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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of the Shares of the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII

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Start Preamble August 26, 2013.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that, on August 16, 2013, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Exchange” or “Nasdaq”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

Nasdaq proposes to list and trade the shares of the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (the “Fund”) of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund VII (the “Trust”) under Nasdaq Rule 5735 (“Managed Fund Shares”). The shares of the Fund are collectively referred to herein as the “Shares.”

The text of the proposed rule change is available at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com/​, at Nasdaq's principal office, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, NASDAQ included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. NASDAQ has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The Exchange proposes to list and trade the Shares of the Fund under Nasdaq Rule 5735, which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares [3] on the Exchange.[4] The Fund will be an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”). The Shares will be Start Printed Page 53800offered by the Trust, which was established as a Massachusetts business trust on November 6, 2012.[5] The Trust is registered with the Commission as an investment company and has filed a registration statement on Form N-1A (“Registration Statement”) with the Commission.[6] The Fund is a series of the Trust. With respect to the futures contracts held indirectly through a wholly-owned subsidiary controlled by the Fund and organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (referred to herein as the “First Trust Subsidiary”), not more than 10% of the weight [7] of such futures contracts in the aggregate shall consist of instruments whose principal trading market is not a member of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”) or is a market with which the Exchange does not have a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

First Trust Advisors L.P. will be the investment adviser (“Adviser”) to the Fund. First Trust Portfolios L.P. (the “Distributor”) will be the principal underwriter and distributor of the Fund's Shares. Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (“BBH”) will act as the administrator, accounting agent, custodian (“Custodian”) and transfer agent to the Fund.

Paragraph (g) of Rule 5735 provides that if the investment adviser to the investment company issuing Managed Fund Shares is affiliated with a broker-dealer, such investment adviser shall erect a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer with respect to access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to such investment company portfolio.[8] In addition, paragraph (g) further requires that personnel who make decisions on the open-end fund's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding the open-end fund's portfolio. Rule 5735(g) is similar to Nasdaq Rule 5705(b)(5)(A)(i); however, paragraph (g) in connection with the establishment of a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer reflects the applicable open-end fund's portfolio, not an underlying benchmark index, as is the case with index-based funds. The Adviser is not a broker-dealer, although it is affiliated with the Distributor, a broker-dealer. The Adviser 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. In the event (a) the Adviser becomes newly affiliated with a broker-dealer, or (b) any new adviser or sub-adviser is a registered broker-dealer or becomes affiliated with a broker-dealer, it will implement a fire wall with respect to its relevant personnel and/or such broker-dealer affiliate, if applicable, regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the portfolio and will be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material non-public information regarding such portfolio. The Fund does not currently intend to use a sub-adviser.

First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund

According to the Registration Statement, the Fund's investment objective will be to provide total return by providing investors with commodity exposure while seeking a relatively stable risk profile. The Fund will pursue its objective by seeking to invest through a wholly-owned subsidiary in a broadly diversified portfolio comprised principally of commodity futures contracts.

Principal Investments

Fund's Investments

The Fund will be an actively managed ETF that will seek to achieve attractive risk adjusted returns by investing in exchange-traded commodity futures contracts and exchange-traded commodity linked instruments [9] (collectively, “Commodities”) through the First Trust Subsidiary. The Fund will seek to gain exposure to the futures markets through investments in the First Trust Subsidiary. The Fund's investment in the First Trust Subsidiary may not exceed 25% of the Fund's total assets. The remainder of the Fund's assets will primarily be invested in: (1) Short-term investment grade fixed income securities that include U.S. government and agency securities,[10] sovereign debt obligations of non-U.S. countries, and repurchase agreements; [11] (2) money market instruments; [12] (3) ETFs and other investment companies Start Printed Page 53801registered under the 1940 Act; and (4) cash and other cash equivalents.

The Fund will not invest directly in Commodities. The Fund expects to exclusively gain exposure to these investments by investing in the First Trust Subsidiary.

The Fund will use the fixed-income securities as investments and to collateralize the First Trust Subsidiary's commodity exposure on a day-to-day basis. The Fund may also invest directly in ETFs [13] and other investment companies, including exchange-traded closed-end funds that provide exposure to commodities, equity securities and fixed income securities to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.[14]

The Fund's investment in the First Trust Subsidiary will be designed to help the Fund achieve exposure to commodity returns in a manner consistent with the federal tax requirements applicable to the Fund and other regulated investment companies.

