Return” means reports, returns, information returns, dividend reporting forms, elections, agreements, declarations, or other documents or reports of any nature or kind (including any attached schedules, supplements and additional or supporting material) filed or required to be filed or furnished or required to be furnished with respect to Taxes, including any claim for refund, amended return or declaration of estimated Taxes (and including any amendments with respect thereto);

 

(m) The Target Fund: (i) is not (and will not be as of the Closing Date) classified as a partnership, and instead is (and will be as of the Closing Date) classified as an association that is subject to tax as a corporation for federal tax purposes and either has elected the latter classification by filing Form 8832 with the Service or is a “publicly traded partnership” (as defined in Section 7704(b) of the Code) that is treated as a corporation for federal tax purposes, (ii) has elected to be a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code, and (iii) is a “fund,” as defined in Section 851(g)(2) of the Code, that is treated as a separate corporation under Section 851(g)(1) of the Code. The Target Fund has qualified for treatment as a regulated investment company for each taxable year since inception (or since it was first treated as a separate corporation under Section 851(g) of the Code) that has ended prior to the Closing Date, and for each such taxable year (or portion thereof), the Target Fund has been eligible to compute its federal income tax under Section 852 of the Code. Subject to the accuracy of the representations set forth in Section 4.2(i), the Target Fund expects to satisfy the requirements of Part I of Subchapter M of the Code to maintain qualification for treatment as a regulated investment company for the taxable year that includes the Closing Date. Subject to the accuracy of the representations set forth in Section 4.2(i), the Target Fund does not expect that the consummation of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement will cause it to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company as of the Closing Date or as of the end of its taxable year that includes the Closing Date. The Target Fund has not at any time since its inception had any material tax liability under Sections 852 or 4982 of the Code that has not been timely paid. The Target Fund has no earnings or profits accumulated with respect to any taxable year in which the provisions of Subchapter M of the Code (or the corresponding provisions of prior law) did not apply to the Target Fund. The Target Fund does not own any “converted property” (as that term is defined in Treasury Regulation Section 1.337(d)-7(a)(2)) that is subject to the rules of Section 1374 of the Code as a consequence of the application of Section 337(d)(1) of the Code and the Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder;

 

(n) The Target Fund has not changed its taxable year end within the most recent 48-month period ending on the last day of the month immediately preceding the Closing Date of the Reorganization, and it does not intend to change its taxable year end prior to the Closing Date;

 

A-7

 

 

(o) The Target Fund has not been notified in writing that any examinations of the Tax Returns of the Target Fund are currently in progress or threatened, and, to the knowledge of the Target Fund, no such examinations are currently in progress or threatened, and no deficiencies have been asserted or assessed against the Target Fund as a result of any audit by the Service or any state, local or foreign taxing authority, and, to the knowledge of the Target Fund, no such deficiency has been proposed or threatened, and there are no levies, liens or other encumbrances related to Taxes existing or known to the Target Fund to be threatened or pending with respect to the Assets of the Target Fund;

 

(p) The Target Fund has no actual liability for any Tax obligation of any taxpayer other than itself. The Target Fund is not currently and has never been a member of a group of corporations with which it has filed (or been required to file) consolidated, combined or unitary tax returns. The Target Fund is not a party to any Tax allocation, sharing, or indemnification agreement (other than agreements the principal purpose of which do not relate to Taxes);

 

(q) All issued and outstanding shares of the Target Fund are, and on the Closing Date will be, duly and validly issued and outstanding, fully paid and non-assessable by the Target Entity, and are not, and on the Closing Date will not be, subject to preemptive or objecting shareholder rights. In every state where offered or sold, such offers and sales have been in compliance in all material respects with applicable registration and/or notice requirements of the 1933 Act and state and District of Columbia and of Puerto Rico securities laws. All of the issued and outstanding shares of the Target Fund will, at the time of Closing, be held by the persons and in the amounts set forth in the records of the transfer agent for the Target Fund (the “Target Transfer Agent”), on behalf of the Target Fund. The Target Fund does not have outstanding any options, warrants or other rights to subscribe for or purchase any of the shares of the Target Fund, nor is there outstanding any security convertible into any of the Target Fund’s shares;

 

(r) The Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, has all requisite power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated herein. The execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement has been duly authorized by all necessary action, if any, on the part of the directors of the Target Entity and, subject to the approval of the shareholders of the Target Fund (only with respect to those obligations under this Agreement that are contingent on such shareholder approval) and the due authorization, execution and delivery of this Agreement by the other parties hereto, this Agreement will constitute a valid and binding obligation of the Target Fund, enforceable in accordance with its terms, subject, as to enforcement, to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium and other laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights and to general equity principles;

 

(s) The information relating to the Target Fund furnished by the Target Fund for use in no-action letters, applications for orders, registration statements, proxy materials and other documents filed or to be filed with any federal, state or local regulatory or self-regulatory authority that are necessary in connection with the transactions contemplated hereby is and will be accurate and complete in all material respects and will comply in all material respects with federal securities laws and regulations thereunder and other applicable laws and regulations applicable thereto;

 

(t) As of the date of this Agreement or within a certain time thereafter as mutually agreed by the parties, the Target Fund has provided the Acquiring Fund with all information relating to the Target Fund reasonably necessary for the preparation of the N-14 Registration Statement (as defined in Section 5.1(b) hereof), in compliance with the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act and the 1940 Act in connection with the special meeting of the Target Fund’s shareholders (the “Special Meeting”) to approve this Agreement and the transactions contemplated hereby. As of the effective date of the N-14 Registration Statement, the date of the Special Meeting of the Target Fund and the Closing Date, such information provided by the Target Fund will not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading; provided, however, that the representations and warranties in this subparagraph shall not apply to statements in or omissions from the N-14 Registration Statement made in reasonable reliance upon and in conformity with information that was furnished by the Acquiring Fund for use therein;

 

A-8

 

 

(u) The books and records of the Target Fund are true and correct in all material respects and contain no material omissions with respect to information required to be maintained under the laws, rules and regulations applicable to the Target Fund;

 

(v) The Target Entity has adopted and implemented written policies and procedures in accordance with Rule 38a-1 under the 1940 Act relating to the Target Fund;

 

(w) The Target Entity has adopted and implemented written policies and procedures related to insider trading and a code of ethics that complies with all applicable provisions of Section 17(j) of the 1940 Act and Rule 17j-1 thereunder;

 

(x) The Target Entity and the Target Fund have maintained any material license, permit, franchise, authorization, certification and approval required by any governmental entity in the conduct of the Target Fund’s business (the “Licenses and Permits”). Each License and Permit has been duly obtained, is valid and in full force and effect, and is not subject to any pending or, to the knowledge of the Target Entity, threatened administrative or judicial proceeding to revoke, cancel, suspend or declare such License and Permit invalid;

 

(y) The Target Entity is not under the jurisdiction of a court in a Title 11 or similar case within the meaning of Section 368(a)(3)(A) of the Code, although it may have claims against certain debtors in such a Title 11 or similar case; and

 

(z) The Target Fund has no unamortized or unpaid organizational fees or expenses.

 

4.2. The Acquiring Entity, on behalf of itself or, where applicable for the Acquiring Fund, represents and warrants to the Target Entity and the Target Fund as follows:

 

(a) The Acquiring Entity is a statutory trust duly formed, validly existing, and in good standing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with power under its declaration of trust and bylaws (“Trust Governing Documents”) to own all of its properties and assets and to carry on its business as it is now being, and as it is contemplated to be, conducted and to enter into this Agreement and perform its obligations hereunder. The Acquiring Fund is a duly established and designated separate series of the Acquiring Entity;

 

(b) The Acquiring Entity is a registered investment company classified as a management company of the open-end type, and its registration with the Commission as an investment company under the 1940 Act and the registration of shares of the Acquiring Fund under the 1933 Act are in full force and effect, and will be in full force and effect on the Closing Date, and no action or proceeding to revoke or suspend such registrations is pending, or to the knowledge of the Acquiring Fund, threatened;

 

(c) No consent, approval, authorization, or order of any court, governmental authority or FINRA is required for the consummation by the Acquiring Fund and the Acquiring Entity of the transactions contemplated herein, except such as have been or will be (at or prior to the Closing Date) obtained under the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act, the 1940 Act and state securities or blue sky laws (which term as used herein shall include the laws of the District of Columbia and of Puerto Rico), each of which, as required, shall have been obtained on or prior to the Closing Date. No consent of or notice to any other third party or entity is required for the consummation by the Acquiring Fund of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement;

 

(d) The prospectus and statement of additional information of the Acquiring Fund to be used in connection with the Reorganization, and the prospectus and statement of additional information of the Acquiring Fund that will be in effect on the Closing Date and that is included in the Acquiring Entity’s registration statement on Form N-1A, will conform at the time of their use in all material respects to the applicable requirements of the 1933 Act and the 1940 Act and the rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder and will not include any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which they were made, not materially misleading;

 

A-9

 

 

(e) The Acquiring Fund is not engaged currently, and the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will not result, in (i) a material violation of the Acquiring Entity’s Trust Governing Documents or of any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease or other undertaking to which the Acquiring Fund or the Acquiring Entity is a party or by which it is bound, or (ii) the acceleration of any obligation, or the imposition of any lien, encumbrance, penalty, or additional fee under any agreement, indenture, instrument, contract, lease, judgment or decree to which the Acquiring Fund or the Acquiring Entity is a party or by which it is bound;

 

(f) Except as otherwise disclosed to and accepted, in writing, by or on behalf of the Target Fund, no litigation or administrative proceeding or investigation of or before any court, tribunal, arbitrator, governmental body, regulatory agency or FINRA is presently pending or, to the Acquiring Fund’s knowledge, threatened against the Acquiring Fund that, if adversely determined, would materially and adversely affect the Acquiring Fund’s financial condition or the conduct of its business or the Acquiring Fund’s ability to consummate the transactions contemplated by this Agreement. The Acquiring Fund and the Acquiring Entity, without any special investigation or inquiry, know of no facts that might form the basis for the institution of such proceedings and neither the Acquiring Entity nor the Acquiring Fund is a party to or subject to the provisions of any order, decree or judgment of any court, governmental body, regulatory agency or FINRA that materially and adversely affects its business or its ability to consummate the transactions herein contemplated;

 

(g) The Acquiring Fund has not yet commenced operations. The Acquiring Fund is, and will be at the time of Closing, a new series portfolio of the Acquiring Entity created within the last twelve (12) months, without assets (other than seed capital, which shall be paid out in redemption of the Initial Shares prior to the Reorganization, pursuant to Section 4.2(q)) or liabilities, formed for the purpose of acquiring the Assets and assuming the Liabilities of the Target Fund in connection with the Reorganization and, accordingly, the Acquiring Fund has not prepared books of account and related records or financial statements or issued any shares except those issued in a private placement to Bridgeway or its affiliate to secure any required initial shareholder approvals;

 

(h) As of the Closing Date, no federal, state or other Tax Returns of the Acquiring Fund will have been required by law to have been filed, and no Taxes will be due by the Acquiring Fund. As of the Closing Date, the Acquiring Fund will not have been required to pay any assessments and the Acquiring Fund will not have any Tax liabilities. Consequently, as of the Closing Date, the Acquiring Fund will not be under audit by any federal, state, local or foreign Tax authority and there will have been no Tax assessment asserted with respect to the Acquiring Fund, no levies, liens or other encumbrances on the Acquiring Fund, and no waivers of the time to assess any Taxes;

 

(i) The Acquiring Fund: (i) was formed for the purpose of the Reorganization, (ii) is not (and will not be as of the Closing Date) classified as a partnership, and either will timely elect to be classified as an association that is subject to tax as a corporation for federal tax purposes by filing Form 8832 with the Service or will be as of the Closing Date a “publicly traded partnership” (as defined in Section 7704(b) of the Code) that is treated as a corporation for federal tax purposes, (iii) has not filed any income tax return, and, subject to the accuracy of the representations and warranties in Section 4.1(m), intends to qualify to be a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code for its taxable year which includes the Closing Date, holds and has held no property other than de minimis seed capital (which shall be paid out in redemption of the Initial Shares prior to the Reorganization, pursuant to Section 4.2(q) and has never had tax attributes, and (iv) is, or will be as of the Closing Date, a “fund,” as defined in Section 851(g)(2) of the Code, that is treated as a separate corporation under Section 851(g)(1) of the Code. The Acquiring Fund has no earnings or profits accumulated in any taxable year in which the provisions of Subchapter M of the Code did not apply to it;

 

A-10

 

 

(j) The Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, has all requisite power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to consummate the transactions contemplated herein. The execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement will have been duly authorized prior to the Closing Date by all necessary action, if any, on the part of the trustees of the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, and subject to the approval of shareholders of the Target Fund and the due authorization, execution and delivery of the Agreement by the other parties thereto, this Agreement will constitute a valid and binding obligation of the Acquiring Fund, enforceable in accordance with its terms, subject, as to enforcement, to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium and other laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights and to general equity principles;

 

(k) The shares of the Acquiring Fund to be issued and delivered to the Target Fund, for the account of the Target Fund Shareholders, pursuant to the terms of this Agreement, have been duly authorized and, when so issued and delivered, will be duly and validly issued Acquiring Fund shares, and, upon receipt of the Target Fund’s Assets in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, will be fully paid and non-assessable by the Acquiring Entity;

 

(l) The Acquiring Entity has adopted and implemented written policies and procedures in accordance with Rule 38a-1 under the 1940 Act relating to the Acquiring Fund;

 

(m) The Acquiring Entity and the Acquiring Fund have adopted and implemented written policies and procedures related to insider trading and a code of ethics that complies with all applicable provisions of Section 17(j) of the 1940 Act and Rule 17j-1 thereunder;

 

(n) The Acquiring Entity is not under the jurisdiction of a court in a Title 11 or similar case within the meaning of Section 368(a)(3)(A) of the Code, although it may have claims against certain debtors in such a Title 11 or similar case;

 

(o) The Acquiring Fund has no unamortized or unpaid organizational fees or expenses for which it does not expect to be reimbursed by Bridgeway or its affiliates;

 

(p) There is no plan or intention for the Acquiring Fund to be dissolved or merged into another business or statutory trust or a corporation or any “fund” thereof (as defined in Section 851(g)(2) of the Code) following the Reorganization;

 

(q) There shall be no issued and outstanding shares of the Acquiring Fund prior to the Closing Date other than a nominal number of shares (“Initial Shares”) issued to a seed capital investor (which shall be either the investment adviser or sub-adviser of the Acquiring Fund or an affiliate thereof) to vote on the investment advisory contract and other agreements and plans as may be required by the 1940 Act and to take whatever action it may be required to take as the Acquiring Fund’s sole shareholder. The Initial Shares will be redeemed by the Acquiring Fund prior to the Closing for the price for which they were issued, and any price paid for the Initial Shares shall at all times have been held by the Acquiring Fund in a non-interest-bearing account; and

 

(r) As of the effective date of the N-14 Registration Statement, the date of the Special Meeting of shareholders of the Target Fund and the Closing Date, the information provided by the Acquiring Fund for use in the N-14 Registration Statement, including the documents contained or incorporated therein by reference will not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading; provided, however, that the representations and warranties in this subparagraph shall not apply to statements in or omissions from the N-14 Registration Statement made in reasonable reliance upon and in conformity with information that was furnished by the Target Fund for use therein.

