INVESTMENT ADVISORY AGREEMENT
PRINCETON CAPITAL CORPORATION
PRINCETON INVESTMENT ADVISORS, LLC
AGREEMENT, dated as of [______________], 2014, between Princeton Capital Corporation, a Maryland corporation (the “Corporation”), and Princeton Investment Advisors, LLC (the “Adviser”), a Delaware limited liability company.
WHEREAS, the Adviser has agreed to furnish investment advisory services to the Corporation, which intends to elect to operate as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”); and
WHEREAS, this Agreement has been approved in accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Act, and the Adviser is willing to furnish such services upon the terms and conditions herein set forth.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual premises and covenants herein contained and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, it is agreed by and between the parties hereto as follows:
1. In General. The Adviser agrees, all as more fully set forth herein, to act as investment advisor to the Corporation with respect to the investment of the Corporation’s assets and to supervise and arrange for the day-to-day operations of the Corporation and the purchase of assets for and the sale of assets held in the investment portfolio of the Corporation.
2. Duties and Obligations of the Adviser with Respect to Investment of Assets of the Corporation.
(a) Subject to the succeeding provisions of this paragraph and subject to the direction and control of the Corporation’s board of directors (the “Board of Directors”), the Adviser shall act as the investment advisor to the Company and to manage the investment and reinvestment of the assets of the Company. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Adviser shall, during the term and subject to the provisions of this Agreement, (i) determine the composition of the portfolio of the Corporation, the nature and timing of the changes therein and the manner of implementing such changes; (ii) identify, evaluate and negotiate the structure of the investments made by the Corporation; (iii) execute, close, service and monitor the investments that the Corporation makes; (iv) determine the securities and other assets that the Corporation will purchase, retain or sell; (v) perform due diligence on prospective portfolio companies; and (vi) provide the Corporation with such other investment advisory, research and related services as the Corporation may, from time to time, reasonably require for the investment of its funds. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to restrict the Corporation’s right to hire its own employees or to contract for administrative services to be performed by third parties, including but not limited to, the calculation of the net asset value of the Corporation’s shares.
In the performance of its duties under this Agreement, the Adviser shall at all times use all reasonable efforts to conform to, and act in accordance with, any requirements imposed by (i) the provisions of the 1940 Act, and of any rules or regulations in force thereunder, subject to the terms of any exemptive order applicable to the Corporation; (ii) any other applicable provision of law; (iii) the provisions of the Articles of Amendment and Restatement and the Bylaws of the Corporation, as such documents are amended from time to time; (iv) the investment objectives, policies and restrictions applicable to the Corporation as set forth in the Corporation’s Information Statement on Schedule 14C, initially filed on July 21, 2014, as they may be amended from time to time by the Board of Directors or stockholders of the Corporation; and (v) any policies and determinations of the Board of Directors of the Corporation and provided in writing to the Adviser.
(c) The Adviser will seek to provide qualified personnel to fulfill its duties hereunder and, except as set forth in the following sentence, will bear all costs and expenses incurred in connection with its investment advisory duties hereunder. The Corporation shall reimburse the Adviser for all direct and indirect costs and expenses incurred by the Adviser for office space rental, office equipment, utilities and other non-compensation related overhead allocable to performance of investment advisory services hereunder by the Adviser, including the costs and expenses of due diligence of potential investments, monitoring performance of the Corporation’s investments, serving as directors and officers of portfolio companies, providing managerial assistance to portfolio companies, enforcing the Corporation’s rights in respect of its investments and disposing of investments. All allocations made pursuant to this paragraph (c) shall be made pursuant to allocation guidelines approved from time to time by the Board of Directors. The Corporation shall also be responsible for the payment of all the Corporation’s other expenses, including payment of the fees payable to the Adviser under Section 6 hereof; organizational and offering expenses; expenses incurred in valuing the Corporation’s assets and computing its net asset value per share (including the cost and expenses of any independent valuation firm); expenses incurred by the Adviser or payable to third parties, including agents, consultants or other advisors, in monitoring financial and legal affairs for the Corporation and in monitoring the Corporation’s investments and performing due diligence on the Corporation’s prospective portfolio companies or otherwise related to, or associated with, evaluating and making investments; interest payable on debt, if any, incurred to finance the Corporation’s investments and expenses related to unsuccessful portfolio acquisition efforts; offerings of the Corporation’s common stock and other securities; investment advisory and management fees payable under this Agreement; administration fees; transfer agent and custody fees and expenses; federal and state registration fees; all costs of registration and listing the Corporation’s shares on any securities exchange; federal, state and local taxes; independent directors’ fees and expenses; costs of preparing and filing reports or other documents required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or other regulators; costs of any reports, proxy statements or other notices to stockholders, including printing costs; the costs associated with individual or group stockholders; the Corporation’s allocable portion of the fidelity bond, directors and officers/errors and omissions liability insurance, and any other insurance premiums; direct costs and expenses of administration and operation, including printing, mailing, long distance telephone, copying, secretarial and other staff, independent auditors and outside legal costs; and all other non-investment advisory expenses incurred by the Corporation or the Adviser in connection with the administering the Corporation’s business.