First Trust Subsidiary's Investments

The First Trust Subsidiary will seek to make investments generally in Commodities while managing volatility, as measured by annualized standard deviation, to a more consistent range than statistically weighted commodity indices. The investment weightings of the underlying Commodities held by the First Trust Subsidiary will be rebalanced in an attempt to stabilize risk levels. The dynamic weighting process will result in a disciplined, systematic investment process which will be keyed off of the Adviser's volatility forecasting process.

The First Trust Subsidiary will be advised by the Adviser.[15] The Fund's investment in the First Trust Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity markets within the limits of current federal income tax laws applicable to investment companies such as the Fund, which limit the ability of investment companies to invest directly in the derivative instruments. The First Trust Subsidiary will have the same investment objective as the Fund, but unlike the Fund, it may invest without limitation in Commodities. The First Trust Subsidiary's investments will provide the Fund with exposure to domestic and international markets.

The First Trust Subsidiary may have both long and short positions in Commodities. However, for a given Commodity the First Trust Subsidiary will have a net long exposure. The First Trust Subsidiary will initially consider investing in futures contracts set forth in the following table. The table also provides each instrument's trading hours, exchange and ticker symbol. The table is subject to change.

CommodityBloomberg exchange code 16Exchange name 17Trading hours (E.T.)Contract ticker (generic Bloomberg ticker)
Cattle, Live/Choice AverageCMEChicago Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:00LC
CocoaNYBICE Futures Exchange04:00-14:00CC
Cotton/1-1/16″NYBICE Futures Exchange21:00-14:30CT
Feeder CattleCMEChicago Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:00FC
Coffee ‘C’/ColombianNYBICE Futures Exchange03:30-14:00KC
Soybeans/No. 2 YellowCBTChicago Board of Trade20:00-14:15S
Soybean Meal/48% ProteinCBTChicago Board of Trade20:00-14:15SM
Soybean Oil/CrudeCBTChicago Board of Trade20:00-14:15BO
Corn/No. 2 YellowCBTChicago Board of Trade20:00-14:15C
Wheat/No. 2 Hard WinterKCBKansas City Board of Trade20:00-14:15KW
Wheat/No. 2 Soft RedCBTChicago Board of Trade20:00-14:15W
Sugar #11/World RawNYBICE Futures Exchange02:30-14:00SB
Hogs, Lean/Average Iowa/S MinnCMEChicago Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:00LH
Crude Oil, WTI/Global SpotNYMNew York Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:15CL
Crude Oil, Brent/Global SpotICEICE Futures Exchange20:00-18:00CO
NY Harb ULSDNYMNew York Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:15HO
Gas-Oil-PetroleumICEICE Futures Exchange20:00-18:00QS
Natural Gas, Henry HubNYMNew York Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:15NG
Gasoline, Blendstock (RBOB)NYMNew York Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:15XB
GoldCMXCOMEX18:00-17:15GC
SilverCMXCOMEX18:00-17:15SI
PlatinumNYMNew York Mercantile Exchange18:00-17:15PL
Copper High Grade/Scrap No. 2 WireCMXCOMEX18:00-17:15HG
Aluminum, LME Primary 3 Month Rolling ForwardLMELondon Metal Exchange15:00-14:45LA
Start Printed Page 53802
Lead, LME Primary 3 Month Rolling ForwardLMELondon Metal Exchange15:00-14:45LL
Nickel, LME Primary 3 Month Rolling ForwardLMELondon Metal Exchange15:00-14:45LN
Tin, LME Primary 3 Month Rolling ForwardLMELondon Metal Exchange15:00-14:45LT
Zinc, LME Primary 3 Month Rolling ForwardLMELondon Metal Exchange15:00-14:45LX

As U.S. and London exchanges list additional contracts, as currently listed contracts on those exchanges gain sufficient liquidity or as other exchanges list sufficiently liquid contracts, the Adviser will include those contracts in the list of possible investments of the First Trust Subsidiary. The list of commodities futures and commodities markets considered for investment can and will change over time.

Commodities Regulation

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has recently adopted substantial amendments to CFTC Rule 4.5 relating to the permissible exemptions and conditions for reliance on exemptions from registration as a commodity pool operator. As a result of the instruments that will be indirectly held by the Fund, the Adviser has registered as a commodity pool operator [18] and is also a member of the National Futures Association (“NFA”). The Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary are subject to regulation by the CFTC and NFA and additional disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping rules imposed upon commodity pools.

Other Investments

The Fund may invest in certificates of deposit issued against funds deposited in a bank or savings and loan association. In addition, the Fund may invest in bankers' acceptances, which are short-term credit instruments used to finance commercial transactions.

