Form of Custody Agreement
THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into as of [ ] by and between VS TRUST, a Delaware statutory trust (the “Trust”) and U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, a national banking association organized and existing under the laws of the United States of America with its principal place of business at Minneapolis, Minnesota (the “Custodian”).
WHEREAS, each Fund is operated as a commodity pool under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) by means of a registration statement on Form S-1 or Form S-3, as applicable (each a “Registration Statement”) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“1933 Act”); and
WHEREAS, the Trust desires to retain the Custodian to act as custodian of the assets of each Fund, and to provide related services as provided herein, and the Custodian is willing to accept the obligations and duties related to that role; and
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the promises and mutual covenants herein contained, and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties hereto, intending to be legally bound, do hereby agree as follows:
Whenever used in this Agreement, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below unless the context otherwise requires:
1.01 “Authorized Person” means any Officer or person (including an authorized person of an Adviser or other agent) who has been designated by written notice as such from the Trust or an Adviser or other agent and is named in Exhibit A attached hereto. Such officer or person shall continue to be an Authorized Person until such time as the Custodian receives Written Instructions from the Trust or an Adviser or other agent that any such person is no longer an Authorized Person.
1.02 “Book-Entry System” shall mean a federal book-entry system as provided in Subpart O of Treasury Circular No. 300, 31 CFR 306, in Subpart B of 31 CFR Part 350, or in such book-entry regulations of federal agencies as are substantially in the form of such Subpart O.
1.03 “Business Day” shall mean any day recognized as a settlement day by The New York Stock Exchange, Inc., and any other day for which the Trust computes the net asset value of Shares of a Fund.
1.04 “CFTC” shall mean the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
1.05 “Eligible Foreign Custodian” has the meaning set forth in Rule 17f-5(a)(1), including a majority-owned or indirect subsidiary of a U.S. Bank (as defined in Rule 17f-5), a bank holding company meeting the requirements of an Eligible Foreign Custodian (as set forth in Rule 17f-5 or by other appropriate action of the SEC), or a foreign branch of a Bank (as defined in Section 2(a)(5) of the 1940 Act) meeting the requirements of a custodian under Section 17(f) of the 1940 Act; the term does not include any Eligible Securities Depository.
1.06 “Eligible Securities Depository” shall mean a system for the central handling of securities as that term is defined in Rules 17f-4 and 17f-7 under the 1940 Act.
1.07 “Foreign Securities” means any of a Fund’s investments (including foreign currencies) for which the primary market is outside the United States and such cash and cash equivalents as are reasonably necessary to effect the Fund’s transactions in such investments.
1.08 “Fund Custody Account” shall mean any of the accounts in the name of a Fund, which is provided for in Section 3.2 below.
1.09 “FINRA” shall mean the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.
1.10 “IRS” shall mean the Internal Revenue Service.
1.11 “NFA” shall mean the National Futures Association.
1.12 “Officer” shall mean the Chairman, President, any Vice President, any Assistant Vice President, the Secretary, any Assistant Secretary, the Treasurer, or any Assistant Treasurer of the Trust.
1.13 “Proper Instructions” shall mean Written Instructions.
1.14 “SEC” shall mean the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
1.15 “Securities” shall include, without limitation, common and preferred stocks, bonds, derivatives contracts, call options, put options, debentures, notes, bank certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, mortgage-backed securities or other obligations, and any certificates, receipts, warrants or other instruments or documents representing rights to receive, purchase or subscribe for the same, or evidencing or representing any other rights or interests therein, or any similar property or assets that the Custodian or its agents have the facilities to clear and service.
1.16 “Securities Depository” shall mean The Depository Trust Company and any other clearing agency registered with the SEC under Section 17A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), which acts as a system for the central handling of Securities where all Securities of any particular class or series of an issuer deposited within the system are treated as fungible and may be transferred or pledged by bookkeeping entry without physical delivery of the Securities.
1.17 “Shares” shall mean, with respect to a Fund, the shares of common stock issued by the Fund on account of the Fund.
1.18 “Sub-Custodian” shall mean a bank or other financial institution (other than a Securities Depository) having a contract with the Custodian, which the Custodian has determined will provide reasonable care of assets of the Fund based on the standards specified in Section 3.03 below. Such contract shall be in writing and shall include provisions that provide: (i) for indemnification or insurance arrangements (or any combination of the foregoing) such that the Fund will be adequately protected against the risk of loss of assets held in accordance with such contract; (ii) that the Foreign Securities will not be subject to any right, charge, security interest, lien or claim of any kind in favor of the Sub-Custodian or its creditors except a claim of payment for their safe custody or administration, in the case of cash deposits, liens or rights in favor of creditors of the Sub-Custodian arising under bankruptcy, insolvency, or similar laws; (iii) that beneficial ownership for the Foreign Securities will be freely transferable without the payment of money or value other than for safe custody or administration; (iv) that adequate records will be maintained identifying the assets as belonging to the Fund or as being held by a third party for the benefit of the Fund; (v) that the Fund’s independent public accountants will be given access to those records or confirmation of the contents of those records; and (vi) that the Fund will receive periodic reports with respect to the safekeeping of the Fund’s assets, including, but not limited to, notification of any transfer to or from a Fund's account or a third party account containing assets held for the benefit of the Fund. Such contract may contain, in lieu of any or all of the provisions specified in (i)-(vi) above, such other provisions that the Custodian determines will provide, in their entirety, the same or a greater level of care and protection for Fund assets as the specified provisions.
1.19 “Written Instructions” shall mean (i) written communications received by the Custodian and signed by an Authorized Person (ii) communications by facsimile or e-mail or any other such system from one or more persons reasonably believed by the Custodian to be an Authorized Person, or (iii) communications between electronic devices.
APPOINTMENT OF CUSTODIAN
2.01 Appointment. The Trust hereby appoints the Custodian as custodian of all Securities and cash owned by or in the possession of the Fund at any time during the period of this Agreement, on the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement, and the Custodian hereby accepts such appointment and agrees to perform the services and duties set forth in this Agreement. The services and duties of the Custodian shall be confined to those matters expressly set forth herein, and no implied duties are assumed by or may be asserted against the Custodian hereunder.
2.02 Documents to be Furnished. The following documents, including any amendments thereto, will be provided contemporaneously with the execution of the Agreement to the Custodian by the Trust:
|(a)||A copy of the Trust’s declaration of trust, certified by the Secretary;|
|(b)||A copy of the Trust’s bylaws, certified by the Secretary;|
|(c)||A copy of the current prospectus of each Fund (the “Prospectus”);|
|(d)||A certification of the Chairman or the President and the Secretary of the Trust setting forth the names and signatures of the current Officers of the Trust and other Authorized Persons; and|
|(e)||An executed authorization required by the Shareholder Communications Act of 1985, attached hereto as Exhibit D.|
2.03 Notice of Appointment of Transfer Agent. The Trust agrees to notify the Custodian in writing of the appointment, termination or change in appointment of any transfer agent of the Trust, except if the Trust appoints an affiliate of the Custodian to serve as transfer agent of the Trust, the Custodian hereby waives the Trust’s obligation to provide such written notice.
CUSTODY OF CASH AND SECURITIES
3.01 Segregation. All Securities and non-cash property held by the Custodian for the account of a Fund (other than Securities maintained in a Securities Depository, Eligible Securities Depository or Book-Entry System) shall be physically segregated from other Securities and non-cash property in the possession of the Custodian (including the Securities and non-cash property of the other series of the Trust, if applicable) and shall be identified as subject to this Agreement.