(d) The Adviser shall give the Corporation the benefit of its professional judgment and effort in rendering services hereunder, but neither the Adviser nor any of its officers, directors, employees, agents or controlling persons shall be liable for any act or omission or for any loss
sustained by the Corporation in connection with the matters to which this Agreement relates, provided, that the foregoing exculpation shall not apply to a loss resulting from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties, or by reason of its reckless disregard of its obligations and duties under this Agreement; provided further, however, that the foregoing shall not constitute a waiver of any rights which the Corporation may have which may not be waived under applicable law.
(e) The Adviser will place orders either directly with the issuer or with any broker or dealer. Subject to the other provisions of this paragraph, in placing orders with brokers and dealers, the Adviser will attempt to obtain the best price and the most favorable execution of its orders. In placing orders, the Adviser will consider the experience and skill of the firm’s securities traders as well as the firm’s financial responsibility and administrative efficiency. Consistent with this obligation, the Adviser may select brokers on the basis of the research, statistical and pricing services they provide to the Corporation and other clients of the Adviser. Information and research received from such brokers will be in addition to, and not in lieu of, the services required to be performed by the Adviser hereunder. A commission paid to such brokers may be higher than that which another qualified broker would have charged for effecting the same transaction, provided that the Adviser determines in good faith that such commission is reasonable in terms either of the transaction or the overall responsibility of the Adviser to the Corporation and its other clients and that the total commissions paid by the Corporation will be reasonable in relation to the benefits to the Corporation over the long term, subject to review by the Board of Directors of the Corporation from time to time with respect to the extent and continuation of such practice to determine whether the Corporation benefits, directly or indirectly, from such practice.
3. Services Not Exclusive. Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the Adviser or any officer, employee or other affiliate thereof from acting as investment advisor for any other person, firm or corporation, or from engaging in any other lawful activity, and shall not in any way limit or restrict the Adviser or any of its officers, employees or agents from buying, selling or trading any securities for its or their own accounts or for the accounts of others for whom it or they may be acting; provided, however, that the Adviser will not undertake, and will cause its employees not to undertake, activities which, in its reasonable judgment, will adversely affect the performance of the Adviser’s obligations under this Agreement.
4. Agency Cross Transactions. From time to time, the Adviser or brokers or dealers affiliated with it may find themselves in a position to buy for certain of their brokerage clients (each an “Account”) securities which the Adviser’s investment advisory clients wish to sell, and to sell for certain of their brokerage clients securities which advisory clients wish to buy. Where one of the parties is an advisory client, the Adviser or the affiliated broker or dealer cannot participate in this type of transaction (known as a cross transaction) on behalf of an advisory client and retain commissions from one or both parties to the transaction without the advisory client’s consent. This is because in a situation where the Adviser is making the investment decision (as opposed to a brokerage client who makes his own investment decisions), and the Adviser or an affiliate is receiving commissions from both sides of the transaction, there is a potential conflicting division of loyalties and responsibilities on the Adviser’s part regarding the advisory client. The SEC has adopted a rule under the Advisers Act which permits the Adviser or its affiliates to participate on behalf of an Account in agency cross transactions if the advisory client has given written consent in advance. By execution of this Agreement, the Corporation authorizes the Adviser or its affiliates to participate in agency cross transactions involving an Account. The Corporation may revoke its consent at any time by written notice to the Adviser.
5. Expenses. During the term of this Agreement, the Adviser will bear all compensation expense (including health insurance, pension benefits, payroll taxes and other compensation related matters) of its employees and shall bear the costs of any salaries or directors’ fees of any officers or directors of the Corporation who are affiliated persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Adviser.
6. Compensation of the Adviser. The Adviser, for its services to the Corporation, will be entitled to receive a management fee (the “Base Management Fee”) and an incentive fee (“Incentive Fee”) from the Corporation.
