Company Quick10K Filing
Franklin Resources
Closing Price ($) Shares Out (MM) Market Cap ($MM)
$0.00 506 $17,572
10-K 2019-11-12 Annual: 2019-09-30
10-Q 2019-07-30 Quarter: 2019-06-30
10-Q 2019-04-26 Quarter: 2019-03-31
10-Q 2019-01-30 Quarter: 2018-12-31
10-K 2018-11-09 Annual: 2018-09-30
10-Q 2018-07-27 Quarter: 2018-06-30
10-Q 2018-04-26 Quarter: 2018-03-31
10-Q 2018-01-30 Quarter: 2017-12-31
10-K 2017-11-13 Annual: 2017-09-30
10-Q 2017-07-28 Quarter: 2017-06-30
10-Q 2017-04-28 Quarter: 2017-03-31
10-Q 2017-01-27 Quarter: 2016-12-31
10-K 2016-11-14 Annual: 2016-09-30
10-Q 2016-07-28 Quarter: 2016-06-30
10-Q 2016-04-27 Quarter: 2016-03-31
10-Q 2016-02-03 Quarter: 2015-12-31
10-K 2015-11-12 Annual: 2015-09-30
10-Q 2015-07-29 Quarter: 2015-06-30
10-Q 2015-04-29 Quarter: 2015-03-31
10-Q 2015-01-30 Quarter: 2014-12-31
10-K 2014-11-12 Annual: 2014-09-30
10-Q 2014-07-30 Quarter: 2014-06-30
10-Q 2014-04-28 Quarter: 2014-03-31
10-Q 2014-01-30 Quarter: 2013-12-31
10-K 2013-11-12 Annual: 2013-09-30
10-Q 2013-07-29 Quarter: 2013-06-30
10-Q 2013-04-30 Quarter: 2013-03-31
10-Q 2013-02-01 Quarter: 2012-12-31
10-K 2012-11-15 Annual: 2012-09-30
10-Q 2012-07-30 Quarter: 2012-06-30
10-Q 2012-05-02 Quarter: 2012-03-31
10-Q 2012-02-01 Quarter: 2011-12-31
10-K 2011-11-15 Annual: 2011-09-30
10-Q 2011-08-02 Quarter: 2011-06-30
10-Q 2011-05-03 Quarter: 2011-03-31
10-Q 2011-02-08 Quarter: 2010-12-31
10-K 2010-11-16 Annual: 2010-09-30
10-Q 2010-08-05 Quarter: 2010-06-30
10-Q 2010-05-06 Quarter: 2010-03-31
10-Q 2010-02-08 Quarter: 2009-12-31
8-K 2019-12-09 Officers
8-K 2019-11-20 Officers, Exhibits
8-K 2019-10-25 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2019-07-30 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2019-06-11 Officers
8-K 2019-04-26 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2019-04-02 Officers
8-K 2019-03-12 Officers, Exhibits
8-K 2019-02-12 Shareholder Vote
8-K 2019-01-30 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-10-25 Earnings, Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-10-24 Amend Bylaw, Exhibits
8-K 2018-07-27 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-04-26 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-04-11 Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-02-14 Shareholder Vote
8-K 2018-01-30 Earnings, Exhibits
BEN 2019-09-30
Part I
Item 1. Business.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Note 1 - Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2 - New Accounting Guidance
Note 3 - Acquisition
Note 4 - Earnings per Share
Note 5 - Revenues
Note 6 - Investments
Note 7 - Fair Value Measurements
Note 8 - Property and Equipment
Note 9 - Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Note 10 - Debt
Note 11 - Consolidated Investment Products
Note 12 - Nonconsolidated Variable Interest Entities
Note 13 - Taxes on Income
Note 14 - Commitments and Contingencies
Note 15 - Stock-Based Compensation
Note 16 - Defined Contribution Plans
Note 17 - Segment and Geographic Information
Note 18 - Other Income (Expenses)
Note 19 - Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.
Item 9B. Other Information.
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.
Item 11. Executive Compensation.
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services.
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.
Item 16. Form 10‑K Summary.
EX-4.6 exhibit4693019.htm
EX-10.2 exhibit10293019.htm
EX-10.3 exhibit10393019.htm
EX-21 exhibit2193019.htm
EX-23 exhibit2393019.htm
EX-31.1 exhibit31193019.htm
EX-31.2 exhibit31293019.htm
EX-32.1 exhibit32193019.htm
EX-32.2 exhibit32293019.htm

Franklin Resources Earnings 2019-09-30

BEN 10K Annual Report

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

Comparables ($MM TTM)
Ticker M Cap Assets Liab Rev G Profit Net Inc EBITDA EV G Margin EV/EBITDA ROA
AMP 20,321 148,678 142,648 12,959 0 1,929 2,537 13,583 0% 5.4 1%
BEN 17,572 14,463 3,091 5,849 0 1,415 2,144 12,511 0% 5.8 10%
IVZ 9,697 38,501 23,805 5,252 0 648 1,402 10,618 0% 7.6 2%
OAK 7,913 10,679 7,162 1,415 0 567 787 7,721 0% 9.8 5%
APO 6,711 7,348 4,807 1,717 0 833 979 8,031 0% 8.2 11%
MORN 6,229 1,572 569 1,057 635 175 329 5,845 60% 17.7 11%
AMG 5,347 7,728 3,175 2,301 0 150 283 6,779 0% 23.9 2%
EV 4,901 4,219 2,743 1,680 0 422 615 4,811 0% 7.8 10%
JHG 4,080 6,860 1,886 2,182 0 418 642 3,667 0% 5.7 6%
LAZ 4,066 5,507 4,790 2,658 0 393 620 3,505 0% 5.7 7%

Document
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Table of Contents


UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(MARK ONE)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2019
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to      
Commission file number: 001-09318
FRANKLIN RESOURCES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
13-2670991
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)

(650) 312-2000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.10 per share
BEN
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes      No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.   Yes     No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.                  Yes      No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).            Yes      No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
 
Accelerated Filer
Non-accelerated Filer
 
Smaller Reporting Company
 
 
 
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).   Yes     No
The aggregate market value of the voting common equity (“common stock”) held by non-affiliates of the registrant, as of March 29, 2019 (the last business day of registrant’s second quarter of fiscal year 2019), was $9.4 billion based upon the last sale price reported for such date on the New York Stock Exchange.
Number of shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding at October 31, 2019: 498,070,319.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:
Certain portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its annual meeting of stockholders, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after September 30, 2019, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.



Table of Contents

INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
FORM 10-K
ITEM
 
PAGE
NUMBER
 
 
 
ITEM 1.
3
 
ITEM 1A.
18
 
ITEM 1B.
28
 
ITEM 2.
28
 
ITEM 3.
29
 
ITEM 4.
29
 
29
 
 
 
ITEM 5.
31
 
ITEM 6.
32
 
ITEM 7.
33
 
ITEM 7A.
55
 
ITEM 8.
57
 
ITEM 9.
95
 
ITEM 9A.
95
 
ITEM 9B.
95
 
 
 
ITEM 10.
96
 
ITEM 11.
96
 
ITEM 12.
96
 
ITEM 13.
96
 
ITEM 14.
96
 
 
 
ITEM 15.
97
 
ITEM 16.
97
97
99


2

Table of Contents

PART I
Forward-looking Statements. In addition to historical information, this Annual Report on Form 10‑K contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors, including the risks and other factors discussed in Item 1A (“Risk Factors”), that could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from any future results or outcomes expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. When used in this report, words or phrases generally written in the future tense and/or preceded by words such as “will,” “may,” “could,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “estimate” or other similar words are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Moreover, statements in Risk Factors, “Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this report that speculate about future events are forward-looking statements.
While forward-looking statements are our best prediction at the time that they are made, you should not rely on them and are cautioned against doing so. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. They are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of them. If a circumstance occurs after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K that causes any of our forward-looking statements to be inaccurate, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, we do not have an obligation, and we undertake no obligation, to announce publicly the change to our expectations, or to make any revision to our forward-looking statements, unless required by law.
Item 1.
Business.
OVERVIEW
Franklin Resources, Inc. (“Franklin”) is a holding company that, together with its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company”), operates as Franklin Templeton®. The common stock of Franklin is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “BEN,” and is included in the Standard & Poors 500 Index. In this report, words such as “we,” “us,” “our” and similar terms refer to the Company.
We offer our services and products under our various distinct brand names, including, but not limited to, Franklin®, Templeton®, Balanced Equity Management®, Benefit Street Partners®, Darby®, Edinburgh Partners™, Fiduciary Trust™, Franklin Bissett®, Franklin Mutual Series®, K2® and LibertyShares®. Unless otherwise indicated, our “funds” means the funds offered under our brand names.
We are a global investment management organization that provides investment management and related services to retail, institutional and high-net-worth investors in jurisdictions worldwide through our investment products. We offer active, passive and smart beta strategies and have expertise across all asset classes, including equity, fixed income, alternatives and custom multi-asset solutions. For more than 70 years, we have been dedicated to providing clients with exceptional investment management. Since our founding in 1947, we have successfully navigated the world’s financial markets and have developed a globally diversified business. We offer clients the combined experience of our investment professionals with expertise across asset classes and a sharp focus on managing risk. We are committed to delivering strong investment performance for our clients by offering a broad range of strategies and drawing on the experience and perspective gained through our long history in the investment management business.
We know that success demands smart and effective business innovation, solutions and technologies, and we remain committed to focusing on investment excellence, innovating to meet evolving client goals, and building strong partnerships by delivering superior client service. We continue to focus on the long-term investment performance of our investment products and on providing high-quality-customer service to our clients.
Our investment products include our sponsored funds, as well as institutional and high-net-worth separate accounts, and sub-advised products. Our funds include registered and unregistered funds. In addition to investment management, our services include fund administration, sales and distribution, and shareholder servicing. We may perform services directly or through third parties. We offer a broad product mix of equity, multi-asset/balanced, fixed income and cash management investment objectives and solutions that meet a variety of investment goals and needs for investors. We also provide sub-advisory services to certain investment products sponsored by other companies that may be sold to investors under the brand names of those other companies or on a co-branded basis.