The Fund may invest in bank time deposits, which are monies kept on deposit with banks or savings and loan associations for a stated period of time at a fixed rate of interest. In addition, the Fund may invest in commercial paper, which are short-term unsecured promissory notes, including master demand notes issued by corporations to finance their current operations. Master demand notes are direct lending arrangements between the Fund and a corporation. The Fund may invest in commercial paper only if it has received the highest rating from at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, judged by the Adviser to be of comparable quality.

Investment Restrictions

According to the Registration Statement, the Fund may not invest more than 25% of the value of its total assets in securities of issuers in any one industry or group of industries. This restriction will not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or securities of other investment companies.[19]

The First Trust Subsidiary's shares will be offered only to the Fund and the Fund will not sell shares of the First Trust Subsidiary to other investors. The Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary will not invest in any non-U.S. equity securities (other than shares of the First Trust Subsidiary). The Fund will not purchase securities of open-end or closed-end investment companies except in compliance with the 1940 Act.

Pursuant to the Exemptive Order, the Fund will not invest directly in options contracts, futures contracts or swap agreements, however, this restriction will not apply to the First Trust Subsidiary.

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 deemed illiquid by the Adviser and master demand notes.[20] 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.[21]

The Fund intends to qualify for and to elect to be treated as a separate regulated investment company under SubChapter M of the Internal Revenue Code.[22]

Under the 1940 Act, the Fund's investment in investment companies will be limited to, subject to certain exceptions: (i) 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any one investment company, (ii) 5% of the Fund's total assets with respect to any one investment company, and (iii) 10% Start Printed Page 53803of the Fund's total assets with respect to investment companies in the aggregate.

The Fund's and the First Trust Subsidiary's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage.

Net Asset Value

According to the Registration Statement, the Fund's net asset value (“NAV”) will be determined as of the close of trading (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time (“E.T.”)) on each day the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for business. NAV will be calculated for the Fund by taking the market price of the Fund's total assets, including interest or dividends accrued but not yet collected, less all liabilities, and dividing such amount by the total number of Shares outstanding. The result, rounded to the nearest cent, will be the NAV per Share. All valuations will be subject to review by the Board or its delegate.

The Fund's and the First Trust Subsidiary's investments will be valued at market value or, in the absence of market value with respect to any investment, at fair value in accordance with valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the 1940 Act. Portfolio securities traded on more than one securities exchange will be valued at the last sale price or, if so disseminated by an exchange, the official closing price, as applicable, on the business day as of which such value is being determined at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities. Portfolio securities traded in the over-the-counter market will be valued at their closing bid prices. Short-term investments that mature in less than 60 days when purchased will be valued at cost adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts.

Exchange-traded futures contracts will be valued at the closing price in the market where such contracts are principally traded.

Certain securities may not be able to be priced by pre-established pricing methods. Such securities may be valued by the Board or its delegate at fair value. The use of fair value pricing by the Fund will be governed by valuation procedures adopted by the Board and in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act. These securities generally include, but are not limited to, restricted securities (securities which may not be publicly sold without registration under the Securities Act of 1933) for which a pricing service is unable to provide a market price; securities whose trading has been formally suspended; a security whose market price is not available from a pre-established pricing source; a security with respect to which an event has occurred that is likely to materially affect the value of the security after the market has closed but before the calculation of the Fund's net asset value or make it difficult or impossible to obtain a reliable market quotation; and a security whose price, as provided by the pricing service, does not reflect the security's “fair value.” As a general principle, the current “fair value” of a security would appear to be the amount which the owner might reasonably expect to receive for the security upon its current sale. The use of fair value prices by the Fund generally results in the prices used by the Fund that may differ from current market quotations or official closing prices on the applicable exchange. A variety of factors may be considered in determining the fair value of such securities.

Creation and Redemption of Shares

The Trust will issue and sell Shares of the Fund only in Creation Unit aggregations, and only in aggregations of 50,000 Shares, on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at the NAV next determined after receipt, on any business day, of an order in proper form.

The consideration for purchase of Creation Unit aggregations of the Fund may consist of (i) cash in lieu of all or a portion of the Deposit Securities, as defined below, and/or (ii) a designated portfolio of securities determined by the Adviser that generally will conform to the holdings of the Fund consistent with its investment objective (the “Deposit Securities”) per each Creation Unit aggregation and generally an amount of cash (the “Cash Component”) computed as described below. Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component (including the cash in lieu amount) will constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which will represent the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit aggregation of the Fund.