3.02 Fund Custody Accounts. The Custodian shall open and maintain in its fund custody department a custody account in the name of each Fund coupled with the name of the Fund, subject only to draft or order of the Custodian, in which the Custodian shall enter and carry all Securities, cash and other assets of the Fund which are delivered to it. Absent a definitive written agreement between the Custodian and the Trust, securities and cash held by the Custodian shall not be sold, rehypothecated, pledged, assigned, invested or otherwise disposed of by the Custodian and beneficial ownership of the Securities shall be freely transferable without payment of money or value other than for safe custody and administration.
3.03 Appointment of Agents.
|(a)||In its discretion, the Custodian may appoint one or more Sub-Custodians to establish and maintain arrangements with (i) Eligible Securities Depositories or (ii) Eligible Foreign Custodians that are members of the Sub-Custodian’s network to hold Securities and cash of the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, and to carry out such other provisions of this Agreement as it may determine; provided, however, that the appointment of any such agents and maintenance of any Securities and cash of the Fund shall be at the Custodian’s expense and shall not relieve the Custodian of any of its obligations or liabilities under this Agreement. The Custodian shall be liable for the actions of any Sub-Custodians (regardless of whether assets are maintained in the custody of a Sub-Custodian, a member of its network or an Eligible Securities Depository) appointed by it as if such actions had been done by the Custodian.|
|(b)||If, after the initial appointment of Sub-Custodians in connection with this Agreement, the Custodian wishes to appoint other Sub-Custodians to hold property of the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, it will so notify the Trust and make the necessary determinations as to any such new Sub-Custodian’s eligibility under applicable rules and regulations.|
|(c)||In performing its delegated responsibilities as foreign custody manager to place or maintain a Fund’s assets with a Sub-Custodian, the Custodian will determine that the Fund’s assets will be subject to reasonable care, based on the standards applicable to custodians in the country in which the Fund’s assets will be held by that Sub-Custodian, after considering all factors relevant to safekeeping of such assets.|
|(d)||At the end of each calendar quarter, the Custodian shall provide written reports notifying the Trust of the withdrawal or placement of the Securities and cash of the Fund with a Sub-Custodian and of any material changes in the Fund’s arrangements. Such reports shall include an analysis of the custody risks associated with maintaining assets with any Securities Depository.|
|(e)||With respect to its responsibilities under this Agreement, including without limitation, Section 3.03, the Custodian hereby warrants to the Trust that it agrees to exercise reasonable care, prudence and diligence such as a professional person having responsibility for the safekeeping of property of each Fund. The Custodian further warrants that a Fund’s assets will be subject to reasonable care if maintained with a Sub-Custodian, after considering all factors relevant to the safekeeping of such assets, including, without limitation: (i) the Sub-Custodian’s practices, procedures, and internal controls for certificated securities (if applicable), its method of keeping custodial records, and its security and data protection practices; (ii) whether the Sub-Custodian has the requisite financial strength to provide reasonable care for Fund assets; (iii) the Sub-Custodian’s general reputation and standing and, in the case of a Securities Depository, the Securities Depository’s operating history and number of participants; (iv) ensuring Fund assets held by a Sub-Custodian shall not be sold, rehypothecated, pledged, assigned, invested or otherwise disposed by the Sub-Custodian and beneficial ownership of the Securities held by such Sub-Custodian shall be freely transferable without payment of money or value other than for safe custody and administration; and (v) whether the Fund will have jurisdiction over and be able to enforce judgments against the Sub-Custodian, such as by virtue of the existence of any offices of the Sub-Custodian in the United States or the Sub-Custodian’s consent to service of process in the United States.|
|(f)||The Custodian shall establish a system or ensure that its Sub-Custodian has established a system to monitor on a continuing basis (i) the appropriateness of maintaining a Fund’s assets with a Sub-Custodian or Eligible Foreign Custodians who are members of a Sub-Custodian’s network; (ii) the performance of the contract governing a Fund’s arrangements with such Sub-Custodian or Eligible Foreign Custodian’s members of a Sub-Custodian’s network; and (iii) the custody risks of maintaining assets with an Eligible Securities Depository. The Custodian must promptly notify the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, or an Adviser of any material change in these risks.|
|(g)||The Custodian shall use commercially reasonable efforts to collect all income and other payments with respect to Foreign Securities to which a Fund shall be entitled and shall credit such income, as collected, to the Fund. In the event that extraordinary measures are required to collect such income, the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, and the Custodian shall consult as to the measures and as to the compensation and expenses of the Custodian relating to such measures.|
3.04 Delivery of Assets to Custodian. The Trust shall deliver, or cause to be delivered, to the Custodian all of a Fund’s Securities, cash and other investment assets, including (i) all payments of income, payments of principal and capital distributions received by the Fund with respect to such Securities, cash or other assets owned by the Fund at any time during the period of this Agreement, and (ii) all cash received by the Fund for the issuance of Shares. The Custodian shall not be responsible for such Securities, cash or other assets until actually received by it.