3

Table of Contents

We believe that mutual funds remain a critical tool to make professional investment management affordable for a broad range of investors. Our U.S.-registered funds and most of our non-U.S.-registered funds operate as independent companies subject to the supervision and oversight of the funds own boards of directors or trustees. Most of our funds are registered open-end funds that continuously offer their shares to investors. We also offer registered closed-end funds that issue a set number of shares to investors in a public offering and the shares are then traded on a public stock exchange. Because the funds themselves do not have direct employees to support their operations, our subsidiaries either provide or arrange for the investment and other management services that our funds require. An investment advisory entity manages a funds portfolio of securities in accordance with the funds stated objectives. Investors may purchase shares of an open-end fund through a broker-dealer, financial adviser, bank or other similar financial intermediary that provides investment advice to the investor, while investors may purchase shares of a closed-end fund on the stock exchange where the fund is traded. Financial intermediaries may earn fees and commissions and receive other compensation with respect to the fund shares managed or sold to investors.
The business and regulatory environments in which we operate globally remain complex, uncertain and subject to change. We are subject to various laws, rules and regulations globally that impose restrictions, limitations, registration, reporting and disclosure requirements on our business, and add complexity to our global compliance operations.
Our business may be affected by the Risk Factors discussed below in Item 1A of Part I of this Form 10‑K, and other factors as discussed in this section.
COMPANY HISTORY
Since 1947, the Company and its predecessors have been engaged in the investment management and related services business. Franklin was incorporated in the State of Delaware in November 1969, and originated our mutual fund business with the initial Franklin family of funds, known for its fixed income funds and growth and value-oriented equity funds. Over the years, we have expanded and developed our business to meet evolving investor needs, in part, by acquiring companies engaged in investment management and related services.
As a result of these transactions, we have added, among others: (i) the Templeton family of funds, known for its global investing strategies and value style of investing, in 1992, (ii) the Franklin Mutual Series family of funds, known for its value-oriented equity funds, in 1996, (iii) the Franklin Bissett family of funds, known for its Canadian taxable fixed income funds and growth-oriented equity funds, in 2000, (iv) the Fiduciary Trust investment management, trust and fiduciary services, in 2001, (v) the Darby family of funds, known for its emerging markets investing strategies, in 2003, (vi) the K2 Advisors hedge funds solutions provider, in 2012, (vii) the Edinburgh Partners global value investment manager based in the United Kingdom (the “U.K.”), in 2018, and (viii) the Benefit Street Partners U.S. alternative credit manager, in February 2019.
OUR BUSINESS
We believe in the value of active investment management, one of our core capabilities, to help investors navigate global markets, as well as in continuing to evolve and build on our strengths to meet the needs of our clients. Through our investment products, we serve a variety of clients consisting of retail, institutional and high-net-worth investors in regions and jurisdictions worldwide. We derive our revenues and net income from providing investment management and related services to our products and sub-advised products. Our investment management fees, which represent the majority of our revenues, depend to a large extent on the level and relative mix of our assets under management (“AUM”) and the types of services provided. Sales and distribution fees, also a significant source of our revenues, consist of sales charges and commissions derived from sales and distribution of our sponsored funds. These fees and arrangements change from time to time.
Our business is conducted through our subsidiaries, including those registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) as investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”), subsidiaries registered as investment adviser equivalents in jurisdictions including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K., and certain other subsidiaries.


4

Table of Contents

Our AUM by Investment Objective
We offer a broad product mix under our equity, multi-asset/balanced, fixed income and cash management investment objectives and solutions to meet a variety of investment goals. Our fees for providing investment management services are generally based on a percentage of AUM in the accounts that we advise, the investment objectives of the accounts, and the types of services that we provide for the accounts. As of September 30, 2019, AUM by investment objective on a worldwide basis was as follows:
Investment Objective
 
Value in
Billions
 
Percentage
of Total
AUM
Equity
 
 
 
 
Growth potential, income potential, value or various combinations thereof
 
$
270.5

 
39
%
Multi-Asset/Balanced
 
 
 
 
Asset allocation, balanced, flexible, alternative and income-mixed funds
 
134.3

 
20
%
Fixed Income
 
 
 
 
Global/international, U.S. tax-free and U.S. taxable
 
278.3

 
40
%
Cash Management
 
 
 
 
Short-term liquid assets
 
9.5

 
1
%
Total
 
$
692.6

 
100
%
Broadly speaking, the change in the net assets of our products depends primarily upon two factors: (i) the increase or decrease in the market value of the securities and instruments held in the portfolio of investments, and (ii) the level of sales as compared to the level of redemptions. We are subject to the risk of asset volatility resulting from changes in the global capital markets. In addition, changing market conditions and the evolving needs of our clients may cause a shift in our asset mix, potentially resulting in an increase or decrease in our revenues and income depending upon the nature of our AUM and the level of management fees we earn based on our AUM. Despite such market risks, we believe that we have a competitive advantage as a result of the economic and geographic diversity of our products available to our clients.
Our Services and Capabilities
1.    Investment Management Services
We are committed to providing active investment management and strategic advice for our clients. Our subsidiaries offer our equity, fixed income and alternative strategies through various investment products, which include our registered open-end and closed-end funds, unregistered funds and separate accounts. We provide our investment management services pursuant to agreements in effect with each of our investment products and the products for which we provide sub-advisory services. Investment management fees are generally determined pursuant to such contractual arrangements, as a percentage of AUM. Our investment management services include services to accounts for which we have full investment discretion and to accounts for which we have no investment discretion. Accounts for which we have no investment discretion may or may not include the authority to trade for the account. Our services include fundamental investment research and valuation analyses, including original economic, political, industry and company research, and analyses of suppliers, customers and competitors. Our company research utilizes such sources as company public records and other publicly available information, management interviews, company prepared information, and company visits and inspections. Research services provided by brokerage firms are also used to support our findings. Our management fee on an account varies with the types of services that we provide for the account, among other things.
Our subsidiaries that provide discretionary investment management services for our products and sub-advised products either perform or obtain investment research, and determine which securities the products will purchase, hold or sell under the supervision and oversight of the funds’ boards of directors or trustees, as applicable. In addition, these subsidiaries may take all appropriate steps to implement such decisions, including arranging for the selection of broker-dealers and the execution and settlement of trades in accordance with applicable criteria set forth in the management agreements, internal policies, and applicable law and practice. Our subsidiaries that provide non-discretionary investment management services perform investment research for our clients and make recommendations as to which securities the clients purchase, hold or sell, and may or may not perform trading activities for the products.


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Through our subsidiaries, we compensate the personnel who serve as officers of our funds or of the funds’ management companies, in addition to the personnel necessary to conduct the funds’ day-to-day business operations. The funds themselves do not have direct employees. Our subsidiaries either provide or arrange for the provision of: (i) office space, telephone, office equipment and supplies, (ii) trading desk facilities, (iii) authorization of expenditures and approval of bills for payment, (iv) preparation of registration statements, proxy statements and annual and semi-annual reports to fund shareholders, notices of dividends, capital gains distributions and tax credits, and other regulatory reports, (v) the daily pricing of fund investment portfolios, including collecting quotations from pricing services, (vi) accounting services, including preparing and supervising publication of daily net asset value quotations, periodic earnings reports and other financial data, (vii) services to ensure compliance with securities regulations, including recordkeeping requirements, (viii) preparation and filing of tax reports, (ix) the maintenance of accounting systems and controls, and (x) other administrative services. The funds generally pay their own expenses, such as external legal, insurance, custody and independent audit fees, registration fees, and other related expenses. The funds also share in board and shareholder meeting and reporting costs.
For our U.S.-registered funds, the board of directors or trustees and our management personnel regularly review the investment management fee structures for the funds in light of fund performance, the level and range of services provided, industry conditions and other relevant factors. Most of our investment management agreements between our subsidiaries and our funds must be renewed each year (after an initial two-year term), and must be specifically approved at least annually by a vote of each fund’s board of directors or trustees as a whole and separately by a majority of its directors or trustees who are not interested persons of the fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Investment Company Act”), or by a vote of the holders of a majority of the fund’s outstanding voting securities. Our U.S. agreements automatically terminate in the event of their “assignment,” as defined in the Investment Company Act. In addition, either party may terminate such agreement without penalty after prior written notice. If agreements representing a significant portion of our AUM were terminated, it would have a material adverse impact on us.
Under the majority of our investment management agreements globally, the funds and accounts pay us a monthly fee in arrears based upon the average daily net assets of the fund/account. Annual fee rates under our various agreements are often reduced as net assets exceed various threshold levels. Annual rates also vary by investment objective and type of services provided. Our agreements generally permit us to provide services to more than one fund/account and to other clients so long as our ability to render services to each fund/account is not impaired, and so long as purchases and sales of portfolio securities for various advised funds/accounts are made on an equitable basis.
We use a “master/feeder” fund structure in certain situations. This structure allows an investment adviser to manage a single portfolio of securities at the “master fund” level and have multiple “feeder funds” that invest substantially all of their respective assets into the master fund. Individual and institutional shareholders generally invest in the “feeder funds,” which can offer a variety of tax, service and distribution options.
Our services also include management of our platform of exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) in the U.S., Canada and the European Union (“EU”). Our ETF platform includes smart beta and actively managed ETFs, as well as additional lower fee passive ETF products. ETFs trade like stocks, fluctuate in market value and may trade at prices above or below the ETF’s net asset value.
Our non-U.S.-registered funds, unregistered funds, institutional and high-net-worth separate accounts, and the products for which we provide sub-advisory services are typically subject to various termination rights and/or renewal provisions. Investment management fees are at times waived or voluntarily reduced when a new fund/account is established, and then increased to contractual levels within an established timeline or as net asset values reach certain levels.
2.    Institutional Investment Management
We provide a broad array of investment management services to institutional clients, including corporations, endowments, charitable foundations, and pension and defined contribution plans. We distribute and market globally our different capabilities under our brand names through various subsidiaries. In the U.S., we generally operate our institutional business under the trade name “Franklin Templeton Institutional.” We primarily attract new institutional business through our relationships with pension, defined contribution and management consultants, direct sales efforts and additional mandates from our existing client relationships, as well as from our responses to requests for proposals. We also market and distribute our products through various subsidiaries to institutional investors with separate accounts. A few of our subsidiaries also serve as direct marketing broker-dealers for institutional investors for certain of our private funds, and some of our private funds may utilize third-party placement agents.


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3.    Alternative Strategies
Certain of our investment advisers manage alternative investment strategies. These strategies provide our clients with alternatives to traditional equity and fixed income products and services. Our alternative products include private credit funds and structured products (commingled, funds of one and separate accounts), business development companies, hedge funds (funds of funds, funds of one and custom advisory solutions), private equity funds, venture capital funds and real estate funds. These products employ various investment strategies and approaches, including loan origination, collateralized loan obligations, high-yield credit, hedge fund advisory, private equity and infrastructure transactions in emerging markets, global macro, financial technology, consumer loans, direct real estate investments, and custom-tailored investment programs.
4.    High-Net-Worth Investment Management, Trust and Custody
Through our subsidiary Fiduciary Trust Company International (“Fiduciary Trust”), including its trust company and investment adviser subsidiaries, we provide investment management and related services to, among others, high-net-worth individuals and families, family offices, foundations and institutional clients. Fiduciary Trust offers investment management and advisory services across different investment styles and asset classes. The majority of Fiduciary Trust’s client assets are actively managed by individual portfolio managers, while a significant number of clients also seek multi-manager, multi-asset class solutions. Through our trust company subsidiaries, including Fiduciary Trust, we may also provide trust, custody and related services, including administration, performance measurement, estate planning and tax planning. In addition, through our subsidiary Fiduciary Trust Company of Canada (“FTCC”), we provide investment management, wealth planning, and trust and estate services, and offer products to high-net-worth individuals and families and institutional clients in Canada.
5.    Sales and Distribution
Our sales and distribution capabilities and related efforts are critical components of our business and may be impacted by global distribution trends and changes within the financial services industry. Sales and distribution fees primarily consist of upfront sales commissions and ongoing distribution fees. Sales commissions are earned from the sale of certain classes of sponsored funds at the time of purchase, and may be reduced or eliminated depending on the amount invested and the type of investor. Therefore, sales fees will change with the overall level of gross sales, the size of individual transactions, and the relative mix of sales between different share classes and types of investors.
Our sponsored mutual funds generally pay us distribution fees in return for sales, marketing and distribution efforts on their behalf. The majority of U.S.-registered mutual funds, with the exception of certain money market funds, have adopted distribution plans under Rule 12b-1 (the “Rule 12b-1 Plans”) promulgated under the Investment Company Act. The Rule 12b-1 Plans permit the funds to pay us for marketing, marketing support, advertising, printing and sales promotion services relating to the distribution of their shares, subject to the Rule 12b-1 Plans’ limitations on amounts based on daily average AUM. Similar arrangements exist for the distribution of non-U.S.-registered funds. We pay substantially all of our sales and distribution fees earned to the financial advisers and other intermediaries that sell our funds on our behalf.
In the U.S., our subsidiary Franklin/Templeton Distributors, Inc. (“FTDI”) acts as the principal underwriter and distributor of shares of most of our U.S.-registered open-end funds. Outside the U.S., certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries provide sales, distribution and marketing services to our non-U.S.-registered funds. Some of our non-U.S.-registered funds, particularly the Luxembourg-domiciled Franklin Templeton Investment Funds Société d’Investissement à Capital Variable (“SICAV”), are distributed globally on a cross-border basis, while others are distributed exclusively in local markets. We earn sales and distribution fees primarily by distributing our funds pursuant to distribution agreements between FTDI, or our non-U.S. subsidiaries, and the funds. Under each distribution agreement with our open-end funds, we offer and sell the fund’s shares on a continuous basis and pay certain costs associated with selling, distributing and marketing the fund’s shares, including the costs of developing and producing sales literature, shareholder reports and prospectuses.
The distribution agreements with our U.S.-registered open-end funds generally provide for FTDI to pay commission expenses for sales of our fund shares to qualifying broker-dealers and other independent financial intermediaries. These financial intermediaries receive various sales commissions and other fees from FTDI for services in matching investors with funds whose investment objectives match such investors’ goals and risk profiles. Such intermediaries may also receive fees for their assistance in explaining the operations of the funds and in servicing and maintaining investors’ accounts, and for reporting and various other distribution services. We are heavily dependent upon these third-party distribution and sales channels and business relationships. There is increasing competition for access to these channels, which has caused our distribution costs to rise and could cause further increases in the future as competition continues and service expectations