The consideration for redemption of Creation Unit aggregations of the Fund may consist of (i) cash in lieu of all or a portion of the Fund Securities as defined below, and/or (ii) a designated portfolio of securities determined by the Adviser that generally will conform to the holdings of the Fund consistent with its investment objective per each Creation Unit aggregation (“Fund Securities”) and generally a Cash Component, as described below.

The Cash Component is sometimes also referred to as the Balancing Amount. The Cash Component will serve the function of compensating for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit aggregation and the Deposit Amount (as defined below). For example, for a creation the Cash Component will be an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of Fund Shares (per Creation Unit aggregation) and the “Deposit Amount”—an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities and/or cash in lieu of all or a portion of the Deposit Securities. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit aggregation exceeds the Deposit Amount), the Authorized Participant (defined below) will deliver the Cash Component. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit aggregation is less than the Deposit Amount), the Authorized Participant will receive the Cash Component.

The Custodian, through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”), will make available on each business day, prior to the opening of business of the NYSE (currently 9:30 a.m., E.T.), the list of the names and the quantity of each Deposit Security to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous business day). Such Fund Deposit will be applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, in order to effect creations of Creation Unit aggregations of the Fund until such time as the next-announced composition of the Deposit Securities is made available.

The identity and quantity of the Deposit Securities required for a Fund Deposit for the Shares may change as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected within the Fund from time to time by the Adviser consistent with the investment objective of the Fund. In addition, the Trust will reserve the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash, i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount, to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or which might not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor for which it is acting or other relevant reason.

In addition to the list of names and numbers of securities constituting the current Deposit Securities of a Fund Deposit, the Custodian, through the NSCC, will also make available on each business day, the estimated Cash Component, effective through and including the previous business day, per Creation Unit aggregation of the Fund.

According to the Registration Statement, to be eligible to place orders with respect to creations and Start Printed Page 53804redemptions of Creation Units, an entity must be (i) a “Participating Party,” i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the continuous net settlement system of the NSCC or (ii) a Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) Participant (a “DTC Participant”). In addition, each Participating Party or DTC Participant (each, an “Authorized Participant”) must execute an agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor and the Custodian with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units.

All orders to create Creation Unit aggregations must be received by the transfer agent no later than the closing time of the regular trading session on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., E.T.) in each case on the date such order is placed in order for creations of Creation Unit aggregations to be effected based on the NAV of Shares of the Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form.

In order to redeem Creation Units of the Fund, an Authorized Participant must submit an order to redeem for one or more Creation Units. All such orders must be received by the Fund's transfer agent in proper form no later than the close of regular trading on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. E.T.) in order to receive that day's closing NAV per Share.

Availability of Information

The Fund's Web site (www.ftportfolios.com), which will be publicly available prior to the public offering of Shares, will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund that may be downloaded. The Web site will include the Share's ticker, Cusip and exchange information along with additional quantitative information updated on a daily basis, including, for the Fund: (1) Daily trading value, the prior business day's reported NAV and closing price, mid-point of the bid/ask spread at the time of calculation of such NAV (the “Bid/Ask Price”) [23] and a calculation of the premium and discount of the Bid/Ask Price against the NAV; and (2) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the daily Bid/Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Regular Market Session [24] on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the identities and quantities of the portfolio of securities, Commodities and other assets (the “Disclosed Portfolio” as defined in Nasdaq Rule 5735(c)(2)) held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day.[25] The Disclosed Portfolio will include, as applicable, the names, quantity, percentage weighting and market value of securities, Commodities and other assets held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary and the characteristics of such assets. The Web site and information will be publicly available at no charge.

In addition, for the Fund, an estimated value, defined in Rule 5735(c)(3) as the “Intraday Indicative Value,” that reflects an estimated intraday value of the Fund's portfolio (including the First Trust Subsidiary's portfolio), will be disseminated. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value, available on the NASDAQ OMX Information LLC proprietary index data service [26] will be based upon the current value for the components of the Disclosed Portfolio and will be updated and widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors and broadly displayed at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session.

The dissemination of the Intraday Indicative Value, together with the Disclosed Portfolio, will allow investors to determine the value of the underlying portfolio of the Fund on a daily basis and will provide a close estimate of that value throughout the trading day.

Intra-day, executable price quotations on the securities, Commodities and other assets held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary, will be available from major broker-dealer firms or on the exchange on which they are traded, as applicable. Intra-day price information will also be available through subscription services, such as Bloomberg, Markit and Thomson Reuters, which can be accessed by Authorized Participants and other investors.

