No trading market for Shares. The Fund is a closed-end investment company designed primarily for long-term investors and not as a trading vehicle. While there is no restriction on transferring the Shares, the Fund does not intend to list the Shares for trading on any national securities exchange. There is no secondary trading market for Shares. An investment in the Shares is illiquid. There is no guarantee that you will be able to sell all of the Shares that you desire to sell in any repurchase offer by the Fund.
Senior Loans. There is less readily available, reliable information about most Senior Loans than is the case for many other types of securities. In addition, there is no minimum rating or other independent evaluation of a Borrower or its securities limiting the Fund's investments, and the Adviser relies primarily on its own evaluation of Borrower credit quality rather than on any available independent sources. As a result, the Fund is particularly dependent on the analytical abilities of the Adviser.
Senior Loans generally are not listed on any national securities exchange or automated quotation system and no active trading market exists for many Senior Loans. As a result, many Senior Loans are illiquid, meaning that the Fund may not be able to sell them quickly at a fair price. The market for illiquid securities is more volatile than the market for liquid securities. The market could be disrupted in the event of an economic downturn or a substantial increase or decrease in interest rates. Although the Fund believes that investing in adjustable rate Senior Loans should limit fluctuations in net asset value as a result of changes in interest rates, extraordinary and sudden changes in interest rates could nevertheless disrupt the market for Senior Loans and result in fluctuations in the Fund's net asset value. However, many Senior Loans are of a large principal amount and are held by a large number of owners. In the Adviser's opinion, this should enhance their liquidity. In addition, in recent years the number of institutional investors purchasing Senior Loans has increased. The risks of illiquidity are particularly important when the Fund's operations require cash, and may in certain circumstances require that the Fund borrow to meet short-term cash requirements. Illiquid securities are also difficult to value. See "Investment Objective and Principal Investment Strategies."
Selling Lenders and other persons positioned between the Fund and the Borrower will likely conduct their principal business activities in the banking, finance and financial services industries. The Fund may be more at risk to any single economic, political or regulatory occurrence affecting such industries.
Borrower credit risk. Senior Loans, like most other debt obligations, are subject to the risk of default. Default in the payment of interest or principal on a Senior Loan will result in a reduction in income to the Fund, a reduction in the value of the Senior Loan and a potential decrease in the Fund's net asset value. The risk of default will increase in the event of an economic downturn or a substantial increase in interest rates.
The Fund may acquire Senior Loans of Borrowers that are experiencing, or are more likely to experience, financial difficulty, including Senior Loans issued in highly leveraged transactions. The Fund may even acquire and retain in its portfolio Senior Loans of Borrowers that have filed for bankruptcy protection. Because of the protective terms of Senior Loans, the Adviser believes that the Fund is more likely to recover more of its investment in a defaulted Senior Loan than would be the case for most other types of defaulted debt securities. Nevertheless, even in the case of collateralized Senior Loans, there is no assurance that sale of the collateral would raise enough cash to satisfy the Borrower's payment obligation or that the collateral can or will be liquidated. In the case of bankruptcy, liquidation may not occur and the court may not give Lenders the full benefit of their senior position. Uncollateralized Senior Loans involve a greater risk of loss.
Investment in non-U.S. issuers. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its total assets, measured at the time of investment, in Senior Loans to Borrowers that are organized or located in countries other than the United States, provided that no more than 5% of these Senior Loans or other assets are non-U.S. dollar denominated. Investment in non-U.S. issuers involves special risks, including that non-U.S. issuers may be subject to less rigorous accounting and reporting requirements than U.S. issuers, less rigorous regulatory requirements, different legal systems and laws relating to creditors' rights, the potential inability to enforce legal judgments and the potential for political, social and economic adversity. Investments by the Fund in non-U.S. dollar denominated investments will be subject to currency risk. Currency risk is the risk that fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and non-U.S. currencies may negatively affect an investment. The value of investments denominated in non-U.S. currencies may fluctuate based on changes in the value of those currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, and a decline in applicable foreign exchange rates could reduce the value of such investments held by the Fund. The Fund also may hold non-U.S. dollar denominated Senior Loans or other securities received as part of a reorganization or restructuring.