 

A-11

 

 

4.3. With respect to the Reorganization, the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, and the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, represents and warrants as follows:

 

(a) The fair market value of the Acquiring Fund’s shares that each Target Fund Shareholder receives will be approximately equal to the fair market value of the Target Fund shares it actually or constructively surrenders in exchange therefor;

 

(b) The fair market value of the Assets will equal or exceed the Liabilities to be assumed by the Acquiring Fund and those to which the Assets are subject;

 

(c) No expenses incurred by the Target Fund or on its behalf in connection with the Reorganization will be paid or assumed by the Acquiring Fund or any other third party unless those expenses are solely and directly related to the Reorganization (determined in accordance with the guidelines set forth in Rev. Rul. 73-54, 1973-1 C.B. 187) (“Reorganization Expenses”), and no cash or property other than Acquiring Fund shares will be transferred to the Target Fund or any of its shareholders with the intention that it be used to pay any expenses (even Reorganization Expenses) thereof; and

 

(d) Immediately following consummation of the Reorganization, other than shares of the Acquiring Fund issued to Bridgeway or its affiliate representing de minimis assets related to the Acquiring Fund’s formation or maintenance of its legal status, (1) the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund will own all the Acquiring Fund shares and will own those shares solely by reason of their ownership of the Target Fund shares immediately before the Reorganization; (2) the Acquiring Fund will hold the same assets and will be subject to the same liabilities that the Target Fund held or was subject to immediately before the Reorganization; and (3) the amount of all distributions (other than regular, normal dividends) the Target Fund will make immediately preceding the Reorganization, will, in the aggregate, constitute less than 1% of its net assets.

 

5. COVENANTS OF THE ACQUIRING ENTITY AND THE TARGET ENTITY

 

5.1. With respect to the Reorganization:

 

(a) The Target Fund will (i) operate its business in the ordinary course and substantially in accordance with past practice between the date hereof and the Closing Date, it being understood that, with respect to the Target Fund, such ordinary course of business may include purchases and sales of portfolio securities and other instruments, sales and redemptions of the Target Fund’s shares, and the declaration and payment of customary dividends and distributions, and any other distribution that may be advisable, and (ii) use its reasonable best efforts to preserve intact its business organization and material assets and maintain the rights, franchises and business and customer relations necessary to conduct the business operations of the Target Fund in the ordinary course in all material respects. The Acquiring Fund shall take such actions as are customary to the organization of a new series prior to its commencement of operations. No party shall take any action that would, or would reasonably be expected to, result in any of its representations and warranties set forth in this Agreement being or becoming untrue in any material respect.

 

(b) The parties hereto shall cooperate in preparing, and the Acquiring Entity shall file with the Commission, a registration statement on Form N-14 under the 1933 Act, which shall properly register the Acquiring Fund shares to be issued in connection with the Reorganization and include a proxy statement/prospectus with respect to the proxy solicitation to the shareholders of the Target Fund of the Reorganization (the “N-14 Registration Statement”). If at any time prior to the Closing Date a party becomes aware of any untrue statement of a material fact or omission to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements made not misleading in light of the circumstances under which they were made in respect of the N-14 Registration Statement, such party shall notify each other party, and the parties shall cooperate in promptly preparing and filing with the Commission and, if appropriate, distributing to shareholders appropriate disclosure with respect to the item.

 

A-12

 

 

(c) The Acquiring Entity shall file the N-14 Registration Statement with the Commission and use its best efforts to provide that the N-14 Registration Statement becomes effective as promptly as practicable.

 

(d) The Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, will call, convene and hold a meeting of shareholders of the Target Fund as soon as practicable, in accordance with applicable law and the Target Entity’s Corporate Governing Documents, for the purpose of approving this Agreement and the transactions contemplated herein as set forth in a proxy statement/prospectus, and for such other purposes as may be necessary or desirable. In the event that, for the Target Fund, insufficient votes are received from shareholders, the meeting may be adjourned as permitted under the Target Entity’s Corporate Governing Documents and applicable law, and as set forth in a proxy statement/prospectus in order to permit further solicitation of proxies.

 

(e) The Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, agrees to mail or otherwise deliver (e.g., by electronic means consistent with applicable regulations governing their use) to its shareholders of record entitled to receipt of the proxy statement/prospectus, in sufficient time to comply with requirements of the 1934 Act, the proxy statement/prospectus contained in the N-14 Registration Statement and other documents as are necessary.

 

(f) The Target Fund covenants that the Acquiring Fund’s shares to be issued pursuant to this Agreement are not being acquired for the purpose of making any distribution thereof, other than in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.

 

(g) The Target Entity will assist the Acquiring Fund in obtaining such information as the Acquiring Fund reasonably requests concerning the beneficial ownership of the Target Fund’s shares, and will assist the Acquiring Fund in obtaining copies of any books and records of the Target Fund from its service providers reasonably requested by the Acquiring Entity.

 

(h) Subject to the provisions of this Agreement, the Acquiring Fund and the Target Fund will each take, or cause to be taken, all action, and do or cause to be done all things, reasonably necessary, proper or advisable to consummate and make effective the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

 

(i) As soon as is reasonably practicable after the Closing, the Target Fund will make one or more distributions to its shareholders consisting of the shares of the Acquiring Fund received at the Closing, as set forth in Section 1.1(d) hereof.

 

(j) The Acquiring Fund and the Target Fund shall each use their reasonable best efforts prior to Closing to fulfill or obtain the fulfillment of the conditions precedent to effect the transactions contemplated by this Agreement.

 

(k) The Target Fund shall, from time to time, as and when reasonably requested by the Acquiring Fund, execute and deliver or cause to be executed and delivered all such assignments and other instruments, and will take or cause to be taken such further action, as the Acquiring Fund may reasonably deem necessary or desirable in order to vest in and confirm the Acquiring Fund’s title to and possession of all the Assets and otherwise to carry out the intent and purpose of this Agreement.

 

(l) The Acquiring Fund shall, from time to time, as and when reasonably requested by the Target Fund, execute and deliver or cause to be executed and delivered all such assumption agreements and other instruments, and will take or cause to be taken such further action, as the Target Fund may reasonably deem necessary or desirable in order for the Acquiring Fund to assume the Target Fund’s Liabilities and otherwise to carry out the intent and purpose of this Agreement.

 

(m) The Acquiring Fund will use all reasonable efforts to obtain the approvals and authorizations required by the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act, the 1940 Act and such of the state blue sky or securities laws as may be necessary in order to continue its operations after the Closing Date.

 

A-13

 

 

(n) A statement of any capital loss carryovers, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, of the Target Fund, as of the most recent Tax year end of the Target Fund, along with supporting workpapers providing information regarding any limitations on the use of such capital loss carryovers including information on any built-in gains and built-in losses of the Target Fund for purposes of applying applicable limitations on the use of such items under the Code, shall be provided by the Target Entity on behalf of the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund within sixty (60) days after the Closing Date.

 

(o) It is the intention of the parties that the Reorganization will qualify as a “reorganization” with the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code. None of the parties to this Agreement shall take any action or cause any action to be taken (including, without limitation the filing of any Tax Return) that is inconsistent with such treatment or results in the failure of the Reorganization to qualify as a “reorganization” with the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code.

 

(p) Prior to the Closing, and only to the extent necessary, the Target Fund (i) shall recapitalize so that it has a single class of shares outstanding and so that each holder of that single class of shares holds shares of that single class immediately after the recapitalization with an aggregate value equal to the aggregate value of any shares of the Target Fund held immediately prior to the recapitalization, and (ii) following the recapitalization (but, for the avoidance of doubt, prior to the Closing), shall redeem all fractional shares of the Target Fund outstanding on the records of the Target Transfer Agent.

 

6. CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO OBLIGATIONS OF THE TARGET ENTITY

 

6.1. With respect to the Reorganization, the obligations of the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, to consummate the transactions provided for herein shall be subject to the satisfaction, or at the Target Entity’s election, the Target Entity’s waiver, of the following conditions:

 

(a) All representations and warranties of the Acquiring Fund and the Acquiring Entity contained in this Agreement shall be true and correct in all material respects as of the date hereof and, except as they may be affected by the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, as of the Closing Time, with the same force and effect as if made on and as of the Closing Time;

 

(b) The Acquiring Entity and the Acquiring Fund shall have performed all of the covenants and complied with all of the provisions required by this Agreement to be performed or complied with by the Acquiring Entity and the Acquiring Fund, on or before the Closing Time;

 

(c) The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund shall have agreed on the number of shares of the Acquiring Fund to be issued in connection with the Reorganization after such number has been calculated in accordance with Section 1.1 hereto;

 

(d) As of the Closing Date, there shall have been no material change in the investment objectives, policies and restrictions or any increase in the investment management fee rate or other fee rates that the Acquiring Fund is contractually obligated to pay for services provided to the Acquiring Fund from those described in the N-14 Registration Statement; and

 

(e) The Target Entity shall have received on the Closing Date the opinion of Practus, LLP (“Practus”), counsel to the Acquiring Entity (which may rely on certificates of officers or trustees of the Acquiring Entity), dated as of the Closing Date, covering the following points:

 

(i) The Acquiring Entity is a statutory trust duly formed, validly existing and in good standing under the laws of the State of Delaware, and, with respect to the Acquiring Fund, has power under its Trust Governing Documents to own all of its properties and assets, and to conduct its business as presently conducted as described in the N-14 Registration Statement;

 

A-14

 

 

(ii) The Acquiring Entity is a registered investment company classified as a management company of the open-end type with respect to each series of shares it offers, including the Acquiring Fund, under the 1940 Act, and its registration with the Commission as an investment company under the 1940 Act is in full force and effect;

 

(iii) The execution and delivery of this Agreement has been duly authorized by the Acquiring Entity on behalf of the Acquiring Fund. This Agreement has been duly executed and delivered by the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund and, assuming due authorization, execution and delivery of the Agreement by the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, and Bridgeway, is a valid and binding obligation of the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, enforceable against the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund in accordance with its terms, subject, as to enforcement, to bankruptcy, insolvency, fraudulent conveyance, reorganization, receivership, moratorium and other similar laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights generally, general equity principles (whether considered in a proceeding in equity or at law) and to an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing;

 

(iv) The Acquiring Fund shares to be issued to the Target Fund as provided by this Agreement are duly authorized, upon such delivery will be validly issued and upon receipt of the Target Fund’s Assets will be fully paid and non-assessable by the Acquiring Entity and no shareholder of the Acquiring Fund has any preemptive rights to subscription or purchase in respect thereof; and

 

(v) The execution and delivery of the Agreement by the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, did not, and the performance by the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, of its obligations hereunder will not (1) violate the Acquiring Entity’s Trust Governing Documents, (2) breach in any material respect any provision of any agreement filed with the registration statement of the Acquiring Entity on Form N-1A to which the Acquiring Fund is a party or by which it is bound or, (3) to the knowledge of such counsel, result in the acceleration of any obligation or the imposition of any penalty under any such agreement.

 

7. CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO OBLIGATIONS OF THE ACQUIRING ENTITY

 

7.1. With respect to the Reorganization, the obligations of the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, to consummate the transactions provided for herein shall be subject to the satisfaction, or at the Acquiring Entity’s election, the Acquiring Fund’s waiver, of the following conditions:

 

(a) All representations and warranties of the Target Entity and the Target Fund contained in this Agreement shall be true and correct in all material respects as of the date hereof and, except as they may be affected by the transactions contemplated by this Agreement, as of the Closing Time, with the same force and effect as if made on and as of the Closing Time;

 

(b) The Target Entity and the Target Fund shall have performed all of the covenants and complied with all of the provisions required by this Agreement to be performed or complied with by the Target Entity and the Target Fund, on or before the Closing Time;

 

(c) The Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund shall have agreed on the number of shares of the Acquiring Fund to be issued in connection with the Reorganization after such number has been calculated in accordance with Section 1.1 hereto;

 

(d) As of the Closing Date, there shall have been no material change in the investment objectives, policies and restrictions or any increase in the investment management fee rate or other fee rates that the Target Fund is contractually obligated to pay for services provided to the Target Fund from those described in the N-14 Registration Statement; and

 

A-15

 

 

(e) The Acquiring Entity shall have received on the Closing Date an opinion of counsel of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP (“Stradley Ronon”), counsel to the Target Entity (which may rely on certificates of officers or directors of the Target Entity), dated as of the Closing Date, covering the following points:

 

(i) The Target Entity is a corporation created under the laws of the State of Maryland on October 19, 1993, and is validly existing and in good standing under the laws of that state, and, with respect to the Target Fund, has power under its Corporate Governing Documents to own all of its properties and assets, and to conduct its business as presently conducted as described in the N-14 Registration Statement;

 

(ii) The Target Entity is a registered investment company classified as a management company of the open-end type with respect to itself and, if applicable, each series of shares it offers, including the Target Fund, under the 1940 Act, and its registration with the Commission as an investment company under the 1940 Act is in full force and effect;

 

(iii) The execution and delivery of this Agreement has been duly authorized by the Target Entity on behalf of Target Fund. This Agreement has been duly executed and delivered by the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund and, assuming due authorization, execution and delivery of the Agreement by the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, is a valid and binding obligation of the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, enforceable against the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, in accordance with its terms, subject, as to enforcement, to bankruptcy, insolvency, fraudulent conveyance, reorganization, receivership, moratorium and other similar laws relating to or affecting creditors’ rights generally, general equity principles (whether considered in a proceeding in equity or at law) and to an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing;

 

(iv) The execution and delivery of the Agreement by the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, did not, and the performance by the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, of its obligations hereunder will not (1) violate the Target Entity’s Corporate Governing Documents, (2) breach in any material respect any provision of any agreement filed with the registration statement of the Target Entity on Form N-1A to which the Target Fund is a party or by which it is bound or, (3) to the knowledge of such counsel, result in the acceleration of any obligation or the imposition of any penalty under any such agreement; and

 

(v) If the Target Fund has been advised by counsel to the Target Fund that such counsel will not deliver an opinion of counsel that the Reorganization qualifies as a “reorganization” under Section 368(a)(1)(F) of the Code, the Target Fund shall have declared and paid a distribution or distributions prior to the Closing that, together with all previous distributions, shall have the effect of distributing to its shareholders (A) all of Target Fund’s investment company taxable income (determined without regard to any deductions for dividends paid) for the taxable year ended prior to the Closing Date and all of such investment company taxable income for the short taxable year beginning on the first day of its current taxable year and ending on the Closing Date and (B) all of Target Fund’s net capital gain recognized in its taxable year ended prior to the Closing Date and all of any such net capital gain recognized in the short taxable year beginning on the first day of its current taxable year and ending on the Closing Date (in each case after reduction for any capital loss carryover.