Investors will also be able to obtain the Fund's Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), the Fund's Shareholder Reports, and its Form N-CSR and Form N-SAR, filed twice a year. The Fund's SAI and Shareholder Reports will be available free upon request from the Fund, and those documents and the Form N-CSR and Form N-SAR may be viewed on-screen or downloaded from the Commission's Web site at www.sec.gov. Information regarding market price and volume of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services. The previous day's closing price and trading volume information for the Shares will be published daily in the financial section of newspapers. Quotation and last sale information for the Shares will be available via Nasdaq proprietary quote and trade services, as well as in accordance with the Unlisted Trading Privileges and the Consolidated Tape Association plans for the Shares and any underlying exchange-traded products.

Additional information regarding the Fund and the Shares, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, fees, Fund holdings disclosure policies, distributions and taxes will be included in the Registration Statement. All terms relating to the Fund that are referred to, but not defined in, this proposed rule change are defined in the Registration Statement.

Initial and Continued Listing

The Shares will be subject to Rule 5735, which sets forth the initial and continued listing criteria applicable to Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange represents that, for initial and/or continued listing, the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary must be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 [27] under the Act. A minimum of 100,000 Shares will be outstanding at the commencement of trading on the Exchange. 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 Start Printed Page 53805will be made available to all market participants at the same time.

Trading Halts

With respect to trading halts, the Exchange may consider all relevant factors in exercising its discretion to halt or suspend trading in the Shares of the Fund. Nasdaq will halt trading in the Shares under the conditions specified in Nasdaq Rules 4120 and 4121, including the trading pauses under Nasdaq Rules 4120(a)(11) and (12). Trading may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable. These may include: (1) The extent to which trading is not occurring in the securities, Commodities and other assets constituting the Disclosed Portfolio of the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary; or (2) whether other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present. Trading in the Shares also will be subject to Rule 5735(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted.

Trading Rules

Nasdaq deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to Nasdaq's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. Nasdaq will allow trading in the Shares from 4:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. E.T. The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions. As provided in Nasdaq Rule 5735(b)(3), the minimum price variation for quoting and entry of orders in Managed Fund Shares traded on the Exchange is $0.01.

Surveillance

The Exchange represents that trading in the Shares will be subject to the existing trading surveillances, administered by both Nasdaq and also the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) on behalf of the Exchange, which are designed to detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.[28] The Exchange represents that these procedures 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.

The surveillances referred to above generally focus on detecting securities trading outside their normal patterns, which could be indicative of manipulative or other violative activity. When such situations are detected, surveillance analysis follows and investigations are opened, where appropriate, to review the behavior of all relevant parties for all relevant trading violations.

FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary with other markets and other entities that are members of the ISG [29] and FINRA may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary from markets and other entities that are members of ISG, which includes securities and futures exchanges, or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

In addition, with respect to the futures contracts held indirectly through the First Trust Subsidiary, not more than 10% of the weight [30] of such futures contracts in the aggregate shall consist of instruments whose principal trading market is not a member of ISG or is a market with which the Exchange does not have a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. In addition, the Exchange also has a general policy prohibiting the distribution of material, non-public information by its employees.

Information Circular

Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its members in an Information Circular of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Information Circular will discuss the following: (1) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Units (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (2) Nasdaq Rule 2111A, which imposes suitability obligations on Nasdaq members with respect to recommending transactions in the Shares to customers; (3) how information regarding the Intraday Indicative Value is disseminated; (4) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Pre-Market and Post-Market Sessions when an updated Intraday Indicative Value will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (5) the requirement that members deliver a prospectus to investors purchasing newly issued Shares prior to or concurrently with the confirmation of a transaction; and (6) trading information.

In addition, the Information Circular will advise members, prior to the commencement of trading, of the prospectus delivery requirements applicable to the Fund. Members purchasing Shares from the Fund for resale to investors will deliver a prospectus to such investors. The Information Circular will also discuss any exemptive, no-action and interpretive relief granted by the Commission from any rules under the Act.

Additionally, the Information Circular will reference that the Fund is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Registration Statement. The Information Circular will also disclose the trading hours of the Shares of the Fund and the applicable NAV calculation time for the Shares. The Information Circular will disclose that information about the Shares of the Fund will be publicly available on the Fund's Web site.

