August 1, 2012.
On June 1, 2012, NYSE Arca, Inc. (“Exchange” or “NYSE Arca”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 
and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,
a proposed rule change to list and trade shares (“Shares”) of the QAM Equity Hedge ETF (“Fund”) under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 19, 2012.
The Commission received no comments on the proposal. This order grants approval of the proposed rule change.
II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes to list and trade the Shares of the Fund pursuant to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600, which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares on the Exchange. The Shares will be offered by AdvisorShares Trust (“Trust”), a statutory trust organized under the laws of the State of Delaware and registered with the Commission as an open-end management investment company.
The investment adviser to the Fund is AdvisorShares Investments, LLC (“Adviser”). Commerce Asset Management serves as investment sub-adviser to the Fund (“Sub-Adviser”) and provides day-to-day portfolio management of the Fund. Foreside Fund Services, LLC is the principal underwriter and distributor of the Fund's Shares. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation serves as administrator, custodian, and transfer agent for the Fund. The Exchange represents that, while the Adviser is not affiliated with a broker-dealer, the Sub-Adviser is affiliated with a broker-dealer and has implemented a fire wall with respect to its broker-dealer affiliate regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the portfolio.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund seeks investment results that exceed the risk adjusted performance of approximately 50% of the long/short equity hedge fund universe as defined by the HFRI Equity Hedge (Total) Index (“HFRI Index”) constituents.
The Fund is a “fund of funds” that seeks to achieve its investment objective, under normal circumstances,
by investing at least 60% of its portfolio in both long and short positions in exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) 
and exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) 
that offer diversified exposure to global regions, countries, investment styles (i.e., value, growth), sectors, and industries, as well as exchange-traded currency and commodity trusts (collectively, with ETFs and ETNs, “Underlying ETPs”),
including Underlying ETPs that invest in short duration debt, cash, other cash equivalents, and other highly liquid instruments based on the Sub-Adviser's current analysis. The Sub-Adviser seeks to achieve the Fund's investment objective by taking long and short positions in Underlying ETPs that the Sub-Adviser believes, in the aggregate, will track the performance of a selected universe of long/short equity hedge funds.
The Underlying ETPs in which the Fund will invest will primarily be index-based ETFs that hold substantially all of their assets in securities that offer diversified exposure to global regions, countries, investment styles, sectors, and industries.
In managing the Fund's portfolio, among other proprietary analytics, the Sub-Adviser will utilize Markov Processes International, LLC's Dynamic Style Analysis (“DSA”) patented hedge fund analysis software to help select the Fund's investments and determine the allocation among such investments. The Sub-Adviser will identify approximately 50 market factors that track the aggregated exposure and approximate the returns of the selected universe of long/short equity hedge funds. The Sub-Adviser will use DSA and other proprietary analytics to define and track the various market factors and relative exposures and to adjust the Fund's portfolio as necessary. At any given time, such market factors may include country exposure, sector exposure, industry exposure, and currency exposure. In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the Fund will seek to remain invested at all times in securities or derivatives (as described below) that provide the desired exposures to market factors.
The Fund's portfolio typically will consist of up to 50 Underlying ETPs and other securities, as described below. Under normal circumstances, the Fund's largest or maximum investment in any single issuer will range between 5% and 10% of the Fund's portfolio.
The Fund, through its investment in Underlying ETPs, may invest in: (i) Closed-end funds, pooled investment vehicles that are registered under the 1940 Act and whose shares are listed and traded on U.S. national securities exchanges; (ii) equity securities of foreign issuers, including the securities of foreign issuers in emerging countries; 
and (iii) shares of real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in real estate or real estate-related loans.
Other Investment Practices and Strategies
To respond to adverse market, economic, political, or other conditions, the Fund may invest 100% of its total assets, without limitation, in high-quality debt securities and money market instruments either directly or through Underlying ETPs. The Fund may be invested in this manner for extended periods depending on the Sub-Adviser's assessment of market conditions. Debt securities and money market instruments include shares of mutual funds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, bankers' acceptances, U.S. Government securities, repurchase agreements, and bonds that are BBB or higher.
Under normal circumstances, the Fund may hold up to 40% of its portfolio in other investments. For example, on a day-to-day basis, the Fund may hold money market instruments, cash or cash equivalents, and/or Underlying ETPs that invest in these and other highly liquid instruments, to collateralize its derivative positions.
The Fund, or the Underlying ETPs in which it invests, may invest in U.S. Treasury zero-coupon bonds. These securities are U.S. Treasury bonds which have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, the coupons themselves, and receipts or certificates representing interests in such stripped debt obligations and coupons. Interest is not paid in cash during the term of these securities, but is accrued and paid at maturity.
The Fund or an Underlying ETP may invest in equity securities, which represent ownership interests in a company or partnership and consist of common stocks, preferred stocks, warrants to acquire common stock, securities convertible into common stock, and investments in master limited partnerships.
