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Aspiration Funds and Aspiration Fund Adviser, LLC; Notice of Application

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Start Preamble January 24, 2017.


Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).


Notice of an application under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Act”) for an exemption from section 15(a) of the Act and rule 18f-2 under the Act. The requested exemption would permit an investment adviser to hire and replace certain Start Printed Page 8780subadvisers without shareholder approval.


Aspiration Funds (the “Trust”), a Delaware statutory trust registered under the Act as an open-end management investment company with multiple series, and Aspiration Fund Adviser, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Adviser,” and, collectively with the Trust, the “Applicants”).

Filing Dates:

The application was filed November 25, 2014, and amended on March 7, 2016, August 30, 2016 and January 6, 2017.

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 February 21, 2017, and should be accompanied by proof of service on the Applicants, in the form of an affidavit or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, 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, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090. Applicants: 4640 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292.

Start Further Info


Barbara T. Heussler, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6990, or Mary Kay Frech, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

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The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or an applicant using the Company name box, at​search/​search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

Summary of the Application

1. The Adviser serves as the investment adviser to the Funds pursuant to an investment advisory agreement with the Trust (the “Advisory Agreement”).[1] The Adviser is responsible for the overall management of the Funds' business affairs and selecting investments according to each Fund's respective investment objective, policies, and restrictions, subject to the oversight and authority of each Fund's board of trustees (“Board”). The Advisory Agreement permits the Adviser, subject to the approval of the Board, to delegate to one or more subadvisers (each, a “Subadviser” and collectively, the “Subadvisers”) the responsibility to provide the day-to-day portfolio investment management of each Fund, subject to the supervision and direction of the Adviser. The primary responsibility for managing the Funds will remain vested in the Adviser. The Adviser will hire, evaluate, allocate assets to and oversee the Subadvisers, including determining whether a Subadviser should be terminated, at all times subject to the authority of the Board.

2. Applicants request an exemption to permit the Adviser, subject to Board approval, to hire certain Subadvisers pursuant to Subadvisory Agreements and materially amend existing Subadvisory Agreements without obtaining the shareholder approval required under section 15(a) of the Act and rule 18f-2 under the Act.[2]

3. Applicants agree that any order granting the requested relief will be subject to the terms and conditions stated in the application. Such terms and conditions provide for, among other safeguards, appropriate disclosure to Fund shareholders and notification about sub-advisory changes and enhanced Board oversight to protect the interests of the Funds' shareholders.

4. 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 any rule thereunder, if such relief is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Applicants believe that the requested relief meets this standard because, as further explained in the application, the Advisory Agreements will remain subject to shareholder approval, while the role of the Subadvisers is substantially similar to that of individual portfolio managers, so that requiring shareholder approval of Subadvisory Agreements would impose unnecessary delays and expenses on the Funds.

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For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

Eduardo A. Aleman,

Assistant Secretary.

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1.  Applicants request relief with respect to any existing or future series of the Trust and any other existing or future registered open-end management investment company or series thereof that: (a) Is advised by the Adviser, including any entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser or its successors (each, also an “Adviser”); (b) uses the manager of managers structure described in the application; and (c) complies with the terms and conditions of the application (any such series, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”). For purposes of the requested order, “successor” is limited to an entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or a change in the type of business organization.

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2.  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 the Trust, a Fund or the Adviser, other than by reason of serving as a subadviser to one or more of the Funds.

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[FR Doc. 2017-01897 Filed 1-27-17; 8:45 am]