2. Statutory Basis

Nasdaq believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act in general and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act in particular in that it is 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, and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices in that the Shares will be listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to the initial and continued listing criteria in Nasdaq Rule 5735. The Exchange represents that trading in the Shares will be subject to the existing trading surveillances, administered by both Nasdaq and also FINRA on behalf of the Exchange, which are designed to Start Printed Page 53806detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws. The 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 Fund's portfolio. In addition, paragraph (g) of Nasdaq Rule 5735 further requires that personnel who make decisions on the open-end fund's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding the open-end fund's portfolio. The Fund's and the First Trust Subsidiary's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage. FINRA may obtain information via ISG from other exchanges that are members of ISG. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary from markets and other entities that are members of ISG, which includes securities and futures exchanges, or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. With respect to the futures contracts held indirectly through the First Trust Subsidiary, not more than 10% of the weight [31] of such futures contracts in the aggregate shall consist of instruments whose principal trading market is not a member of the ISG or is a market with which the Exchange does not have a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the First Trust Subsidiary. 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 master demand notes. The Fund will not invest directly in Commodities and the Fund expects to exclusively gain exposure to these investments by investing in the First Trust Subsidiary. The Fund will use the fixed-income securities as investments and to collateralize the First Trust Subsidiary's commodity exposure on a day-to-day basis. The Fund may also invest directly in ETFs and other investment companies, including exchange-traded closed-end funds, that provide exposure to commodities, equity securities and fixed income securities to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. The Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary will not invest in any non-U.S. equity securities (other than shares of the First Trust Subsidiary).

The proposed rule change is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and to protect investors and the public interest in 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, a large amount of information will be publicly available regarding the Fund and the Shares, thereby promoting market transparency. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value, available on the NASDAQ OMX Information LLC proprietary index data service will be widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Regular Market Session on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the Disclosed Portfolio of the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. 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 quotation and last sale information for the Shares will be available via Nasdaq proprietary quote and trade services, as well as in accordance with the Unlisted Trading Privileges and the Consolidated Tape Association plans for the Shares and any underlying exchange-traded products. Intra-day price information will be available through subscription services, such as Bloomberg, Markit and Thomson Reuters, which can be accessed by Authorized Participants and other investors.

The Fund's Web site will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund and additional data relating to NAV and other applicable quantitative information. Trading in Shares of the Fund will be halted under the conditions specified in Nasdaq Rules 4120 and 4121 or because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable, and trading in the Shares will be subject to Nasdaq Rule 5735(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares.

The proposed rule change is designed to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest in that it will facilitate the listing and trading of an additional type of actively-managed exchange-traded product that will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace. As noted above, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary with other markets and other entities that are members of the ISG and FINRA may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares and in the Commodities and other exchange-traded securities and instruments held by the Fund and the First Trust Subsidiary from markets and other entities that are members of ISG, which includes securities and futures exchanges, or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. Furthermore, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares.

For the above reasons, Nasdaq believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will facilitate the listing and trading of an additional type of actively-managed exchange-traded fund that will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.Start Printed Page 53807

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission shall: (a) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or (b) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments:

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2013-107. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/​rules/​sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2013-107 and should be submitted on or before September 20, 2013.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[32]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  A Managed Fund Share is a security that represents an interest in an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1) (the “1940 Act”) organized as an open-end investment company or similar entity that invests in a portfolio of securities selected by its investment adviser consistent with its investment objectives and policies. In contrast, an open-end investment company that issues Index Fund Shares, listed and traded on the Exchange under Nasdaq Rule 5705, seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a specific foreign or domestic stock index, fixed income securities index or combination thereof.

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4.  The Commission approved Nasdaq Rule 5735 in Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57962 (June 13, 2008), 73 FR 35175 (June 20, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-039). The Fund would not be the first actively-managed fund listed on the Exchange; see Securities Exchange Act Release No. 66489 (February 29, 2012), 77 FR 13379 (March 6, 2012) (SR-NASDAQ-2012-004) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund). Additionally, the Commission has previously approved the listing and trading of a number of actively managed WisdomTree funds on NYSE Arca, Inc. pursuant to Rule 8.600 of that exchange. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64643 (June 10, 2011), 76 FR 35062 (June 15, 2011) (SR-NYSEArca-2011-21) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund). The Exchange believes the proposed rule change raises no significant issues not previously addressed in those prior Commission orders.

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5.  The Commission has issued an order granting certain exemptive relief to the Trust under the 1940 Act (the “Exemptive Order”). See Investment Company Act Release No. 30029 (April 10, 2012) (File No. 812-13795). In compliance with Nasdaq Rule 5735(b)(5), which applies to Managed Fund Shares based on an international or global portfolio, the Trust's application for exemptive relief under the 1940 Act states that the Fund will comply with the federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposits and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities, including that the securities accepted for deposits and the securities used to satisfy redemption requests are sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a).