 

A-16

 

 

8. FURTHER CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO OBLIGATIONS OF THE ACQUIRING ENTITY AND THE TARGET ENTITY

 

With respect to the Reorganization, if any of the conditions set forth below have not been satisfied on or before the Closing Date with respect to the Target Fund or the Acquiring Fund, the Acquiring Entity or Target Entity, respectively, shall, at its option, not be required to consummate the transactions contemplated by this Agreement:

 

8.1. The Agreement and transactions contemplated herein shall have been approved by the board of directors and shareholders of the Target Entity and the board of trustees of the Acquiring Entity. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, neither the Target Fund nor the Acquiring Fund may waive the conditions set forth in this Section 8.1;

 

8.2. On the Closing Date, no action, suit or other proceeding shall be pending or, to the Target Entity’s or the Acquiring Entity’s knowledge, threatened before any court or governmental agency in which it is sought to restrain or prohibit, or obtain damages or other relief in connection with, this Agreement or the transactions contemplated herein;

 

8.3. All consents of other parties and all other consents, orders and permits of federal, state and local regulatory authorities deemed necessary by the Acquiring Fund or Target Fund to permit consummation, in all material respects, of the transactions contemplated hereby shall have been obtained, except where failure to obtain any such consent, order or permit would not result in a material adverse effect on the Acquiring Fund or the Target Fund, provided that either party hereto may for itself waive any of such conditions;

 

8.4. The N-14 Registration Statement shall have become effective under the 1933 Act and no stop orders suspending the effectiveness thereof shall have been issued and, to the best knowledge of the parties hereto, no investigation or proceeding for that purpose shall have been instituted or be pending, threatened or contemplated under the 1933 Act;

 

8.5. With respect to the Reorganization, the Acquiring Entity and the Target Entity shall have received the opinion of Stradley Ronon dated as of the Closing Date and addressed to the Acquiring Entity and the Target Entity, in a form satisfactory to them, substantially to the effect that, based upon certain facts, qualifications, certifications, representations and assumptions, for federal income tax purposes:

 

(a) The Reorganization will constitute a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code, and each of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund will be a “party to a reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(b) of the Code;

 

(b) No gain or loss will be recognized by the Target Fund upon the transfer of all the Assets of the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund solely in exchange for shares of the Acquiring Fund and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all the Liabilities of the Target Fund, or upon the distribution of the shares of the Acquiring Fund to the Target Fund Shareholders, except for (A) gain or loss that may be recognized on the transfer of “section 1256 contracts” as defined in Section 1256(b) of the Code, (B) gain that may be recognized on the transfer of stock in a “passive foreign investment company” as defined in Section 1297(a) of the Code, and (C) any other gain or loss that may be required to be recognized upon the transfer of an asset regardless of whether such transfer would otherwise be a non-recognition transaction under the Code;

 

(c) The tax basis in the hands of the Acquiring Fund of each Asset transferred from the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization will be the same as the tax basis of such Asset in the hands of the Target Fund immediately prior to the transfer thereof, increased by the amount of gain (or decreased by the amount of loss), if any, recognized by the Target Fund on the transfer;

 

A-17

 

 

(d) The holding period in the hands of the Acquiring Fund of each Asset transferred from the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund in the Reorganization, other than Assets with respect to which gain or loss is required to be recognized, will include the Target Fund’s holding period for such Asset (except where investment activities of the Acquiring Fund have the effect of reducing or eliminating the holding period with respect to an asset);

 

(e) No gain or loss will be recognized by the Acquiring Fund upon its receipt of all the Assets of the Target Fund solely in exchange for shares of the Acquiring Fund and the assumption by the Acquiring Fund of all the Liabilities of the Target Fund as part of the Reorganization;

 

(f) No gain or loss will be recognized by the Target Fund Shareholders upon the exchange of their shares of the Target Fund for shares of the Acquiring Fund as part of the Reorganization (except with respect to cash received by Target Fund Shareholders in redemption of fractional shares prior to the Reorganization);

 

(g) The aggregate tax basis of the shares of the Acquiring Fund shares each Target Fund Shareholder receives in the Reorganization will be the same as the aggregate tax basis of the shares of the Target Fund exchanged therefor; and

 

(h) Each Target Fund Shareholder’s holding period for the shares of the Acquiring Fund received in the Reorganization will include the Target Fund Shareholder’s holding period for the shares of the Target Fund exchanged therefor, provided that the Target Fund Shareholder held such shares of the Target Fund as capital assets on the date of the exchange.

 

Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, neither the Acquiring Entity nor the Target Entity may waive the conditions set forth in this Section 8.5.

 

9. BROKERAGE FEES AND EXPENSES

 

9.1. The parties hereto represent and warrant to each other that there are no brokers or finders entitled to receive any payments in connection with the transaction provided for herein.

 

9.2. Except as otherwise provided herein, Bridgeway and EA Advisers will bear 100% of the expenses relating to the Reorganization whether or not the Reorganization is consummated pursuant to a separate arrangement between Bridgeway and EA Advisers. The costs of the Reorganization shall include, but not be limited to, costs associated with obtaining any necessary order of exemption from the 1940 Act, if any, terminating any existing agreements or contracts to which the Target Entity is a party (including any penalties payable in connection with such termination), preparation, printing and distribution of the N-14 Registration Statement for the Reorganization (including the prospectus/proxy statement contained therein) and any supplements to the Target Fund’s current prospectus and statement of additional information, legal fees, accounting fees, and expenses of holding shareholders’ meetings. Any applicable transfer fees, stamp duty, brokerage commissions and other transaction costs relating to the (i) transfer of securities from the Target Fund to the Acquiring Fund at the time of the Reorganization and (ii) the sale and purchase of securities in those foreign markets that do not permit the in-kind transfer of securities shall be borne by the Target Fund. Notwithstanding the foregoing, expenses of the Reorganization will in any event be paid by the party directly incurring such expenses if and to the extent that the payment by another person of such expenses would result in a failure by either the Target Fund or the Acquiring Fund to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company within the meaning of Section 851 of the Code or would prevent the Reorganization from qualifying as a “reorganization” within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Code or otherwise result in the imposition of tax on either the Target Fund or the Acquiring Fund or on any of their respective shareholders.

 

A-18

 

 

10. COOPERATION AND EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

 

With respect to the Reorganization, prior to the Closing and for a reasonable time thereafter, the Target Entity and the Acquiring Entity will provide each other and their respective representatives with such cooperation, assistance and information as is reasonably necessary (i) for the filing of any Tax Return, for the preparation for any audit, and for the prosecution or defense of any claim, suit or proceeding relating to any proposed adjustment, or (ii) for any financial accounting purpose. Each such party or their respective agents will retain until the applicable period for assessment under applicable law (giving effect to any and all extensions or waivers) has expired all returns, schedules and work papers and all material records or other documents relating to Tax matters and financial reporting of tax positions of the Target Fund and the Acquiring Fund for its taxable period first ending after the Closing of the Reorganization and for all prior taxable periods for which the statute of limitation had not run at the time of the Closing, provided that the Target Entity shall not be required to maintain any such documents that it has delivered to the Acquiring Fund.

 

11. INDEMNIFICATION

 

11.1. With respect to the Reorganization, the Acquiring Entity, out of the assets of the Acquiring Fund, agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Target Entity and each of the Target Entity’s officers and directors from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses (including, without limitation, the payment of reasonable legal fees and reasonable costs of investigation) to which, jointly and severally, the Target Entity or any of its directors or officers may become subject, insofar as such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions with respect thereto) arises out of or is based on any breach by the Acquiring Entity, on behalf of the Acquiring Fund, of any of its representations, warranties, covenants or agreements set forth in this Agreement. This indemnification obligation shall survive the termination of this Agreement and the closing of the Reorganization.

 

11.2. With respect to the Reorganization, the Target Entity, out of the assets of the Target Fund, agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Acquiring Entity and its officers and trustees from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, liabilities or expenses (including, without limitation, the payment of reasonable legal fees and reasonable costs of investigation) to which, jointly and severally, the Acquiring Entity or any of its trustees or officers may become subject, insofar as such loss, claim, damage, liability or expense (or actions with respect thereto) arises out of or is based on any breach by the Target Entity, on behalf of the Target Fund, of any of its representations, warranties, covenants or agreements set forth in this Agreement. This indemnification obligation shall survive the termination of this Agreement and the closing of the Reorganization.

 

12. ENTIRE AGREEMENT; SURVIVAL OF WARRANTIES AND COVENANTS

 

12.1. Each party agrees that no party has made any representation, warranty or covenant not set forth herein and that this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties.

 

12.2. The covenants to be performed after the Closing shall survive the Closing. The representations, warranties and all other covenants contained in this Agreement or in any document delivered pursuant hereto or in connection herewith shall not survive the consummation of the transactions contemplated hereunder.

 

A-19

 

 

13. TERMINATION

 

13.1. In addition, this Agreement may be terminated and the transactions contemplated hereby may be abandoned at any time prior to the Closing Date by: (i) resolution of either the board of trustees of the Acquiring Entity or the board of directors of the Target Entity if circumstances should develop that, in the opinion of that board, make proceeding with the Agreement not in the best interests of the shareholders of the Acquiring Fund or the Target Fund, respectively; (ii) mutual agreement of the parties; (iii) either the Acquiring Entity or the Target Entity if the Closing shall not have occurred on or before October 14, 2022; unless such date is extended by mutual agreement of the Acquiring Entity and the Target Entity; or (iv) any party if one or more other parties shall have materially breached its obligations under this Agreement or made a material misrepresentation herein or in connection herewith which would render a condition set forth in this Agreement unable to be satisfied. In the event of any such termination, this Agreement shall become void and there shall be no liability hereunder on the part of any party or their respective trustees, directors, or officers, except for (a) any such material breach or intentional misrepresentation or (b) the parties’ respective obligations under Sections 9.2 and 11, as to each of which all remedies at law or in equity of the party adversely affected shall survive.

 

13.2. If any order of the Commission with respect to the Agreement shall be issued prior to the Closing that imposes any term or condition that is determined by action of the board of directors of the Target Entity to be acceptable, such term or condition shall be binding as if it were a part of the Agreement without a vote or approval of the shareholders of the Target Fund; provided that, if such term or condition would result in a change in the method of computing the number of Acquiring Fund shares to be issued to the Target Fund, and such term or condition had not been included in the prospectus/proxy statement or other proxy solicitation material furnished to the shareholders of the Target Fund prior to the Special Meeting, the Agreement shall not be consummated and shall terminate unless the Target Entity promptly calls a Special Meeting of its shareholders at which such condition shall be submitted for approval.

 

14. AMENDMENTS

 

This Agreement may be amended, modified or supplemented in a writing signed by the parties hereto to be bound by such Amendment; provided, however, that following dissemination of the proxy statement/prospectus, no such amendment may have the effect of changing the provisions for determining the number of shares of the Acquiring Fund to be issued to the shareholders of the Target Fund under this Agreement to the detriment of such shareholders without their further approval.

 

15. NOTICES

 

Any notice, report, statement or demand required or permitted by any provisions of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be given by facsimile, electronic delivery, personal service or prepaid or certified mail addressed to:

 

For the Target Entity:

 

Bridgeway Funds, Inc.

20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450

Houston, Texas 77046

(713) 661-3500

 

For the Acquiring Entity:

 

EA Series Trust

19 East Eagle Road

Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083

(215) 882-9983

 

A-20

 

 

16. HEADINGS; GOVERNING LAW; COUNTERPARTS; ASSIGNMENT; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

 

16.1. The Article and Section headings contained in this Agreement are for reference purposes only and shall not affect in any way the meaning or interpretation of this Agreement.

 

16.2. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware and applicable federal law, without regard to its principles of conflicts of laws.

 

16.3. This Agreement shall bind and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns, but no assignment or transfer hereof or of any rights or obligations hereunder shall be made by any party without the written consent of the other parties. Nothing herein expressed or implied is intended or shall be construed to confer upon or give any person, firm or corporation, other than the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns, any rights or remedies under or by reason of this Agreement.

 

16.4. This agreement may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which shall be considered an original. The execution and delivery of this Agreement may occur by facsimile or by email in portable document format (PDF) or by other means of electronic signature and electronic transmission, including DocuSign or other similar method, and originals or copies of signatures executed and delivered by such methods shall have the full force and effect of the original signatures.

 

16.5. The Target Entity is a Maryland corporation organized in series of which the Target Fund constitutes one such series. With respect to the Reorganization, the Target Entity is executing this Agreement on behalf of the Target Fund only. It is expressly agreed that there is a limitation on liability of each series such that (a) the debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses incurred, contracted or otherwise existing with respect to the Target Fund are enforceable against the assets of the Target Fund only, and not against the assets of the Target Entity generally or the assets of any other series thereof, and (b) none of the debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses incurred, contracted for or otherwise existing with respect to the Target Entity generally or with respect to any other series thereof are enforceable against the assets of the Target Fund.

 

16.6. It is expressly agreed that the obligations of the parties hereunder shall not be binding upon any of their respective trustees, directors, shareholders, nominees, officers, agents, or employees personally, but, except as provided in Sections 9.2, 11.1 and 11.2 hereof, shall bind only the property of the Target Fund or the Acquiring Fund as provided in the Corporate Governing Documents of the Target Entity or the Trust Governing Documents of the Acquiring Entity. The execution and delivery by such officers shall not be deemed to have been made by any of them individually or to impose any liability on any of them personally, but shall bind only the property of such party.

 

A-21

 

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be approved on behalf of the Acquiring Fund and Target Fund.

 

Bridgeway Funds, Inc., on behalf of Blue Chip Fund   EA Series Trust, on behalf of EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF
     
By:     By:  
  Name:     Name:
  Title:     Title:

 

For purposes of Section 9.2 only:  
   
Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC  
   
By:    
  Name:  
  Title:  

 

For purposes of Section 9.2 only:  
   
Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers  
   
By:    
  Name:  
  Title:  

 

A-22

 

 

Exhibit B

 

Financial Highlights of the Target Fund

 

These financial highlight tables are intended to help you understand the Target Fund’s financial performance and are included in the Target Fund’s annual shareholder report which is incorporated by reference into the SAI. The information presented for each of the fiscal year’s ended June 30, 2017-2021 has been audited by BBD, LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, whose report, along with the Target Fund’s financial statements, is included in the Target Fund’s annual report, which is available upon request. The financial highlights presented for the six months ended 12/31/21 have not been audited. The Acquiring Fund is newly organized and therefore has not yet had any operations as of the date of this Proxy Statement/Prospectus and does not have financial highlights to present at this time.

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

(for a share outstanding throughout each period indicated) 

 

BLUE CHIP

 

    For the
Six Months Ended
12/31/21
    Year Ended
June 30
 
    (Unaudited)     2021     2020     2019     2018     2017  
Net Asset Value, Beginning of Period   $ 15.84     $ 13.96     $ 14.99     $ 14.62     $ 13.71     $ 12.28  
                                                 
Income from Investment Operations:                                                
Net Investment Income(a)     0.15       0.31       0.33       0.34       0.31       0.30  
Net Realized and Unrealized Gain     1.08       4.73       0.28       1.75       1.33       1.44  
Total from Investment Operations     1.23       5.04       0.61       2.09       1.64       1.74  
                                                 
Less Distributions to Shareholders from:                                                
Net Investment Income     (0.30 )     (0.35 )     (0.32 )     (0.31 )     (0.31 )     (0.31 )
Net Realized Gain     (2.32 )     (2.81 )     (1.32 )     (1.41 )     (0.42 )      
Total Distributions     (2.62 )     (3.16 )     (1.64 )     (1.72 )     (0.73 )     (0.31 )
Net Asset Value, End of Period   $ 14.45     $ 15.84     $ 13.96     $ 14.99     $ 14.62     $ 13.71  
                                                 
Total Return(b)     7.85 %(c)     39.75 %     3.49 %     16.26 %     11.98 %     14.33 %
                                                 
Ratios and Supplemental Data:                                                
Net Assets, End of Period (in 000’s)   $ 431,556     $ 432,186     $ 477,400     $ 505,029     $ 567,513     $ 550,902  
Expenses Before Waivers and Reimbursements     0.23 %(d)     0.24 %     0.27 %     0.25 %     0.22 %     0.25 %
Expenses After Waivers and Reimbursements     0.15 %(d)     0.15 %     0.15 %     0.15 %     0.15 %     0.15 %
Net Investment Income After Waivers and Reimbursements     1.88 %(d)     2.07 %     2.28 %     2.28 %     2.17 %     2.30 %
Portfolio Turnover Rate     16 %(c)     7 %     15 %     20 %     14 %     17 %

 

(a) Per share amounts calculated based on the average daily shares outstanding during the period.
(b) Total return would have been lower had various fees not been waived during the period.
(c) Not annualized.
(d) Annualized for periods less than one year.

