86 FR 102 pgs. 28922-28923 - Simplify Exchange Traded Funds and Simplify Asset Management Inc.

Type: NOTICEVolume: 86Number: 102Pages: 28922 - 28923
Docket number: [Investment Company Act Release No. 34274; 812-15154]
FR document: [FR Doc. 2021-11292 Filed 5-27-21; 8:45 am]
Agency: Securities and Exchange Commission
Official PDF Version:  PDF Version
Pages: 28922, 28923

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[Investment Company Act Release No. 34274; 812-15154]

Simplify Exchange Traded Funds and Simplify Asset Management Inc.

May 24, 2021.


Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission").



Notice of an application under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 ("Act") for an exemption from section 15(a) of the Act and rule 18f-2 under the Act, as well as from certain disclosure requirements in rule 20a-1 under the Act, Item 19(a)(3) of Form N-1A, Items 22(c)(1)(ii), 22(c)(1)(iii), 22(c)(8) and 22(c)(9) of Schedule 14A under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Sections 6-07(2)(a), (b), and (c) of Regulation S-X ("Disclosure Requirements"). The requested exemption would permit an investment adviser to hire and replace certain sub-advisers without shareholder approval and grant relief from the Disclosure Requirements as they relate to fees paid to the sub-advisers.


Simplify Exchange Traded Funds (the "Trust"), a Delaware statutory trust registered under the Act as an open-end management investment company with multiple series, and Simplify Asset Management Inc., a New York corporation registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 ("Simplify" or the "Advisor," and, collectively with the Trust, the "Applicants").


The application was filed on August 18, 2020, and amended on February 24, 2021.


An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by emailing the Commission's Secretary at Secretarys-Office@sec.gov and serving applicants with a copy of the request by email. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on June 18, 2021, and should be accompanied by proof of service on the applicants, in the form of an affidavit, or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by emailing the Commission's Secretary at Secretarys-Office@sec.gov.


The Commission: Secretarys-Office@sec.gov. Applicants: c/o JoAnn M. Strasser, Thompson Hine LLP, by email: JoAnn.Strasser@thompsonhine.com.


Christine Y. Greenlees, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6879, or Lisa Reid Ragen, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6825 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).


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

Summary of the Application

1. The Advisor serves as the investment adviser to the Funds (as defined below) pursuant to investment advisory agreements with the Funds (the "Advisory Agreements").1 The Advisor will provide the Funds with continuous and comprehensive investment management services subject to the supervision of, and policies established by, each Fund's board of trustees ("Board"). The Advisory Agreements permit the Advisor, subject to the approval of the Board, to delegate to one or more sub-advisers (each, a "Subadvisor" and collectively, the "Subadvisors") the responsibility to provide the day-to-day portfolio investment management of each Fund (either directly or through such Fund's direct wholly-owned subsidiary), subject to the supervision and direction of the Advisor. The primary responsibility for managing the Funds will remain vested in the Advisor. The Advisor will hire, evaluate, allocate assets to and oversee the Subadvisors, including determining whether a Subadvisor should be terminated, at all times subject to the authority of the Board.


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

[top] 2. Each Fund may pursue its investment strategies by investing through a direct wholly-owned subsidiary (each such subsidiary, a "Subsidiary"). Any future Subsidiary will enter into an investment advisory agreement with the respective Advisor (the "Subsidiary Advisory Agreements").2 In all cases, an Advisor will be the entity providing general management services to each Fund, including overall supervisory responsibility for the general management and investment of the Fund's assets (either directly or through such Fund's Subsidiary, if any), and, subject to review and approval of the Board, will: (a) Set such Fund's (including, if any, its Subsidiary's) overall investment strategies; (b) evaluate, select and recommend Subadvisors to manage all or a portion of the Fund's assets (directly or through the Fund's Subsidiary, if any); (c) page 28923 allocate and, when appropriate, reallocate the Fund's assets among one or more Subadvisors (including by allocating and reallocating assets between and among the Fund and, if any, its Subsidiary); (d) monitor and evaluate the performance of Subadvisors; and (e) implement procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the Subadvisors comply with the investment objective, policies and restrictions of the Fund and the Subsidiary, if any.


2 ?Any future Subsidiary Advisory Agreement will be approved by the Board, including a majority of the trustees who are not "interested persons" (as defined in section 2(a)(19) of the Act) of the Fund or the Advisor, and the Fund's shareholders.

3. Applicants request an order exempting Applicants from section 15(a) of the Act and rule 18f-2 thereunder to permit the Trust, on behalf of a Fund, and/or its Advisor, subject to the approval of the Board, to enter into and materially amend investment subadvisory agreements with Subadvisors ("Subadvisory Agreements") without obtaining shareholder approval.3 Applicants also seek an exemption from the Disclosure Requirements to permit a Fund to disclose (as both a dollar amount and a percentage of the Fund's net assets): (a) The aggregate fees paid to the Advisor and any Excluded Subadvisor; and (b) the aggregate fees paid to Subadvisors other than Excluded Subadvisors (collectively, "Aggregate Fee Disclosure"). For any Fund that employs an Excluded Subadvisor, the Fund will provide separate disclosure of any fees paid to the Excluded Subadvisor.


3 ?The requested relief will not extend to any sub-adviser who is an affiliated person, as defined in section 2(a)(3) of the Act, of a Fund or an Advisor other than by reason of serving as a sub-adviser to one or more Funds (or any Subsidiary) ("Excluded Subadvisors").

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

5. Section 6(c) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction or any class or classes of persons, securities, or transactions from any provisions of the Act, or any rule thereunder, if such relief is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Applicants believe that the requested relief meets this standard because, as further explained in the application, the Advisory Agreements will remain subject to shareholder approval, while the role of the Subadvisors is substantially similar to that of individual portfolio managers, so that requiring shareholder approval of Subadvisory Agreements would impose unnecessary delays and expenses on the Funds. Applicants believe that the requested relief from the Disclosure Requirements meets this standard because it will improve the Advisor's ability to negotiate fees paid to the Subadvisors that are more advantageous for the Funds.

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

J. Matthew DeLesDernier,

Assistant Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2021-11292 Filed 5-27-21; 8:45 am]