3.05 Securities Depositories and Book-Entry Systems. The Custodian may deposit and/or maintain Securities of a Fund in a Securities Depository or in a Book-Entry System, subject to the following provisions:
|(a)||The Custodian, on an on-going basis, shall deposit in a Securities Depository or Book-Entry System all Securities eligible for deposit therein and shall make use of such Securities Depository or Book-Entry System to the extent possible and practical in connection with its performance hereunder, including, without limitation, in connection with settlements of purchases and sales of Securities, loans of Securities, and deliveries and returns of collateral consisting of Securities.|
|(b)||Securities of a Fund kept in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository shall be kept in an account (“Depository Account”) of the Custodian in such Book-Entry System or Securities Depository which includes only assets held by the Custodian as a fiduciary, custodian or otherwise for customers.|
|(c)||The records of the Custodian with respect to Securities of a Fund maintained in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository shall, by book-entry, identify such Securities as belonging to the Fund.|
|(d)||If Securities purchased by a Fund are to be held in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, the Custodian shall pay for such Securities upon: (i) receipt of advice from the Book-Entry System or Securities Depository that such Securities have been transferred to the Depository Account; and (ii) the making of an entry on the records of the Custodian to reflect such payment and transfer for the account of the Fund. If Securities sold by a Fund are held in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, the Custodian shall transfer such Securities upon (i) receipt of advice from the Book-Entry System or Securities Depository that payment for such Securities has been transferred to the Depository Account; and (ii) the making of an entry on the records of the Custodian to reflect such transfer and payment for the account of the Fund.|
|(e)||The Custodian shall provide a Fund with copies of any report (obtained by the Custodian from a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository in which Securities of the Fund are kept) on the internal accounting controls and procedures for safeguarding Securities deposited in such Book-Entry System or Securities Depository.|
|(f)||Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Agreement, the Custodian shall be liable to a Fund for any loss or damage to the Fund resulting from: (i) the use of a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository by reason of any negligence or willful misconduct on the part of the Custodian or any Sub-Custodian; or (ii) failure of the Custodian or any Sub-Custodian to enforce effectively such rights as it may have against a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository. At its election, a Fund shall be subrogated to the rights of the Custodian with respect to any claim against a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository or any other person from any loss or damage to the Fund arising from the use of such Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, if and to the extent that the Fund has not been made whole for any such loss or damage.|
|(g)||With respect to its responsibilities under this Section 3.05, the Custodian hereby warrants to the Trust, on behalf of each Fund, that it agrees to (i) exercise due care in accordance with reasonable commercial standards in discharging its duty as a securities intermediary to obtain and thereafter maintain such assets, (ii) provide, promptly upon request by the Fund, such reports as are available concerning the Custodian’s internal accounting controls and financial strength, and (iii) require any Sub-Custodian to exercise due care in accordance with reasonable commercial standards in discharging its duty as a securities intermediary to obtain and thereafter maintain assets corresponding to the security entitlements of its entitlement holders.|
3.06 Disbursement of Moneys from Fund Custody Account. Upon receipt of Proper Instructions, the Custodian shall disburse moneys from a Fund Custody Account including, but not limited to, the following cases:
|(a)||For the purchase of Securities for a Fund but only in accordance with Section 4.01 of this Agreement and only (i) in the case of Securities (other than options on Securities, futures contracts and options on futures contracts), against the delivery to the Custodian (or any Sub-Custodian) of such Securities registered as provided in Section 3.09 below or in proper form for transfer, or if the purchase of such Securities is effected through a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, in accordance with the conditions set forth in Section 3.05 above; (ii) in the case of options on Securities, against delivery to the Custodian (or any Sub-Custodian) of such receipts as are required by the customs prevailing among dealers in such options; (iii) in the case of futures contracts and options on futures contracts, against delivery to the Custodian (or any Sub-Custodian) of evidence of title thereto in favor of the Fund or any nominee referred to in Section 3.09 below; and (iv) in the case of repurchase or reverse repurchase agreements entered into between the Fund and a bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System or between the Fund and a primary dealer in U.S. Government securities, against delivery of the purchased Securities either in certificate form or through an entry crediting the Custodian’s account at a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository with such Securities;|
|(b)||In connection with the conversion, exchange or surrender, as set forth in Section 3.07(f) below, of Securities owned by a Fund;|
|(c)||For the payment of any dividends or capital gain distributions declared by a Fund;|
|(d)||In payment of the redemption price of Shares as provided in Section 5.01 below;|
|(e)||For the payment of any expense or liability incurred by a Fund, including, but not limited to, the following payments for the account of the Fund: interest; taxes; administration, investment advisory, accounting, auditing, transfer agent, custodian and legal fees; and other operating expenses of the Fund; in all cases, whether or not such expenses are to be in whole or in part capitalized or treated as deferred expenses;|
|(f)||For transfer in accordance with the provisions of any agreement among a Fund, the Custodian and a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of FINRA, relating to compliance with rules of the Options Clearing Corporation and of any registered national securities exchange (or of any similar organization or organizations) regarding escrow or other arrangements in connection with transactions by the Fund;|
|(g)||For transfer in accordance with the provisions of any agreement among a Fund, the Custodian and a futures commission merchant registered under the Commodity Exchange Act, relating to compliance with the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and/or any contract market (or any similar organization or organizations) regarding account deposits in connection with transactions by the Fund;|
|(h)||For the funding of any uncertificated time deposit or other interest-bearing account with any banking institution (including the Custodian), which deposit or account has a term of one year or less; and|
|(i)||For any other proper purpose, but only upon receipt, in addition to Proper Instructions, specifying the amount and purpose of such payment, declaring such purpose to be a proper trust purpose, and naming the person or persons to whom such payment is to be made.|
3.07 Delivery of Securities from Fund Custody Account. Upon receipt of Proper Instructions, the Custodian shall release and deliver, or cause the Sub-Custodian to release and deliver, Securities from the Fund Custody Account including, but not limited to, the following cases:
|(a)||Upon the sale of Securities for the account of a Fund but only against receipt of payment therefor in cash, by certified or cashier’s check or bank credit;|
|(b)||In the case of a sale effected through a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, in accordance with the provisions of Section 3.05 above;|
|(c)||To an offeror’s depository agent in connection with tender or other similar offers for Securities of a Fund; provided that, in any such case, the cash or other consideration is to be delivered to the Custodian;|
|(d)||To the issuer thereof or its agent (i) for transfer into the name of a Fund, the Custodian or any Sub-Custodian, or any nominee or nominees of any of the foregoing, or (ii) for exchange for a different number of certificates or other evidence representing the same aggregate face amount or number of units; provided that, in any such case, the new Securities are to be delivered to the Custodian;|
|(e)||To the broker selling the Securities, for examination in accordance with the “street delivery” custom;|
|(f)||For exchange or conversion pursuant to any plan of merger, consolidation, recapitalization, reorganization or readjustment of the issuer of such Securities, or pursuant to provisions for conversion contained in such Securities, or pursuant to any deposit agreement, including surrender or receipt of underlying Securities in connection with the issuance or cancellation of depository receipts; provided that, in any such case, the new Securities and cash, if any, are to be delivered to the Custodian;|
|(g)||Upon receipt of payment therefor pursuant to any repurchase or reverse repurchase agreement entered into by a Fund;|
|(h)||In the case of warrants, rights or similar Securities, upon the exercise thereof, provided that, in any such case, the new Securities and cash, if any, are to be delivered to the Custodian;|
|(i)||For delivery in connection with any loans of Securities of a Fund, but only against receipt of such collateral as the Fund shall have specified to the Custodian in Proper Instructions;|
|(j)||For delivery as security in connection with any borrowings by a Fund requiring a pledge of assets by the Fund, but only against receipt by the Custodian of the amounts borrowed;|
|(k)||Pursuant to any authorized plan of liquidation, reorganization, merger, consolidation or recapitalization of a Fund;|
|(l)||For delivery in accordance with the provisions of any agreement among a Fund, the Custodian and a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of FINRA, relating to compliance with the rules of the Options Clearing Corporation and of any registered national securities exchange (or of any similar organization or organizations) regarding escrow or other arrangements in connection with transactions by the Fund;|
|(m)||For delivery in accordance with the provisions of any agreement among a Fund, the Custodian and a futures commission merchant registered under the Commodity Exchange Act, relating to compliance with the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and/or any contract market (or any similar organization or organizations) regarding account deposits in connection with transactions by the Fund;|
|(n)||For any other proper trust purpose, but only upon receipt, in addition to Proper Instructions, specifying the Securities to be delivered, setting forth the purpose for which such delivery is to be made, declaring such purpose to be a proper trust purpose, and naming the person or persons to whom delivery of such Securities shall be made; or|
|(o)||To brokers, clearing banks or other clearing agents for examination or trade execution in accordance with market custom; provided that in any such case the Custodian shall have no responsibility or liability for any loss arising from the delivery of such securities prior to receiving payment for such securities except as may arise from the Custodian’s own negligence, fraud or willful misconduct.|
3.08 Actions Not Requiring Proper Instructions. Unless otherwise instructed by a Fund, the Custodian shall with respect to all Securities held for the Fund:
|(a)||Subject to Section 9.04 below, collect on a timely basis all income and other payments to which the Fund is entitled either by law or pursuant to custom in the securities business;|
|(b)||Present for payment and, subject to Section 9.04 below, collect on a timely basis the amount payable upon all Securities that may mature or be called, redeemed, or retired, or otherwise become payable;|
|(c)||Endorse for collection, in the name of the Fund, checks, drafts and other negotiable instruments;|
|(d)||Surrender interim receipts or Securities in temporary form for Securities in definitive form;|
|(e)||Execute, as custodian, any necessary declarations or certificates of ownership under the federal income tax laws or the laws or regulations of any other taxing authority now or hereafter in effect, and prepare and submit reports to the IRS and the Fund at such time, in such manner and containing such information as is prescribed by the IRS;|
|(f)||Hold for the Fund, either directly or, with respect to Securities held therein, through a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, all rights and similar Securities issued with respect to Securities of the Fund; and|
|(g)||In general, and except as otherwise directed in Proper Instructions, attend to all non-discretionary details in connection with the sale, exchange, substitution, purchase, transfer and other dealings with Securities and other assets of the Fund.|
3.09 Registration and Transfer of Securities. All Securities held for a Fund that are issued or issuable only in bearer form shall be held by the Custodian in that form, provided that any such Securities shall be held in a Book-Entry System if eligible therefor. All other Securities held for a Fund may be registered in the name of the Fund, the Custodian, a Sub-Custodian or any nominee thereof, or in the name of a Book-Entry System, Securities Depository or any nominee of either thereof. The records of the Custodian with respect to a Fund’s Foreign Securities that are maintained with a Sub-Custodian in an account that is identified as belonging to the Custodian for the benefit of its customers shall identify those securities as belonging to the Fund. The Trust, on behalf of a Fund, shall furnish to the Custodian appropriate instruments to enable the Custodian to hold or deliver in proper form for transfer, or to register in the name of any of the nominees referred to above or in the name of a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository, any Securities registered in the name of the Fund.