 

B-1

 

 

Exhibit C

 

PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES OF THE TARGET FUND

 

Listed below are the names, addresses and percent ownership of each person who, as of July 22, 2022 to the best knowledge of Bridgeway Funds, owned 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the Target Fund. A shareholder who owns beneficially 25% or more of the outstanding securities of a Fund is presumed to “control” the Fund as defined in the 1940 Act. Such control may affect the voting rights of other shareholders.

 

Name and Address Share
Amount
Percentage
of Class (%)
AMERITRADE INC FOR THE
EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS
PO BOX 2226
OMAHA NE 68 1 03 - 2226
7,897, 668.256 29.6265%
CHARLES SCHWAB CO INC
ATTN MUTUAL FUND OPS
1 01 MONTGOMERY ST
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94104-4175
5,181,894.987 19.4389%
NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP
(FBO) OUR CUSTOMERS
ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL
499 WASHINGTON BLVD
JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-20 10
3,428,839.368 12.8626%

 

C-1

 

 

Exhibit D

 

Comparison of Target Fund and Acquiring Fund Fundamental Investment Restrictions

 

Target Fund Acquiring Fund

Derivatives: The Fund may not make short sales of securities or maintain a short position if such sales or positions exceed 20% of the Fund’s total assets under management.

 

The Fund may not invest in options or futures in individual stocks if the aggregate initial margins and premiums required for establishing such non-hedging positions exceed 5% of net assets. In addition, the Fund may not invest in any options (unless otherwise noted in the Prospectus) but may invest in futures of stock market indices and individual stocks as described in the Prospectus. For purposes of calculating the 5% limit, options and futures on individual stocks are excluded as long as the equivalent stock position in the underlying stock meets all other investment restrictions.

Derivatives: N/A
Margin: The Fund may not purchase securities on margin, except short-term credits that may be necessary for the clearance of transactions. Margin: N/A
Control: The Fund may not make investments for the purpose of exercising control or management. Control: N/A
Underwriting: The Fund may not act as an underwriter of securities of other issuers. Underwriting: The Fund may not engage in the business of underwriting securities except to the extent that the Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the 1933 Act in the acquisition, disposition or resale of its portfolio securities or in connection with investments in other investment companies, or to the extent otherwise permitted under the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.
Loans: The Fund may not make loans (except for purchases of publicly traded debt securities consistent with the Fund’s investment policies and pursuant to cash borrowing and lending agreements between and among the Bridgeway Funds whose shareholders have authorized such agreements); however, the Fund may lend its securities to others on a fully collateralized basis as permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Loans: The Fund may not make loans, except to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.
Borrowing: The Fund may borrow, on a secured or unsecured basis from banks, up to 5% of its total assets for temporary or emergency purposes. In addition, the Fund may borrow from banks up to 50% of net assets for the purpose of selling a security short “against the box” on a temporary basis to avoid capital gains distributions. Borrowing: The Fund may not borrow money, except to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

D-1

 

 

Target Fund Acquiring Fund
Senior Securities: The Fund may not issue senior securities, except that the Fund may borrow, on a secured or unsecured basis from banks. Senior Securities: The Fund may not issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.
Real Estate: The Fund may not buy or sell real estate, real estate limited partnership interests or other interest in real estate (although it may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate and securities or companies which invest or deal in real estate). Real Estate: The Fund may not purchase or sell real estate, except to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.
Commodities: The Fund may not invest in options or futures on individual commodities if the aggregate initial margins and premiums required for establishing such positions exceed 2% of net assets. Commodities: The Fund may not purchase or sell physical commodities, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, and provided that this limitation does not prevent the Fund from (i) purchasing or selling securities of companies that purchase or sell commodities or that invest in commodities; (ii) engaging in any transaction involving currencies, options, forwards, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, swaps, hybrid instruments or other derivatives; or (iii) investing in securities, or transacting in other instruments, that are linked to or secured by physical or other commodities.
Concentration: The Fund may not invest 25% or more of its total assets (calculated at the time of purchase and taken at market value) in any one industry. For purposes of this calculation, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes are used to determine into which industry a company falls. Concentration: The Fund will not concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries, as that term is used in the Investment Company Act.
Diversification: As to 75% of the value of its total assets, the Fund may not invest more than 5% of the value of its total assets in the securities of any one issuer (other than obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, or instrumentalities), or purchase more than 10% of all outstanding voting securities of any one issuer. Diversification: The Fund may not, with respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase the securities of any one issuer if, immediately after and as a result of such purchase, (a) the value of the Fund’s holdings in the securities of such issuer exceeds 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets, or (b) the Fund owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer (with the exception that this restriction does not apply to the Fund’s investments in the securities of the U.S. government, or its agencies or instrumentalities, or other investment companies).

 

D-2

 

 

Exhibit E

 

Comparison of Maryland and Delaware Governing Instruments and State Law

 

The following is only a discussion of certain principal differences between the governing documents for Bridgeway Funds, Inc., the existing Maryland corporation (the “Corporation”), and EA Series Trust, a Delaware statutory trust (the “Trust”), and is not a complete description of the Corporation’s and the Trust’s governing documents. In general, the Delaware statutory trust form of organization offers greater flexibility in structuring shareholder voting rights and shareholder meetings; subject, however, to any special voting requirements of the 1940 Act. In many instances, shareholders of the reorganizing series of the Corporation will have the same or similar rights as shareholders of corresponding series of the Trust, as described below.

 

Organization and Capital Structure

Maryland – Organization. The Corporation is incorporated under the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “Maryland Statute”). The Corporation’s operations are governed by its Articles of Incorporation, as amended or supplemented from time to time (the “MD Charter”), and its by-laws (the “MD By-Laws”). The business and affairs of the Corporation are managed under the direction of its Board of Directors. Delaware – Organization. The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust (a “DST”). A DST is an unincorporated association organized under the Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “Delaware Act”). The Trust’s operations are governed by its Agreement and Declaration of Trust (the “DE Declaration”) and its by-laws (the “DE By-Laws”), and its business and affairs are managed under the supervision of its Board of Trustees.
Maryland – Capital Structure. The shares of common stock issued by the Corporation have a par value of $0.001 per share. The Corporation’s Charter authorizes a fixed number of shares, which the Corporation’s Board of Directors may increase or decrease by amending the MD Charter. The Corporation’s shares may be divided into separate and distinct classes. Delaware – Capital Structure. The Trust’s shares of beneficial interest are issued without par value. The DE Declaration authorizes an unlimited number of shares, which may be divided into separate and distinct series or classes. These series or classes have the rights, powers and duties set forth in the DE Declaration or as specified in resolutions of the Trust’s Board of Trustees.

Meetings of Shareholders and Voting Rights

Maryland – Annual/Special Shareholder Meetings. Consistent with the Maryland Statute, the MD By-Laws provide that the Corporation shall not be required to hold an annual meeting of stockholders in any year in which an election of directors is not required to be acted upon under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). However, if the Corporation is required by the 1940 Act to hold a meeting of stockholders to elect directors, such meeting will be designated as the annual meeting of stockholders for that year. The MD By-Laws provide that a special shareholders’ meeting may be called at any time by a majority of the Board of Directors, by the chairman of the board (if any), by the president, or by stockholders entitled to cast not less than 10% of the shares entitled to vote at such meeting. Delaware – Annual/Special Shareholder Meeting. The Delaware Act does not require annual shareholders’ meetings. The DE By-Laws authorize the calling of a shareholders’ meeting by the Board, the chairperson of the Board or by the president of the Trust to take action on any matter deemed necessary or desirable by the Board of Trustees. A shareholder meeting for the purpose of electing trustees may also be called by the chairperson of the Board of Trustees to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. To the extent required by federal law, including the 1940 Act, special meetings of the shareholders may be called by the secretary of the Trust upon the request of the shareholders owning shares representing at least the percentage of the total combined votes of all shares of the Trust issued and outstanding, as required by federal law, including the 1940 Act, provided that (a) such request shall state the purposes of such meeting and the matters proposed to be acted on, and (b) the shareholders requesting such meeting shall have paid to the Trust the reasonably estimated cost of preparing and mailing the notice thereof, which an authorized officer of the Trust shall determine and specify to such shareholders. No meeting may be called upon the request of shareholders to consider any matter which is substantially the same as a matter voted upon at any meeting of the shareholders held during the preceding twelve (12) months, unless requested by the holders of a majority of all shares entitled to be voted at such meeting.

 

E-1

 

 

Maryland – Voting Rights. The MD Charter and MD By-Laws provide that the presence in person or by proxy of the holders of common stock of the Corporation entitled to cast one-third of the votes, without regard to class, shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the stockholders (or if the matter requires approval by a separate vote of one or more classes of stock, one-third of the votes of each class required to vote as a class shall constitute a quorum). If a quorum is present at a meeting of stockholders, all matters other than the election of directors are decided by a majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy, unless the question is one which by express provision of applicable law (including the Maryland Statute and the 1940 Act), the MD Charter or the MD By-Laws, a different vote is required, in which case such express provision shall control the decision of such question. Directors are elected by a plurality of votes cast at a stockholder meeting at which a quorum is present.

 

The MD Charter and/or MD By-laws further provide that each holder of capital stock of the Corporation shall have one vote for each full share, and a proportionate fraction of a vote for each fraction of a share, of stock standing in such holder’s name on the books of the Corporation.

 

The MD Charter also provides that on any matter submitted to a vote of stockholders, all shares of the Corporation then issued and outstanding and entitled to vote, irrespective of the class, shall be voted in the aggregate and not by class except when required by Maryland law or by the 1940 Act, in which case the separate voting requirements of the applicable law shall govern with respect to the affected class(es) and the other classes shall vote as a single class; provided that no class shall vote on any matter which does not affect any interest of that class. Holders of shares of stock of the Corporation are not entitled to cumulative voting in the election of Directors or on any other matter.

Delaware – Voting Rights. The DE Declaration provides that one-third of the outstanding shares entitled to vote at a shareholders’ meeting, which are present in person or represented by proxy, shall constitute a quorum at the shareholders’ meeting, except when a larger quorum is required by the DE Declaration, DE By-Laws, applicable law or the requirements of any securities exchange on which shares are listed for trading, in which case such quorum shall comply with such requirements. Subject to any legal requirements for a different vote, in all matters other than the election of trustees, shareholders may approve a proposal by a majority of votes cast. Trustees are elected by a plurality of votes cast at a shareholder meeting at which a quorum is present. Where a separate vote by series or class is required, these voting requirements apply to those separate votes.

 

As in the MD Charter and/or MD By-laws, the DE Declaration generally provides that each share of the Trust is entitled to one vote for each full share, and a proportionate fraction of a vote for each fraction of a share. All shares of the Trust entitled to vote on a matter shall vote in the aggregate without differentiation between shares of separate series or classes. With respect to any matter that affects only the interests of some but not all series or classes, or where otherwise required by the 1940 Act, only the shareholders of the affected series or classes shall be entitled to vote on the matter. There is no cumulative voting for any matter.

Liability of Shareholders

Maryland – Liability of Shareholders. As is typical for Maryland corporations, neither the MD Charter nor the MD By-Laws contains specific provisions regarding the personal liability of shareholders. The Maryland Statute provides that a shareholder of a Maryland corporation generally is not obligated to the Corporation or its creditors with respect to the stock, except to the extent that the consideration for the stock has not been paid, or liability is imposed under certain provisions of the Maryland Statute (e.g., knowing receipt of an unlawful distribution). Delaware – Liability of Shareholders. Consistent with the Delaware Act, the DE Declaration provides that a shareholder of the Trust, as such, shall be entitled to the same limitation of personal liability as that extended to stockholders of a private corporation organized for profit under the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware.

 

E-2

 

 

Dividends and Distributions

Maryland – Dividends and Distributions. The MD Charter provides that dividends and distributions may be paid to shareholders of each class in such amounts as may be declared from time to time by the Board of Directors. Delaware – Dividends and Distributions. The DE Declaration also provides that the shareholders of any class of the Trust shall be entitled to receive dividends and distributions when, if and as declared by its Board of Trustees provided that such dividends and distributions comply with the 1940 Act. The right of the Trust’s shareholders to receive dividends or other distributions on shares of any class may be set forth in a plan adopted by the Trust’s Board of Trustees pursuant to the 1940 Act. Dividends and distributions may be paid, subject to applicable federal law, including the 1940 Act, in cash and/or securities or other property, and the composition of any such distribution shall be determined by the Trustees (or by any officer of the Trust or any other person to whom such authority has been delegated by the Trustees).

Election of Directors/Trustees; Terms; Removal

Maryland – Election of Directors; Terms; Removal. The MD Charter and MD By-Laws provide that each director of the Corporation shall serve until the director’s successor is duly elected and qualified or until his or her death or until he or she has resigned or has been removed. The MD By-Laws provide that directors may be removed, with or without cause by the vote of the majority of the outstanding shares of the Corporation. The MD Charter and MD By-Laws provide that there will be no fewer than two and no more than fifteen directors. As noted above, directors are elected by a plurality of votes cast at a stockholder meeting at which a quorum is present and there is no cumulative voting for the election of directors. The MD By-Laws provide a mechanism for the Board to fill vacancies. Delaware – Election of Trustees; Terms; Removal. Under the DE Declaration, each trustee of the Trust holds office for the lifetime of the Trust or until the trustee’s earlier death, resignation, removal, retirement or inability otherwise to serve or if sooner than any such events, the next meeting of shareholders (or consent in lieu of a meeting) called for the purpose of electing trustees and the election and qualification of his or her successor. Under the DE Declaration, any trustee may be removed, with or without cause, by the Board of Trustees, by action of a majority of the trustees then in office, or by the vote of the shareholders at any meeting called for that purpose. Under the DE Declaration, there must be at least one trustee and no more than fifteen trustees. Trustees are elected by a plurality of votes cast at a shareholder meeting at which a quorum is present. There is no cumulative voting for the election of trustees of the Trust. The DE By-laws for the Trust provide a mechanism for the Board to fill vacancies.

 

E-3

 

 

Standards of Care; Liability of Directors/Trustees and Officers; Indemnification

Maryland – Standards of Care. The Maryland Statute provides that a director of a Maryland corporation who performs his or her duties in accordance with certain standards of conduct is immune from liability. The standards of conduct set forth in the Maryland Statute provide that a director shall perform his or her duties: (1) in good faith; (2) in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation; and (3) with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. Delaware – Standards of Care. The DE Declaration provides that any person who is or was a trustee, officer, employee or other agent of the Trust shall be liable to the Trust and its shareholders only (1) for any act or omission that constitutes a bad faith violation of the implied contractual covenant of good faith and fair dealing, or (2) for such person’s own willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the person’s duties. Except in these instances, these persons shall not be responsible or liable for any act or omission of any other agent of the Trust or its investment advisor or principal underwriter to the fullest extent that limitations of liability are permitted by the Delaware Act. Moreover, except in these instances, none of these persons, when acting in their designated capacity, shall be personally liable to any other person, other than the Trust or its shareholders, for any act, omission or obligation of the Trust or any trustee thereof.

Maryland – Indemnification. The MD Charter provide that the directors and officers shall be indemnified to the maximum extent permitted by law, including the 1940 Act; provided, however, that directors and officers shall not be indemnified for “disabling conduct”, which is defined as willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of duties. These persons shall be indemnified for judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses (including attorney’s fees) actually incurred. The MD Charter also includes provisions for the advancement of expenses to directors and officers.

 

Under the Maryland Statute, indemnification is mandatory if a director or officer has been successful on the merits or otherwise in the defense of any proceeding covered by the Maryland Statute. and (b) in general, indemnification is not permitted if it is established that: (1) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and was committed in bad faith or was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty; (2) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services; or (3) in the case of a criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful.