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6.  See Registration Statement on Form N-1A for the Trust, dated November 13, 2012 (File Nos. 333-184918 and 811-22767). The descriptions of the Fund and the Shares contained herein are based, in part, on information in the Registration Statement.

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7.  To be calculated as the value of the contract divided by the total absolute notional value of the First Trust Subsidiary's futures contracts.

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8.  An investment adviser to an open-end fund is required to be registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”). As a result, the Adviser and its related personnel are subject to the provisions of Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act relating to codes of ethics. This Rule requires investment advisers to adopt a code of ethics that reflects the fiduciary nature of the relationship to clients as well as compliance with other applicable securities laws. Accordingly, procedures designed to prevent the communication and misuse of non-public information by an investment adviser must be consistent with Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act. In addition, Rule 206(4)-7 under the Advisers Act makes it unlawful for an investment adviser to provide investment advice to clients unless such investment adviser has (i) adopted and implemented written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation, by the investment adviser and its supervised persons, of the Advisers Act and the Commission rules adopted thereunder; (ii) implemented, at a minimum, an annual review regarding the adequacy of the policies and procedures established pursuant to subparagraph (i) above and the effectiveness of their implementation; and (iii) designated an individual (who is a supervised person) responsible for administering the policies and procedures adopted under subparagraph (i) above.

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9.  Exchange-traded commodity linked instruments include: (1) ETFs that provide exposure to commodities as would be listed under Nasdaq Rules 5705 and 5735; and (2) pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in commodities and commodity-related instruments as would be listed under Nasdaq Rules 5710 and 5711. Such pooled investment vehicles are commonly referred to as “exchange traded funds” but they are not registered as investment companies because of the nature of their underlying investments.

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10.  Such securities will include securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury, by various agencies of the U.S. government, or by various instrumentalities, which have been established or sponsored by the U.S. government. U.S. Treasury obligations are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government. Securities issued or guaranteed by federal agencies and U.S. government-sponsored instrumentalities may or may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

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11.  According to the Registration Statement, the Fund intends to enter into repurchase agreements only with financial institutions and dealers believed by the Adviser to present minimal credit risks in accordance with criteria approved by the Fund's Board of Trustees (the “Board”). The Adviser will review and monitor the creditworthiness of such institutions. The Adviser will monitor the value of the collateral at the time the transaction is entered into and at all times during the term of the repurchase agreement.

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12.  For the Fund's purposes, money market instruments will include: Short-term, high-quality securities issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. governments, agencies and instrumentalities; non-convertible corporate debt securities with remaining maturities of not more than 397 days that satisfy ratings requirements under Rule 2a-7 of the 1940 Act; money market mutual funds; and deposits and other obligations of U.S. and non-U.S. banks and financial institutions. As a related matter, according to the Registration Statement, the Fund may invest in shares of money market mutual funds to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act.

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13.  As described in the Registration Statement, an ETF is an investment company registered under the 1940 Act that holds a portfolio of securities. Many ETFs are designed to track the performance of a securities index, including industry, sector, country and region indexes. ETFs included in the Fund will be listed and traded in the U.S. on registered exchanges. The Fund may invest in the securities of ETFs in excess of the limits imposed under the 1940 Act pursuant to exemptive orders obtained by other ETFs and their sponsors from the Commission. The ETFs in which the Fund may invest include Index Fund Shares (as described in Nasdaq Rule 5705), Portfolio Depositary Receipts (as described in Nasdaq Rule 5705), and Managed Fund Shares (as described in Nasdaq Rule 5735). While the Fund may invest in inverse ETFs, the Fund will not invest in leveraged or inverse leveraged (e.g., 2X or -3X) ETFs.

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14.  The equity securities (including shares of ETFs and closed-end funds) in which the Fund may invest will be limited to securities that trade in markets that are members of the ISG, which includes all U.S. national securities exchanges, or are parties to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement with the Exchange.