The Fund or an Underlying ETP may invest in American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), as well as Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs,” and together with ADRs, “Depositary Receipts”), which are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer. Depositary Receipts will be sponsored. These certificates are issued by depositary banks and generally trade on an established market in the United States or elsewhere. The underlying shares are held in trust by a custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer's home country. The depositary bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest and corporate actions. Depositary Receipts are alternatives to directly purchasing the underlying foreign securities in their national markets and currencies. However, Depositary Receipts continue to be subject to many of the risks associated with investing directly in foreign securities.
The Fund, or the Underlying ETPs in which it invests, may invest in U.S. government securities. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. U.S. Treasury bills have initial maturities of one-year or less; U.S. Treasury notes have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. Certain U.S. government securities are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government including, but not limited to, obligations of U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac).
The Fund may not (i) with respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase securities of any issuer (except securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or shares of investment companies) if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets would be invested in the securities of such issuer; or (ii) acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer. For purposes of this policy, the issuer of the underlying security will be deemed to be the issuer of any respective Depositary Receipt.
The Fund may not invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry or group of industries. This limitation does not apply to investments in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or shares of investment companies. The Fund will not invest 25% or more of its total assets in any investment company that so concentrates. For purposes of this policy, the issuer of the underlying security will be deemed to be the issuer of any respective Depositary Receipt.
While the Fund may invest up to 40% of its total assets in put and call options on indices (and enter into related closing transactions), exchange-listed futures contracts, and options on futures contracts, the Adviser expects that, under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest no more than 15% in such options and 15% in such futures on a daily basis.
The Fund may conduct foreign currency transactions on a spot (i.e., cash) or forward basis (i.e., by entering into forward contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies up to 10% of its total assets). Currency transactions made on a spot basis are for cash at the spot rate prevailing in the currency exchange market for buying or selling currency.
The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with financial institutions, which may be deemed to be loans. The Fund follows certain procedures designed to minimize the risks inherent in such agreements. These procedures include effecting repurchase transactions only with large, well-capitalized, and well-established financial institutions whose condition will be continually monitored by the Sub-Adviser. The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements without limit as part of the Fund's investment strategy. Reverse repurchase agreements involve sales by the Fund of portfolio assets concurrently with an agreement by the Fund to repurchase the same assets at a later date at a fixed price.
The Fund may invest up to 15% of its total assets in swap agreements, including, but not limited to, total return swaps, index swaps, and interest rate swaps. The Fund may utilize swap agreements in an attempt to gain exposure to the securities in a market without actually purchasing those securities, or to hedge a position. In seeking to establish a long or short position in such instruments, the Fund may use swaps based on published indices, including international indices.
The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities and loan participation interests. The Fund will monitor its portfolio liquidity on an ongoing basis to determine whether, in light of current circumstances, an adequate level of liquidity is being maintained, and will consider taking appropriate steps in order to maintain adequate liquidity if, through a change in values, net assets, or other circumstances, more than 15% of the Fund's net assets are held in illiquid securities. Illiquid securities include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets as determined in accordance with Commission staff guidance.
The Fund will seek to qualify for treatment as a Regulated Investment Company (RIC) under the Internal Revenue Code. Except for Underlying ETPs that may hold non-U.S. issues, the Fund will not otherwise invest in non-U.S.-registered issues. The Fund's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage. That is, while the Fund will be permitted to borrow as permitted under the 1940 Act, the Fund's investments will not be used to seek performance that is the multiple or inverse multiple (i.e., 2Xs and 3Xs) of the Fund's broad-based securities market index (as defined in Form N-1A).
The Fund will not invest in leveraged or inverse leveraged Underlying ETPs.
Additional information regarding the Trust and the Shares, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, fees, portfolio holdings, disclosure policies, distributions, and taxes, among other things, can be found in the Notice and Registration Statement, as applicable.
III. Discussion and Commission's Findings
The Commission has carefully reviewed the proposed rule change and finds that it is consistent with the requirements of Section 6 of the Act 
and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.
In particular, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,
which requires, among other things, that the Exchange's rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Commission notes that the Fund and the Shares must comply with the requirements of NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 to be listed and traded on the Exchange.
The Commission finds that the proposal to list and trade the Shares on the Exchange is consistent with Section 11A(a)(1)(C)(iii) of the Act,
which sets forth Congress' finding that it is in the public interest and appropriate for the protection of investors and the maintenance of fair and orderly markets to assure the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for, and transactions in, securities. Quotation and last-sale information for the Shares will be available via the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) high-speed line. In addition, the Portfolio Indicative Value (“PIV”), as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600(c)(3), will be widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Exchange's Core Trading Session.
On each business day before commencement of trading in Shares in the Core Trading Session on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the Disclosed Portfolio, as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600(c)(2), that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of the net asset value (“NAV”) at the end of the business day.
