The Subadviser uses a bottom up approach, employing fundamental analysis to identify individual companies for potential inclusion in the Fund's portfolio.
In analyzing companies for investment, the Subadviser looks for, among other things, companies that it believes have:
Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus borrowings for investment purposes, in a diversified portfolio of equity securities of mid cap companies. The Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in the securities of foreign issuers, including issuers located or doing business in emerging markets. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its total assets in equity securities of privately held companies. The Fund expects that these would normally be later-stage private companies that are seeking strategic capital investments to facilitate their next phase of development prior to experiencing a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering of their shares.
Market and issuer risk: Securities markets are volatile and can decline significantly in response to adverse market, economic, political, regulatory or other developments, which may lower the value of securities held by the Fund, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. Additionally, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may depress the value of a particular issuer's stock.
Growth style risk: Over time, a growth oriented investing style may go in and out of favor, which may cause the Fund to underperform other equity funds that use different investing styles.
Selection risk: The Subadviser's judgment about the attractiveness, value and growth potential of a particular security may be incorrect. The Subadviser potentially will be prevented from executing investment decisions at an advantageous time or price as a result of any domestic or global market disruptions, particularly disruptions causing heightened market volatility and reduced market liquidity, as well as increased or changing regulations. Thus, investments that the Subadviser believes represent an attractive opportunity or in which the Fund seeks to obtain exposure may be unavailable entirely or in the specific quantities or prices sought by the Subadviser and the Fund may need to obtain the exposure through less advantageous or indirect investments or forgo the investment at the time.
Mid cap risk: The Fund's performance may be more volatile because it invests primarily in mid cap stocks. Mid cap companies may have limited product lines, markets and financial resources. They are usually less stable in price and less liquid than those of larger, more established companies. Additionally, mid cap stocks may fall out of favor relative to small or large cap stocks, which may cause the Fund to underperform other equity funds that focus on small or large cap stocks.
Foreign securities risk: Because the Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers, an investment in the Fund is subject to special risks in addition to those of U.S. securities. These risks include heightened political and economic risks, greater volatility, currency fluctuations, higher transaction costs, delayed settlement, possible foreign controls on investment, possible sanctions by governmental bodies of other countries and less stringent investor protection and disclosure standards of foreign markets. Foreign securities are sometimes less liquid and harder to value than securities of U.S. issuers. These risks are more significant for issuers in emerging market countries. Global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and conditions and events in one country, region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market.
Privately Held Company Risk: Investments in equity securities of privately held companies involve greater risk than investments in equity securities of public companies. Because there is no public market for the company's securities, it can be difficult to determine current valuations for the overall company and the related securities held by the Fund. Further, the Fund would not be able to sell these securities until a liquidity event occurs, such as an initial public offering of the company's stock, which is normally outside the control of the Fund and Subadviser. Accordingly, these securities are considered illiquid. There is also significantly less information available about these companies' business models, quality of management, earnings growth potential, and other criteria used to evaluate their investment prospects.