VANECK MORNINGSTAR ESG MOAT ETF
Principal U.S. Listing Exchange: Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.
FEBRUARY 1, 2023
Before you invest, you may want to review the Fund’s prospectus, which contains more information about the Fund and its risks. You can find the Fund’s prospectus and other information about the Fund online at https://www.vaneck.com/resources/documents/equity-etfs-literature/. You can also get this information at no cost by calling 800.826.2333, or by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Fund’s prospectus and statement of additional information, both dated February 1, 2023, as may be supplemented from time to time, are incorporated by reference into this summary prospectus.
VanEck Morningstar ESG Moat ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Morningstar® US Sustainability Moat Focus IndexSM (the “US Sustainability Moat Focus Index” or the “Index”).
FUND FEES AND EXPENSES
The following tables describe the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below.
Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
|Management Fee||0.45 ||%|
|Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses||4.24 ||%|
Fee Waivers and Expense Reimbursement(a)
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses(a)
(a) Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 0.49% of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until at least February 1, 2024. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Fund’s Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.
This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. This example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you pay when purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell or hold all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% annual return and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same (except that the example incorporates the fee waivers and/or expense reimbursement arrangement for only the first year). Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
The Fund will pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when it purchases and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover will cause the Fund to incur additional transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, may affect the Fund’s performance. During the period from October 5, 2021 (the Fund's commencement of operations) through September 30, 2022, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 44% of the average value of its portfolio.
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
The Fund normally invests at least 80% of its total assets in securities that comprise the Fund’s benchmark index. The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index provides exposure to attractively valued companies with long-term competitive advantages while excluding those companies with high environmental, social and governance (”ESG”) risks. The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index is comprised of securities issued by U.S. companies that Morningstar, Inc. (“Morningstar” or the “Index provider”) determines to have long-term competitive advantages based on a proprietary methodology that considers quantitative and qualitative factors (“wide moat companies”). The quantitative factors used by Morningstar to identify competitive advantages currently include historical and projected returns on invested capital relative to cost of capital. The qualitative factors used by Morningstar to identify competitive advantages currently include customer switching cost (i.e., the costs of customers switching to competitors), internal cost advantages, intangible assets (e.g., intellectual property and brands), network effects (i.e., whether products or services become more valuable as the number of customers grows) and efficient scale (i.e., whether the company effectively serves a limited market that potential rivals have little incentive to enter into). Wide moat companies are selected from the universe of companies represented in the Morningstar® US Market IndexSM, a broad market index representing 97% of U.S. market capitalization. The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index excludes from consideration those wide moat companies that receive a severe or high ESG risk rating based on Morningstar’s Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating. The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index also excludes companies (i) involved in the production or distribution of controversial weapons or civilian firearms (ii) involved in the extraction of or generation of power from thermal coal, (iii) have a Sustainalytics controversy score of five (out of a scale of 1 to 5) in the last three (3) years, (iv) those that have a severe or high Carbon Risk Rating from Sustainalytics or (v) that have greater than 50% of revenues from tobacco products. The Sustainalytics company-level ESG Risk Score measures the degree to which a company's economic value may be at risk driven by materially relevant ESG factors. The ESG Risk Score is based on a two-dimensional materiality framework that measures a company's exposure to subindustry-specific material risks and how well a company is managing those risks. ESG Risk Scores are categorized across five risk levels: negligible, low, medium, high and severe. The scale is from 0-100, with 100 being the most severe. Sustainalytics controversy scores are determined based on ESG-related incidents, which are assessed through a framework that considers the severity of incidents, the corporation’s accountability and whether the incidents form part of a pattern of corporate misconduct; a Sustainalytics controversy score of five indicates a severe controversy rating. Sustainalytics Carbon Risk Ratings assess a company’s carbon risk by evaluating the company’s material exposure to and management of carbon issues.
The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index targets wide moat companies that according to Morningstar’s equity research team are attractively priced as of each US Sustainability Moat Focus Index review. Morningstar selects eligible companies to be included in the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index as determined by Morningstar’s standardized, proprietary valuation model that predominantly relies on a detailed projection of a company’s future cash flows. Wide moat companies may include medium-capitalization companies. The Fund’s 80% investment policy is non-fundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ prior written notice to shareholders.
