Board reviewed the Fund's performance over short‐term and long‐term periods and compared those returns to various agreed‐upon performance measures, including market indices and a peer universe compiled by the Fee Consultant using information supplied by Morningstar Direct (“Morningstar”), an independent fund data service. The Board also noted that it has put into place a process of identifying “Focus Funds” (e.g., funds performing poorly relative to their benchmark or a peer universe compiled by an independent fund data service), and receives more frequent reporting and information from DIMA regarding such funds, along with DIMA's remedial plans to address underperformance. The Board believes this process is an effective manner of identifying and addressing underperforming funds. Based on the information provided, the Board noted that for the one‐, three‐ and five‐year periods ended December 31, 2012, the Fund's performance (Class A shares) was in the 2nd quartile, 2nd quartile and 3rd quartile, respectively, of the applicable Morningstar universe (the 1st quartile being the best performers
and the 4th quartile being the worst performers).
Fees and Expenses. The Board considered the Fund's investment management fee schedule, sub‐advisory fee schedule, operating expenses and total expense ratios, and comparative information provided by Lipper Inc. (“Lipper”) and the Fee Consultant regarding investment management fee rates paid to other investment advisors by similar funds (1st quartile being the most favorable and 4th quartile being the least favorable). With respect to management fees paid to other investment advisors by similar funds, the Board noted that the contractual fee rates paid by the Fund, which include a 0.10% fee paid to DIMA under the Fund's administrative services agreement, were higher than the median (4th quartile) of the applicable Lipper peer group (based on Lipper data provided as of December 31, 2012). With respect to the sub‐advisory fee paid to NTI, the Board noted that the fee is paid by DIMA out of its fee and not directly by the Fund. The Board noted that the Fund's Class A shares total (net) operating expenses were expected to be higher than the median (3rd quartile) of the applicable Lipper expense universe (based on Lipper data provided as of December 31, 2012) (“Lipper Universe Expenses”). The Board also reviewed data comparing each share class's total (net) operating expenses to the applicable Lipper Universe Expenses. The Board considered the Fund's management fee rate as compared to fees charged by DIMA to comparable funds and considered differences between the Fund and the comparable funds.. The Board also considered how the Fund's total (net) operating expenses compared to the total (net) operating expenses of a more customized peer group selected by Lipper (based on such factors as asset size).
The Board also noted that the expense limitations agreed to by DIMA helped to ensure that the Fund's total (net) operating expenses would remain competitive.
The information considered by the Board as part of its review of management fees included information regarding fees charged by DIMA and its affiliates to similar institutional accounts and to similar funds offered primarily to European investors (“DWS Europe funds”), in each case as applicable. The Board observed that advisory fee rates for institutional accounts generally were lower than the management fees charged by similarly managed DWS U.S. mutual funds (“DWS Funds”), but also took note of the differences in services provided to DWS Funds as compared to institutional accounts. In the case of DWS Europe funds, the Board observed that fee rates for DWS Europe funds generally were higher than for similarly managed DWS Funds, but noted that differences in the types of services provided to DWS Funds relative to DWS Europe funds made it difficult to compare such fees.
On the basis of the information provided, the Board concluded that management fees were reasonable and appropriate in light of the nature, quality and extent of services provided by DIMA and NTI.
Profitability. The Board reviewed detailed information regarding revenues received by DIMA under the Agreement. The Board considered the estimated costs and pre‐tax profits realized by DIMA from advising the DWS Funds, as well as estimates of the pre‐tax profits attributable to managing the Fund in particular. The Board also received information regarding the estimated enterprise‐wide profitability of DWS and its affiliates with respect to all fund services in totality and by fund. The Board and the Fee Consultant reviewed DIMA's methodology in allocating its costs to the management of the Fund. Based on the information provided, the Board concluded that the pre‐tax profits realized by DIMA in connection with the management of the Fund were not unreasonable. The Board also reviewed information regarding the profitability of certain similar investment management firms. The Board noted that while information regarding the profitability of such firms is limited (and in some cases is not necessarily prepared on a comparable basis), DIMA and its affiliates' overall profitability with respect to the DWS fund complex (after taking into account distribution and other services provided to the funds by DIMA and its affiliates) was lower than the overall profitability levels of many comparable firms for which such data was available. The Board did not consider the profitability of NTI with respect to the Fund. The Board noted that DIMA pays NTI's fee out of its management fee, and its understanding that the Fund's sub‐advisory fee schedule was the product of an arm's length negotiation with DIMA.
Economies of Scale. The Board considered whether there are economies of scale with respect to the management of the Fund and whether the Fund benefits from any economies of scale. The Board concluded that
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