Delaware – Indemnification. The DE Declaration will provide that the Trust shall indemnify, to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, any of these persons who are a party to any proceeding or is threatened to be made a party to any proceedings because the person is or was an agent of the Trust. These persons shall be indemnified against any expenses, judgments, fines, settlements and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred in connection with the proceeding if the person acted in good faith or, in the case of a criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe that the conduct was unlawful. The termination of any proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction or plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent does not in itself create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith or that the person had reasonable cause to believe that the conduct was unlawful. There shall nonetheless be no indemnification for a person’s own willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the person’s duties.

 

E-4

 

 

Preemptive, Dissenter’s and Other Rights

Maryland – Preemptive, Dissenter’s and Other Rights. The MD Charter provides that no shareholder of the Corporation will be entitled as a matter of right to purchase or subscribe for any part of any new or additional issue of shares of capital stock or securities of the Corporation.

 

The Maryland Statute provides that a stockholder may not demand the fair value of the stockholder’s stock and is bound by the terms of the transaction if the stock is that of an open-end investment company and the value placed on the stock in the transaction is its net asset value.

Delaware – Preemptive, Dissenter’s and Other Rights. The DE Declaration provides that shareholders shall have no preemptive or other right to subscribe for new or additional authorized, but unissued shares or other securities issued by the Trust or any series thereof. The DE Declaration also provides that no shareholder shall be entitled, as a matter of right, to relief as a dissenting shareholder in respect of any proposal or action involving the Trust or any series or any class thereof.

Amendments to Organizational Documents

Maryland – Amendments to Organizational Documents. The MD Charter may be amended at any time in a manner prescribed by Maryland law. The Maryland Statute provides that, subject to certain exceptions an amendment to the MD Charter must be advised by the Board of Directors and approved by stockholders of the corporation by the vote of two-thirds of all votes entitled to be cast on the proposed amendment unless this percentage is reduced by the corporation’s charter but not less than a majority of the votes entitled to be cast (the MD Charter reduces this vote to a majority). The MD By-Laws may be altered, amended, added to or repealed by the stockholders or by majority vote of the entire board of directors. Delaware – Amendments to Organizational Documents. The DE Declaration may be amended or restated at any time by a written instrument signed by a majority of the Trust’s Board of Trustees and, to the extent required by the 1940 Act or the requirements of any securities exchange on which shares are listed for trading, by approval of the amendment by shareholders. The DE By-Laws may be amended, restated, or repealed or new by-laws may be adopted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at a shareholders’ meeting called for that purpose where a quorum is present, or by a majority of the Trust’s Board of Trustees.

Inspection Rights

Maryland – Inspection Rights. A stockholder of the Corporation may, during normal business hours, inspect and copy the by-laws, minutes, annual reports and certain other corporate documents on file at the Corporation’s principal office. In addition, the Maryland Statute provides that any person who has held at least five percent of any class of a corporation’s stock for at least six months is entitled to request certain other documents relating to the corporation’s affairs. Delaware – Inspection Rights. The DE By-Laws provide that, upon reasonable written demand to the Trust, a shareholder may inspect certain information as to the governance and affairs of the Trust for any purpose reasonably related to the shareholder’s interest as a shareholder. If such information is requested by a shareholder, reasonable standards governing, without limitation, the information and documents to be furnished and the time and location (if appropriate) of furnishing them shall be established by the Board or, if the Board has not done so, by the president, any vice-president or the secretary. In addition, the DE By-Laws also authorize the Board or, in case the Board does not act, the president, any vice president or the secretary, to keep confidential from shareholders for a reasonable period of time any information that the Board or the officer reasonably believes to be in the nature of trade secrets or other information that the Board or the officer in good faith believes: (1) would not be in the best interests of the Trust to disclose; (2) could damage the Trust; or (3) that the Trust is required by law or by agreement with a third party to keep confidential.

 

E-5

 

 

Dissolution

Maryland – Dissolution. Under the Maryland Statute, the board of directors of a Maryland corporation may dissolve the corporation by resolution of a majority of the board of directors that declares that the dissolution is advisable. The proposed dissolution must be approved by stockholders of the corporation by the vote of two-thirds of all votes entitled to be cast on the proposed dissolution unless this percentage is reduced by the corporation’s charter but not less than a majority of the votes entitled to be cast (the MD Charter reduces this vote to a majority).

Delaware – Dissolution. Under the DE Declaration, the Trust, or one of its series or classes, may be dissolved: (i) upon the vote of the holders of not less than a majority of the shares of the Trust (or series or class, as applicable) cast: (ii) at the discretion of the Board of Trustees either (A) at any time there are no shares outstanding of the Trust, or (B) upon prior written notice to the shareholders of the Trust; (iii) upon the occurrence of a dissolution or termination event pursuant to any other provision of this Declaration of Trust or the DSTA; or (iv) with respect to any series, upon any event that causes the dissolution of the Trust. The DE Declaration provides that Board of Trustees shall pay or make reasonable provision to pay all claims and obligations of the Trust and/or each series (or the particular series, as the case may be), including, without limitation, all contingent, conditional or unmatured claims and obligations known to the Trust, and all claims and obligations which are known to the Trust, but for which the identity of the claimant is unknown. The DE Declaration further provides that any remaining assets after dissolution of the Trust or series shall be distributed to the shareholders of the Trust or series, as applicable, ratably according to the number of shares of the Trust or series held of record by the shareholders on the dissolution distribution date.

Derivative Actions

Maryland – Derivative Actions. Neither the MD Charter nor the MD By-Laws contain specific provisions with regard to derivative actions.

 

Maryland courts recognize derivative actions even in the absence of a specific statute or court rule. Under Maryland law, in order to bring a derivative action, a stockholder (or his predecessor if he became a stockholder by operation of law) must be a stockholder: (1) at the time of the acts or omissions complained about; (2) at the time the action is brought and (3) until the completion of the litigation. A derivative action may be brought by a stockholder if a demand upon the board of directors to bring the action is improperly refused or if a request upon the board of directors would be futile (although the futility exception is very limited under Maryland law).

Delaware – Derivative Actions. Under the Delaware Act, a shareholder may bring a derivative action if (1) the shareholder has made a pre-suit demand upon the trustees to bring the action and the trustees have refused to do so, or (2) if a demand upon the trustees to bring the action is not likely to succeed. A shareholder may bring a derivative action only if the shareholder is a shareholder at the time the action is brought and (1) was a shareholder at the time of the transaction complained about, or (2) acquired the status of shareholder by operation of law or the Trust’s governing instrument from a person who was a shareholder at the time of the transaction.

 

A shareholder’s right to bring a derivative action may also be subject to additional standards and restrictions set forth in the Trust’s DE Declaration. The DE Declaration provides that a shareholder may bring a derivative action on behalf of the Trust only if the shareholder first makes a pre-suit demand upon the Board of Trustees to bring the action, unless the pre-suit demand is excused. A pre-suit demand shall only be excused if a majority of the Board of Trustees, or a majority of any committee established to consider the merits of such action, is composed of Trustees who are not “independent trustees” (as such term is defined in the DSTA). Further, unless demand is not required: (i) shareholders eligible to bring such derivative action under the DSTA who hold at least 10% of the outstanding shares of the Trust, or 10% of the outstanding shares of the series or class to which such action relates, shall join in the request for the Board of Trustees to commence such action; and (ii) the Board of Trustees must be afforded a reasonable amount of time to consider such shareholder request and to investigate the basis of such claim. The DE Declaration further provides that the Board of Trustees shall be entitled to retain counsel or other advisors in considering the merits of the request and shall require an undertaking by the shareholders making such request to reimburse the Trust for the expense of any such advisors in the event that the Board of Trustees determine not to bring such action. However, the standards and restrictions set forth with respect to derivative actions in section 4 the DE Declaration will not apply to claims brought under the federal securities laws.

 

E-6

 

 

 

35

 

 

 

36

 

 

EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF

(a series of EA Series Trust)

Ticker Symbol: BBLU

 

 

 

Prospectus

 

 

August 11, 2022

 

 

Listed on NYSE Arca, Inc.

 

 

 

These securities have not been approved or disapproved by the Securities and Exchange Commission nor has the Securities and Exchange Commission passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF   1
Additional Information About The Fund   7
Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies   7
Additional Information about the Fund’s Risks   8
Fund Management   11
Other Service Providers   13
The Exchange   13
Buying and Selling Fund Shares   14
Buying and Selling Shares on the Secondary Market   14
Active Investors and Market Timing   15
Distribution and Service Plan   16
Net Asset Value   16
Fund Website and Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings   17
Investments by Other Investment Companies   17
Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes   17
Financial Highlights   19

 

- i -

 

 

EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF

 

Fund Summary

 

 

Investment Objective

 

EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide long-term total return on capital, primarily through capital appreciation, but also some income.

 

Fees And Expenses

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may also pay brokerage commissions on the purchase and sale of Shares, which are not reflected in the table or example.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

      
Management Fee   0.15%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees   0.00%
Other Expenses1   0.00%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses   0.15%

 

1 Other Expenses are estimated for the current fiscal year.

 

Example

 

The following example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that the Fund provides a return of 5% a year and that operating expenses remain the same. You may also pay brokerage commissions on the purchase and sale of Shares, which are not reflected in the example. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

  One Year: Three Years:  
  $15 $48  

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund may pay transaction costs, including commissions when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. At the date of this Prospectus, the Fund has not yet commenced operations and portfolio turnover data therefore is not available.

 

- 1 -

 

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

 

The Fund’s Investment Strategy

 

The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) sub-advised by Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) that seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in blue-chip stocks, and through some income almost exclusively derived from dividends paid by companies held in the Fund’s portfolio.

 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) in blue-chip stocks as determined at the time of purchase. For purposes of the Fund’s investments, the Sub-Adviser considers “blue-chip stocks” to be stocks that are issued by the largest 150 U.S. companies as defined by market capitalization. These stocks tend to be well-known and established companies. As of June 30, 2022, the stocks in this group generally had a market capitalization of more than $46.6 billion. 

 

The Sub-Adviser selects stocks within the blue-chip category using a model-driven statistical approach. The statistical approach was developed utilizing academic theory and incorporates logic, data, and evidence. Securities in the blue-chip category are selected by the proprietary model that primarily uses market capitalization ranking to establish a portfolio with reasonable industry diversification as determined by the Sub-Adviser and excluding any tobacco companies. This process typically results in a portfolio of approximately 35 securities. At times, however, the Fund may hold more or fewer stocks as a result of corporate actions such as spin-offs or mergers and acquisitions. Although the Fund seeks investments across a number of sectors, from time to time, based on portfolio positioning, the Fund may have significant positions in particular sectors.

 

The Sub-Adviser’s investment process incorporates material environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) information as a consideration in the ongoing assessment of all potential portfolio securities. The Sub-Adviser uses ESG research and/or ratings information provided by third parties in performing this analysis and considering ESG risks. As with any consideration used in assessing portfolio securities, the Sub-Adviser may, at times, utilize ESG information to increase the weighting of an issuer with a good ESG record or decrease the weighting of an issuer with a poor ESG record. However, as ESG information is just one investment consideration, ESG considerations are not solely determinative in any investment decision made by the Sub-Adviser.

 

Principal Risks

 

An investment in the Fund involves risk, including those described below. There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. An investor may lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any government agency. More complete risk descriptions are set forth below under the heading “Additional Information About the Fund’s Risks”.

 

Blue-Chip Stocks Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that blue-chip stocks will underperform other kinds of investments for a period of time. This risk is true of any market segment. Large companies do not have the same growth potential of smaller companies and shareholders of large companies have less overall influence than they would in smaller companies.

 

Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing Risk. The Fund’s incorporation of ESG considerations in its investment strategy may cause it to make different investments than a fund that has a similar investment style but does not incorporate such considerations in its strategy. As with the use of any considerations involved in investment decisions, there is no guarantee that the ESG investment considerations used by the Fund will result in the selection of issuers that will outperform other issuers or help reduce risk in the Fund. The Fund may underperform funds that do not incorporate these considerations.

 

- 2 -

 

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector includes companies engaged in internet software and services, technology hardware and storage peripherals, electronic equipment and components, and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face rapid product obsolescence due to technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Failure to introduce new products, develop and maintain a loyal customer base or achieve general market acceptance for their products could have a material adverse effect on a company’s business. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on intellectual property and the loss of patent, copyright or trademark protections may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.

 

Inflation Risk. While large companies tend to exhibit less price volatility than small companies, historically they have not recovered as fast from a market decline. Consequently, this Fund may expose shareholders to higher inflation risk (the risk that the Fund value will not keep up with inflation) than some other stock market investments.

 

Sector Risk. Companies with similar characteristics may be grouped together in broad categories called sectors. A certain sector may underperform other sectors or the market as a whole. As the Sub-Adviser allocates more of the Fund’s portfolio holdings to a particular sector, the Fund’s performance will be more susceptible to any economic, business or other developments which generally affect that sector.

 

Focus Investing Risk. The Fund seeks to hold the stocks of approximately 35 companies. As a result, the Fund invests a high percentage of its assets in a small number of companies, which may add to Fund volatility.

 

Investment Risk. When you sell your Shares of the Fund, they could be worth less than what you paid for them. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular industry or group of industries. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Therefore, you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

Equity Investing Risk. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund holding equity securities, such as market fluctuations, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock prices. The values of equity securities could decline generally or could underperform other investments. In addition, securities may decline in value due to factors affecting a specific issuer, market or securities markets generally.

 

Management and Operational Risk. The Sub-Adviser uses statistical analyses and models to select investments for the Fund. Any imperfections, errors or limitations in the models or analyses and therefore any decisions made in reliance on such models or analyses could expose the Fund to potential risks. In addition, the models used by the Sub-Adviser assume that certain historical statistical relationships will continue. These models are constructed based on historical data supplied by third parties and, as a result, the success of relying on such models may depend heavily on the accuracy and reliability of the supplied historical data.

 

Statistical Approach. The Sub-Adviser uses a statistical approach to manage the Fund and resists overriding the statistical models with qualitative or subjective data. However, the Sub-Adviser will exclude stocks if the issuer of the stock is principally engaged in the tobacco industry. The Sub-Adviser may also exclude stocks based on certain narrow social reasons including, but not limited to, if the issuer of the stock: (i) conducts or has direct investments in business operations in Sudan; or (ii) is substantially engaged in the production or trade of pornographic material. Other than companies principally engaged in the tobacco industry, the number of companies referenced in (i) and (ii) in the Sub-Adviser’s universe is usually “de minimis.”

 

- 3 -

 

 

ETF Risks

 

  Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants (“APs”). In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

  Premium-Discount Risk. The Shares may trade above or below their net asset value (“NAV”). The market prices of Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of, and demand for, Shares on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”) or other securities exchanges. The trading price of Shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility or limited trading activity in Shares.

 

  Cost of Trading Risk. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares.

 

  Trading Risk. Although the Shares are listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active or liquid trading market for them will develop or be maintained. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of the Fund’s Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of its underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than the Fund’s Shares, potentially causing the market price of the Fund’s Shares to deviate from its NAV.

 

PERFORMANCE

 

The following performance information indicates some of the risks of investing in the Fund.

 

The bar chart and table immediately following illustrate the variability of the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF’s returns and are meant to provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. The Fund is adopting the performance of the Bridgeway Funds, Inc., Blue Chip Fund (the “Predecessor Mutual Fund”) as the result of the reorganization of the Predecessor Mutual Fund into the Fund (the “Reorganization”). Prior to the Reorganization, the Fund had not yet commenced operations. The bar chart shows the changes in the Predecessor Mutual Fund’s performance from year to year. The Fund’s total net operating expense ratio is equivalent to the net operating expense ratio of the Predecessor Mutual Fund. Returns in the bar chart and table for the Predecessor Mutual Fund have not been adjusted. 