Participations. The Fund may purchase participations in Senior Loans. Under a participation, the Fund generally will have rights that are more limited than the rights of Lenders or of persons who acquire a Senior Loan by assignment. In a participation, the Fund typically has a contractual relationship with the Lender selling the participation, but not with the Borrower. As a result, the Fund assumes the credit risk of the Lender selling the participation in addition to the credit risk of the Borrower. In the event of the insolvency of the Lender selling the participation, the Fund may be treated as a general creditor of the Lender and may not have a senior claim to the Lender's interest in the Senior Loan. Certain participations in Senior Loans are illiquid, meaning the Fund may not be able to sell them quickly at a fair price. Illiquid securities are also difficult to value. The Fund presently does not intend to invest more than 5% of its net assets in participations in Senior Loans.
Repurchase offer risks. If the Fund repurchases more Shares than it is able to sell, the Fund's net assets may decline and its expense ratios may increase, and the Fund's ability to achieve its investment objective may be adversely affected. Moreover, this may force the Fund to sell assets it would not otherwise sell, and the Fund may be forced to dispose of Fund assets that may have declined in value. The Fund may borrow money to, among other things, finance repurchases of Shares. The rights of any lenders to the Fund to receive payments of interest on and repayments of principal of any borrowings will be senior to the rights of shareholders. The loan agreement for any borrowing likely will limit certain activities of the Fund, including the payment of dividends to holders of Shares in certain circumstances. Interest payments and fees incurred in connection with borrowings to finance repurchases of Shares will reduce the amount of net income available for payment to shareholders and may increase volatility of the net asset value of the Common Shares. See also the next section below on "Financial Leverage" and the section of the Prospectus entitled "Repurchase of Shares."
Financial leverage. There are risks associated with borrowing or issuing preferred shares in an effort to increase the yield and distributions on the Common Shares, including that the costs of the financial leverage exceed the income from investments made with such leverage, the higher volatility of the net asset value of the Common Shares, and that fluctuations in the interest rates on the borrowing or dividend rates on preferred shares may affect the yield and distributions to the Common Shareholders. The Fund's use of leverage also may impair the ability of the Fund to maintain its qualification for federal income taxes as a regulated investment company.
As long as the Fund is able to invest the proceeds of any financial leverage in senior loans or other investments that provide a higher net return than the then cost of such financial leverage (i.e., the current interest rate on any borrowing or dividend rate of any preferred shares after taking into account the expenses of any borrowing or preferred shares offering) and the Fund's operating expenses, the effect of leverage will be to cause the Common Shareholders to realize a higher current rate of return than if the Fund were not leveraged. However, if the current costs of financial leverage were to exceed the return on such proceeds after expenses (which the Adviser believes to be an unlikely scenario), the Common Shareholders would have a lower rate of return than if the Fund had an unleveraged capital structure.
During any annual period when the Fund has a net payable on the interest due on borrowings or the dividends due on any outstanding preferred shares, the failure to pay on such amounts would preclude the Fund from paying dividends on the Common Shares. The rights of lenders to the Fund to receive interest on and repayment of principal on any borrowings will be senior to those of the holders of the Common Shares, and the terms of any such borrowings may contain provisions which limit certain activities of the Fund, including the payment of dividends to holders of Common Shares in certain circumstances, and may require the Fund to pledge assets to secure such borrowings. Further, the terms of such borrowings may, and the 1940 Act does (in certain circumstances), grant to the lenders to the Fund certain voting rights in the event of default in the payment of interest on or repayment of principal. In addition, under the 1940 Act, the Fund is not permitted to declare any cash dividend or other distribution on its Common Shares unless, at the time of such declaration and after deducting the amount of such dividend or distribution, the Fund is in compliance with the asset coverage requirements of the 1940 Act. Such prohibition on the payment of dividends or distributions might impair the ability of the Fund to maintain its qualification, for federal income tax purposes, as a regulated investment company. The Fund intends, however, to the extent possible, to repay borrowings or redeem any outstanding preferred securities from time to time if necessary, which may involve the payment by the Fund of a premium and the sale by the Fund of portfolio securities at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so, to maintain compliance with such asset coverage requirements.
If there are preferred shares issued and outstanding, holders of the preferred shares will elect two Trustees. In addition, the terms of any preferred shares or borrowing may entitle holders of the preferred shares or lenders, as the case may be, to elect a majority of the Board of Trustees in certain other circumstances.
Certain investment practices. The Fund may use various investment practices that involve special risks, including engaging in interest rate and other hedging and risk management transactions. See "Investment Practices and Special Risks."
Anti-takeover provisions. The Fund's Declaration of Trust includes provisions that could limit the ability of other persons to acquire control of the Fund or to change the composition of its Board of Trustees. See "Description of Shares — Anti-Takeover Provisions in the Declaration of Trust."