3.10 Futures and Options. If, pursuant to a Proper Instruction, the Custodian shall become a party to an agreement with a Fund and a futures commission merchant regarding margin (“Tri-Party Agreement”), the Custodian shall (a) receive and retain, to the extent the same are provided to the Custodian, confirmations or other documents evidencing the purchase or sale by the Fund of exchange-traded futures contracts and commodity options, (b) when required by such Tri-Party Agreement, deposit and maintain in an account opened pursuant to such Agreement (“Margin Account”), segregated either physically or by book-entry in a Securities Depository for the benefit of any futures commission merchant, such Securities as the Fund shall have designated as initial, maintenance or variation “margin” deposits or other collateral intended to secure the Fund’s performance of its obligations under the terms of any exchange-traded futures contracts and commodity options; and (c) thereafter pay, release or transfer Securities into or out of the margin account in accordance with the provisions of the such Agreement. Alternatively, the Custodian may deliver Securities, in accordance with an Instruction, to a futures commission merchant for purposes of margin requirements in accordance with Rule 17f-6. The Custodian shall in no event be responsible for the acts and omissions of any futures commission merchant to whom Securities are delivered pursuant to this Section; for the sufficiency of Securities held in any Margin Account; or, for the performance of any terms of any exchange-traded futures contracts and commodity options.
|(a)||The Custodian shall maintain complete and accurate records with respect to Securities, cash or other property held for a Fund, including (i) journals or other records of original entry containing an itemized daily record in detail of all receipts and deliveries of Securities and all receipts and disbursements of cash; (ii) ledgers (or other records) reflecting (A) Securities in transfer, (B) Securities in physical possession, (C) monies and Securities borrowed and monies and Securities loaned (together with a record of the collateral therefor and substitutions of such collateral), (D) dividends and interest received, and (E) dividends receivable and interest receivable; (iii) canceled checks and bank records related thereto; and (iv) all records relating to its activities and obligations under this Agreement. The Custodian shall keep such other books and records of the Fund as the Trust shall reasonably request and as shall reasonably assist the Trust in satisfying relevant rules and regulations of the CFTC, NFA, the 1934 Act or the 1933 Act.|
|(b)||All such books and records maintained by the Custodian shall (i) be maintained in a form reasonably acceptable to the Trust for compliance with the rules and regulations of the CFTC, NFA and SEC, and (ii) be the property of the Trust and at all times during the regular business hours of the Custodian be made available upon request for inspection by duly authorized officers, employees or agents of the Trust and employees or agents of the CFTC, NFA or the SEC, as required by law or as instructed by the Trust.|
3.12 Fund Reports by Custodian. The Custodian shall furnish the Trust, on behalf of each Fund, with a daily activity statement and a summary of all transfers to or from each Fund Custody Account on the day following such transfers. At least monthly, the Custodian shall furnish the Trust, on behalf of each Fund, with a detailed statement of the Securities and moneys held by the Custodian and the Sub-Custodians for each Fund under this Agreement.
3.13 Other Reports by Custodian. As the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, may reasonably request from time to time, the Custodian shall provide the Fund with reports on the internal accounting controls and procedures for safeguarding Securities which are employed by the Custodian or any Sub-Custodian.
3.14 Proxies and Other Materials. The Custodian shall cause all proxies relating to Securities that are registered in the name of a Fund to be promptly executed by the registered holder of such Securities, without indication of the manner in which such proxies are to be voted, and shall promptly deliver to the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, such proxies, all proxy soliciting materials and all notices relating to such Securities. With respect to the foreign Securities, the Custodian will use reasonable commercial efforts to facilitate the exercise of voting and other shareholder rights, subject to the laws, regulations and practical constraints that may exist in the country where such securities are issued. The Trust acknowledges that local conditions, including lack of regulation, onerous procedural obligations, lack of notice and other factors may have the effect of severely limiting the ability of the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, to exercise shareholder rights.
3.15 Information on Corporate Actions. The Custodian shall promptly deliver to the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, all information received by the Custodian and pertaining to Securities being held by the Fund with respect to optional tender or exchange offers, calls for redemption or purchase or expiration of rights or other similar transactions (collectively, “Corporate Events”). If the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, desires to take action with respect to any tender offer, exchange offer or other similar transaction, the Fund shall notify the Custodian at least three Business Days prior to the date on which the Custodian is to take such action (the “Notification Deadline”); provided, however, that if the Trust notifies the Custodian in connection with Corporate Events on or after the Notification Deadline, the Custodian shall use reasonable efforts to take any such action or exercise any such rights in respect of Corporate Events on or after the Notification Deadline.
3.16 The Trust, on behalf of a Fund, will provide or cause to be provided to the Custodian all relevant information for any Security which has unique put/option provisions at least three Business Days prior to the beginning date of the tender period.
PURCHASE AND SALE OF INVESTMENTS OF THE FUNDS
4.01 Purchase of Securities. Promptly upon each purchase of Securities for a Fund, Written Instructions shall be delivered to the Custodian, specifying (i) the name of the issuer or writer of such Securities, and the title or other description thereof, (ii) the number of shares, principal amount (and accrued interest, if any) or other units purchased, (iii) the date of purchase and settlement, (iv) the purchase price per unit, (v) the total amount payable upon such purchase, and (vi) the name of the person to whom such amount is payable. The Custodian shall upon receipt of such Securities purchased by a Fund pay out of the moneys held for the account of the Fund the total amount specified in such Written Instructions to the person named therein. The Custodian shall not be under any obligation to pay out moneys to cover the cost of a purchase of Securities for a Fund, if in the Fund Custody Account there is insufficient cash available to the Fund for which such purchase was made.