 

The annual returns bar chart demonstrates the risks of investing in the Fund by showing how the Predecessor Mutual Fund’s performance has varied from year to year. The table also demonstrates these risks by showing how the Predecessor Mutual Fund’s average annual returns compare with those of a broad-based index. Unlike the Predecessor Mutual Fund’s returns, the index returns do not reflect any deductions for fees, expenses or taxes. Past performance, before or after taxes, is not indicative of future performance. Updated performance information is available on the Fund’s website at www.bridgewayetfs.com.

 

- 4 -

 

 

Calendar Year Total Return as of December 31, 2021

 

 

Year Return
2012 15.20%
2013 31.67%
2014 11.51%
2015 2.17%
2016 13.18%
2017 18.43%
2018 -1.48%
2019 31.05%
2020 13.51%
2021 24.15%

 

During the period shown in the bar chart, the highest performance for the Predecessor Mutual Fund for a quarter was 17.41% (for the quarter ended June 30, 2020). The lowest performance was -20.36% (for the quarter ended March 31, 2020).

 

Average Annual Total Returns (For the periods ended December 31, 2021)   One Year   Five Years   Ten Years
Predecessor Mutual Fund – Bridgeway Blue Chip Fund            
Return Before Taxes   24.15%   16.60%   15.47%
Return After Taxes on Distributions (1)   19.23%   13.14%   13.47%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares (1)   17.15%   12.72%   12.64%
S&P 500 Index (Net Return) (Reflects No Deductions for Fees and Expenses)   28.71%   18.47%   16.55%

 

(1) This table shows returns for the Predecessor Mutual Fund. After-tax returns are calculated using the historically highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to investors who hold their mutual fund shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts.

 

- 5 -

 

 

Investment Adviser & Investment Sub-Adviser

 

Investment Adviser: Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers (“Adviser”) 
Investment Sub-Adviser: Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (“Sub-Adviser”)

 

Portfolio Managers

 

The Fund will be team-managed jointly and primarily by the investment management team of the Sub-Adviser (the “Sub-Adviser PM Team”), as follows:

 

Name   Title   Length of Service to Fund
John Montgomery   Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager   Since Inception – 2022
Elena Khoziaeva, CFA   Portfolio Manager   Since Inception – 2022
Michael Whipple, CFA, FRM   Portfolio Manager   Since Inception – 2022
Christine L. Wang, CFA, CPA   Portfolio Manager   Since Inception – 2022

 

Mr. Montgomery has been a portfolio manager of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since its inception on July 31, 1997. Ms. Khoziaeva and Mr. Whipple have been portfolio managers of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since 2005. Ms. Wang has been a portfolio manager of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since 2013.

 

Summary Information about Purchases, Sales, Taxes, and Financial Intermediary Compensation

 

Purchase And Sale Of Fund Shares

 

The Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis only in large blocks of Shares, typically 10,000 Shares, called “Creation Units,” and only APs (typically, broker-dealers) may purchase or redeem Creation Units. Creation Units generally are issued and redeemed ‘in-kind’ for securities and partially in cash. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Once created, individual Shares generally trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day. Market prices of Shares may be greater or less than their NAV. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the Fund’s shares are not redeemable securities.

 

Tax Information

 

The Fund’s distributions generally are taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gain, or some combination of both, unless your investment is in an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) or other tax-advantaged account. However, subsequent withdrawals from such a tax-advantaged account may be subject to federal income tax. You should consult your tax advisor about your specific tax situation.

 

Purchases Through Broker-Dealers And Other Financial Intermediaries

 

If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary, the Fund and its related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend Shares over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

- 6 -

 

 

Additional Information About The Fund

 

How is the Fund Different from a Mutual Fund?

 

Redeemability. Mutual fund shares may be bought from, and redeemed with, the issuing fund for cash at NAV typically calculated once at the end of the business day. Shares of the Fund, by contrast, cannot be purchased from or redeemed with the Fund except by or through APs (typically, broker-dealers), and then principally for an in-kind basket of securities (and a limited cash amount). In addition, the Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis only in large blocks of Shares, typically 10,000 Shares, called “Creation Units.”

 

Exchange Listing. Unlike mutual fund shares, Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange. Investors can purchase and sell Shares on the secondary market through a broker. Investors purchasing Shares in the secondary market through a brokerage account or with the assistance of a broker may be subject to brokerage commissions and charges. Secondary-market transactions do not occur at NAV, but at market prices that change throughout the day, based on the supply of, and demand for, Shares and on changes in the prices of the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The market price of Shares may differ from the NAV of the Fund. The difference between market price of Shares and the NAV of the Fund is called a premium when the market price is above the reported NAV and called a discount when the market price is below the reported NAV, and the difference is expected to be small most of the time, though it may be significant, especially in times of extreme market volatility.

 

Tax Treatment. The Fund and the Shares have been designed to be tax-efficient. Specifically, the in-kind creation and redemption feature has been designed to protect Fund shareholders from adverse tax consequences applicable to non-ETF registered investment companies as a result of cash transactions in the non-ETF registered investment company’s shares, including cash redemptions. Nevertheless, to the extent redemptions from the Fund are paid in cash, the Fund may realize capital gains or losses, including in some cases short-term capital gains, upon the sale of portfolio securities to generate the cash to satisfy the redemption.

 

Transparency. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are disclosed on its website daily after the close of trading on the Exchange and prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange the following day. A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

Premium/Discount Information. Information about the premiums and discounts at which the Fund’s Shares have traded will be available at www.bridgewayetfs.com.

 

Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies

 

The Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental investment policy and may be changed without a vote of shareholders with prior written notice to shareholders.

 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus borrowings for investment purposes, in blue-chip stocks as determined at the time of purchase. The Fund’s 80% policy is non-fundamental and can be changed without shareholder approval. However, Fund shareholders would be given at least 60 days’ notice prior to any such change.

 

The Sub-Adviser selects stocks within the blue-chip category using a model-driven statistical approach. The statistical approach was developed utilizing academic theory and incorporates logic, data, and evidence. Securities in the blue-chip category are selected by the proprietary model that primarily uses market capitalization ranking to establish a portfolio with reasonable industry diversification as determined by the Sub-Adviser and excluding any tobacco companies. This process typically results in a portfolio of approximately 35 securities. At times, however, the Fund may hold more or fewer stocks as a result of corporate actions such as spin-offs or mergers and acquisitions. Although the Fund seeks investments across a number of sectors, from time to time, based on portfolio positioning, the Fund may have significant positions in particular sectors.

 

- 7 -

 

 

The Sub-Adviser’s investment process incorporates material ESG information as a consideration in the ongoing assessment of all potential portfolio securities. The Sub-Adviser uses ESG research and/or ratings information provided by third parties in performing this analysis and considering ESG risks. As with any consideration used in assessing portfolio securities, the Sub-Adviser may, at times, utilize ESG information to increase the weighting of an issuer with a good ESG record or decrease the weighting of an issuer with a poor ESG record. However, as ESG information is just one investment consideration, ESG considerations are not solely determinative in any investment decision made by the Sub-Adviser.

 

Temporary Defensive Positions. From time to time, the Fund may take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its principal investment strategies in attempting to respond to adverse market, economic, political, or other conditions. In those instances, the Fund may hold up to 100% of its assets in cash; short-term U.S. government securities and government agency securities; investment grade money market instruments; money market mutual funds; investment grade fixed income securities; repurchase agreements; commercial paper; cash equivalents; and exchange-traded investment vehicles that principally invest in the foregoing instruments. As a result of engaging in these temporary measures, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

 

Additional Information about the Fund’s Risks

 

The following information is in addition to, and should be read along with, the description of the Fund’s principal investment risks in the sections titled “Fund Summary—Principal Investment Risks” above.

 

Blue Chip Stocks Risk. The Fund is subject to the risk that blue-chip company stocks will underperform other kinds of investments for a period of time. This risk is true of any market segment. Based on historical data, such periods of underperformance may persist for multiple years. Large companies do not have the same growth potential of smaller companies and shareholders of large companies may have less overall influence than they would in smaller companies.

 

Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing Risk. The Fund’s incorporation of ESG considerations in its investment strategy may cause it to make different investments than funds that have a similar investment style but do not incorporate such considerations in their strategy. As with the use of any considerations involved in investment decisions, there is no guarantee that the ESG investment considerations used by the Fund will result in the selection of issuers that will outperform other issuers or help reduce risk in the Fund. The Fund may underperform funds that do not incorporate these considerations. The Fund’s ESG investment considerations may also affect the Fund’s exposure to certain sectors or types of investments, which may impact the Fund’s relative investment performance depending on the performance of issuers in those sectors relative to issuers in the broader market. The Sub-Adviser is dependent on available information to assist in the use of ESG investment considerations, and, because there are few generally accepted standards to use in such considerations, the information and considerations used for the Fund may differ from the information and considerations used for other funds. There are significant differences in interpretations of what it means for a company to have good ESG characteristics, and the Fund may underperform other funds that use different considerations and/or a different methodology in evaluating such characteristics.

 

Sector Risk. Companies with similar characteristics may be grouped together in broad categories called sectors. A certain sector may underperform other sectors or the market as a whole. As the Sub-Adviser allocates more of a Fund’s portfolio holdings to a particular sector, a Fund’s performance will be more susceptible to any economic, business or other developments which generally affect that sector.

 

Focus Investing Risk. Investing a high percentage of the Fund’s assets in a small number of companies will likely add to Fund volatility. It exposes the shareholder to company-specific risk, or the risk that bankruptcy, or other negative events, related to a single company will significantly affect total Fund return.

 

Inflation Risk. Large-cap stocks have tended to recover more slowly than small-cap stocks from a market downturn. Consequently, the Fund may expose shareholders to higher inflation risk (the risk that the Fund’s value will not keep up with inflation) than some other stock market segments.

 

- 8 -

 

 

Information Technology Sector Risk. The information technology sector includes companies engaged in internet software and services, technology hardware and storage peripherals, electronic equipment and components, and semiconductors and semiconductor equipment. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face rapid product obsolescence due to technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Failure to introduce new products, develop and maintain a loyal customer base or achieve general market acceptance for their products could have a material adverse effect on a company’s business. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on intellectual property and the loss of patent, copyright or trademark protections may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.

 

Statistical Approach. The Sub-Adviser uses a statistical approach to manage the Fund and resists overriding the statistical models with qualitative or subjective data. However, the Sub-Adviser will exclude stocks if the issuer of the stock is principally engaged in the tobacco industry. The Sub-Adviser may also exclude stocks based on certain narrow social reasons including, but not limited to, if the issuer of the stock: (i) conducts or has direct investments in business operations in Sudan; or (ii) is substantially engaged in the production or trade of pornographic material. Other than companies principally engaged in the tobacco industry, the number of companies referenced in (i) and (ii) in the Sub-Adviser’s universe is usually “de minimis.”

 

Market Risk. The Fund could lose value if the individual securities in which it has invested and/or the overall stock markets on which the stocks trade decline in price. Stocks and stock markets may experience short-term volatility (price fluctuation) as well as extended periods of price decline or little growth. Individual stocks are affected by many factors, including: (i) corporate earnings; (ii) production; (iii) management; (iv) sales; and (v) market trends, including investor demand for a particular type of stock, such as growth or value stocks, small-or large-cap stocks, or stocks within a particular industry.

 

Market risks, including political, regulatory, market, economic and social developments, and developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market, can affect the value of the Fund’s investments. In addition, turbulence in financial markets and reduced liquidity in the markets may negatively affect many issuers, which could adversely affect the Fund. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide and therefore can affect the value of the Funds’ investments.

 

Management and Operational Risk. The Sub-Adviser uses statistical analyses and models to select investments for the Fund. Any imperfections, errors or limitations in the models or analyses and therefore any decisions made in reliance on such models or analyses could expose the Fund to potential risks. In addition, the models used by the Sub-Adviser assume that certain historical statistical relationships will continue. These models are constructed based on historical data supplied by third parties and, as a result, the success of relying on such models may depend heavily on the accuracy and reliability of the supplied historical data.

 

Strategy Risk. The Fund utilizes its own distinct investment strategy. Investment strategies tend to shift in and out of favor depending upon market and economic conditions as well as investor sentiment. As such, there may be periods when the type of stocks that the Fund’s invests in are out of favor, and the Fund’s performance may suffer.

 

ETF Risks.

 

  APs, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

- 9 -

 

 

  Cost of Trading Risk. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares. In addition, secondary market investors also incur the cost of the difference between the price that an investor is willing to pay for Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Shares (the “ask” price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the “spread” or “bid/ask spread.” The bid/ask spread varies over time for Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund’s Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if the Fund’s Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads.

 

  Premium-Discount Risk. The Shares may trade above or below their NAV. The NAV of the Fund will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. The market prices of Shares, however, will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of, and demand for, Shares on the Exchange and other securities exchanges. The trading price of Shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility or limited trading in Shares. The Sub-Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities held by the Fund. However, given that Shares can be purchased and redeemed in large blocks of Shares, called Creation Units (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAV), and the Fund’s portfolio holdings are fully disclosed on a daily basis, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of Shares should not be sustained, but that may not be the case.

 

  Trading Risk. Although the Shares are listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active or liquid trading market for them will be maintained. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. Further, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange “circuit breaker” rules, which temporarily halt trading on the Exchange when a decline in the S&P 500 Index during a single day reaches certain thresholds (e.g., 7%, 13% and 20%). There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

Geopolitical/Natural Disaster Risks. The Fund’s investments are subject to geopolitical and natural disaster risks, such as war, terrorism, trade disputes, political or economic dysfunction within some nations, public health crises and related geopolitical events, as well as environmental disasters, epidemics and/or pandemics, which may add to instability in world economies and volatility in markets. The impact may be short-term or may last for extended periods.

 

The respiratory illness COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus has resulted in a global pandemic and major disruption to economies and markets around the world, including the United States. Financial markets have experienced extreme volatility and severe losses, and trading in many instruments has been disrupted. Liquidity for many instruments has been greatly reduced for periods of time. Some interest rates are very low and in some cases yields are negative. Some sectors of the economy and individual issuers have experienced particularly large losses. For some companies, dividend payments have been delayed, reduced, or rescinded. These circumstances may continue for an extended period of time, and may affect adversely the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments.

 

Management Risk. The Fund is actively-managed and may not meet its investment objective based on the Sub-Adviser’s success or failure to implement investment strategies for the Fund. The Sub-Adviser’s evaluations and assumptions regarding investments may not successfully achieve the Fund’s investment objective given actual market trends.

 

Fund Cybersecurity Risk. Cybersecurity risk applies to the Fund, its service providers and the companies in which the Fund invests. Cybersecurity risk includes breaches, intentional or unintended, that may impact a company’s ability to operate, and could include data corruption, theft or loss, improper access to proprietary information, or interference with technology operations. Companies could suffer losses due to cybersecurity events, including fines, penalties, reputational injuries, as well as financial losses and legal and compliance expenses. Cybersecurity risks of the Fund include risks applicable to the Fund’s service providers. While the Fund and its service providers have established cybersecurity defenses, there is no guarantee that these defenses will be effective.

 

- 10 -

 

 

Fund Management

 

Investment Adviser

 

Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers, acts as the Fund’s investment adviser (the “Adviser”). The Adviser selects the Fund’s sub-adviser and oversees the sub-adviser’s management of the Fund. The Adviser also provides trading, execution and various other administrative services and supervises the overall daily affairs of the Fund. The Adviser is located at 19 East Eagle Road Havertown, PA 19083 and is wholly-owned by Alpha Architect LLC. The Adviser is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and provides investment advisory services solely to the Fund and other exchange-traded funds. The Adviser was founded in October 2013.