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increase.
The Rule 12b-1 Plans are established for one-year terms and must be approved annually by a vote of each fund’s board of directors or trustees as a whole and separately by a majority of its directors or trustees who are not interested persons of the fund under the Investment Company Act. All of these Rule 12b-1 Plans are subject to termination at any time by a majority vote of the disinterested fund directors or trustees or by the particular fund’s shareholders. Fees from the Rule 12b-1 Plans that FTDI receives as revenues are paid primarily to the third-party broker-dealers that sell our funds on our behalf.
Similar arrangements exist with the distribution of our non-U.S.-registered funds where, generally, our subsidiary that distributes the funds receives maintenance fees from the funds and pays commissions and certain other fees to banks and other intermediaries.
In the U.S., most of our retail funds are distributed with a multi-class share structure that provides investors with more sales charge alternatives for their investments. Class A shares are sold with a front-end sales charge, except for when certain investment criteria or requirements are met. Class C shares have no front-end sales charges, although our distribution subsidiaries pay an upfront commission to financial intermediaries on these sales. Class C shares have a contingent deferred sales charge for redemptions within 12 months from the date of purchase. Although Class C shares are generally more costly to us in the year of sale, they allow us to be more competitive by providing a fixed percentage annual charge option. Class R and Class R6 shares, available in the U.S. as retirement share classes, also have no front-end sales charges. Class R shares are available to certain retirement and health savings plan accounts, and Class R6 shares are available to certain employer-sponsored retirement plans and broker-dealer advisory programs. We no longer offer Class B shares to clients in the U.S.
In the U.S., we also offer Advisor Class shares in many of our Franklin and Templeton funds, and we offer Class Z shares in the Franklin Mutual Series funds, both of which have no sales charges. Advisor Class and Class Z shares are offered to certain qualified financial intermediaries, institutions, and high-net-worth clients (both affiliated and unaffiliated), who have assets held in accounts managed by a subsidiary of Franklin, and are also available to our full-time employees, current and former officers, trustees and directors, and certain of their family members. We also offer money market funds to investors in the U.S. without a sales charge. Under the terms and conditions described in the prospectuses or the statements of additional information for some funds, certain investors can purchase shares at net asset value or at reduced sales charges. Our insurance product funds sold in the U.S. offer a multi-class share structure, and are offered at net asset value without a sales charge directly to insurance company separate accounts, certain qualified plans and other funds, including funds of funds.
Our U.S. retirement business is conducted through divisions of FTDI that work closely with sponsors, consultants, record keepers and financial advisers of defined contribution plans, including 401(k) plans, variable annuity products and individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). We offer our capabilities to the U.S. retirement industry through a number of investment options, including sub-advised portfolios, funds, education savings plans and variable insurance product funds.
Outside the U.S., we offer share classes similar to the Advisor Class shares to certain types of investors, although depending upon the fund and the country in which the fund is domiciled, the equivalent share class may be offered on a more restrictive or less restrictive basis than the similar U.S. Advisor Class shares. We also offer additional types of share classes and unit series outside the U.S. in response to local demand based on the needs of investors in particular markets, subject to applicable regulations that change over time. In the majority of cases, investors in any class of shares may exchange their shares for a like class of shares in another one of our funds, subject to certain fees that may apply. Our non-U.S.-registered funds have sales charges and fee structures that vary by region.
In addition, FTDI and/or its affiliates may make additional payments to broker-dealers or other intermediaries that sell or arrange for the sale of shares of our U.S.-registered funds, including for marketing support. FTDI may make marketing support payments to broker-dealers that provide marketing support services and that are holders or dealers of record for accounts in one or more of our U.S.-registered open-end funds. A broker-dealer’s marketing support services may include business planning assistance, advertising, educating broker-dealer personnel about the funds and shareholder financial planning needs, placement on the broker-dealer’s list of offered funds, and access to sales meetings, sales representatives and management representatives of the broker-dealer. FTDI may also make marketing support payments to financial intermediaries that serve as plan service providers to certain employer-sponsored retirement plans in connection with activities intended to assist in the sale of our U.S.-registered open-end funds to such plans.
FTDI also may make payments for other ancillary services, such as setting up funds on a broker-dealer’s fund trading system. Our non-U.S. subsidiaries also may make similar marketing support and other payments to third-party intermediaries located outside the U.S. with respect to investments in, or the distribution of, our non-U.S.-registered funds.


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Other compensation may be offered to the extent not prohibited by federal or state laws or any self-regulatory agency, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). FTDI makes payments for events it deems appropriate, subject to FTDI’s guidelines and applicable law.
6.    Shareholder Servicing
Substantially all shareholder servicing fees are earned from our sponsored funds for providing transfer agency services, which include providing shareholder statements, transaction processing, customer service and tax reporting. Fees for U.S. funds are based on the level of AUM and the number of transactions in shareholder accounts, while outside of the U.S., the fees are based on the level of AUM and/or the number of shareholder accounts.
Our subsidiary Franklin Templeton Investor Services, LLC (“FTIS”) serves as the shareholder servicing and dividend-paying agent for our U.S.-registered open-end funds. FTIS is registered with the SEC as a transfer agent under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
FTIS may pay servicing fees to third-party intermediaries primarily to help offset costs associated with client account maintenance support, statement preparation and transaction processing. Such third parties maintain omnibus accounts with funds in the institution’s name on behalf of numerous beneficial owners of fund shares, or provide support for fund shareholder accounts by sharing account data with FTIS through the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation systems. The funds reimburse FTIS for these third-party payments, subject to certain limitations, as well as other out-of-pocket expenses.
Our Investment Products and Capabilities
1.    Range of Products
We offer active, passive and smart beta strategies and a broad range of products under our equity, multi-asset/balanced, fixed income and cash management investment objectives and solutions. Our investment products are offered globally to retail, institutional and high-net-worth investors, which include individual investors, qualified groups, trustees, tax-deferred plans (such as IRAs in the U.S. and registered retirement saving plans, or RRSPs, in Canada) or money purchase plans, employee benefit and profit sharing plans, trust companies, bank trust departments and institutional investors. Our products include portfolios managed for some of the world’s largest corporations, endowments, charitable foundations, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, as well as wealthy individuals and other institutions. We use various investment techniques to focus on specific client objectives for these specialized portfolios.
The products and capabilities that we offer accommodate a variety of investment goals, spanning the spectrum of our clients’ risk tolerance from capital appreciation (with our more growth-oriented products) to capital preservation (with our fixed income offerings). In seeking to achieve such objectives, each portfolio emphasizes different strategies and invests in different types of instruments.
Our equity investment products include some that are considered value-oriented, others that are considered growth-oriented, and some that use a combination of growth and value characteristics, generally identified as blend or core products. Value investing focuses on identifying companies that our research analysts and portfolio managers believe are undervalued based on a number of different factors, usually put in the context of historical ratios such as price-to-earnings or price-to-book value; however, we also consider the future earnings potential of each individual company on a multi-year basis. Growth investing focuses on identifying companies that our research analysts and portfolio managers believe have sustainable growth characteristics, meeting our criteria for sustainable growth potential, quality and valuation. In this effort, the key variables we examine include: (i) market opportunity (overall size and growth), (ii) competitive positioning of the company, (iii) assessment of management (strength, breadth, depth, and integrity) and execution of plans, and (iv) the general financial strength and profitability of the enterprise, to determine whether the growth and quality aspects are properly reflected in the current share price. Paramount to all of our different equity products is the incorporation of independent, fundamental research through our own collaborative in-house group of investment professionals. Our approach across the variety of equity products we manage emphasizes bottom-up stock selection within a disciplined portfolio construction process, and is complemented by our ongoing assessment of risk at both the security and portfolio levels.
Portfolios seeking income generally focus on one or more of the following securities: (i) taxable and tax-exempt money market instruments, (ii) tax-exempt municipal bonds, (iii) global or regional fixed income securities, and (iv) fixed income debt securities of corporations, of the U.S. government and its sponsored agencies and instrumentalities, or of the various states in the U.S. Others focus on investments in particular countries and regions.


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In addition, our alternative investment strategies provide our clients with alternatives to traditional equity and fixed income products and services.
2.    AUM by Product Type
As of September 30, 2019, our total AUM was $692.6 billion and the types of investment products we offered were as follows:
U.S. Funds - Our U.S. funds (including U.S.-registered open-end and closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds and our insurance products trust), in the aggregate, accounted for $379.8 billion of AUM. Our five largest U.S. funds represented, in the aggregate, 23% of total AUM.
Cross-Border Funds - Our cross-border products, which are comprised of a variety of funds principally domiciled in Luxembourg and registered for sale to non-U.S. investors in certain other countries, in the aggregate, accounted for $93.7 billion of AUM. Our five largest cross-border funds represented, in the aggregate, 7% of total AUM.
Local/Regional Funds - In addition to our cross-border products, in some countries we offer products for the particular local market. These local/regional funds, in the aggregate, accounted for $44.8 billion of AUM.
Other Accounts, Alternative Investment Products and Trusts - Our other accounts, alternative investment products and trusts, in the aggregate, accounted for $174.3 billion of AUM.


