Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”).Start Printed Page 14042
Notice of application for an order under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) for an exemption from section 15(a) of the Act and rule 18f-2 under the Act.
Summary of Application:
Applicants request an order that would permit them to enter into and materially amend subadvisory agreements without shareholder approval.
Tactical Allocation Services, LLC (the “Adviser”) and Agile Funds, Inc. (the “Company”).
The application was filed on December 19, 2003, and amended on February 27, 2006. Applicants have agreed to file a final amendment during the notice period, the substance of which is reflected in this notice.
Hearing or Notification of Hearing:
An order granting the application will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on April 7, 2006, and should be accompanied by proof of service on the applicants, in the form of an affidavit, or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.
Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090. Applicants, 4909 Pearl East Circle, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80301.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Christine Y. Greenlees, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6879, or Mary Kay Frech, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Office of Investment Company Regulation).End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained for a fee at the Commission's Public Reference Desk, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-0102 (telephone (202) 551-5850).
1. The Company, a Maryland corporation, is registered under the Act as an open-end management investment company. The Company currently offers shares of one series, the Agile Multi-Strategy Fund (the “Multi-Strategy Fund,” included in the term “Fund,” defined below), and may establish additional series, each consisting of separate investment objectives, policies, and restrictions (each, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”). The Adviser, a Colorado limited liability corporation, serves as the investment adviser to the Multi-Strategy Fund and is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”).
2. The Adviser serves as investment adviser to the Multi-Strategy Fund pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Company and the Adviser (the “Advisory Agreement”) that was approved by the Company's board of directors (“Board”), including a majority of the directors who are not “interested persons,” as defined in section 2(a)(19) of the Act, of the Company or the Adviser (“Independent Directors”), and the Multi-Strategy Fund's initial shareholders. The Advisory Agreement permits the Adviser to enter into investment advisory agreements (“Subadvisory Agreements”) with subadvisers (“Subadvisers”) to whom the Adviser may delegate responsibility for providing investment advice and making investment decisions for a Fund. Each Subadviser is, and any future Subadviser will be, registered under the Advisers Act. The Adviser monitors and evaluates the Subadvisers and recommends to the Board their hiring, termination, and replacement. The Adviser recommends Subadvisers based on a number of factors discussed in the application used to evaluate their skills in managing assets pursuant to particular investment objectives. The Adviser compensates the Subadvisers out of the fee paid to the Adviser by a Fund.
3. Applicants request an order to permit the Adviser, subject to Board approval, to enter into and materially amend Subadvisory Agreements without obtaining shareholder approval. The requested relief will not extend to any Subadviser that is an affiliated person, as defined in section 2(a)(3) of the Act, of a Fund or the Adviser, other than by reason of serving as a Subadviser to one or more of the Funds (“Affiliated Subadviser”). None of the current Subadvisers is an Affiliated Subadviser.
Applicants' Legal Analysis
1. Section 15(a) of the Act provides, in relevant part, that it is unlawful for any person to act as an investment adviser to a registered investment company except under a written contract that has been approved by the vote of a majority of the company's outstanding voting securities. Rule 18f-2 under the Act provides that each series or class of stock in a series company affected by a matter must approve such matter if the Act requires shareholder approval.
2. Section 6(c) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction or any class or classes of persons, securities, or transactions from any provisions of the Act, or from any rule thereunder, if and to the extent that such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Applicants believe that the requested relief meets this standard for the reasons discussed below.
3. Applicants state that the Funds' shareholders rely on the Adviser to select the Subadvisers best suited to achieve a Fund's investment objectives. Applicants assert that, from the perspective of the investor, the role of the Subadvisers is comparable to that of individual portfolio managers employed by traditional investment advisory firms. Applicants contend that requiring shareholder approval of each Subadvisory Agreement would impose costs and unnecessary delays on the Funds, and may preclude the Adviser from acting promptly in a manner considered advisable by the Board. Applicants also note that the Advisory Agreement will remain subject to section 15(a) of the Act and rule 18f-2 under the Act.