(a) The Base Management Fee will be calculated at an annual rate of 1.75% of the Corporation’s gross assets, including assets purchased with borrowed funds or other forms of leverage and excluding cash and cash equivalents. The Base Management Fee is payable quarterly in arrears on a calendar quarter basis. For the period from the date of commencement of the Corporation’s operations (the “Commencement Date”) through the end of the first and second quarters of the Corporation’s operations, the Base Management Fee will be calculated based on the initial value of the Corporation’s gross assets. Subsequently, the Base Management Fee will be calculated based on the average value of the Corporation’s gross assets at the end of the two most recently completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter for which such fees are being calculated. Base Management Fees for any partial month or quarter will be appropriately pro-rated.
(b) The Incentive Fee will consist of two parts, as follows:
(i) The first component of the Incentive Fee (the “Income-Based Fee”) will be calculated and payable quarterly in arrears based on the Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income for the immediately preceding calendar quarter for which such fees are being calculated and shall be payable promptly following the filing of the Corporation’s financial statements for such quarter. “Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income” means interest income, dividend income and any other income (including any other fees, such as commitment, origination, structuring, diligence, managerial assistance and consulting fees or other fees that the Corporation receives from portfolio companies) accrued during the calendar quarter, minus the Corporation’s operating expenses for the quarter (including the Base Management Fee, expenses payable under the Corporation’s administration agreement (the “Administration Agreement”), any interest expense and any dividends paid on any issued and outstanding preferred stock, but excluding the Incentive Fee). Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income includes, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, debt instruments with payment-in-kind interest and zero coupon securities), accrued income not yet received in cash; provided, however, that the portion of the Incentive Fee attributable to deferred interest features shall be paid, together with interest thereon from the date of deferral to the date of payment at the prime rate published from time to time by the Wall Street Journal or, in the absence thereof, a bank chosen by the board of directors, only if and to the extent received in cash, and any accrual thereof shall be reversed if and to the extent such interest is reversed in connection with any write off or similar treatment of the investment giving rise to any deferred interest accrual, applied in each case in the order such interest was accrued. Such subsequent payments in respect of previously accrued income shall not reduce the amounts payable for any quarter pursuant to clause (ii) below. Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income does not include any realized capital gains, realized capital losses or unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation.
(ii) Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income, expressed as a rate of return on the value of the Corporation’s net assets (defined as total assets less senior securities constituting indebtedness and preferred stock) at the end of the calendar quarter for which such fees are being calculated, will be compared to a “hurdle rate” of 2.0% per quarter (8.0% annualized). The Corporation will pay the Adviser the Income-Based Fee with respect to the Corporation’s Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income in each calendar quarter as follows:
no Income-Based Fee for any calendar quarter in which the Corporation’s Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income does not exceed the hurdle rate;
100% of the Corporation’s Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income for any calendar quarter with respect to that portion of the Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income for such quarter, if any, that exceeds the hurdle rate but is less than 2.5% (10.0% annualized); and
20.0% of the amount of the Corporation’s Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income for any calendar quarter with respect to that portion of the Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income for such quarter, if any, that exceeds 2.5% (10.0% annualized);
provided that, no Incentive Fee in respect of Sections 6(c)(i) and 6(c)(ii) hereof will be payable except to the extent 20.0% of the cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations over the calendar quarter for which such fees are being calculated and the 11 preceding quarters exceeds the cumulative Incentive Fees accrued and/or paid pursuant to Section 6(c) hereof for such 11 preceding quarters. For the foregoing purpose, the “cumulative net increase in net assets resulting from operations” is the amount, if positive, of the sum of Pre-Incentive Fee Net Investment Income, realized gains and losses and unrealized appreciation and depreciation of the Corporation for the calendar quarter for which such fees are being calculated and the 11 preceding calendar quarters. These calculations will be appropriately adjusted for any share issuances or repurchases during the calendar quarter for which such fees are being calculated.
(iii) The second part of the Incentive Fee (the “Capital Gains Fee”) will be determined and payable in arrears as of the end of each calendar year (or upon termination of this Agreement as set forth below), commencing with the calendar year ending on December 31, 2014, and is calculated at the end of each applicable year by subtracting (1) the sum of the Corporation’s cumulative aggregate realized capital losses and aggregate unrealized capital depreciation from (2) the Corporation’s cumulative aggregate realized capital gains, in each case calculated from the Commencement Date. If the amount so calculated is positive, then the Capital Gains Fee for such year is equal to 20.0% of such amount, less the aggregate amount of Capital Gains Fees paid in all prior years; provided that the Incentive Fee determined as of December 31, 2014 will be calculated for a period of shorter than twelve calendar months to take into account any realized capital gains computed net of all realized capital losses and unrealized capital depreciation for the period ending December 31, 2014. If such amount is negative, then no Capital Gains Fee will be payable for such year. If this Agreement is terminated as of a date that is not a calendar year end, the termination date shall be treated as though it were a calendar year end for purposes of calculating and paying a Capital Gains Fee.