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3.    AUM by Investment Objective and Product Type
The following table shows our AUM by investment objective and types of investment products as of September 30, 2019:
(in billions)

Investment Objective
 
U.S.
Funds
 
Cross-Border
Funds
 
Local/Regional
Funds
 
Other Accounts,
Alternative Investment
Products and Trusts
 
Total
Equity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asia-Pacific
 
$
1.0

 
$
6.7

 
$
7.6

 
$
11.2

 
$
26.5

Canada
 

 

 
3.3

 
3.6

 
6.9

Europe, Middle East and Africa
 
1.6

 
2.0

 
3.3

 
2.1

 
9.0

U.S.
 
97.4

 
9.6

 
1.6

 
3.5

 
112.1

Emerging markets 1
 
3.3

 
4.2

 
5.9

 
3.2

 
16.6

Global/international 2
 
44.8

 
10.9

 
3.7

 
40.0

 
99.4

Total equity
 
148.1

 
33.4

 
25.4

 
63.6

 
270.5

Multi-Asset/Balanced
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asia-Pacific
 

 

 
0.4

 
0.2

 
0.6

Canada
 

 

 
0.6

 
0.6

 
1.2

U.S.
 
91.3

 
2.4

 
0.2

 
20.0

 
113.9

Global/international 2
 
3.0

 
6.7

 
0.6

 
8.3

 
18.6

Total multi-asset/balanced
 
94.3

 
9.1

 
1.8

 
29.1

 
134.3

Fixed Income
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asia-Pacific
 

 
0.4

 
8.5

 
0.5

 
9.4

Canada
 

 

 
3.3

 
0.5

 
3.8

Europe, Middle East and Africa
 

 
2.0

 
0.2

 
0.9

 
3.1

U.S. tax-free
 
62.0

 

 
0.2

 
4.1

 
66.3

U.S. taxable
 
27.1

 
4.3

 
1.0

 
35.0

 
67.4

Emerging markets 1
 
0.9

 
11.9

 
0.8

 
15.8

 
29.4

Global/international 2
 
40.1

 
32.0

 
2.0

 
24.8

 
98.9

Total fixed income
 
130.1

 
50.6

 
16.0

 
81.6

 
278.3

Cash Management
 
7.3

 
0.6

 
1.6

 

 
9.5

Total
 
$
379.8

 
$
93.7

 
$
44.8

 
$
174.3

 
$
692.6

 __________________ 
1 
Emerging markets include developing countries worldwide.
2 
Global/international includes products that invest worldwide (including the U.S.) or only outside of the U.S.

COMPETITION
The financial services industry is a highly competitive global industry. Competition is based on various factors, including, among others, business reputation, investment performance, product mix and offerings, service quality and innovation, distribution relationships, and fees charged. We face strong competition from numerous investment management companies, securities brokerage and investment banking firms, insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, which offer a wide range of financial and investment management services and products to the same retail, institutional and high-net-worth investors and accounts that we are seeking to attract. We offer a broad product mix that meets a variety of investment goals and needs for different investors, and we may periodically introduce new products to provide investors with additional investment options.


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Due to our international presence and varied product mix, it is difficult to assess our market position relative to other investment managers on a worldwide basis, but we believe that we are one of the more widely diversified asset managers based in the U.S. We believe that our equity and fixed income asset mix coupled with our global presence will serve our competitive needs well over the long term. We continue to focus on the long-term performance of our investment products, service to clients and extensive marketing activities through our strong broker-dealer and other financial institution distribution network as well as with high-net-worth and institutional clients.
The periodic establishment of new investment management firms and investment products increases the competition that we face. Many of our competitors have long-standing and established relationships with broker-dealers, investment advisers and their clients. Others have focused on, offer and market specific product lines, which provide strong competition to certain of our asset classes. In addition, consolidation in the financial services industry has created stronger competitors, some with greater financial resources and broader distribution channels than our own.
We rely largely on third-party broker-dealers and other similar independent financial intermediaries to distribute and sell our fund shares. We have pursued and continue to pursue sales relationships with all types of financial intermediaries to broaden our distribution network. We have experienced increased costs related to maintaining our distribution channels and we anticipate that this trend will continue. A failure to maintain strong business relationships with the major intermediaries who currently distribute our products may also impair our distribution and sales operations. Additionally, competing broker-dealers that we rely upon to distribute and sell our investment products may also sell their own proprietary funds and investment products, which could further limit the distribution of our investment products. Any inability to access and successfully sell our products to clients through third-party distribution channels could have a negative effect on our level of AUM, related revenues and overall business and financial condition.
We maintain a technology platform to compete in the rapidly developing and evolving marketplace. Technology is, however, subject to rapid change and we cannot guarantee that our competitors will not implement newer technologies or more advanced platforms for their products, which could negatively impact our business.
We believe that we are well positioned to deal with changes in marketing trends as a result of our advertising activities and broad-based marketplace recognition. In conjunction with our subsidiaries, we conduct advertising and promotional campaigns through various media sources to promote brand recognition, and advertise in major financial publications, as well as on television and the Internet, to promote brand name recognition and to assist our distribution network. Such activities include purchasing network and cable programming, sponsorship of sporting events, newspaper and magazine advertising, online and paid search advertising and social media marketing.
FINANCIAL INFORMATION ABOUT SEGMENT AND GEOGRAPHIC AREAS
Certain financial information about our business segment and geographic areas is contained in Note 17 – Segment and Geographic Information in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Form 10‑K, which is incorporated herein by reference.
REGULATION
We are subject to extensive regulation. Virtually all aspects of our business are subject to various federal, state, and international regulation and supervision that continue to change and evolve over time. Consequently, there is uncertainty associated with the regulatory environments in which we operate. The rules and regulations applicable to investment management organizations are very detailed and technical. Accordingly, the discussion below is general in nature, does not purport to be complete and is current only as of the date of this report.
U.S. Regulation
Our U.S. Regulatory Framework. As a U.S. reporting company, we are subject to U.S. federal securities laws, state securities and corporate laws, state escheatment laws and regulations, and the rules and regulations of certain regulatory and self-regulatory organizations, such as the SEC and the NYSE. In particular, we are subject to various securities, compliance, corporate governance and disclosure rules adopted by the SEC. We are also subject to various other federal and state laws, including those affecting corporate governance and disclosure, such as the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, the Exchange Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the USA Patriot Act of 2001. As a NYSE-listed company, we are also subject to NYSE listing and disclosure requirements.
As a global investment management organization, certain of our subsidiaries are also subject to the rules and regulations of various regulatory and self-regulatory organizations, including the SEC, FINRA, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading


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Commission (“CFTC”), the National Futures Association, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Treasury (“USDT”). Given our global operations, our subsidiaries are also subject to various securities, compliance, corporate governance, disclosure, privacy, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing, and economic, trade and sanctions laws and regulations, both domestically and internationally, as well as to various cross-border rules and regulations, such as the data protection rules under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). Our non-U.S. operations also may be subject to regulation by U.S. regulators, including the SEC, the CFTC and the DOJ (for example with respect to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977). We are also subject to the sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the USDT, as well as sanctions programs adopted and administered by non-U.S. jurisdictions where our services and products are offered. Our subsidiaries with custody of client assets or accounts are also subject to the applicable laws and regulations of U.S. states and other non-U.S. jurisdictions regarding the reporting and escheatment of unclaimed or abandoned property.
Certain of our subsidiaries are registered with the SEC under the Advisers Act, the CFTC, and/or registered with or licensed by various non-U.S. regulators. In addition, many of our funds are registered with the SEC under the Investment Company Act or under other non-U.S. laws, including EU laws. These registrations, licenses and authorizations impose numerous obligations, as well as detailed operational requirements, on such subsidiaries and funds. The Advisers Act imposes numerous obligations on our registered investment adviser subsidiaries, including record keeping, operating and marketing requirements, disclosure obligations and prohibitions on fraudulent activities. The Investment Company Act imposes similar obligations on the registered investment companies advised by our subsidiaries. The SEC is authorized to institute proceedings and impose sanctions for violations of the Advisers Act and the Investment Company Act, ranging from fines and censure to termination of an investment adviser’s registration. Our subsidiaries must also comply with complex tax regimes.
U.S. Regulatory Reforms. Over the years, the U.S. federal corporate governance and securities laws have been augmented substantially and made significantly more complex by various legislation. As we continue to address our legal and regulatory requirements or focus on meeting new or expanded requirements, we may need to expend a substantial amount of additional time, costs and resources. Regulatory reforms may add further complexity to our business and operations and could require us to alter our investment management services and related activities, which could be costly, impede our growth and adversely impact our AUM, revenues and income. Certain key regulatory reforms in the U.S. that impact or relate to our business, and may cause us to incur additional obligations, include:
Dodd-Frank. In July 2010, Dodd-Frank was adopted in the U.S. Dodd-Frank is expansive in scope and has required the adoption of extensive regulations and the issuance of numerous regulatory decisions, while certain proposed rules remain subject to final adoption.
Systemically Important Financial Institutions. Dodd-Frank authorized the establishment of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”), the mandate of which is to identify and respond to threats to U.S. financial stability. Similarly, the U.S. and other members of the G-20 group of nations have empowered the Financial Stability Board (“FSB”) to identify and respond, in a coordinated manner, to threats to global financial stability. The FSOC may designate certain non-bank financial companies as systemically important financial institutions (“SIFIs”), which are subject to supervision and regulation by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The FSB may designate certain non-bank financial companies as global systemically important financial institutions (“G-SIFIs”); the additional regulatory requirements triggered by any such designation are not yet established. The FSOC and the FSB, as well as other global regulators, are considering what threats to U.S. and global financial stability, if any, arise from asset management companies and/or the funds that they sponsor or manage, and whether such threats can be mitigated by treating such entities as SIFIs or G-SIFIs and/or subjecting them to additional regulation. To the extent that we or any of our funds are designated as a SIFI or G-SIFI, such designations add additional supervision and/or regulation, which could include requirements related to risk-based capital, leverage, liquidity, credit exposure, stress testing, resolution plans, early remediation, and certain risk management requirements, that could impact our business.
Derivatives and Other Financial Products. Dodd-Frank, as well as other legislation and regulations, impose restrictions and limitations on us related to our financial services and products, resulting in increased scrutiny and oversight. Under Dodd-Frank’s regulations governing derivative transactions, certain categories of swaps are required to be submitted for clearing by a regulated clearing organization and reported on a swap execution facility. The EU and other countries have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, similar requirements. There is some risk that full mutual recognition may not be achieved between the various regulators, which may cause us to incur duplicate regulation and transaction costs. The SEC has also proposed a rule that would impose restrictions on the use of derivatives by registered funds.