As of December 31, 2022, US Sustainability Moat Focus Index included 62 securities of companies with a full market capitalization range of between approximately $1.9 billion and $1,787.7 billion and a weighted average full market capitalization of $110.2 billion. The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index employs a staggered rebalance methodology. The US Sustainability Moat Focus Index is divided into two equally-weighted sub-portfolios, and each is reconstituted and rebalanced annually, one in June and the other in December.
The Fund, using a “passive” or indexing investment approach, attempts to approximate the investment performance of the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index by investing in a portfolio of securities that generally tracks the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index. Unlike many investment companies that try to “beat” the performance of a benchmark index, the Fund does not try to “beat” the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index and does not seek temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its investment objective of seeking to track the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index.
The Fund is classified as a non-diversified fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act of 1940”) and, therefore, may invest a greater percentage of its assets in a particular issuer. The Fund may concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. As of September 30, 2022, each of the information technology, consumer staples, financials and consumer discretionary sectors represented a significant portion of the Fund.
PRINCIPAL RISKS OF INVESTING IN THE FUND
Investors in the Fund should be willing to accept a high degree of volatility in the price of the Fund’s Shares and the possibility of significant losses. An investment in the Fund involves a substantial degree of risk. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit with a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Therefore, you should consider carefully the following risks before investing in the Fund, each of which could significantly and adversely affect the value of an investment in the Fund.
ESG Investing Strategy Risk. The Fund’s ESG strategy could cause it to perform differently compared to funds that do not have an ESG focus. The Fund’s ESG strategy may result in the Fund investing in securities or industry sectors that underperform other securities or underperform the market as a whole. The companies included in the US Sustainability Moat Focus Index may differ from companies included in other indices that use similar ESG screens. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the companies identified by the Index provider do not operate as expected when addressing ESG issues. Additionally, the Index provider’s proprietary valuation model may not perform as intended, which may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. Regulatory changes or interpretations regarding the definitions and/or use of ESG criteria could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to implement its ESG strategy.
Equity Securities Risk. The value of the equity securities held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the markets in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or factors relating to specific issuers in which the Fund invests. Equity securities are subordinated to preferred securities and debt in a company’s capital structure with respect to priority to a share of corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred securities or debt instruments. In addition, while broad market measures of equity securities have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, equity securities have generally also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns.
Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk. Medium-capitalization companies may be more volatile and more likely than large-capitalization companies to have narrower product lines, fewer financial resources, less management depth and experience and less competitive strength. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. Returns on investments in securities of medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of large-capitalization companies.
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The consumer discretionary sector comprises companies whose businesses are sensitive to economic cycles, such as manufacturers of high-end apparel and automobile and leisure companies. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector are subject to fluctuations in supply and demand. These companies may also be adversely affected by changes in consumer spending as a result of world events, political and economic conditions, commodity price volatility, changes in exchange rates, imposition of import controls, increased competition, depletion of resources and labor relations.
Financials Sector Risk. Companies in the financials sector may be subject to extensive government regulation that affects the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. The profitability of companies in the financials sector may be adversely affected by increases in interest rates, by loan losses, which usually increase in economic downturns, and by credit rating downgrades. In addition, the financials sector is undergoing numerous changes, including continuing consolidations, development of new products and structures and changes to its regulatory framework. Furthermore, some companies in the financials sector perceived as benefiting from government intervention in the past may be subject to future government-imposed restrictions on their businesses or face increased government involvement in their operations. Increased government involvement in the financials sector, including measures such as taking ownership positions in financial institutions, could result in a dilution of the Fund’s investments in financial institutions.
Consumer Staples Sector Risk. The consumer staples sector comprises companies whose businesses are less sensitive to economic cycles, such as manufacturers and distributors of food and beverages and producers of non-durable household goods and personal products. Companies in the consumer staples sector may be adversely affected by changes in the worldwide economy, consumer spending, competition, demographics and consumer preferences, exploration and production spending. Companies in this sector are also affected by changes in government regulation, world events and economic conditions.
Information Technology Sector Risk. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.
Market Risk. The prices of securities are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. Overall securities values could decline generally or underperform other investments. An investment may lose money.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund may engage in active and frequent trading of its portfolio securities, which will result in increased transaction costs to the Fund, including brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of the securities and on reinvestment in other securities. High portfolio turnover may also result in higher taxes when Fund Shares are held in a taxable account. The effects of high portfolio turnover may adversely affect Fund performance.