The Fund will calculate NAV once each business day as of the close of normal trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally, 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time). In addition, information regarding market price and trading volume of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services, and information regarding the previous day's closing price and trading volume information for the Shares will be published daily in the financial section of newspapers. The Web site for the Fund will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund, additional data relating to NAV, and other applicable quantitative information. The intra-day, closing, and settlement prices of the portfolio investments (e.g., Underlying ETPs, put and call options, futures contracts, forward contracts, money market funds, and options on futures contracts) will also be readily available from the national securities exchanges trading such securities, automated quotation systems, published or other public sources, or on-line information services such as Bloomberg or Reuters. Further, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities required to be delivered in exchange for the Fund's Shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, will be publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the New York Stock Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation. The basket represents one “Creation Unit” of the Fund.
The Commission further believes that the proposal to list and trade the Shares is reasonably designed to promote fair disclosure of information that may be necessary to price the Shares appropriately and to prevent trading when a reasonable degree of transparency cannot be assured. The Commission notes that the Exchange will obtain a representation from the issuer of the Shares that the NAV per Share will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio will be made available to all market participants at the same time.
In addition, the Exchange will halt trading in the Shares under the specific circumstances set forth in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600(d)(2)(D), and may halt trading in the Shares if trading is not occurring in the securities and/or the financial instruments comprising the Disclosed Portfolio of the Fund, or if other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present.
The Exchange will consider the suspension of trading in or removal from listing of the Shares if the PIV is no longer calculated or available or the Disclosed Portfolio is not made available to all market participants at the same time.
The Exchange represents that the Adviser is not affiliated with a broker-dealer. The Exchange further represents that the Sub-Adviser is affiliated with a broker-dealer and has implemented a fire wall with respect to its broker-dealer affiliate regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the portfolio.
The Commission notes that Adviser and Sub-Adviser personnel who make decisions on the Fund's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non- public information regarding the Fund's portfolio.
Further, the Commission notes that the Reporting Authority that provides the Disclosed Portfolio must implement and maintain, or be subject to, procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding the actual components of the portfolio.
The Exchange states that it has a general policy prohibiting the distribution of material, non-public information by its employees. The Commission also notes that the Exchange would be able to obtain surveillance information from all securities exchanges listing and/or trading the securities held by the Fund, including information from the U.S. exchanges, all of which are ISG members, on which the Underlying ETPs, Depositary Receipts, futures, options, and other applicable portfolio securities are listed and traded.
The Exchange further represents that the Shares are deemed to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. In support of this proposal, the Exchange has made representations, including:
(1) The Shares will conform to the initial and continued listing criteria under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600.
(2) The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions.
(3) The Exchange's surveillance procedures applicable to derivative products, which include Managed Fund Shares, are adequate to properly monitor Exchange trading of the Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.
(4) Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its Equity Trading Permit Holders in an Information Bulletin (“Bulletin”) of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Bulletin will discuss the following: (a) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Unit aggregations (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (b) NYSE Arca Equities Rule 9.2(a), which imposes a duty of due diligence on its Equity Trading Permit Holders to learn the essential facts relating to every customer prior to trading the Shares; (c) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Opening and Late Trading Sessions when an updated PIV will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (d) how information regarding the PIV is disseminated; (e) the requirement that Equity Trading Permit Holders deliver a prospectus to investors purchasing newly issued Shares prior to or concurrently with the confirmation of a transaction; and (f) trading information.
(5) For initial and/or continued listing, the Fund will be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 under the Act,
as provided by NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.3.
(6) The Fund may not hold more than an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities and loan participation interests.
(7) Except for Underlying ETPs that may hold non-U.S. issues, the Fund will not otherwise invest in non-U.S.-registered issues. Options, futures, and options on futures contracts in which the Fund invests will be U.S. exchange-listed. The Fund will invest no more than 15% of total assets in such options and 15% of total assets in such futures on a daily basis. The Fund may invest up to 15% of its total assets in swap agreements, including, but not limited to, total return swaps, index swaps, and interest rate swaps.
(8) The Fund will not invest in leveraged or inverse leveraged Underlying ETPs. The Fund's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage.
(9) The Exchange would be able to obtain surveillance information from all securities exchanges listing and/or trading the securities held by the Fund, including information from the U.S. exchanges, all of which are ISG members, on which the Underlying ETPs, Depositary Receipts, futures, options, and other applicable portfolio securities are listed and traded.
(10) A minimum of 100,000 Shares of each Fund will be outstanding at the commencement of trading on the Exchange.
This approval order is based on the Exchange's representations and description of the Fund, including those set forth above and in the Notice.
For the foregoing reasons, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act
and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,
that the proposed rule change (SR-NYSEArca-2012-57) be, and it hereby is, approved.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2012-19351 Filed 8-7-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P