4.02 Liability for Payment in Advance of Receipt of Securities Purchased. In any and every case where payment for the purchase of Securities for a Fund is made by the Custodian in advance of receipt of the Securities purchased and in the absence of specified Written Instructions to so pay in advance, the Custodian shall be liable to the Fund for such payment.
4.03 Sale of Securities. Promptly upon each sale of Securities by a Fund, Written Instructions shall be delivered to the Custodian, specifying: (i) the name of the issuer or writer of such Securities, and the title or other description thereof; (ii) the number of shares, principal amount (and accrued interest, if any), or other units sold; (iii) the date of sale and settlement, (iv) the sale price per unit; (v) the total amount payable upon such sale; and (vi) the person to whom such Securities are to be delivered. Upon receipt of the total amount payable to a Fund as specified in such Written Instructions, the Custodian shall deliver such Securities to the person specified in such Written Instructions. Subject to the foregoing, the Custodian may accept payment in such form as shall be satisfactory to it, and may deliver Securities and arrange for payment in accordance with the customs prevailing among dealers in Securities.
4.04 Delivery of Securities Sold. Notwithstanding Section 4.03 above or any other provision of this Agreement, the Custodian, when instructed to deliver Securities against payment, shall be entitled, if in accordance with generally accepted market practice, to deliver such Securities prior to actual receipt of final payment therefor. In any such case, a Fund shall bear the risk that final payment for such Securities may not be made or that such Securities may be returned or otherwise held or disposed of by or through the person to whom they were delivered, and the Custodian shall have no liability for any for the foregoing.
4.05 Payment for Securities Sold. In its sole discretion and from time to time, the Custodian may credit a Fund Custody Account, prior to actual receipt of final payment thereof, with: (i) proceeds from the sale of Securities which it has been instructed to deliver against payment; (ii) proceeds from the redemption of Securities or other assets of the Fund; and (iii) income from cash, Securities or other assets of the Fund. Any such credit shall be conditional upon actual receipt by Custodian of final payment and may be reversed if final payment is not actually received in full. The Custodian may, in its sole discretion and from time to time, permit a Fund to use funds so credited to the Fund Custody Account in anticipation of actual receipt of final payment. Any such funds shall be repayable immediately upon demand made by the Custodian at any time prior to the actual receipt of all final payments in anticipation of which funds were credited to the Fund Custody Account.
4.06 Advances by Custodian for Settlement. The Custodian may, in its sole discretion and from time to time, advance funds to a Fund to facilitate the settlement of the Fund’s transactions in the Fund Custody Account. Any such advance shall be repayable immediately upon demand made by Custodian.
SALE AND REDEMPTION OF FUND SHARES
5.01 Transfer of Funds. From such funds or other property as may be available for the purpose in the relevant Fund Custody Account, the Custodian shall, upon receipt of Proper Instructions specifying that the funds or securities are required to redeem one or more creation units of the Fund, deliver the funds or securities specified in such Proper Instructions for payment to or through such bank or broker-dealer as the Proper Instructions may designate. The Fund’s transfer agent, as known to the Custodian, shall be an Authorized Person for purposes of this Section.
5.02 No Duty Regarding Paying Banks. Once the Custodian has wired amounts to a bank or broker-dealer pursuant to Section 5.01 above, the Custodian shall not be under any obligation to effect any further payment or distribution by such bank or broker-dealer.
Upon receipt of Proper Instructions, the Custodian shall establish and maintain a segregated account or accounts for and on behalf of a Fund, into which account or accounts may be transferred cash and/or Securities, including Securities maintained in a Depository Account:
|(a)||in accordance with the provisions of any agreement among the Trust, the Custodian and a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of FINRA (or any futures commission merchant registered under the Commodity Exchange Act), relating to compliance with the rules of the Options Clearing Corporation and of any registered national securities exchange (or the CFTC or any registered contract market), or of any similar organization or organizations, regarding escrow or other arrangements in connection with transactions by the Fund;|
|(b)||for purposes of segregating cash or Securities in connection with securities options purchased or written by the Fund or in connection with financial futures contracts (or options thereon) purchased or sold by the Fund;|
|(c)||which constitute collateral for loans of Securities made by the Fund; and|
|(d)||for other proper trust purposes, but only upon receipt of Proper Instructions, setting forth the purpose or purposes of such segregated account and declaring such purposes to be proper trust purposes.|
Each segregated account established under this Article VI shall be established and maintained for the applicable Fund only. All Proper Instructions relating to a segregated account shall specify the Fund.
COMPENSATION OF CUSTODIAN
7.01 Compensation. The Custodian shall be compensated for providing the services set forth in this Agreement in accordance with the fee schedule set forth on Exhibit C hereto (as amended from time to time). The Custodian shall also be compensated for such reasonable and documented miscellaneous expenses (e.g., telecommunication charges, postage and delivery charges, and reproduction charges) as are reasonably incurred by the Custodian in performing its duties hereunder. The Trust shall pay all such fees and reimbursable expenses within 30 calendar days following receipt of the billing notice, except for any fee or expense subject to a good faith dispute. The Trust shall notify the Custodian in writing within 30 calendar days following receipt of each invoice if the Trust is disputing any amounts in good faith. The Trust shall pay such disputed amounts within 10 calendar days of the day on which the parties agree to the amount to be paid. With the exception of any fee or expense the Trust is disputing in good faith as set forth above, unpaid invoices shall accrue a finance change of 1½ % per month after the due date.
7.02 Overdrafts. Each Fund is responsible for maintaining an appropriate level of short term cash investments to accommodate cash outflows. A Fund may obtain a formal line of credit for potential overdrafts of its custody account. In the event of an overdraft or in the event the line of credit is insufficient to cover an overdraft, the overdraft amount or the overdraft amount that exceeds the line of credit will be charged in accordance with the fee schedule set forth on Exhibit C hereto (as amended from time to time).
REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES
8.01 Representations and Warranties of the Trust. The Trust hereby represents and warrants to the Custodian, which representations and warranties shall be deemed to be continuing throughout the term of this Agreement, that:
|(a)||It is duly organized and existing under the laws of the jurisdiction of its organization, with full power to carry on its business as now conducted, to enter into this Agreement and to perform its obligations hereunder;|
|(b)||This Agreement has been duly authorized, executed and delivered by the Trust in accordance with all requisite action and constitutes a valid and legally binding obligation of the Trust, enforceable in accordance with its terms, subject to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium and other laws of general application affecting the rights and remedies of creditors and secured parties; and|
|(c)||It is conducting its business in compliance in all material respects with all applicable laws and regulations, both state and federal, and has obtained all regulatory approvals necessary to carry on its business as now conducted; there is no statute, rule, regulation, order or judgment binding on it and no provision of its charter, bylaws or any contract binding it or affecting its property which would prohibit its execution or performance of this Agreement.|
8.02 Representations and Warranties of the Custodian. The Custodian hereby represents and warrants to the Trust, which representations and warranties shall be deemed to be continuing throughout the term of this Agreement, that:
|(a)||It is duly organized and existing under the laws of the jurisdiction of its organization, with full power to carry on its business as now conducted, to enter into this Agreement and to perform its obligations hereunder;|
|(b)||This Agreement has been duly authorized, executed and delivered by the Custodian in accordance with all requisite action and constitutes a valid and legally binding obligation of the Custodian, enforceable in accordance with its terms, subject to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, moratorium and other laws of general application affecting the rights and remedies of creditors and secured parties; and|
|(c)||It is conducting its business in compliance in all material respects with all applicable laws and regulations, both state and federal, and has obtained all regulatory approvals necessary to carry on its business as now conducted; there is no statute, rule, regulation, order or judgment binding on it and no provision of its charter, bylaws or any contract binding it or affecting its property which would prohibit its execution or performance of this Agreement.|
CONCERNING THE CUSTODIAN
9.01 Standard of Care. The Custodian shall use best efforts and exercise reasonable care in the performance of its duties under this Agreement. The Custodian shall not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by the Trust in connection with its duties under this Agreement, except a loss arising out of or relating to the Custodian’s (or a Sub-Custodian’s) refusal or failure to comply with the terms of this Agreement (or any sub-custody agreement) or from its (or a Sub-Custodian’s) bad faith, fraud, negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of its duties under this Agreement (or any sub-custody agreement). The Custodian shall be entitled to rely on and may act upon the written advice of external counsel on all matters, and shall be without liability for any action reasonably taken or omitted pursuant to such advice, provided that such action or inaction is consistent with Custodian’s rights and responsibilities hereunder. The Custodian shall promptly notify the Trust of any action taken or omitted by the Custodian pursuant to advice of counsel.
