First Trust Advisors L.P. (“FTA”) announced today that, in light of the anticipated closing of the transaction described below, the Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of First Trust Exchange-Traded Fund IV (the “Trust”) has voted to approve a new investment sub-advisory agreement with SSI Investment Management LLC (“SSI”) for First Trust SSI Strategic Convertible Securities ETF (Nasdaq: FCVT) (the “Fund”), a series of the Trust, subject to shareholder approval. Resolute Investment Managers, Inc. (“RIM”), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Resolute Investment Holdings, LLC (“RIH”), currently holds a majority ownership interest in SSI, the Fund’s investment sub-advisor. In July 2023, (i) RIH, RIM and certain of their affiliates and (ii) the current owners of approximately 93% of RIH entered into a transaction agreement (the “Transaction Agreement”) with certain creditors of RIM (the “Lender Group”) to strengthen the capital structure of RIH. Pursuant to the Transaction Agreement, (i) all equity interests in RIH would be cancelled; (ii) new RIH equity interests would be issued to members of the Lender Group; and (iii) the existing credit agreements between RIM and the Lender Group would be terminated and a new credit agreement would be executed (the “Transaction”). Subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, the Transaction is currently expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023 (the “Closing”).
The Closing may operate as an “assignment” (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended) of the Fund’s existing investment sub-advisory agreement with SSI, which may result in the automatic termination of such agreement in accordance with its terms. Therefore, in anticipation of the Closing, the Board approved a new investment sub-advisory agreement (the “New Sub-Advisory Agreement”) among the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, FTA and SSI. A special meeting of shareholders of the Fund will be held at which the New Sub-Advisory Agreement will be submitted to shareholders of the Fund for approval. There can be no assurance that the necessary percentage of the shareholders of the Fund will vote to approve the New Sub-Advisory Agreement. In addition, to avoid any interruption of investment sub-advisory services if the Closing occurs prior to the receipt of shareholder approval of the New Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Board approved an interim investment sub-advisory agreement with SSI which would be effective upon the Closing and remain in effect for a maximum period of 150 days.
As the investment sub-advisor to the Fund, SSI is responsible for the selection and ongoing monitoring of the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio. The Transaction is not expected to impact the day-to-day operations of the Fund, and the portfolio managers of the Fund are expected to remain the same. SSI is an investment management firm specializing in alternative investment solutions utilizing convertible assets, equity securities and hedging strategies. SSI serves as investment advisor to investment portfolios with approximately is $1.97 billion in assets which it managed as of August 31, 2023. SSI provides investment advisory services to pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations, foundations and endowments, Taft-Hartley plans, family offices, insurance companies, public funds, high-net worth individuals, private investment vehicles, religious organizations and mutual funds.
FTA is a federally registered investment advisor and serves as the Fund’s investment advisor. FTA and its affiliate, First Trust Portfolios L.P. (“FTP”), a FINRA registered broker-dealer, are privately-held companies that provide a variety of investment services. FTA has collective assets under management or supervision of approximately $202 billion as of August 31, 2023 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, mutual funds and separately managed accounts. FTA is the supervisor of the First Trust unit investment trusts, while FTP is the sponsor. FTP is also a distributor of mutual fund shares and exchange-traded fund creation units. FTA and FTP are based in Wheaton, Illinois.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the goals, beliefs, plans or current expectations of FTA and/or SSI and their respective representatives, taking into account the information currently available to them. Forward-looking statements include all statements that do not relate solely to current or historical fact. For example, forward-looking statements include the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “would,” “will” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Fund to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. When evaluating the information included in this press release, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the judgment of FTA and/or SSI and their respective representatives only as of the date hereof. No obligation will be undertaken to publicly revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events and circumstances that arise after the date hereof.
In connection with the solicitation of proxies to approve the New Sub-Advisory Agreement, the Trust will file a proxy statement on behalf of the Fund. Because the proxy statement will contain important information, the Fund’s shareholders are urged to read the proxy statement and accompanying materials carefully when they receive them. The Fund’s shareholders will also be able to obtain copies of these documents, when available, by calling FTA toll-free at 800-621-1675. When filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the proxy statement will be available free of charge at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy, shares of the Fund, nor is it a solicitation of any proxy. The Trust, the Fund, FTA, SSI and certain of their respective directors/trustees, officers and affiliates may be deemed under the rules of the SEC to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders in connection with the matter described above. Information about the trustees and officers of the Trust may be found in the Fund���s Statement of Additional Information, as supplemented, previously filed with the SEC.
The Fund’s daily closing price and net asset value per share as well as other information can be found at www.ftportfolios.com.
First Trust Advisors L.P.
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