Index Tracking Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses, including taxes, not applicable to the Index and incurs costs associated with buying and selling securities and entering into derivatives transactions (if applicable), especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index or (to the extent the Fund effects creations and redemptions in cash) raising cash to meet redemptions or deploying cash in connection with newly created Creation Units. Transaction costs, including brokerage costs, will decrease the Fund’s net asset value to the extent not offset by the transaction fee payable by an Authorized Participant.
Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Index. Errors in the Index data, the Index computations and/or the construction of the Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index provider, which may have an adverse impact on the Fund and its shareholders. Shareholders should understand that any gains from the Index provider’s or others’ errors will be kept by the Fund and its shareholders and any losses or costs resulting from the Index provider’s or others’ errors will be borne by the Fund and its shareholders. Additionally, when the Index is rebalanced and the Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. Apart from scheduled rebalances, the Index provider or its agents may carry out additional ad hoc rebalances to the Index. Therefore, errors and additional ad hoc rebalances carried out by the Index provider or its agents to the Index may increase the costs to and the tracking error risk of the Fund.
The Fund may not be fully invested at times either as a result of cash flows into the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to pay expenses or to meet redemptions. In addition, the Fund may not invest in certain securities included in the Index, or invest in them in the exact proportions in which they are represented in the Index. The Fund’s performance may also deviate from the return of the Index for various reasons, including legal restrictions or limitations imposed by the governments of certain countries, certain exchange listing standards, a lack of liquidity in markets in which such securities trade, potential adverse tax consequences or other regulatory reasons (such as diversification requirements). To the extent the Fund utilizes depositary receipts, the purchase of depositary receipts may negatively affect the Fund’s ability to track the performance of the Index and increase tracking error, which may be exacerbated if the issuer of the depositary receipt discontinues issuing new depositary receipts or withdraws existing depositary receipts.
The Fund may value certain of its investments, underlying currencies and/or other assets based on fair value prices. To the extent the Fund calculates its net asset value based on fair value prices and the value of the Index is based on securities’ closing prices on local foreign markets (i.e., the value of the Index is not based on fair value prices), the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. In addition, any issues the Fund encounters with regard to currency convertibility (including the cost of borrowing funds, if any), repatriation or economic sanctions may also increase the index tracking risk. The Fund’s performance may also deviate from the performance of the Index due to the impact of withholding taxes, late announcements relating to changes to the Index and high turnover of the Index. When markets are volatile, the ability to sell securities at fair value prices may be adversely impacted and may result in additional trading costs and/or increase the index tracking risk. The Fund may also need to rely on borrowings to meet redemptions, which may lead to increased expenses. For tax efficiency purposes, the Fund may sell certain securities, and such sale may cause the Fund to realize a loss and deviate from the performance of the Index. In light of the factors discussed above, the Fund’s return may deviate significantly from the return of the Index. Changes to the composition of the Index in connection with a rebalancing or reconstitution of the Index may cause the Fund to experience increased volatility, during which time the Fund’s index tracking risk may be heightened.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. The Fund may have a limited number of Authorized Participants, none of which are obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. To the extent that those Authorized Participants exit the business, or do not process creation and/or redemption orders, there may be a significantly diminished trading market for Shares or Shares may trade like closed-end funds at a discount (or premium) to net asset value and possibly face trading halts and/or de-listing. This can be reflected as a spread between the bid-ask prices for the Fund. The Authorized Participant concentration risk may be heightened in cases where Authorized Participants have limited or diminished access to the capital required to post collateral.
No Guarantee of Active Trading Market Risk. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for the Shares will develop or be maintained, as applicable. Further, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods in times of market stress because market makers and Authorized Participants may step away from making a market in the Shares and in executing creation and redemption orders, which could cause a material deviation in the Fund’s market price from its net asset value.
Trading Issues Risk. Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange’s “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.