9.02 Actual Collection Required. The Custodian shall not be liable for, or considered to be the custodian of, any cash belonging to a Fund or any money represented by a check, draft or other instrument for the payment of money, until the Custodian or its agents actually receive such cash or collect on such instrument.
9.03 No Responsibility for Title, etc. So long as and to the extent that it is in the exercise of reasonable care, the Custodian shall not be responsible for the title, validity or genuineness of any property or evidence of title thereto received or delivered by it pursuant to this Agreement.
9.04 Limitation on Duty to Collect. Custodian shall not be required to enforce collection, by legal means or otherwise, of any money or property due and payable with respect to Securities held for a Fund if such Securities are in default or payment is not made after due demand or presentation.
9.05 Reliance Upon Documents and Instructions. The Custodian shall be entitled to rely upon any certificate, notice or other instrument in writing received by it and reasonably believed by it to be genuine. The Custodian shall be entitled to rely upon any Written Instructions actually received by it pursuant to this Agreement.
9.06 Cooperation. The Custodian shall cooperate with and supply necessary information to the entity or entities appointed by the Trust to keep the books of account of each Fund and/or compute the value of the assets of the Fund. The Custodian shall take all such reasonable actions as the Trust may from time to time request to enable the Trust to obtain, from year to year, favorable opinions from the Trust’s independent accountants with respect to the Custodian’s activities hereunder in connection with (i) the preparation of the Trust's annual reports and any other reports required by the CFTC, NFA and SEC, and (ii) the fulfillment by the Trust of any other requirements of the CFTC, NFA and SEC.
The Custodian shall perform its duties hereunder in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and provide any sub-certifications reasonably requested by the Trust in connection with any certification required of the Trust pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 or any rules or regulations promulgated by the SEC thereunder, provided the same shall not be deemed to change the Custodian’s standard of care as set forth herein.
10.01 Indemnification by Trust. Each Fund, severally and not jointly, shall indemnify and hold harmless the Custodian, any Sub-Custodian and any nominee thereof (each, an “Indemnified Party” and collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, reasonable expenses and liabilities of any and every nature (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) that an Indemnified Party may sustain or incur or that may be asserted against an Indemnified Party by any person arising directly or indirectly (i) from the fact that Securities are registered in the name of any such nominee, (ii) from any action taken or omitted to be taken by the Custodian or such Sub-Custodian (a) at the request or direction of or in reliance on the advice of the Fund, or (b) upon Proper Instructions, or (iii) from the performance of its obligations under this Agreement or any sub-custody agreement, provided that in all cases neither the Custodian nor any such Sub-Custodian shall be indemnified and held harmless from and against any such claim, demand, loss, expense or liability arising out of or relating to its refusal or failure to comply with or act in accordance with the terms of this Agreement (or any sub-custody agreement), or from its bad faith, fraud, negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of its duties under this Agreement (or any sub-custody agreement). This indemnity shall be a continuing obligation of the Fund, its successors and assigns, notwithstanding the termination of this Agreement. As used in this paragraph, the terms “Custodian” and “Sub-Custodian” shall include their respective directors, officers and employees. The Custodian shall endeavor to provide a Fund such reasonable estimates, including reasonable estimates related to amounts incurred for services provided hereunder, in connection with claims for which the Custodian seeks indemnity from the Fund, provided that the Fund’s continuing obligations to indemnify the Custodian after the termination of this Agreement shall relate to solely those claims, demands, losses, expenses, and liabilities of any and every nature (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) sustained in connection with the Custodian provision of services pursuant to this Agreement.
10.02 Indemnification by Custodian. The Custodian shall indemnify and hold harmless the Fund from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, expenses, and liabilities of any and every nature (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) that the Fund may sustain or incur or that may be asserted against the Fund by any person arising directly or indirectly out of any action taken or omitted to be taken by an Indemnified Party as a result of the Indemnified Party’s refusal or failure to comply with or act in accordance with the terms of this Agreement (or any sub-custody agreement), or from its bad faith, fraud, negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of its duties under this Agreement (or any sub-custody agreement). This indemnity shall be a continuing obligation of the Custodian, its successors and assigns, notwithstanding the termination of this Agreement. As used in this paragraph, the term “Fund” shall include the Fund’s officers and employees.