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15.  The First Trust Subsidiary will not be registered under the 1940 Act and will not be directly subject to its investor protections, except as noted in the Registration Statement. However, the First Trust Subsidiary will be wholly-owned and controlled by the Fund and will be advised by the Adviser. Therefore, the Fund's ownership and control of the First Trust Subsidiary will prevent the First Trust Subsidiary from taking action contrary to the interests of the Fund or its shareholders. The Board will have oversight responsibility for the investment activities of the Fund, including its expected investment in the First Trust Subsidiary, and the Fund's role as the sole shareholder of the First Trust Subsidiary. The Adviser will receive no additional compensation for managing the assets of the First Trust Subsidiary. The First Trust Subsidiary will also enter into separate contracts for the provision of custody, transfer agency, and accounting agent services with the same or with affiliates of the same service providers that provide those services to the Fund.

16.  The exchange codes listed are Bloomberg shorthand codes for the corresponding exchanges. The New York Board of Trade is currently owned by the ICE Futures Exchange; Bloomberg continues to use NYB as its shorthand code for certain contracts formerly traded on the New York Board of Trade.

17.  All of the exchanges are ISG members except for the London Metal Exchange (“LME”). The LME falls under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). The FCA is responsible for ensuring the financial stability of the exchange members' businesses, whereas the LME is largely responsible for the oversight of day-to-day exchange activity, including conducting the arbitration proceedings under the LME arbitration regulations.

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18.  As defined in Section 1a(11) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

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19.  See Form N-1A, Item 9. The Commission has taken the position that a fund is concentrated if it invests more than 25% of the value of its total assets in any one industry. See, e.g., Investment Company Act Release No. 9011 (October 30, 1975), 40 FR 54241 (November 21, 1975).

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20.  In reaching liquidity decisions, the Adviser may consider the following factors: The frequency of trades and quotes for the security; the number of dealers wishing to purchase or sell the security and the number of other potential purchasers; dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; and the nature of the security and the nature of the marketplace trades (e.g., the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers, and the mechanics of transfer).

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21.  The Commission has stated that long-standing Commission guidelines have required open-end funds to hold no more than 15% of their net assets in illiquid securities and other illiquid assets. See Investment Company Act Release No. 28193 (March 11, 2008), 73 FR 14618 (March 18, 2008), FN 34. See also Investment Company Act Release No. 5847 (October 21, 1969), 35 FR 19989 (December 31, 1970) (Statement Regarding “Restricted Securities”); Investment Company Act Release No. 18612 (March 12, 1992), 57 FR 9828 (March 20, 1992) (Revisions of Guidelines to Form N-1A). A fund's portfolio security is illiquid if it cannot be disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to it by the fund. See Investment Company Act Release No. 14983 (March 12, 1986), 51 FR 9773 (March 21, 1986) (adopting amendments to Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act); Investment Company Act Release No. 17452 (April 23, 1990), 55 FR 17933 (April 30, 1990) (adopting Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933).

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23.  The Bid/Ask Price of the Fund will be determined using the midpoint of the highest bid and the lowest offer on the Exchange as of the time of calculation of the Fund's NAV. The records relating to Bid/Ask Prices will be retained by the Fund and its service providers.

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24.  See Nasdaq Rule 4120(b)(4) (describing the three trading sessions on the Exchange: (1) Pre-Market Session from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. E.T.; (2) Regular Market Session from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4:15 p.m. E.T.; and (3) Post-Market Session from 4 p.m. or 4:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. E.T.).

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25.  Under accounting procedures to be followed by the Fund, trades made on the prior business day (“T”) will be booked and reflected in NAV on the current business day (“T+1”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, portfolio trades that are executed prior to the opening of the Exchange on any business day may be booked and reflected in NAV on such business day. Accordingly, the Fund will be able to disclose at the beginning of the business day the portfolio that will form the basis for the NAV calculation at the end of the business day.

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26.  Currently, the NASDAQ OMX Global Index Data Service (“GIDS”) is the NASDAQ OMX global index data feed service, offering real-time updates, daily summary messages, and access to widely followed indexes and Intraday Indicative Values for ETFs. GIDS provides investment professionals with the daily information needed to track or trade NASDAQ OMX indexes, listed ETFs, or third-party partner indexes and ETFs.

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28.  FINRA surveils trading on the Exchange pursuant to a regulatory services agreement. The Exchange is responsible for FINRA's performance under this regulatory services agreement.

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29.  For a list of the current members of ISG, see www.isgportal.org. The Exchange notes that not all components of the Disclosed Portfolio may trade on markets that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

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30.  To be calculated as the value of the contract divided by the total absolute notional value of the First Trust Subsidiary's futures contracts.

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31.  To be calculated as the value of the contract divided by the total absolute notional value of the First Trust Subsidiary's futures contracts.

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[FR Doc. 2013-21184 Filed 8-29-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P