7. Indemnification. The Adviser (and its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser) shall not be liable to the Corporation for any action taken or omitted to be taken by the Adviser in connection with the performance of any of its duties or obligations under this Agreement or otherwise as an investment adviser of the Corporation (except to the extent specified in Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act concerning loss resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty (as the same is finally determined by judicial proceedings) with respect to the receipt of compensation for services), and the Corporation shall indemnify, defend and protect the Adviser (and its officers, managers, partners, agents, employees, controlling persons, members and any other person or entity affiliated with the Adviser) (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) and hold them harmless from and against all damages, liabilities, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and amounts reasonably paid in settlement) incurred by the Indemnified Parties in or by reason of any pending, threatened or completed action, suit, investigation or other proceeding (including an action or suit by or in the right of the Corporation or its security holders) arising out of or otherwise based upon the performance of any of the Adviser’s duties or obligations under this Agreement or otherwise as an investment adviser of the Corporation. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence of this Section 7 to the contrary, nothing contained herein shall protect or be deemed to protect the Indemnified Parties against or entitle or be deemed to entitle the Indemnified Parties to indemnification in respect of, any liability to the Corporation or its security holders to which the Indemnified Parties would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of the Adviser’s duties or by reason of the reckless disregard of the Adviser’s duties and obligations under this Agreement (as the same shall be determined in accordance with the 1940 Act and any interpretations or guidance by the SEC or its staff thereunder).
8. Duration and Termination.
(a) This Agreement shall become effective as of the first date above written. This Agreement may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, upon 60 days’ written notice, (i) by the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Corporation, (ii) by the vote of the Corporation’s Directors, or (iii) by the Advisor. The provisions of Section 8 of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect, and the Advisor shall remain entitled to the benefits thereof, notwithstanding any termination of this Agreement. Further, notwithstanding the termination or expiration of this Agreement as aforesaid, the Advisor shall be entitled to any amounts owed under Section 3 through the date of termination or expiration and Section 8 shall continue in force and effect and apply to the Advisor and its representatives as and to the extent applicable.
(b) This Agreement shall continue in effect for two years from the date hereof and thereafter shall continue automatically for successive annual periods, provided that such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by (A) the vote of the Board, or by the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Corporation and (B) the vote of a majority of the members of the Corporation’s Board who are not parties to this Agreement or “interested persons” (as such term is defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act) of any such party, in accordance with the requirements of the 1940 Act.
(c) This Agreement will automatically terminate in the event of its “assignment” (as such term is defined for purposes of Section 15(a)(4) of the 1940 Act).
9. Notices. Any notice under this Agreement shall be in writing to the other party at such address as the other party may designate from time to time for the receipt of such notice and shall be deemed to be received on the earlier of the date actually received or on the fourth day after the postmark if such notice is mailed first class postage prepaid.
10. Amendment of this Agreement. This Agreement may be amended by mutual consent, but the consent of the Corporation must be obtained in conformity with the requirements of the 1940 Act.
11. Entire Agreement: Governing Law. This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties and supersedes all prior agreements, understandings and arrangements with respect to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the 1940 Act. In such case, to the extent the applicable laws of the State of Texas, or any of the provisions herein, conflict with the provisions of the 1940 Act, the latter shall control.
12. Miscellaneous. The captions in this Agreement are included for convenience of reference only and in no way define or delimit any of the provisions hereof or otherwise affect their construction or effect. If any provision of this Agreement shall be held or made invalid by a court decision, statute, rule or otherwise, the remainder of this Agreement shall not be affected thereby. This Agreement shall be binding on, and shall inure to the benefit of the parties hereto and their respective successors.
13. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts by the parties hereto, each of which shall constitute an original counterpart, and all of which, together, shall constitute one Agreement.
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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused the foregoing instrument to be executed by their duly authorized officers, all as of the day and the year first above written.
PRINCETON CAPITAL CORPORATION
Chief Financial Officer
PRINCETON INVESTMENT ADVISORS, LLC