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Rules adopted by the CFTC have removed or limited previously available exemptions and exclusions from registration and regulation as a commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor on which we had relied, resulting in the imposition of either additional registration, disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping requirements or more stringent requirements to comply with the remaining exemptions or exclusions for operators of certain of our registered funds and other pooled vehicles that use or trade in futures, swaps and other derivatives considered commodity interests and subject to regulation by the CFTC.
In addition, SEC rules have changed the structure and operation for certain types of money market funds, and certain U.S.-registered funds are required to adopt liquidity management programs.
Privacy and Data Protection. There also has been increased regulation with respect to the protection of customer privacy and data, and the need to secure sensitive customer, employee and others’ information. As the regulatory focus on privacy continues to intensify and laws and regulations concerning the management of personal data expand, risks related to privacy and data collection within our business will increase. In addition to the EU’s GDPR data protection rules, we may also be or become subject to or affected by additional country, federal and state laws, regulations and guidance impacting consumer privacy, such as the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) effective January 2020, which provides for enhanced consumer protections for California residents and statutory fines for data security breaches or other CCPA violations.
Rule 12b-1 Plans. In 2010, the SEC proposed changes to Rule 12b-1 promulgated under the Investment Company Act that, if adopted, could limit our ability to recover expenses relating to the distribution of our funds, which could decrease our revenues. FINRA Conduct Rules limit the amount of aggregate sales charges that may be paid in connection with the purchase and holding of investment company shares sold through broker-dealers. The effect of the rule is to limit the amount of fees that could be paid pursuant to a fund’s Rule 12b-1 Plan to FTDI, our principal sales and distribution subsidiary in the U.S., which earns distribution fees on the distribution of fund shares in the U.S.
SEC Regulation Best Interest. In June 2019, the SEC adopted a package of new rules, amendments and interpretations, including Regulation Best Interest and a new form of relationship summary, designed to enhance investor protections for all retail customers, that will, subject to a transition period until June 30, 2020, among other things: (i) require broker-dealers to act in the best interest of their retail customers when recommending securities and account types, (ii) raise the broker-dealer standard of conduct beyond existing suitability obligations, and (iii) require a new relationship summary disclosure document to inform retail clients of the nature of the broker-dealers’ relationships with investment professionals and registered investment advisers, including a description of services offered, the legal standards of conduct that apply to each, the fees a client might pay, and conflicts of interest that may exist.
U.S. and Global Tax Compliance. The U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes various changes to the tax law, including a permanent reduction in the corporate income tax rate and one-time transition tax on certain non-U.S. earnings. See Note 13 – Taxes on Income in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Form 10‑K for more information. Further, pursuant to ongoing efforts to encourage global tax compliance, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) has adopted a global common reporting standard for the automatic exchange of financial information among participating countries (“CRS”), aimed at ensuring that persons with financial assets located outside of their tax residence country pay required taxes. In many cases, intergovernmental agreements between the participating countries will govern implementation of the new CRS rules. CRS is being implemented over a multi-year period and we will continue to monitor the implementing regulations and corresponding intergovernmental agreements to determine our requirements. CRS may subject us to additional reporting, compliance and administrative costs, and burdens in jurisdictions where we operate as a qualifying financial institution.
The OECD has also undertaken a new project focused on “Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digitalization of the Economy.” This project may impact all multinational businesses by allocating a greater share of taxing rights to countries where consumers are located regardless of the current physical presence of a business, and by implementing a global minimum tax. There is significant uncertainty regarding such proposal and any unfavorable resolution could have an adverse effect on our effective tax rate.
Non-U.S. Regulation
Our operations outside the U.S. are subject to the laws and regulations of various non-U.S. jurisdictions and non-U.S. regulatory agencies and bodies. As we continue to expand our international presence, a number of our subsidiaries and international operations have become subject to regulatory systems, in various jurisdictions, comparable to those covering our operations in the U.S. Regulators in these non-U.S. jurisdictions may have broad authority with respect to the regulation of financial services including, among other things, the authority to grant or cancel required licenses or registrations. In


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addition, these regulators may subject certain of our subsidiaries to net capital and other financial or operational requirements.
European Markets and Regulation. In Luxembourg, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (“CSSF”) currently regulates our substantial activities in Luxembourg, including our subsidiary Franklin Templeton International Services S.à r.l. (“FTIS Lux”). FTIS Lux is licensed as a management company for both the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities Directive (“UCITS”) and alternative investment funds (“AIFs”) and, as such, it manages our Luxembourg-domiciled UCITS and our EU-domiciled AIFs. FTIS Lux’s license also covers certain MiFID (as defined below) investment services, such as discretionary portfolio management, investment advice and reception and transmission of orders in relation to financial instruments. The CSSF’s rules include capital resource, governance and risk management requirements, business conduct rules, remuneration rules and oversight of systems and controls. Breaches of these rules could result in a wide range of disciplinary actions against FTIS Lux.
In the U.K., the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) and the Prudential Regulation Authorities (the “PRA”) currently regulate certain of our subsidiaries. Authorization by the FCA and the PRA is required to conduct any financial services-related business in the U.K. pursuant to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The FCA’s and PRAs rules under that act govern a firm’s capital resources requirements, senior management arrangements, business conduct, interaction with clients, and systems and controls. Breaches of these rules could result in a wide range of disciplinary actions against our U.K.-regulated subsidiaries.
In addition to the above, certain of our other European subsidiaries and branches, must comply with the pan-European regime established by the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”), which regulates the provision of investment services and conduct of investment activities throughout the European Economic Area (“EEA”). MiFID sets out detailed requirements governing the organization and business conduct of investment firms and regulated markets. It also includes pre- and post-trade transparency requirements for equity markets and extensive transaction reporting requirements. Luxembourg and the U.K. have adopted the MiFID rules into national legislation, as have those other EU member states in which we have a presence.
A review of MiFID by the European Commission led to the creation of a replacement directive and a new regulation (together “MiFID II”), effective as of January 2018, which extended the scope of the original MiFID in response to issues raised by the financial crisis. Changes apply to pre- and post-trade reporting obligations and there is an expansion of the types of instruments subject to these requirements, such as bonds, structured products and derivatives. A new concept of trading venue has been created and algorithmic trading is subject to specific regulations. There are also changes to business conduct requirements, including selling practices, intermediary inducements and client categorization, as well as the provision of investment advice and management within the EU by non-EU advisers, including ours. Powers have also been given to EU national regulators to ban certain services and products and to the European Securities and Markets Authority to temporarily restrict certain financial activities within the EU.
One of the most significant developments in MiFID II is the ban on commission and other payments (“inducements”) to independent advisers and discretionary managers, which has changed the commercial relationships between fund providers and distributors. Arrangements with non-independent advisers have also been affected, as narrower rules around the requirement that any commission reflects an enhancement of the service to customers come into effect, along with a prescriptive list of permissible non-monetary benefits. The interpretation of the inducements rules has also resulted in major changes to how fund managers finance investment research with many firms, including ours, opting to pay for third-party investment research for client accounts covered by MiFID II.
The European Market Infrastructure Regulation that sets out the rules in relation to central clearing of specified derivatives came into effect in 2016 for large derivatives users (including some of our clients). For the smallest counterparties, implementation was delayed until June 2019. Mutual recognition of central counterparties has been achieved between the EU regulatory authorities and other important jurisdictions including the U.S. In addition, rules relating to margin requirements for uncleared over-the-counter derivatives came into effect in September 2017. Future regulatory policy reviews will decide whether these rules are extended to other types of derivative instruments, which could increase operational costs for our business and transactional costs for our clients.
The EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) came into effect in July 2014, and regulates managers of, and service providers to, AIFs that are domiciled and offered in the EU and that are not authorized as retail funds under UCITS. The AIFMD also regulates the marketing within the EU of all AIFs, including those domiciled outside the EU. The introduction of a third-country passport to non-EU AIFs/AIF managers was due to be implemented in 2018, but has been delayed until further positive advice is delivered to the European Commission regarding a sufficient number of non-EU


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countries to better evaluate the impact, including with respect to the proposed withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU. Compliance with the AIFMD’s requirements may restrict AIF marketing and imposes compliance obligations in the form of remuneration policies, capital requirements, reporting requirements, leverage oversight, valuation, stakes in EU companies, the domicile, duties and liability of custodians and liquidity management.
The EU’s Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”) came into effect in July 2016, and its primary aim is to increase market integrity and investor protection, enhancing the attractiveness of securities markets for raising capital. Under MAR, EU market abuse rules become extra-territorial as long as the instrument has a listing on an EEA regulated market.
As of January 2018, the EU regulation on packaged retail investment and insurance products (“PRIIPs”) imposed new pre-contractual disclosure requirements under the form of a Key Information Document (“KID”) for the benefit of retail investors when they are considering the purchase of packaged retail investment products or insurance based products. It requires PRIIP manufacturers to draw up a KID that can be no longer than three pages in length and must be written in simple language. The regulation allows UCITS providers, who are already required to produce the UCITS Key Investor Information Document, a transitional period until December 2021, during which they will be exempt from its terms.
As of May 2018, the EU’s GDPR strengthened and unified data protection rules for individuals within the EU. GDPR also addresses export of personal data outside the EU. The primary objectives of GDPR are to give citizens control of their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying data protection regulation within the EU. Compliance with the stringent data protection rules under GDPR requires an extensive review of all of our global data processing systems. The failure to comply properly with GDPR rules on a timely basis and to maintain ongoing compliance with such rules may subject us to enforcement proceedings and significant fines and costs.
British Exit from the EU (“Brexit”). Although Brexit negotiations between the U.K. and EU began in June 2017, it is still unclear what terms, if any, may be agreed to in the final outcome and for any transitional period. While we are monitoring the consequences very closely for our clients from an investment perspective, we believe that Brexit will not have a material impact on the way our firm operates in the U.K. or within the EU. Our long-standing U.K. businesses are expected to continue to provide their services to U.K. customers. Furthermore, we have other regulated subsidiaries across continental Europe such that, in the event of a future restriction on cross-border trade in financial services and products between the U.K. and the new EU, Brexit would be likely to have a limited effect on our EU business. Moreover, our cross-border UCITS SICAV investment fund range, which is the most widely-distributed such range in the world, is based in Luxembourg. We have a separate, U.K.-domiciled fund range that is, and will continue to be, distributed mainly in the U.K.
Canada. In Canada, our subsidiaries are subject to provincial and territorial laws and are registered with and regulated by provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities. The mandate of Canadian securities regulatory authorities is generally to protect investors and to foster fair and efficient capital markets. Securities regulatory authorities impose certain requirements on registrants, including a standard of conduct, capital and insurance, record keeping, regulatory financial reporting, conflict of interest management, compliance systems and security holder reporting. Failure to comply with applicable securities laws, regulations and rules could result in, among other things, reprimands, suspension of or restrictions on an individuals or firms registration, prohibitions from becoming or acting as a registrant, administrative penalties or disgorgement. In addition, as a federally licensed trust company, FTCC is subject to regulation and supervision by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada and another subsidiary, FTC Investor Services Inc., is a member of and regulated by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada. These regulatory bodies have similar requirements to those of the securities regulatory authorities with a view to ensuring the capital adequacy and sound business practices of the subsidiaries and the appropriate treatment of their clients.
In September 2018, the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”), the umbrella organization of provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities, published draft rule amendments for comment regarding their mutual fund fee reform project. The proposed reforms include expanded conflict of interest guidance concerning the payment of embedded commissions by investment fund managers and the receipt of such commissions by dealers, a prohibition on all forms of deferred sales charges in connection with the purchase of mutual fund securities, and a prohibition on the payment of trailing commissions to discount brokers in respect of their distribution of mutual fund securities. Separately, in October 2019, the CSA published final amendments to their registration rules to implement their client focused reforms initiative. The stated purposes of these amendments are to better align the interests of Canadian registrants with the interests of their clients, to improve outcomes for clients and to make clearer to clients the nature and the terms of their relationship with registrants. The amendments, among other things, enhance current registrant requirements in the areas of know your client, know your product, suitability, conflicts of interest and relationship disclosure information. Provided all necessary approvals are obtained, the amendments will become effective in December 2019 and will be phased in during a two-year transition period.