|(a)||If the Custodian advances cash or Securities to a Fund for any purpose, either at the Fund’s request or as otherwise contemplated in this Agreement the Custodian shall have a continuing interest and right of set-off against such Securities and the proceeds thereof until such time as the Custodian is repaid the amount of such advance.|
|(b)||In the event that a Fund is, except as provided in Section 10.03(a) above, otherwise indebted to the Custodian or its nominee in connection with its performance under this Agreement, any claim, demand, loss, expense or liability (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) (except such indebtedness as may arise from its or its nominee’s bad faith, negligence, fraud or willful misconduct), then, in any such event, the Custodian shall have the right to retain or set-off against any property at any time held for the account of the Fund, provided that (i) the Custodian shall furnish the Fund with a detailed invoice which reasonably describes the indebtedness at least two Business Days prior to the date on which the Custodian intends to exercise such set-off rights and (ii) the Fund has failed to promptly to repay the Custodian prior to the date on which the Custodian indicated it intended to exercise its set-off rights, then the Custodian shall be entitled to exercise its set-off rights hereunder and utilize available cash of such Fund and to dispose of other assets of such Fund to the extent necessary to obtain reimbursement for such indebtedness.|
|(a)||Neither party to this Agreement shall be liable to the other party for consequential, special or punitive damages under any provision of this Agreement.|
|(b)||The indemnity provisions of this Article shall indefinitely survive the termination and/or assignment of this Agreement.|
|(c)||In order that the indemnification provisions contained in this Article shall apply, it is understood that if in any case the indemnitor may be asked to indemnify or hold the indemnitee harmless, the indemnitor shall be fully and promptly advised of all pertinent facts concerning the situation in question, and it is further understood that the indemnitee will use all reasonable care to notify the indemnitor promptly concerning any situation that presents or appears likely to present the probability of a claim for indemnification. The indemnitor shall have the option to defend the indemnitee against any claim that may be the subject of this indemnification. In the event that the indemnitor so elects, it will so notify the indemnitee and thereupon the indemnitor shall take over complete defense of the claim, and the indemnitee shall in such situation initiate no further legal or other expenses for which it shall seek indemnification under this Article X. The indemnitee shall in no case confess any claim or make any compromise in any case in which the indemnitor will be asked to indemnify the indemnitee except with the indemnitor’s prior written consent.|
|(d)||Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, any amounts owed or liabilities incurred by a Fund, shall be satisfied solely from the assets of the Fund and not any other entity or person. In no event shall Custodian, any Sub-Custodian or any of either of their affiliates have recourse, whether by set-off or otherwise, with respect to any such amounts owed or liabilities incurred, to or against (i) any other series of the Trust other than the applicable Fund to which such obligations relate, (ii) any assets of any person or entity under the management of the Adviser of the Fund or (iii) any assets of the Adviser of the Fund or any affiliate of such Adviser. Neither the Trust and nor any of its series, other than the Fund, are obligated to make contributions, loans or otherwise provide funding to the Fund.|
Neither the Custodian nor the Trust shall be liable for any failure or delay in performance of its obligations under this Agreement arising out of or caused, directly or indirectly, by circumstances beyond its reasonable control, including, without limitation, acts of God; earthquakes; fires; floods; wars; civil or military disturbances; acts of terrorism; sabotage; strikes; epidemics; riots; power failures; computer failure and any such circumstances beyond its reasonable control as may cause interruption, loss or malfunction of utility, transportation, computer (hardware or software) or telephone communication service; accidents; labor disputes; acts of civil or military authority; governmental actions; or inability to obtain labor, material, equipment or transportation; provided, however, that in the event of a failure or delay, the Custodian: (i) shall not discriminate against the Trust in favor of any other customer of the Custodian in making computer time and personnel available to input or process the transactions contemplated by this Agreement; and (ii) shall use its best efforts to ameliorate the effects of any such failure or delay.
PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
12.01 The Custodian agrees on behalf of itself and its directors, officers, and employees to treat confidentially and as proprietary information of the Trust, all records and other information relative to the Trust and prior, present, or potential Fund shareholders (and clients of said shareholders), and not to use such records and information for any purpose other than the performance of its responsibilities and duties hereunder, except: (i) after prior notification to and approval in writing by the Trust, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld and may not be withheld where the Custodian may be exposed to civil or criminal contempt proceedings for failure to comply; (ii) when requested to divulge such information by duly constituted governmental or regulatory authorities with jurisdiction over the Custodian, although the Custodian will promptly report such disclosure to the Trust if disclosure is permitted by applicable law and regulation; or (iii) when so requested by the Trust. Records and other information which have become known to the public through no wrongful act of the Custodian or any of its employees, agents or representatives, and information that was already in the possession of the Custodian prior to receipt thereof from the Fund or its agent, shall not be subject to this paragraph.
12.02 Further, the Custodian will adhere to the privacy policies adopted by the Trust pursuant to Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as may be modified from time to time. In this regard, the Custodian shall have in place and maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards reasonably designed to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of, and to prevent unauthorized access to or use of, records and information relating to the Trust and Fund shareholders.
12.03 The Trust agrees on behalf of itself and its directors, officers, and employees to treat confidentially and as proprietary information of the Custodian, all non-public information relative to the Custodian (including, without limitation, information regarding the Custodian’s pricing, products, services, customers, suppliers, financial statements, processes, know-how, trade secrets, market opportunities, past, present or future research, development or business plans, affairs, operations, systems, computer software in source code and object code form, documentation, techniques, procedures, designs, drawings, specifications, schematics, processes and/or intellectual property), and not to use such information for any purpose other than in connection with the services provided under this Agreement, except (i) after prior notification to and approval in writing by the Custodian, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld and may not be withheld where the Trust may be exposed to civil or criminal contempt proceedings for failure to comply, (ii) when requested to divulge such information by duly constituted authorities, or (iii) when so requested by the Custodian. Information which has become known to the public through no wrongful act of the Trust or any of its employees, agents or representatives, and information that was already in the possession of the Trust prior to receipt thereof from the Custodian, shall not be subject to this paragraph.
12.04 Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, (i) the Trust shall be permitted to disclose the identity of the Custodian as a service provider, redacted copies of this Agreement, and such other information as may be required in the Trust’s registration or offering documents, or as may otherwise be required by applicable law, rule, or regulation, and (ii) the Custodian shall be permitted to include the name of the Trust in lists of representative clients in due diligence questionnaires, RFP responses, presentations, and other marketing and promotional purposes.
EFFECTIVE PERIOD; TERMINATION
13.01 Effective Period. This Agreement shall become effective as of the date first written above and will continue in effect for a period of two (2) years.
13.02 Termination. This Agreement may be terminated effective at the end of the initial term by either party upon giving 90 days prior written notice to the other party or such shorter notice period as is mutually agreed upon by the parties. Subsequent to the end of the two (2) year period, this Agreement continues until one party gives 90 days prior written notice to the other party or such shorter notice period as is mutually agreed upon by the parties. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this Agreement may be terminated by either party upon the breach of the other party of any material term of this Agreement if such breach is not cured within 15 days of notice of such breach to the breaching party. In addition, the Trust may, at any time, immediately terminate this Agreement in the event of the appointment of a conservator or receiver for the Custodian by regulatory authorities or upon the happening of a like event at the direction of an appropriate regulatory agency or court of competent jurisdiction.
13.03 Early Termination. In the absence of any material breach of this Agreement, should the Trust elect to terminate this agreement prior to the end of the two (2) year term, the Trust agrees to pay the following fees:
|(a)||All monthly fees through the life of the Agreement including the repayment of any negotiated discounts;|
|(b)||All miscellaneous fees associated with converting services to successor service provider;|
|(c)||All fees associated with any record retention and/or tax reporting obligations that may not be eliminated due to the conversion to a successor service provider, as agreed upon by both parties;|
|(d)||All reasonable and documented costs associated with (a) thru (c) above.|
13.04 Appointment of Successor Custodian. If a successor custodian shall have been appointed, the Custodian shall, upon receipt of a notice from the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, on such specified date of termination (i) deliver directly to the successor custodian all Securities (other than Securities held in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository) and cash then owned by the Fund and held by the Custodian as custodian, and (ii) transfer any Securities held in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository to an account of or for the benefit of the Fund at the successor custodian, provided that the Fund shall have paid to the Custodian all fees, expenses and other amounts to the payment or reimbursement of which it shall then be entitled. In addition, the Custodian shall, at the expense of the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, transfer to such successor all relevant books, records, correspondence, and other data established or maintained by the Custodian under this Agreement in a form reasonably acceptable to the Trust (if such form differs from the form in which the Custodian has maintained the same, the Trust shall pay any expenses associated with transferring the data to such form), and will cooperate in the transfer of such duties and responsibilities, including provision for assistance from the Custodian’s personnel in the establishment of books, records, and other data by such successor. Upon such delivery and transfer, the Custodian shall be relieved of all obligations under this Agreement.