 

The Adviser performs its services to the Fund pursuant to the terms of an investment advisory agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) between the Trust and the Adviser. The Adviser is entitled to receive the following annual advisory fee, which is expressed as an annual percentage rate of the Fund’s average daily net assets:

 

Fund  Contractual Rate
EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF  0.15% on the first $3 billion
   0.13% on the next $7 billion
   0.12% on the next $10 billion
   0.11% on assets above $20 billion

 

Because the Fund has not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus, the Adviser did not receive a fee during the last fiscal year.

 

The Adviser (or an affiliate of the Adviser) bears all of the Adviser’s own costs associated with providing these advisory services and all expenses of the Fund, except for the fee payment under the Advisory Agreement, payments under the Fund’s Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”), brokerage expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes (including tax-related services), interest (including borrowing costs), litigation expense (including class action-related services) and other non-routine or extraordinary expenses.

 

The Advisory Agreement for the Fund provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, by the Trust’s board of Trustees (the “Board”) or, with respect to the Fund, by a majority of the outstanding shares of the Fund, on 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser, and by the Adviser upon 60 days’ written notice, and that it shall be automatically terminated if it is assigned.

 

Investment Sub-Adviser

 

The Adviser has retained Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”), an investment adviser registered with the SEC, to provide sub-advisory services to the Fund. The Sub-Adviser, which was founded in 1993, is organized as a Delaware limited liability company with its principal offices located at 20 Greenway Plaza, Suite 450, Houston, Texas 77046. As of June 30, 2022, the Sub-Adviser had approximately $4.4 billion in total assets under management. Committed to community impact, the Sub-Adviser donates at least 50% of its profits to non-profit organizations.

 

The Sub-Adviser is responsible for selecting the Fund’s investments in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives, policies and restrictions. The Sub-Adviser is not responsible for selecting broker-dealers or placing the Fund’s trades. Rather, the Sub-Adviser constructs the overall portfolio and provides trading instructions to the Adviser and, in turn, the Adviser is responsible for selecting broker-dealers and placing the Fund’s trades.

 

Pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”), the Adviser pays the Sub-Adviser a fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of 0.05% based on the Fund’s average daily net assets.

 

- 11 -

 

 

Fund Sponsor

 

The Adviser has entered into a fund sponsorship agreement with the Sub-Adviser pursuant to which the Sub-Adviser is also the sponsor of the Fund (“Fund Sponsor”). Under this arrangement, the Fund Sponsor has agreed to provide financial support to the Fund (as described below) and, in turn, the Adviser has agreed to share with the Fund Sponsor a portion of profits, if any, generated by the Fund’s Advisory Fee (also as described below). Every month, the Advisory Fee, which is a unitary management fee, is calculated and paid to the Adviser.

 

If the amount of the unitary management fee exceeds the Fund’s operating expenses and the Adviser-retained amount, the Adviser pays the net total to the Fund Sponsor. The amount paid to the Fund Sponsor represents both the sub-advisory fee and any remaining profits from the Advisory Fee. During months where there are no profits or the funds are not sufficient to cover the entire sub-advisory fee, the sub-advisory fee is automatically waived.

 

If the amount of the unitary management fee is less than the Fund’s operating expenses and the Adviser-retained amount, Fund Sponsor is obligated to reimburse the Adviser for the shortfall.

 

Approval of Advisory Agreements

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Advisory Agreement and the Sub-Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will be made available in the Fund’s annual report to shareholders.

 

Manager of Managers Structure

 

The Adviser and the Trust have received an exemptive order (the “Order”) from the SEC that allows the Fund to operate in a “manager of managers” structure whereby the Adviser can appoint and replace unaffiliated sub-advisers, and enter into, amend and terminate sub-advisory agreements with such sub-advisers, each subject to Board approval, but without obtaining prior shareholder approval (“Manager of Managers Structure”). The Fund will, however, inform shareholders of the hiring of any new sub-adviser within 90 days after the hiring. The Order provides the Fund with greater flexibility and efficiency by preventing the Fund from incurring the expense and delays associated with obtaining shareholder approval of such sub-advisory agreements.

 

The use of the Manager of Managers Structure with respect to the Fund is subject to certain conditions that are set forth in the Order. Under the Manager of Managers Structure, the Adviser has the ultimate responsibility, subject to oversight by the Board, to oversee sub-advisers and recommend their hiring, termination and replacement. The Adviser will also, subject to the review and approval of the Board; set the Fund’s overall investment strategy; evaluate, select and recommend sub-advisers to manage all or a portion of the Fund’s assets; and implement procedures reasonably designed to ensure that each sub-adviser complies with the Fund’s investment goal, policies and restrictions. Subject to review by the Board, the Adviser will allocate and, when appropriate, reallocate the Fund’s assets among sub-advisers and monitor and evaluate the sub-advisers’ performance.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

The portfolio managers are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since 2022.

 

John Montgomery has been part of the Sub-Adviser PM Team of the Fund since 2022 (and a portfolio manager of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since its inception). He is the Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager of the Sub-Adviser. Mr. Montgomery founded the Sub-Adviser in 1993 and has worked there since its inception. He holds a BS in Engineering and a BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College and graduate degrees from MIT and Harvard Business School.

 

- 12 -

 

 

Elena Khoziaeva, CFA®, has been part of the Sub-Adviser PM Team of the Fund since 2022 (and a co-portfolio manager of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since 2005). Ms. Khoziaeva is a Portfolio Manager and began working at the Sub-Adviser in 1998. Her responsibilities include portfolio management, investment research, and statistical modeling. Elena earned a Bachelor of Economic Sciences degree from Belarussian State Economic University in Minsk and graduated with highest honors from the University of Houston with an MBA in accounting.

 

Michael Whipple, CFA®, FRM, has been part of the Sub-Adviser PM Team of the Fund since 2022 (and a co-portfolio manager of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since 2005). Mr. Whipple is a Portfolio Manager and began working at the Sub-Adviser in 2002. His responsibilities include portfolio management, investment research, and statistical modeling. He holds a BS in Accountancy and Finance from Miami University in Ohio. Michael worked in public accounting with a focus in auditing from 1993 to 2000 before attending the University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 2000 to 2002, where he earned his MBA.

 

Christine L. Wang, CFA®, CPA, has been part of the Sub-Adviser PM Team of the Fund since 2022 (and a co-portfolio manager of the Predecessor Mutual Fund since 2013). Ms. Wang is a Portfolio Manager and began working at the Sub-Adviser in 2008. Her responsibilities include portfolio management, investment research, and statistical modeling. Christine holds an MS in Accounting from the University of Virginia and a BA in Sociology and Managerial Studies from Rice University. Christine is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Texas. Prior to joining the Adviser, Christine worked for a public accounting firm with a focus on energy trading and risk management from 2004 to 2008.

 

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers, including other accounts each manages, their ownership in the Fund, and compensation.

 

Other Service Providers

 

Quasar Distributors, LLC (“Distributor”) serves as the distributor of Creation Units (defined above) for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in Shares.

 

U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, is the administrator, fund accountant, and transfer agent for the Fund.

 

U.S. Bank National Association is the custodian for the Fund.

 

Practus, LLC, 11300 Tomahawk Creek Parkway, Suite 310, Leawood, Kansas 66211, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

Cohen & Company, Ltd., 342 North Water Street, Suite 830, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. The independent registered public accounting firm is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements of the Fund.

 

The Exchange

 

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange is not responsible for, nor has it participated, in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of Shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares are redeemable. The Exchange has no obligation or liability to owners of the Shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Shares of the Fund. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Exchange have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

- 13 -

 

 

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

 

Shares will be issued or redeemed by the Fund at NAV per Share only in Creation Units of 10,000 Shares. Creation Units are generally issued and redeemed only in-kind for securities although a portion may be in cash.

 

Shares will trade on the secondary market, however, which is where most retail investors will buy and sell Shares. It is expected that only a limited number of institutional investors, called Authorized Participants or “APs,” will purchase and redeem Shares directly from the Fund. APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV per Share only in large blocks, or Creation Units. Purchases and redemptions directly with the Fund must follow the Fund’s procedures, which are described in the SAI.

 

Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable with the Fund.

 

Buying and Selling Shares on the Secondary Market

 

Most investors will buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers and, therefore, must have a brokerage account to buy and sell Shares. Shares can be bought or sold through your broker throughout the trading day like shares of any publicly traded issuer. The Trust does not impose any redemption fees or restrictions on redemptions of Shares in the secondary market. When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered prices in the secondary market for Shares. The price at which you buy or sell Shares (i.e., the market price) may be more or less than the NAV of the Shares. Unless imposed by your broker, there is no minimum dollar amount you must invest in the Fund and no minimum number of Shares you must buy.

 

Shares of the Fund are listed on the Exchange under the following symbol:

 

Fund Trading Symbol
EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF BBLU

 

The Exchange is generally open Monday through Friday and is closed for weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington’s Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

 

For information about buying and selling Shares on the Exchange or in the secondary markets, please contact your broker or dealer.

 

Book Entry. Shares are held in book entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), or its nominee, will be the registered owner of all outstanding Shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all Shares. Participants in DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of Shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have Shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of Shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of Shares, you must rely on the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any stocks that you hold in book entry or “street name” through your brokerage account. Your account information will be maintained by your broker, which will provide you with account statements, confirmations of your purchases and sales of Shares, and tax information.

 

Your broker also will be responsible for distributing income dividends and capital gain distributions and for ensuring that you receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund.

 

- 14 -

 

 

Share Trading Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s Shares may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and can be affected by market forces of supply and demand for the Fund’s Shares, the prices of the Fund’s portfolio securities, economic conditions and other factors.

 

The Exchange through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association or another market information provider intends to disseminate the approximate value of the Fund’s portfolio every fifteen seconds during regular U.S. trading hours. This approximate value should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV of the Fund because the approximate value may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which is computed once a day. The quotations for certain investments may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the U.S., except such quotations may be updated to reflect currency fluctuations. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the approximate values and makes no warranty as to the accuracy of these values.

 

Continuous Offering. The method by which Creation Units of Shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units of Shares are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirements and liability provisions of the Securities Act. For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares and sells the Shares directly to customers or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a characterization as an underwriter.

 

Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with engaging in ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the Securities Act is only available with respect to transactions on a national exchange.

 

Active Investors and Market Timing

 

The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund’s shareholders. The Board noted that the Fund’s Shares can be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units by APs and that the vast majority of trading in the Fund’s Shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary market trades do not directly involve the Fund, it is unlikely those trades would cause the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund’s trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With regard to the purchase or redemption of Creation Units directly with the Fund, to the extent effected in-kind (i.e., for securities), the Board noted that those trades do not cause the harmful effects (as previously noted) that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent trades are effected in whole or in part in cash, the Board noted that those trades could result in dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, although in certain circumstances (e.g., in conjunction with a reallocation of the Fund’s investments), such trades may benefit Fund shareholders by increasing the tax efficiency of the Fund. The Board also noted that direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that the Fund’s Shares trade at or close to NAV. In addition, the Fund will impose transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Shares to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. Given this structure, the Board determined that it is not necessary to adopt policies and procedures to detect and deter market timing of the Fund’s Shares.

 

- 15 -

 

 

Distribution and Service Plan

 

The Fund has adopted the Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act. Under the Plan, the Fund may be authorized to pay distribution fees of up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year to the Distributor and other firms that provide distribution and shareholder services (“Service Providers”). As of the date of this Prospectus, the maximum amount payable under the Plan is set at 0% until further action by the Board. In the event 12b-1 fees are charged, over time they would increase the cost of an investment in the Fund because they would be paid on an ongoing basis.

 

Net Asset Value

 

The NAV of Shares is calculated each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), generally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time.

 

The Fund calculates its NAV per Share by:

 

  Taking the current market value of its total assets,

 

  Subtracting any liabilities, and

 

  Dividing that amount by the total number of Shares owned by shareholders.

 

If you buy or sell Shares on the secondary market, you will pay or receive the market price, which may be higher or lower than NAV. Your transaction will be priced at NAV only if you purchase or redeem your Shares in Creation Units.

 

Equity securities that are traded on a national securities exchange, except those listed on the NASDAQ Global Market® (“NASDAQ”) are valued at the last reported sale price on the exchange on which the security is principally traded. Securities traded on NASDAQ will be valued at the NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”). If, on a particular day, an exchange-traded or NASDAQ security does not trade, then the most recent quoted bid for exchange traded or the mean between the most recent quoted bid and ask price for NASDAQ securities will be used. Equity securities that are not traded on a listed exchange are generally valued at the last sale price in the over-the-counter market. If a nonexchange traded security does not trade on a particular day, then the mean between the last quoted closing bid and asked price will be used.

 

Redeemable securities issued by open-end investment companies are valued at the investment company’s applicable net asset value, with the exception of exchange-traded open-end investment companies which are priced as equity securities.

 

If a market price is not readily available or is deemed not to reflect market value, the Fund will determine the price of the security held by the Fund based on a determination of the security’s fair value pursuant to policies and procedures approved by the Board.

 

To the extent the Fund holds securities that may trade infrequently, fair valuation may be used more frequently. Fair valuation may have the effect of reducing stale pricing arbitrage opportunities presented by the pricing of Shares. However, when the Fund uses fair valuation to price securities, it may value those securities higher or lower than another fund would have priced the security. Also, the use of fair valuation may cause the Shares’ NAV performance to diverge from the Shares’ market price and from the performance of various benchmarks used to compare the Fund’s performance because benchmarks generally do not use fair valuation techniques. Because of the judgment involved in fair valuation decisions, there can be no assurance that the value ascribed to a particular security is accurate.

 

- 16 -

 

 

Fund Website and Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

 

The Trust maintains a website for the Fund at www.bridgewayetfs.com. Among other things, the website includes this Prospectus and the SAI, and will include the Fund’s holdings, the Fund’s last annual and semi-annual reports. The website shows the Fund’s daily NAV per share, market price, and premium or discount, each as of the prior business day. The website also shows the extent and frequency of the Fund’s premiums and discounts. Further, the website includes the Fund’s median bid-ask spread over the most recent thirty calendar days.

 

Each day the Fund is open for business, the Trust publicly disseminates the Fund’s full portfolio holdings as of the close of the previous day through its website at www.bridgewayetfs.com. A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s SAI.

 

Investments by Other Investment Companies

 

For purposes of the Investment Company Act, Shares are issued by a registered investment company and purchases of such Shares by registered investment companies and companies relying on Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act are subject to the restrictions set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act, except as permitted by Rule 6c-11, Rule 12d1-4, or an exemptive order of the SEC.

 

Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes

 

As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares.

 

Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when:

 

  Your Fund makes distributions,

 

  You sell your Shares listed on the Exchange, and

 

  You purchase or redeem Creation Units.

 

Dividends and Distributions

 

Dividends and Distributions. The Fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to you. The Fund expects to declare and to distribute all of its net investment income, if any, to shareholders as dividends on an annual basis. The Fund will distribute net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually. The Fund may distribute such income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee the Fund will pay either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution. Distributions may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available.

 

Avoid “Buying a Dividend.” At the time you purchase Shares of the Fund, the Fund’s NAV may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation in value of portfolio securities held by the Fund. For taxable investors, a subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable. Buying Shares in the Fund just before it declares an income dividend or capital gains distribution is sometimes known as “buying a dividend.”

 

- 17 -

 

 

Taxes

 

Tax Considerations. The Fund expects, based on its investment objective and strategies, that its distributions, if any, will be taxable as ordinary income, capital gain, or some combination of both. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Shares or receive them in cash. For federal income tax purposes, Fund distributions of short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income. Fund distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable to you as long-term capital gain no matter how long you have owned your Shares. A portion of income dividends reported by the Fund may be qualified dividend income eligible for taxation by individual shareholders at long-term capital gain rates provided certain holding period requirements are met.