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Singapore. In Singapore, our subsidiaries are subject to, among others, the Securities and Futures Act (“SFA”), the Financial Advisers Act (“FAA”) and the subsidiary legislation promulgated pursuant to these Acts, which are administered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). Our asset management subsidiary and its employees conducting regulated activities specified in the SFA and/or the FAA are required to be licensed with the MAS. Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations, codes, directives, notices and guidelines issued by the MAS may result in penalties including fines, censures and the suspension or revocation of licenses granted by the MAS.
Australia. In Australia, our subsidiaries are subject to various Australian federal and state laws and are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”). ASIC regulates companies, financial markets and financial services in Australia. ASIC imposes certain conditions on licensed financial services organizations that apply to our subsidiaries, including requirements relating to capital resources, operational capability and controls. Failure to comply with applicable law, regulations or conditions could result in various sanctions being imposed including cancellation, suspension or variation of the licenses held by our Australian subsidiaries.
Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, our subsidiary is subject to the Securities and Futures Ordinance (the “SFO”) and its subsidiary legislation, which governs the securities and futures markets and regulates, among others, offers of investments to the public and provides for the licensing of dealing in securities and asset management activities and intermediaries. This legislation is administered by the Securities and Futures Commission (the “SFC”). The SFC is also empowered under the SFO to establish standards for compliance as well as codes and guidelines. Our subsidiary and its employees conducting any of the regulated activities specified in the SFO are required to be licensed with the SFC, and are subject to the rules, codes and guidelines issued by the SFC from time to time. Failure to comply with the applicable laws, regulations, codes and guidelines could result in various sanctions being imposed, including fines, reprimands and the suspension or revocation of the licenses granted by the SFC.
India. In India, certain of our subsidiaries are primarily subject to relevant regulations promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”). Changes made by SEBI to the mutual fund regulations in 2018 reduced the total expense ratio chargeable to funds and banned, with some exceptions, payment of upfront commissions to distributors of funds. Under the prevailing regulations, all trail commissions must be paid within the total expense ratio charged to the funds. These changes may impact the commercial relationships between fund providers and distributors. However, the recent reduction in corporate tax announced by the Indian government may have a positive impact on our subsidiaries in India. The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (“DIPP”) are the other major regulatory authorities that are capable of issuing directions of a binding nature to our subsidiaries in India. A failure to comply with the applicable laws, regulations, codes, notices, directives, guidelines, orders, circulars and schemes issued by SEBI, RBI, MCA or DIPP may result in penalties including fines, censures and/or suspension or revocation of licenses, approvals or registration status.
Japan. In Japan, our subsidiaries are subject to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (the “FIEL”) and the Act on Investment Trusts and Investment Corporations. These laws are administered and enforced by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (the “JFSA”), which establishes standards for compliance, including capital adequacy and financial soundness requirements, customer protection requirements, and business conduct rules. The JFSA is empowered to conduct administrative proceedings that can result in censure, fine, the issuance of cease and desist orders or the suspension or revocation of registrations and licenses granted under the FIEL.
Other Non-U.S. Jurisdictions. There are similar legal and regulatory arrangements in effect in many other non-U.S. jurisdictions where our subsidiaries, branches and representative offices, as well as certain joint ventures or companies in which we own minority stakes, are authorized to conduct business. We are also subject to regulation and supervision by, among others, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários in Brazil, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the China Securities Regulatory Commission in the People’s Republic of China, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers in France, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa in Italy, the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service in South Korea, the Securities Commission in Malaysia, the Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores in Mexico, the Autoriteit Financiële Markten in the Netherlands, the Polish Securities and Exchange Commission, the Romanian Financial Services Authority, the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores in Spain, the Finansinspektionen in Sweden, the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, the Financial Supervisory Commission in the Republic of China, the Dubai Financial Services Authority in the United Arab Emirates, and the State Securities Commission of Vietnam.


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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
We have used, registered, and/or applied to register certain trademarks, service marks and trade names to distinguish our sponsored products and services from those of our competitors in the U.S. and in other countries and jurisdictions, including, but not limited to, Franklin®, Templeton®, Balanced Equity Management®, Benefit Street Partners®, Darby®, Edinburgh Partners™, Fiduciary Trust™, Franklin Bissett®, Franklin Mutual Series®, K2® and LibertyShares®. Our trademarks, service marks and trade names are important to us and, accordingly, we enforce our trademark, service mark and trade name rights. The Franklin Templeton® brand has been, and continues to be, extremely well received both in our industry and with our clients, reflecting the fact that our brand, like our business, is based in part on trust and confidence. If our brand is harmed, our future business prospects may be adversely affected.
EMPLOYEES
As of September 30, 2019, we employed approximately 9,600 employees and operated offices in over 30 countries.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains current and periodic reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including Franklin, that file electronically with the SEC, at www.sec.gov. Additional information about Franklin’s filings can also be obtained at our website at www.franklinresources.com under “Investor Relations.” We make available free of charge on our website Franklin’s Annual Report on Form 10‑K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.
Item 1A.
Risk Factors.
MARKET AND VOLATILITY RISKS
Volatility and disruption of the capital and credit markets, and adverse changes in the global economy, may significantly affect our results of operations and may put pressure on our financial results. The capital and credit markets may, from time to time, experience volatility and disruption worldwide. Declines in global financial market conditions have in the past resulted in significant decreases in our AUM, revenues and income, and future declines may further negatively impact our financial results. Such declines have had, and may in the future have, an adverse impact on our results of operations. We may need to modify our business, strategies or operations and we may be subject to additional constraints or costs in order to compete in a changing global economy and business environment.
The amount and mix of our AUM are subject to significant fluctuations. Fluctuations in the amount and mix of our AUM may be attributable in part to market conditions outside of our control that have had, and in the future could have, a negative impact on our revenues and income. We derive substantially all of our operating revenues and net income from providing investment management and related services to investors in jurisdictions worldwide through our investment products, which include our sponsored funds, as well as institutional and high-net-worth separate accounts, and sub-advised products. In addition to investment management, our services include fund administration, sales and distribution, and shareholder servicing. We may perform services directly or through third parties. The level of our revenues depends largely on the level and relative mix of AUM. Our investment management fee revenues are primarily based on a percentage of the value of AUM and vary with the nature and strategies of our products. Any decrease in the value or amount of our AUM because of market volatility or other factors, such as a decline in the price of stocks, in particular market segments or in the securities market generally, negatively impacts our revenues and income.
We are subject to significant risk of asset volatility from changes in the global financial, equity, debt and commodity markets. Individual financial, equity, debt and commodity markets may be adversely affected by financial, economic, political, electoral, diplomatic or other instabilities that are particular to the country or region in which a market is located, including without limitation local acts of terrorism, economic crises, political protests, insurrection or other business, social or political crises. Global economic conditions, exacerbated by war, terrorism, natural disasters or financial crises, changes in the equity, debt or commodity marketplaces, changes in currency exchange rates, interest rates, inflation rates, the yield curve, defaults by trading counterparties, bond defaults, revaluation and bond market liquidity risks, geopolitical risks, the imposition of economic sanctions and other factors that are difficult to predict, affect the mix, market values and levels of our AUM. For example, changes in financial market prices, currency exchange rates and/or interest rates have in the past caused, and could


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in the future cause, the value of our AUM to decline, which would result in lower investment management fee revenues. Changing market conditions could also cause an impairment to the value of our goodwill and other intangible assets.
Our funds may be subject to liquidity risks or an unanticipated large number of redemptions. Due to market volatility or other events or conditions described above, our funds may need to sell securities or instruments that they hold, possibly at a loss, or draw on any available lines of credit, to obtain cash to maintain sufficient liquidity or settle these redemptions, or settle in-kind with securities held in the applicable fund. While we have no legal or contractual obligation to do so, we have in the past provided, and may in the future at our discretion provide, financial support to our funds to enable them to maintain sufficient liquidity in any such event. Changes in investor preferences regarding our more popular products have in the past caused, and could in the future cause, sizable redemptions and lower the value of our AUM, which would result in lower revenue and operating results. Any decrease in the level of our AUM resulting from market declines, credit or interest rate volatility or uncertainty, increased redemptions or other factors could negatively impact our revenues and income.
A shift in our asset mix toward lower fee products may negatively impact our revenues. Changing market conditions and investor preferences may cause a shift in our asset mix toward certain lower fee products, such as fixed income products, and away from equity and multi-asset/balanced products. This may cause a related decline in our revenues and income, as we generally derive higher fee revenues and income from our equity and certain multi-asset/balanced products than from our fixed income products. Increases in interest rates, in particular if rapid, as well as any uncertainty in the future direction of interest rates, may have a negative impact on our fixed income products. Although the shorter duration of the bond investments in many of these products may help mitigate the interest rate risk, rising interest rates or interest rate uncertainty typically decrease the total return on many bond investments due to lower market valuations of existing bonds. Further, changing market conditions and investor preferences also may cause a shift in our asset mix toward lower fee exchange-traded funds. Moreover, we generally derive higher investment management and distribution fees from our international products than from our U.S. products, and higher sales fees from our U.S. products than from our international products. Changing market conditions may cause a shift in our asset mix between international and U.S. assets, potentially resulting in a decline in our revenues and income depending upon the nature of our AUM and the level of management fees we earn on that AUM.
We may not effectively manage risks associated with the replacement of benchmark indices. The withdrawal and replacement of widely used benchmark indices such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) with alternative benchmark rates may introduce a number of risks for our business, our clients and the financial services industry more widely. These include financial risks arising from potential changes in the valuation of financial instruments linked to benchmark indices, pricing and operational risks, and legal implementation and revised documentation risks. The FCA in the U.K., which regulates LIBOR, has announced that it will no longer compel panel banks to submit rates for LIBOR after 2021. Accordingly, the withdrawal and replacement of LIBOR may pose financial risks and uncertainties to our business. We also may face operational challenges adopting successor benchmarks.
INVESTMENT AND PERFORMANCE RISKS
Poor investment performance of our products could reduce the level of our AUM or affect our sales, and negatively impact our revenues and income. Our investment performance, along with achieving and maintaining superior distribution and client service, is critical to the success of our business. Strong investment performance often stimulates sales of our products. Poor investment performance as compared to third-party benchmarks or competitive products has in the past led, and could in the future lead, to a decrease in sales of our products and stimulate redemptions from existing products, generally lowering the overall level of AUM and reducing the management fees we earn. There is no assurance that past or present investment performance in our products will be indicative of future performance. If we fail, or appear to fail, to address successfully and promptly the underlying causes of any poor investment performance, we may be unsuccessful in repairing any existing harm to our performance and our future business prospects would likely be negatively affected.
Harm to our reputation may negatively impact our revenues and income. Our reputation is critical to the success of our business. We believe that our brand names have been, and continue to be, well received both in our industry and with our clients, reflecting the fact that our brands, like our business, are based in part on trust and confidence. If our reputation is harmed, existing clients may reduce amounts held in, or withdraw entirely from, our products, or our clients and products may terminate their management agreements with us, which could reduce the amount of our AUM and cause us to suffer a corresponding loss in our revenues and income. In addition, reputational harm may prevent us from attracting new clients or developing new business.