13.05 Failure to Appoint Successor Custodian. If a successor custodian is not designated by the Trust on or before the date of termination of this Agreement, then the Custodian shall have the right to deliver to a bank or trust company of its own selection cash and other property held by the Custodian under this Agreement and to transfer to an account of or for the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, at such bank or trust company all Securities of the Fund held in a Book-Entry System or Securities Depository. Upon such delivery and transfer, such bank or trust company shall be the successor custodian under this Agreement and the Custodian shall be relieved of all obligations under this Agreement. In addition, under these circumstances, all books, records and other data of the Trust shall be returned to the Trust.
The Custodian shall use its best efforts to identify and file claims for the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, involving any class action litigation that impacts any security the Fund may have held during the class period. The Trust, on behalf of a Fund, agrees that the Custodian may file such claims on its behalf and understands that it may be waiving and/or releasing certain rights to make claims or otherwise pursue class action defendants who settle their claims. Further, the Trust acknowledges that there is no guarantee these claims will result in any payment or partial payment of potential class action proceeds and that the timing of such payment, if any, is uncertain.
However, the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, may instruct the Custodian to distribute class action notices and other relevant documentation to the Fund or its designee and, if it so elects, will relieve the Custodian from any and all liability and responsibility for filing class action claims on behalf of the Fund.
15.01 Compliance with Laws. The Trust has and retains primary responsibility for all compliance matters relating to the Fund, including but not limited to compliance with the 1933 Act, the CEA, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and the policies and limitations of the Fund relating to its portfolio investments as set forth in its Prospectus and statement of additional information. The Custodian’s services hereunder shall not relieve the Trust of its responsibilities for assuring such compliance with respect thereto.
The Trust shall immediately notify the Custodian if the investment strategy of any Fund materially changes that causes the Fund to file an amended prospectus with the SEC, or if it (or any Fund) becomes subject to any new law, rule, regulation, or order of a governmental or judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that materially impacts the operations of the Trust or any Fund or the services provided under this Agreement
15.02 Amendment. This Agreement may not be amended or modified in any manner except by written agreement executed by the Custodian and the Trust.
15.03 Assignment. This Agreement shall extend to and be binding upon the parties hereto and their respective successors and assigns; provided, however, that this Agreement shall not be assignable by the Trust without the written consent of the Custodian, or by the Custodian without the written consent of the Trust.
15.04 Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, without regard to conflicts of law principles. To the extent that the applicable laws of the State of New York, or any of the provisions herein, conflict with the applicable provisions of the CEA or 1933 Act, the latter shall control, and nothing herein shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the CEA, 1933 Act or any rule or order of the CFTC, NFA or SEC thereunder.
15.05 No Agency Relationship. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to authorize or empower either party to act as agent for the other party to this Agreement, or to conduct business in the name, or for the account, of the other party to this Agreement.
15.06 Services Not Exclusive. Nothing in this Agreement shall limit or restrict the Custodian from providing services to other parties that are similar or identical to some or all of the services provided hereunder.
15.07 Invalidity. Any provision of this Agreement which may be determined by competent authority to be prohibited or unenforceable in any jurisdiction shall, as to such jurisdiction, be ineffective to the extent of such prohibition or unenforceability without invalidating the remaining provisions hereof, and any such prohibition or unenforceability in any jurisdiction shall not invalidate or render unenforceable such provision in any other jurisdiction. In such case, the parties shall in good faith modify or substitute such provision consistent with the original intent of the parties.
15.08 Notices. Any notice required or permitted to be given by either party to the other shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been given on the date delivered personally or by courier service, or three days after sent by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, or on the date sent and confirmed received by facsimile transmission to the other party’s address set forth below, or such other address(es) as may be specified in writing by one party to the other party:
Notice to the Custodian shall be sent to:
U.S. Bank N.A.
U.S. Bank Tower
425 Walnut Street, Cincinnati,
OH 45202 | CN-OH-W6TC
Attn: Global Fund Custody Support Services
Phone: 513 ###-###-####
Fax: 844 ###-###-####
Notice to the Trust shall be sent to:
Attn: Justin Young
100 S Bedford Rd., Suite 340
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
15.09 Multiple Originals. This Agreement may be executed on two or more counterparts, each of which when so executed shall be deemed an original, but such counterparts shall together constitute but one and the same instrument.
15.10 No Waiver. No failure by either party hereto to exercise, and no delay by such party in exercising, any right hereunder shall operate as a waiver thereof. The exercise by either party hereto of any right hereunder shall not preclude the exercise of any other right, and the remedies provided herein are cumulative and not exclusive of any remedies provided at law or in equity.
15.11 References to Custodian. The Trust shall not circulate any written material that contains any reference to the Custodian without the prior written approval of the Custodian, excepting written material contained in the Prospectus or statement of additional information for a Fund and such other written material as merely identifies the Custodian as custodian for a Fund. The Trust shall submit written material requiring approval to the Custodian in draft form, allowing sufficient time for review by the Custodian and its counsel prior to any deadline for publication.
15.12 Insurance. The Custodian shall maintain a fidelity bond covering larceny and embezzlement, an insurance policy with respect to directors and officers errors and omissions coverage and electronic data processing insurance coverage, in amounts that are appropriate in light of its duties and responsibilities hereunder. Upon the request of the Trust, the Custodian shall provide evidence that coverage is in place. The Custodian shall notify the Trust should its insurance coverage with respect to professional liability or errors and omissions coverage be reduced or canceled. Such notification shall include the date of cancellation or reduction and the reasons therefore. The Custodian shall notify the Trust promptly of any material claims against it with respect to services performed under this Agreement, whether or not they may be covered by insurance, and shall notify the Trust promptly should the total outstanding claims made by the Custodian under its insurance coverage materially impair, or threaten to materially impair, the adequacy of its coverage.
15.13 Entire Agreement. This Agreement, together with any exhibits, attachments, appendices or schedules expressly referenced herein, sets forth the sole and complete understanding of the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements relating thereto, whether written or oral, between the parties.
15.14. Trust Limitations. This Agreement is executed by the Trust with respect to each of the Funds and the obligations hereunder are not binding on any of the officers or shareholders of the Trust individually but are binding only on the Fund to which such obligations pertain and the assets and property of such Fund. All obligations of the Trust under this Agreement shall apply only on a Fund-by-Fund basis, and the assets of one Fund shall not be liable for the obligations of another Fund.
15.15 Construction. Any reference in this Agreement to a form, statute or regulation shall include any successor thereto.
SIGNATURES ON THE FOLLOWING PAGE
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be executed by a duly authorized officer on one or more counterparts as of the last date written below.
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
AUTHORIZED PERSONS –
Set forth below are the names and specimen signatures of the persons authorized by the Trust to administer the Fund Custody Accounts.
Separate Series of VS Trust
Name of Series
Exhibit D to the Custody Agreement
SHAREHOLDER COMMUNICATIONS ACT AUTHORIZATION
The Shareholder Communications Act of 1985 requires banks and trust companies to make an effort to permit direct communication between a company which issues securities and the shareholder who votes those securities.
Unless you specifically require us to NOT release your name and address to requesting companies, we are required by law to disclose your name and address.
Your “yes” or “no” to disclosure will apply to all securities U.S. Bank holds for you now and in the future, unless you change your mind and notify us in writing.
|U.S. Bank is authorized to provide the Fund’s name, address and security position to requesting companies whose stock is owned by the Company.|
|_______ NO||U.S. Bank is NOT authorized to provide the Fund’s name, address and security position to requesting companies whose stock is owned by the Company.|