Passive Management Risk. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund is not “actively” managed. Therefore, unless a specific security is removed from its Index, the Fund generally would not sell a security because the security’s issuer is in financial trouble. If a specific security is removed from the Fund’s Index, the Fund may be forced to sell such security at an inopportune time or for prices other than at current market values. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund that invests in bonds or equity securities, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political
developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in security prices. The Fund’s Index may not contain the appropriate or a diversified mix of securities for any particular economic cycle. The timing of changes in the securities of the Fund’s portfolio in seeking to replicate its Index could have a negative effect on the Fund. Unlike with an actively managed fund, the Adviser does not use techniques or defensive strategies designed to lessen the effects of market volatility or to reduce the impact of periods of market decline. Additionally, unusual market conditions may cause the Fund’s Index provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance or reconstitution, which could cause the Fund’s Index to vary from its normal or expected composition. This means that, based on market and economic conditions, the Fund’s performance could be lower than funds that may actively shift their portfolio assets to take advantage of market opportunities or to lessen the impact of a market decline or a decline in the value of one or more issuers.
Fund Shares Trading, Premium/Discount Risk and Liquidity of Fund Shares. The market price of the Shares may fluctuate in response to the Fund’s net asset value, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. Shares may trade above, below, or at their most recent net asset value. Factors including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares (including through a trading halt), may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to net asset value or to the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the net asset value or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the net asset value, the shareholder may pay significantly more or receive significantly less than the underlying value of the Shares. The securities held by the Fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the exchange on which the Shares are traded. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid/ask spreads on the exchange and the resulting premium or discount to the Shares’ net asset value may widen. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for the Fund’s Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings and a shareholder may be unable to sell his or her Shares.
Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Fund is subject to the risk that it will be more volatile than a diversified fund because the Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. Moreover, the gains and losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s net asset value and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds. The Fund may be particularly vulnerable to this risk if its Index is comprised of securities of a limited number of companies.
Index-Related Concentration Risk. The Fund’s assets may be concentrated in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries to reflect the Index’s allocation to those types of securities. The securities of many or all of the companies in the same sector or industry may decline in value due to developments adversely affecting such sector or industry. By concentrating its assets in a particular sector or sectors or industry or group of industries, the Fund is subject to the risk that economic, political or other conditions that have a negative effect on those sectors and/or industries may negatively impact the Fund to a greater extent than if the Fund’s assets were invested in a wider variety of securities.
The bar chart that follows shows how the Fund performed for the calendar years shown. The table below the bar chart shows the Fund’s average annual returns (before and after taxes). The bar chart and table provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by comparing the Fund’s performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual returns for the one year, five year, ten year and/or since inception periods, as applicable, compared with the Fund’s benchmark index and a broad measure of market performance. All returns assume reinvestment of dividends and distributions. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily indicative of how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance information is available online at www.vaneck.com.
Annual Total Returns (%)—Calendar Year
|Best Quarter:||10.68 ||%||4Q 2022|
|Worst Quarter:||-12.89 ||%||2Q 2022|
Average Annual Total Returns for the Periods Ended December 31, 2022
The after-tax returns presented in the table below are calculated using the highest historical individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Your actual after-tax returns will depend on your specific tax situation and may differ from those shown below. After-tax returns are not relevant to investors who hold Shares of the Fund through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts.
Since Inception (10/05/2021)
|VanEck Morningstar ESG Moat ETF (return before taxes)||-18.61%||-9.63%|
|VanEck Morningstar ESG Moat ETF (return after taxes on distributions)||-18.80%||-9.83%|
|VanEck Morningstar ESG Moat ETF (return after taxes on distributions and sale of Fund Shares)||-10.88%||-7.31%|
Morningstar® US Sustainability Moat Focus IndexSM (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)
S&P 500® Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)
Investment Adviser. Van Eck Associates Corporation.
Portfolio Manager. The following individual is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:
|Name||Title with Adviser||Date Began Managing the Fund|
|Peter H. Liao||Portfolio Manager||October 2021|
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through a broker or dealer at a market price. Shares of the Fund are listed on the Exchange, and because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than NAV (i.e., a "premium") or less than NAV (i.e., a "discount").
An investor may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares in the secondary market (the “bid/ask spread”).
Recent information, including information about the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid/ask spreads, is included on the Fund’s website at www.vaneck.com.
The Fund’s distributions are taxable and will generally be taxed as both ordinary income and capital gains. As a result of the Fund’s investment strategies, it is expected that distributions by the Fund will generally be taxable as ordinary income.
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
The Adviser and its related companies may pay broker-dealers or other financial intermediaries (such as a bank) for the sale of the Fund Shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing your broker-dealer or other intermediary or its employees or associated persons to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your financial adviser or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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