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GLOBAL OPERATIONAL RISKS
Our business operations are complex and a failure to perform operational tasks properly or the misrepresentation of our services and products, or the termination of investment management agreements representing a significant portion of our AUM, could have an adverse effect on our revenues and income. Through our subsidiaries, we provide investment management and related services to investors globally. In order to be competitive and comply with our agreements, we must properly perform our fund and portfolio administration and related responsibilities, including portfolio recordkeeping and accounting, security pricing, corporate actions, investment restrictions compliance, daily net asset value computations, account reconciliations, and required distributions to fund shareholders. Many of our operations are complex and dependent on our ability to process and monitor a large number of transactions effectively, which may occur across numerous markets and currencies at high volumes and frequencies. Although we expend considerable resources on internal controls, supervision, technology and training in an effort to ensure that such transactions do not violate applicable guidelines, rules and regulations or adversely affect our clients, counterparties or us, our operations are ultimately dependent on our employees, as well as others involved in our business, such as third-party vendors, providers and other intermediaries, and subject to potential human errors. Our employees and others involved in our business may, from time to time, make mistakes that are not always immediately detected, which may disrupt our operations, cause losses, lead to regulatory fines or sanctions, litigation, or otherwise damage our reputation. In addition, any misrepresentation of our services and products in advertising materials, public relations information, social media or other external communications could also adversely affect our reputation and business prospects. Our investment management fees, which represent the majority of our revenues, are dependent on fees earned under investment management agreements that we have with our products and clients. Our revenues could be adversely affected if such agreements representing a significant portion of our AUM are terminated. Further, certain of our subsidiaries may act as general partner for various investment partnerships, which may subject them to liability for the partnerships liabilities. If we fail to perform and monitor our operations properly, our business could suffer and our revenues and income could be adversely affected.
We face risks, and corresponding potential costs and expenses, associated with conducting operations and growing our business in numerous countries. We sell our products, such as our funds and strategies, and offer our investment management and related services, in many different regulatory jurisdictions around the world, and intend to continue to expand our operations internationally. As we do so, we will continue to face challenges to the adequacy of our resources, procedures and controls to operate our business consistently and effectively. In order to remain competitive, we must be proactive and prepared to implement necessary resources when growth opportunities present themselves, whether as a result of a business acquisition or rapidly increasing business activities in particular markets or regions. Local regulatory environments may vary widely in terms of scope, adequacy and sophistication. Similarly, local distributors, and their policies and practices as well as financial viability, may vary widely and they may be inconsistent or less developed or mature than other more internationally focused distributors. Notwithstanding potential long-term cost savings, growth of our international operations may involve near-term increases in expenses, as well as additional capital costs, such as information systems and technology costs, and costs related to compliance with particular regulatory or other local requirements or needs. Local requirements or needs may also place additional demands on sales and compliance personnel and resources, such as meeting local language requirements, while also integrating personnel into an organization with a single operating language. Finding, hiring and retaining additional, well-qualified personnel and crafting and adopting policies, procedures and controls to address local or regional requirements remain challenges as we expand our operations internationally.
Moreover, regulators in non-U.S. jurisdictions could also change their policies or laws in a manner that might restrict or otherwise impede our ability to distribute or authorize products or maintain their authorizations in their respective markets. Any of these local requirements, activities or needs could increase the costs and expenses we incur in a specific jurisdiction without any corresponding increase in revenues and income from operating in the jurisdiction. Certain laws and regulations both inside and outside the U.S. have extraterritorial application. This may lead to duplicative or conflicting legal or regulatory burdens and additional costs and risks. For example, although negotiations between the U.K. and EU regarding Brexit began in June 2017, it is still unclear what terms, if any, may be agreed to in the final outcome and for any transitional period, and the ultimate impact on us.
In addition, from time to time, we enter into joint ventures or take minority stakes in companies in which we typically do not have control. These investments may involve risks, including the risk that the controlling stakeholder or joint venture partner may have business interests, strategies or goals that are inconsistent with ours. The business decisions or other actions or omissions of the controlling stakeholder, joint venture partner or the entity itself may result in liability to us or harm to our reputation, or adversely affect the value of our investment in the entity.


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Our increasing focus on international markets as a source of investments and sales of our products subjects us to increased exchange rate and market-specific political, economic or other risks that may adversely impact our revenues and income generated overseas. While we maintain a significant portion of our operations in the U.S., we also provide services and earn revenues in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, Canada, The Bahamas and Latin America. As a result, we are subject to foreign currency exchange risk through our non-U.S. operations. Fluctuations in the exchange rates to the U.S. dollar have affected, and may in the future affect, our financial results from one period to the next. While we have taken steps to reduce our exposure to foreign exchange risk, for example, by denominating a significant amount of our transactions in U.S. dollars, our situation may change in the future. Appreciation of the U.S. dollar could in the future moderate revenues from managing our products internationally, or could affect relative investment performance of certain of our products invested in non-U.S. securities. In addition, we have risk associated with the foreign exchange revaluation of U.S. dollar balances held by certain non-U.S. subsidiaries for which the local currency is the functional currency. Separately, management fees that we earn tend to be higher in connection with non-U.S. AUM than with U.S. AUM. Consequently, downturns in international markets have in the past had, and could in the future have, a significant effect on our revenues and income. Moreover, our emerging market portfolios and revenues derived from managing these portfolios are subject to significant risks of loss from financial, economic, political and diplomatic developments, currency fluctuations, social instability, changes in governmental policies, expropriation, nationalization, asset confiscation and changes in legislation related to non-U.S. ownership. International trading markets, particularly in some emerging market countries, are often smaller, less liquid, less regulated and significantly more volatile than those in the U.S. As our business continues to grow in non-U.S. markets, any ongoing and future business, economic, political or social unrest affecting these markets, in addition to any direct consequences such unrest may have on our personnel and facilities located in the affected area, may also have a more lasting impact on the long-term investment climate in these and other areas and, as a result, our AUM and the corresponding revenues and income that we generate from them may be negatively affected.
We may review and pursue strategic transactions that could pose risks to our business. As part of our business strategy, we regularly consider, and have discussions with respect to, potential strategic transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, consolidations, joint ventures or similar transactions, some of which may be deemed material. There can be no assurance that we will find suitable candidates for strategic transactions at acceptable prices, have sufficient capital resources to accomplish our strategy, or be successful in entering into agreements for desired transactions. In addition, such transactions typically involve a number of risks and present financial, managerial and operational challenges. Acquisitions and related transactions pose the risk that any business we acquire may lose customers or employees or could underperform relative to expectations. We could also experience financial or other setbacks if transactions encounter unanticipated problems, including problems related to execution or integration. Strategic transactions typically are announced publicly even though they may remain subject to numerous closing conditions, contingencies and approvals, and there is no assurance that any announced transaction will actually be consummated. Future transactions may also further increase our leverage or, if we issue equity securities to pay for acquisitions, dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders.
COMPETITION AND DISTRIBUTION RISKS
Strong competition from numerous and sometimes larger companies with competing offerings and products could limit or reduce sales of our products, potentially resulting in a decline in our market share, revenues and income. We compete with numerous investment management companies, securities brokerage and investment banking firms, insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions. Our products also compete with products offered by these competitors, as well as with real estate investment trusts, hedge funds and other products. The periodic establishment of new investment management companies and other competitors increases the competition that we face. At the same time, consolidation in the financial services industry has created stronger competitors with greater financial resources and broader distribution channels than our own. Competition is based on various factors, including, among others, business reputation, investment performance, product mix and offerings, service quality and innovation, distribution relationships, and fees charged. Further, although we may offer certain types of exchange-traded funds, to the extent that there is a trend among existing or potential clients in favor of lower fee index and other exchange-traded funds, it may favor our competitors who may offer such products that are more established or on a larger scale than we do. Additionally, competing securities broker-dealers and banks, upon which we rely to distribute and sell certain of our funds and other products, may also sell their own proprietary funds and products, which could limit the distribution of our products. To the extent that existing or potential clients, including securities broker-dealers, decide to invest in or distribute the products of our competitors, the sales of our products as well as our market share, revenues and income could decline. Our ability to attract and retain AUM is also dependent on the relative investment performance of our products, offering a mix of products and strategies that meets investor demands, and our ability to maintain our investment management fees and pricing structure at competitive levels.


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Increasing competition and other changes in the third-party distribution and sales channels on which we depend could reduce our income and hinder our growth. We derive nearly all of our fund sales through third-party broker-dealers, banks, investment advisers and other financial intermediaries. Because we rely on third-party distribution and sales channels to sell our products, we do not control the ultimate investment recommendations given by them to clients. Increasing competition for these distribution and sales channels, and regulatory changes and initiatives, have caused our distribution costs to rise and could cause further cost increases in the future, or could otherwise negatively impact the distribution of our products. Higher distribution costs lower our income, and consolidations in the broker-dealer or banking industries could also adversely impact our income. A failure to maintain our third-party distribution and sales channels, or a failure to maintain strong business relationships with our distributors and other intermediaries, may impair our distribution and sales operations. Any inability to access and successfully sell our products to clients through such third-party channels could have a negative effect on our level of AUM and adversely impact our business.
Moreover, there is no assurance that we will continue to have access to the third-party financial intermediaries that currently distribute our products, or that we will continue to have the opportunity to offer all or some of our existing products through them. If several of the major financial advisers that distribute our products were to cease operations or limit or otherwise end the distribution of our products, it could have a significant adverse impact on our income.
Further, the standards of conduct and disclosure and reporting requirements, with respect to fees, products, services and possible conflicts of interest, applicable to broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries in the U.S., remain subject to change and enhancement pursuant to business and regulatory developments and requirements, including with respect to investor suitability obligations, enhanced investor protections for retail customers, and increased compliance requirements.
In addition, the U.K., the Netherlands and the EU, through MiFID II, have adopted regimes that ban, or may limit, the payment of commissions and other inducements to intermediaries in relation to certain sales to retail customers in those jurisdictions, and similar regimes are under consideration in several other jurisdictions. Depending on their exact terms, such regimes may result in existing flows of business moving to less profitable channels or even to competitors providing substitutable products outside the regime. Arrangements with non-independent advisers will also be affected as narrower rules related to the requirement that commissions reflect an enhancement of the service to customers come into effect, along with a prescriptive list of permissible non-monetary benefits. The interpretation of the inducements rules has also resulted in major changes to how fund managers, including us, finance investment research with many firms, by opting to pay for third-party investment research for client accounts covered by MiFID II.
THIRD-PARTY RISKS
Any failure of our third-party providers to fulfill their obligations, or our failure to maintain good relationships with our providers, could adversely impact our business. We currently, and may in the future, depend on a number of third-party providers to support various operational, administrative, market data, distribution, and other business needs of our company. In addition, we may, from time to time, transfer vendor contracts and services from one provider to another. If our third-party providers fail to deliver required services on a timely basis, or if we experience other negative service quality or relationship issues with our providers, we may be exposed to significant costs and/or operational difficulties, and our ability to conduct and grow our business may be impaired. In addition, we are in the process of outsourcing certain of our fund administration services for our funds to a third-party provider. Such administrative and functional changes are costly and complex, and may expose us to heightened operational risks. Any failure to mitigate such risks could result in reputational harm to us, as well as financial losses to us and our clients. The failure of any key provider or vendor to fulfill its obligations to us could result in outcomes inconsistent with our or our clients’ objectives and requirements, result in legal liability and regulatory issues for us, and otherwise adversely impact us.
We may be adversely affected if any of our third-party providers is subject to a successful cyber or security attack. Due to our interconnectivity with third-party vendors, advisors, central agents, exchanges, clearing organizations and other financial institutions, we may be adversely affected if any of them is subject to a successful cyber attack or other information security event, including those arising due to the use of mobile technology or a third-party cloud environment. Most of the software applications that we use in our business are licensed from, and supported, upgraded and maintained by, third-party vendors. Our third-party applications include enterprise cloud storage and cloud computing application services provided and maintained by third-party vendors. Any breach, suspension or termination of certain of these licenses or the related support, upgrades and maintenance could cause temporary system delays or interruption that could adversely impact our business. Our third-party applications may include confidential and proprietary data provided by vendors and by us.