 

Taxes on Sales of Shares. A sale or exchange of Shares is a taxable event and, accordingly, a capital gain or loss may be recognized. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.

 

Medicare Tax. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds a threshold amount. This Medicare tax, if applicable, is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

 

Backup Withholding. By law, if you do not provide the Fund with your proper taxpayer identification number and certain required certifications, you may be subject to backup withholding on any distributions of income, capital gains or proceeds from the sale of your Shares. The Fund also must withhold if the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) instructs it to do so. When withholding is required, the amount will be 24% of any distributions or proceeds paid.

 

State and Local Taxes. Fund distributions and gains from the sale or exchange of your Shares generally are subject to state and local taxes.

 

Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units. An AP who exchanges equity securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of purchase and the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the cash amount paid. A person who exchanges Creation Units for equity securities generally will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the cash amount received. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether the wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

 

Under current federal tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less.

 

If the Fund redeems Creation Units in cash, it may recognize more capital gains than it will if it redeems Creation Units in-kind.

 

Non-U.S. Investors. Non-U.S. investors may be subject to U.S. withholding tax at a 30% or lower treaty rate and U.S. estate tax and are subject to special U.S. tax certification requirements to avoid backup withholding and claim any treaty benefits. An exemption from U.S. withholding tax is provided for capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from long-term capital gains, if any. The exemptions from U.S. withholding for interest-related dividends paid by the Fund from its qualified net interest income from U.S. sources and short-term capital gain dividends have expired for taxable years of the Fund that begin on or after January 1, 2014. It is unclear as of the date of this prospectus whether Congress will reinstate the exemptions for interest-related and short-term capital gain dividends or, if reinstated, whether such exemptions would have retroactive effect. However, notwithstanding such exemptions from U.S. withholding at the source, any such dividends and distributions of income and capital gains will be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% if you fail to properly certify that you are not a U.S. person.

 

- 18 -

 

 

Other Reporting and Withholding Requirements. Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Fund will be required to withhold a 30% tax on (a) income dividends paid by the Fund, and (b) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds arising from the sale of Shares paid by the Fund, to certain foreign entities, referred to as foreign financial institutions or non-financial foreign entities, that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. The Fund may disclose the information that it receives from its shareholders to the IRS, non-U.S. taxing authorities or other parties as necessary to comply with FATCA. Withholding also may be required if a foreign entity that is a shareholder of the Fund fails to provide the Fund with appropriate certifications or other documentation concerning its status under FATCA.

 

Possible Tax Law Changes. At the time that this prospectus is being prepared, various administrative and legislative changes to the federal tax laws are under consideration, but it is not possible at this time to determine whether any of these changes will be made or what the changes might entail.

 

This discussion of “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” is not intended or written to be used as tax advice. Because everyone’s tax situation is unique, you should consult your tax professional about federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences before making an investment in the Fund.

 

Financial Highlights

 

The Fund is newly organized and therefore has not yet had any operations as of the date of this Prospectus and does not have financial highlights to present at this time.

 

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports to Shareholders

 

Additional information about the Fund will be in its annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders, when available. The annual report will explain the market conditions and investment strategies affecting the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

 

Statement of Additional Information

 

The SAI dated August 11, 2022, which contains more details about the Fund, is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this Prospectus, which means that it is legally part of this Prospectus.

 

To receive a free copy of the latest annual or semi-annual report, when available, or the SAI, or to request additional information about the Fund, please contact us as follows:

 

Call: (215) 882-9983

 

Write: 19 East Eagle Road

Havertown, PA 19083

 

Visit: www.bridgewayetfs.com

 

- 19 -

 

 

Paper Copies

 

Please note that paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will generally not be sent, unless you specifically request paper copies of the Fund’s reports from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on the Fund’s website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

 

You may elect to receive all future Fund reports in paper free of charge. Please contact your financial intermediary to inform them that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of Fund shareholder reports and for details about whether your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with your financial intermediary.

 

Information Provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission

 

Information about the Fund, including its reports and the SAI, has been filed with the SEC. It can be reviewed on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s internet site (http://www.sec.gov). You can also request copies of these materials, upon payment of a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the SEC’s e-mail address ([email protected]) or by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090.

 

Investment Company Act File No. 811-22961

 

- 20 -

 

 

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

August 11, 2022

 

EA SERIES TRUST

 

EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) describes the EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF (the “Fund”), a series of the EA Series Trust, formerly known as, Alpha Architect ETF Trust (the “Trust”). Shares of the Fund will be listed and traded on NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”). Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers (the “Adviser”) serves as the investment adviser to the Fund, and Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (“Bridgeway” or the “Sub-Adviser”), serves as sub-adviser to the Fund. Quasar Distributors, LLC (the “Distributor”) serves as the Distributor for the Shares of the Fund.

 

Shares of the Fund are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. Government.

 

This SAI, dated August 11, 2022 as supplemented from time to time, is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s Prospectus, dated August 11, 2022 as supplemented from time to time, which incorporates this SAI by reference. Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge by writing to the Distributor, calling (215) 882-9983 or visiting www.bridgewayetfs.com.

 

When available, a copy of the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports may be obtained without charge by writing to EA Advisers, 19 East Eagle Rd, Havertown PA 19083, calling 215-882-9983 or visiting www.bridgewayetfs.com.

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

GLOSSARY   1
TRUST AND FUND OVERVIEW   2
EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING   3
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS   4
INVESTMENT POLICIES AND RESTRICTIONS   4
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE, INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS   6
MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND   10
CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES   14
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AND OTHER SERVICES   15
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS   18
PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE   20
THE DISTRIBUTOR   21
ACCOUNTING AND LEGAL SERVICE PROVIDERS   22
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING SHARES   22
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE   31
TAXES   32
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS   48
Appendix A Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures EA Advisers   A-1

 

i

 

 

GLOSSARY

 

The following terms are used throughout this SAI, and have the meanings used below (note that various other terms are defined in the text of this SAI):

 

1933 Act” means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

1934 Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

 

Authorized Participant” means a broker-dealer or other participant in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) or a participant in DTC with access to the DTC system, and who has executed an agreement with the Distributor that governs transactions in the Fund’s Creation Units.

 

Balancing Amount” means an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of a Creation Unit and the market value of the In-Kind Creation (or Redemption) Basket, used to ensure that the NAV of a Fund Deposit (or Redemption) (other than the Transaction Fee), is identical to the NAV of the Creation Unit being purchased.

 

Board” or “Trustees” means the Board of Trustees of the Trust.

 

Business Day” means any day on which the Trust is open for business.

 

Adviser” means Empowered Funds, LLC, dba EA Advisers.

 

Cash Component” means an amount of cash consisting of a Balancing Amount calculated in connection with creations.

 

Cash Redemption Amount” means an amount of cash consisting of a Balancing Amount calculated in connection with redemptions.

 

Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

 

Creation Unit” means an aggregation of 10,000 Shares that the Fund issues and redeems on a continuous basis at NAV. Shares will not be issued or redeemed except in Creation Units.

 

Distributor” means Quasar Distributors, LLC.

 

Dodd-Frank Act” means the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

 

DTC” means the Depository Trust Company.

 

Exchange” means NYSE Arca, Inc.

 

ETF” means an exchange-traded fund.

 

FINRA” means the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

 

Fund” means the series of the Trust described in this SAI: EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF.

 

Fund Deposit” means the In-Kind Creation Basket and Cash Component necessary to purchase a Creation Unit from the Fund.

 

Fund Redemption” means the In-Kind Redemption Basket and Cash Redemption Amount received in connection with the redemption of a Creation Unit.

 

1

 

 

In-Kind Creation Basket” means the basket of securities to be deposited to purchase Creation Units of the Fund.

 

In-Kind Redemption Basket” means the basket of securities a shareholder will receive upon redemption of a Creation Unit.

 

Investment Company Act” or “1940 Act” means the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended.

 

IRS” means the Internal Revenue Service.

 

NAV” means the net asset value of the Fund.

 

NSCC” means the National Securities Clearing Corporation.

 

NYSE” means the New York Stock Exchange, Inc.

 

Prospectus” means the Fund’s Prospectus, dated August 11, 2022, as amended and supplemented from time to time.

 

SAI” means this Statement of Additional Information, dated August 11, 2022, as amended and supplemented from time to time.

 

SEC” means the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Shares” means the shares of the Fund.

 

Sub-Adviser” means Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC.

 

Transaction Fee” is a fee that may be imposed to compensate the Trust or its custodian for costs incurred in connection with transactions for Creation Units. The Transaction Fee, when applicable, is comprised of a flat (or standard) fee and may include a variable fee. For the Transaction Fees applicable to the Fund, see “Transaction Fees” in this SAI.

 

Trust” means the EA Series Trust, a Delaware statutory trust.

 

TRUST AND FUND OVERVIEW

 

The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust formed on October 11, 2013. The Trust is an open-end management investment company registered under the Investment Company Act, and the Fund is an exchange-traded fund, or ETF. The investment objective of the Fund is long-term total return on capital, primarily through capital appreciation, but also some income. The offering of the Shares is registered under the 1933 Act.

 

This SAI relates only to the following Fund: EA Bridgeway Blue Chip ETF.

 

The Fund is the successor to the Bridgeway Blue Chip Fund (the “Predecessor Fund”), a series of Bridgeway Funds, Inc. The Predecessor Fund was managed by Bridgeway Capital Management, LLC (for purposes of its management of the Predecessor Fund, the “Predecessor Adviser”). The Fund has the same investment objective and similar investment strategies as those of the Predecessor Fund.

 

2

 

 

Diversification

 

The Fund is a diversified ETF. Under applicable federal laws, to qualify as a diversified fund, the Fund, with respect to 75% of the value of its total assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), Government securities, securities of other investment companies, and other securities in an amount greater than 5% of its total assets in any one issuer and may not hold greater than 10% of the securities of one issuer. The remaining 25% of the Fund’s total assets does not need to be “diversified” and may be invested in securities of a single issuer, subject to other applicable laws. The diversification of the Fund’s holdings is measured at the time the Fund purchases a security.

 

However, if the Fund purchases a security and holds it for a period of time, the security may become a larger percentage of the Fund’s total assets due to movements in the financial markets. If the market affects several securities held by the Fund, the Fund may have a greater percentage of its assets invested in securities of fewer issuers.

 

The Fund offers and issues Shares at NAV only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares together with the deposit of a specified cash payment, or, in certain limited circumstances, for an all cash payment. Shares of the Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange. Shares will trade on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at, or above NAV.

 

Unlike mutual funds, Shares are not individually redeemable securities. Rather, the Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis at NAV, only in Creation Units of 10,000 Shares, which amount may be changed from time to time.

 

In the instance of creations and redemptions, Transaction Fees may be imposed. Such fees are limited in accordance with requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. Some of the information contained in this SAI and the Prospectus — such as information about purchasing and redeeming Shares from the Fund and Transaction Fees — is not relevant to most retail investors because it applies only to transactions for Creation Units and most retail investors do not transact for Creation Units.

 

Once created, Shares generally trade in the secondary market, at market prices that change throughout the day, in amounts less than a Creation Unit. Investors purchasing Shares in the secondary market through a brokerage account or with the assistance of a broker may be subject to brokerage commissions and charges.

 

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

 

Shares of the Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange. Shares trade on the Exchange or in secondary markets at prices that may differ from their NAV, because such prices may be affected by market forces (such as supply and demand for Shares). As is the case of other securities traded on an exchange, when you buy or sell Shares on the Exchange or in the secondary markets your broker will normally charge you a commission or other transaction charges. Further, the Trust reserves the right to adjust the price of Shares in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors (namely, to maintain a price per Share that is attractive to investors) by share splits or reverse share splits, which would have no effect on the NAV.

 

There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of the Fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of the Fund from listing if: (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the Shares of the Fund for 30 or more consecutive trading days, or (ii) such other event shall occur or condition exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.

 

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Fund to achieve its objectives. The Exchange has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.

 

3

 

 

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

The Board has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s portfolio securities. Under the policy, portfolio holdings of the Fund, which will form the basis for the calculation of NAV on a Business Day, are publicly disseminated prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange that Business Day through financial reporting or news services, including the website www.bridgewayetfs.com. In addition, each Business Day a portfolio composition file, which displays the In-Kind Creation Basket and Cash Component, is publicly disseminated prior to the opening of the Exchange via the NSCC.

 

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND RESTRICTIONS

 

The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to the Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed with respect to the Fund without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities. For the purposes of the 1940 Act, a “majority of outstanding shares” means the vote of the lesser of: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at the meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy; or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.

 

The investment policies enumerated in this section may be changed with respect to the Fund only by a vote of the holders of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding voting securities, except as noted below:

 

1.The Fund may not borrow money, except to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

  2. The Fund may not issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

  3. The Fund may not engage in the business of underwriting securities except to the extent that the Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the 1933 Act in the acquisition, disposition or resale of its portfolio securities or in connection with investments in other investment companies, or to the extent otherwise permitted under the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

  4. The Fund may not purchase or sell real estate, except to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

  5. The Fund may not purchase or sell physical commodities, unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, and provided that this limitation does not prevent the Fund from (i) purchasing or selling securities of companies that purchase or sell commodities or that invest in commodities; (ii) engaging in any transaction involving currencies, options, forwards, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, swaps, hybrid instruments or other derivatives; or (iii) investing in securities, or transacting in other instruments, that are linked to or secured by physical or other commodities.

 

  6. The Fund may not make loans, except to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

  7. The Fund will not concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries, as that term is used in the Investment Company Act.

 

  8. With respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase the securities of any one issuer if, immediately after and as a result of such purchase, (a) the value of the Fund’s holdings in the securities of such issuer exceeds 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets, or (b) the Fund owns more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer (with the exception that this restriction does not apply to the Fund’s investments in the securities of the U.S. government, or its agencies or instrumentalities, or other investment companies).

 

4

 

 

The following notations are not considered to be part of the Fund’s fundamental investment limitation and are subject to change without shareholder approval. If a percentage limitation is satisfied at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in such percentage resulting from a change in the value of the Fund’s investments will not constitute a violation of such limitation. Thus, the Fund may continue to hold a security even though it causes the Fund to exceed a percentage limitation because of fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s assets, except that any borrowing by the Fund that exceeds the fundamental investment limitations stated above must be reduced to meet such limitations within the period required by the Investment Company Act or the relevant rules, regulations or interpretations thereunder, as described below.

 

With respect to the fundamental investment limitation relating to borrowing set forth in (1) above, pursuant to Section 18(f)(1) of the Investment Company Act, the Fund may not issue any class of senior security or sell any senior security of which it is the issuer, except that the Fund shall be permitted to borrow from any bank so long as immediately after such borrowings, there is an asset coverage of at least 300% and that in the event such asset coverage falls below this percentage, the Fund shall reduce the amount of its borrowings, within three days, to an extent that the asset coverage shall be at least 300%.

 

With respect to the fundamental investment restriction regarding real estate set forth in (4) above, the Fund will not make direct investments in real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments. Although the Fund may purchase and sell other interests in real estate including securities which are secured by real estate, or securities of companies which make real estate loans or own, or invest or deal in, real estate.

 

With respect to the fundamental investment limitation relating to lending set forth in (6) above, this means that the Fund may not make loans if, as a result, more than 33 1/3% of its total assets would be lent to other parties. The fundamental investment limitation relating to lending restricts, but does not prevent entirely, the Fund’s (i) lending of portfolio securities, (ii) purchase of debt securities, other debt instruments, loan participations and/or engaging in direct corporate loans in ac