4. Applicants note that the Commission adopted certain fund governance standards on July 27, 2004. Applicants agree that each Fund will comply with the fund governance standards set forth in rule 0-1(a)(7) Start Printed Page 14043under the Act by the compliance date. Applicants also note that the Commission has proposed rule 15a-5 under the Act and agree that the requested order will expire on the effective date of rule 15a-5 under the Act, if adopted.
Applicants agree that any order granting the requested relief will be subject to the following conditions:
1. Before a Fund may rely on the requested order, the operation of the Fund in the manner described in the application will be approved by a majority of the Fund's outstanding voting securities, as defined in the Act, or, in the case of a Fund whose public shareholders purchase shares on the basis of a prospectus containing the disclosure contemplated by condition 2 below, by the initial shareholder(s) before offering shares of that Fund to the public.
2. Each Fund will disclose in its prospectus the existence, substance and effect of any order granted pursuant to the application. In addition, each Fund will hold itself out to the public as employing the management structure described in the application. The prospectus will prominently disclose that the Adviser has the ultimate responsibility (subject to oversight by the Board) to oversee Subadvisers and recommend their hiring, termination, and replacement.
3. Each Fund will comply with the fund governance standards set forth in rule 0-1(a)(7) under the Act by the compliance date for the rule (“Compliance Date”). Prior to the Compliance Date, a majority of the Board will be Independent Directors, and the nomination of new or additional Independent Directors will be at the discretion of the then-existing Independent Directors.
4. The Adviser will not enter into a Subadvisory Agreement with any Affiliated Subadviser without that agreement, including the compensation to be paid thereunder, being approved by the shareholders of the applicable Fund.
5. When a Subadviser change is proposed for a Fund with an Affiliated Subadviser, the Board, including a majority of the Independent Directors, will make a separate finding, reflected in the Board minutes, that the change is in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders and does not involve a conflict of interest from which the Adviser or the Affiliated Subadviser derives an inappropriate advantage.
6. Within 90 days of the hiring of a new Subadviser, shareholders of the affected Fund will be furnished all information about the new Subadviser that would be contained in a proxy statement. Each Fund will meet this condition by providing shareholders with an information statement meeting the requirements of Regulation 14C, Schedule 14C and Item 22 of Schedule 14A under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 within 90 days of the hiring of a new Subadviser.
7. The Adviser will provide general management services to each Fund, including overall supervisory responsibility for the general management and investment of each Fund's assets, and, subject to review and approval by the Board, will (a) Set the Fund's overall investment strategies; (b) evaluate, select, and recommend Subadvisers to manage all or part of the Fund's assets; (c) when appropriate, allocate and reallocate a Fund's assets among multiple Subadvisers; (d) monitor and evaluate the performance of Subadvisers; and (e) implement procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the Subadvisers comply with each Fund's investment objectives, policies and restrictions.
8. No director or officer of the Company, or director, manager or officer of the Adviser, will own, directly or indirectly (other than through a pooled investment vehicle that is not controlled by that director, manager or officer), any interest in a Subadviser, except for (a) ownership of interests in the Adviser or any entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the Adviser, or (b) ownership of less than 1% of the outstanding securities of any class of equity or debt of a publicly-traded company that is either a Subadviser or an entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a Subadviser.
9. The requested order will expire on the effective date of rule 15a-5 under the Act, if adopted.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.
Nancy M. Morris,
1. The applicants request that any relief granted pursuant to the application apply to future series of the Company and any other existing or future registered open-end management investment company and its series that: (a) Are advised by the Adviser or any entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser; (b) are managed in a manner consistent with the application; and (c) comply with the terms and conditions in the application (included in the term “Funds”). The Company is the only existing registered open-end management investment company that currently intends to rely on the order. If the name of any Fund contains the name of a Subadviser (as defined below), the name of the Adviser or the name of the entity controlling, controlled by or under common control with the Adviser that serves as the primary adviser to the Fund will precede the name of the Subadviser.Back to Citation
2. See Investment Company Act Release No. 26520 (July 27, 2004).Back to Citation
3. Investment Company Act Release No. 26230 (Oct. 23, 2003).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E6-3958 Filed 3-17-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P