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TECHNOLOGY AND SECURITY RISKS
Our ability to manage and grow our business successfully can be impeded by systems and other technological limitations. Our continued success in effectively managing and growing our business depends on our ability to integrate our varied accounting, financial, information, and operational systems on a global basis. Moreover, adapting or developing the existing technology systems we use to meet our internal needs, as well as client needs, industry demands and new regulatory requirements, is also critical for our business. The introduction of new technologies presents new challenges to us. We have an ongoing need to upgrade and improve our technology continually, including our data processing, financial, accounting, shareholder servicing and trading systems. Further, we also must be proactive and prepared to implement new technology when growth opportunities present themselves, whether as a result of a business acquisition or rapidly increasing business activities in particular markets or regions. These needs could present operational issues or require significant capital spending, and may require us to reevaluate the current value and/or expected useful lives of the technology we use, which could negatively impact our results of operations. In addition, technology is subject to rapid advancements and changes and our competitors may, from time to time, implement newer technologies or more advanced platforms for their services and products, including digital advisers and other advanced electronic systems, which could adversely affect our business if we are unable to remain competitive.
Any significant limitation, failure or security breach of our information and cyber security infrastructure, software applications, technology or other systems that are critical to our operations could disrupt our business and harm our operations and reputation. We are highly dependent upon the use of various proprietary and third-party information and security technology, software applications and other technology systems to operate our business. We are also dependent on the continuity and effectiveness of our information and cyber security infrastructure, management oversight and reporting framework, policies, procedures and capabilities to protect our computer and telecommunications systems and the data that reside on or are transmitted through them and contracted third-party systems. We use technology on a daily basis in our business to, among other things, support our business continuity and operations, process and transmit confidential communications, store and maintain data, obtain securities pricing information, process client transactions, and provide reports and other customer services to our clients. Any disruptions, inaccuracies, delays, theft, systems failures, data security or privacy breaches, or cyber or other security breaches in these and other processes could subject us to significant client dissatisfaction and losses, and damage our reputation. We have been, and expect to continue to be, the subject of these types of breaches and/or attacks, from time to time. Although we take protective measures, including measures to secure and protect information through system security technology and our internal security procedures, there can be no assurance that any of these measures will prove effective. The technology systems we use remain vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, potential human errors and other events and circumstances that have a security impact, such as an external or internal hacker attack by one or more cyber criminals (including through the use of phishing attacks, malware, ransomware and other methods and activities maliciously designed to obtain and exploit confidential information and to cause damage) or an authorized employee or vendor inadvertently or recklessly causing us to release confidential information, which could materially harm our operations and reputation.
Potential system disruptions, failures or breaches of the technology we use or the security infrastructure we rely upon, and the costs necessary to address them, could result in: (i) significant material financial loss or costs, (ii) the unauthorized disclosure or modification of sensitive or confidential client and business information, (iii) loss of valuable information, (iv) breach of client and vendor contracts, (v) liability for stolen assets, information or identity, (vi) remediation costs to repair damage caused by the failure or breach, (vii) additional security and organizational costs to mitigate against future incidents, (viii) reputational harm, (ix) loss of confidence in our business and products, (x) liability for failure to review and disclose applicable incidents or provide relevant updated disclosure properly and timely, (xi) regulatory investigations or actions, and/or (xii) legal claims, litigation, and liability costs. Moreover, loss or unauthorized disclosure or transfer of confidential and proprietary data or confidential customer identification information could further harm our reputation and subject us to liability under laws that protect confidential data and personal information, resulting in increased costs or a decline in our revenues or common stock price. Further, although we take precautions to password protect and encrypt our laptops and sensitive information on our other mobile electronic devices, if such devices are stolen, misplaced or left unattended, they may become vulnerable to hacking or other unauthorized use, creating a possible security risk, which may require us to incur additional administrative costs and/or take remedial actions. In addition, the failure to manage and operate properly the data centers we use could have an adverse impact on our business. Although we have in place certain disaster recovery plans, we may experience system delays and interruptions as a result of natural disasters, power failures, acts of war, and third-party failures.


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Our inability to recover successfully, should we experience a disaster or other business continuity problem, could cause material financial loss, regulatory actions, legal liability, and/or reputational harm. Should we experience a local or regional disaster or other business continuity problem, such as an earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, terrorist attack, pandemic or other natural or man-made disaster, our continued success will depend, in part, on the safety and availability of our personnel, our office facilities and infrastructure, and the proper functioning of our technology, computer, telecommunication and other systems and operations that are critical to our business. While our operational size, the diversity of locations from which we operate, and our various back-up systems provide us with an advantage, should we experience a local or regional disaster or other business continuity event, we could still experience operational challenges, in particular depending upon how such a local or regional event may affect our personnel across our operations or with regard to particular aspects of our operations, such as key executives or personnel in our technology groups. Moreover, as we grow our operations in new geographic regions, the potential for particular types of natural or man-made disasters, political, economic or infrastructure instabilities, information, technology or security limitations or breaches, or other country- or region-specific business continuity risks increases. Past disaster recovery efforts have demonstrated that even seemingly localized events may require broader disaster recovery efforts throughout our operations and, consequently, we regularly assess and take steps to improve upon our existing business continuity plans. However, a disaster on a significant scale or affecting certain of our key operating areas within or across regions, or our inability to recover successfully following a disaster or other business continuity problem, could adversely impact our business and operations.
HUMAN CAPITAL RISKS
We depend on key personnel and our financial performance could be negatively affected by the loss of their services. The success of our business will continue to depend upon our key personnel, including our portfolio and fund managers, investment analysts, investment advisers, sales and management personnel and other professionals as well as our executive officers and business unit heads. Competition for qualified, motivated, and highly-skilled executives, professionals and other key personnel in the investment management industry remains significant. Our success depends to a substantial degree upon our ability to find, attract, retain and motivate qualified individuals, including through competitive compensation packages, and upon the continued contributions of these people. Global and/or local laws and regulations could impose restrictions on compensation paid by financial institutions, which could restrict our ability to compete effectively for qualified professionals. As our business develops, we may need to increase the number of individuals that we employ. Moreover, in order to retain certain key personnel, we may be required to increase compensation to such individuals and increase our key management succession planning, resulting in additional expense without a corresponding increase in potential revenues. There is no assurance that we will be successful in finding, attracting and retaining qualified individuals, and the departure of key investment personnel, in particular, if not replaced, could cause us to lose clients, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and business prospects. In addition, due to the global nature of our business, our key personnel may, from time to time, have reasons to travel to regions susceptible to higher risk of civil unrest, organized crime or terrorism, and we may be unable to ensure the safety of our personnel traveling to such regions.
EXPENSE AND CASH MANAGEMENT RISKS
Our future results are dependent upon maintaining an appropriate expense level. The level of our expenses is subject to fluctuation and may increase for the following or other reasons: (i) changes in the level and scope of our operating expenses in response to market conditions or regulations, (ii) variations in the level of total compensation expense due to, among other things, bonuses, merit increases and severance costs, (iii) changes in our employee count and mix, and competitive factors, (iv) changes in expenses and capital costs, including costs incurred to maintain and enhance our administrative and operating services infrastructure or to cover uninsured losses, and (v) increases in insurance expenses, including through the assumption of higher deductibles and/or co-insurance liability.
Our ability to meet cash needs depends upon certain factors, including the market value of our assets, our operating cash flows and our perceived creditworthiness. If we are unable to obtain cash, financing or access to the capital markets in a timely manner, we may be forced to incur unanticipated costs or revise our business plans, and our business could be adversely impacted. Further, our access to the capital markets depends significantly on our credit ratings. A reduction in our long- or short-term credit ratings could increase our borrowing costs and limit our access to the capital markets. Volatility in the global financing markets may also impact our ability to access the capital markets should we seek to do so, and may have an adverse effect on investors willingness to purchase our securities, interest rates, credit spreads and/or the valuation levels of equity markets.


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We are dependent on the earnings of our subsidiaries. Substantially all of our operations are conducted through our subsidiaries. As a result, our cash flow and our ability to fund operations are dependent upon the earnings of our subsidiaries and the distribution of earnings, loans or other payments by our subsidiaries. Our subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities and have no obligation to fund our payment obligations, whether by dividends, distributions, loans or other payments. Any payments to us by our subsidiaries could be subject to statutory or contractual restrictions and are contingent upon our subsidiaries earnings and business considerations. Certain of our subsidiaries are subject to regulatory restrictions that may limit their ability to transfer assets to their parent companies. Our financial condition could be adversely affected if certain of our subsidiaries are unable to distribute assets to us.
LEGAL AND REGULATORY RISKS
We are subject to extensive, complex, overlapping and frequently changing rules, regulations, policies, and legal interpretations. There is uncertainty associated with the regulatory and compliance environments in which we operate. Our business is subject to extensive and complex, overlapping and/or conflicting, and frequently changing and increasing rules, regulations, policies and legal interpretations, around the world. Political and electoral changes, developments and conflicts have in the past introduced, and may in the future introduce, additional uncertainty. Our regulatory and compliance obligations impose significant operational and cost burdens on us and cover a broad range of requirements related to financial reporting and other disclosure matters, securities and other financial instruments, investment and advisory matters, accounting, tax, compensation, ethics, data protection, privacy, sanctions programs, and escheatment requirements. We may be adversely affected by a failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations and changes in the countries in which we operate. For a more extensive discussion of the laws, regulations and regulators to which we are subject, see “Item 1 - Business - Regulation” included in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.
We may be adversely affected as a result of new or revised legislation or regulations or by changes in the interpretation of existing laws and regulations. The laws and regulations applicable to our business generally involve restrictions and requirements in connection with a variety of technical, specialized, and expanding matters and concerns. Over the years, the U.S. federal corporate governance and securities laws have been augmented substantially and made significantly more complex by various legislation. As we continue to address our legal and regulatory requirements or focus on meeting new or expanded requirements, we may need to expend a substantial amount of additional time, costs and resources. Regulatory reforms may add further complexity to our business and operations and could require us to alter our investment management services and related activities, which could be costly, impede our growth and adversely impact our AUM, revenues and income. Regulatory reforms also may impact our clients, which could cause them to change their investment strategies or allocations in a manner adverse to our business. Certain key regulatory reforms in the U.S. that impact or relate to our business, and may cause us to incur additional obligations, include:
Dodd-Frank. In July 2010, Dodd-Frank was adopted in the U.S. Dodd-Frank is expansive in scope and has required the adoption of extensive regulations and the issuance of numerous regulatory decisions, while certain proposed rules remain subject to final adoption.
Systemically Important Financial Institutions. Dodd-Frank authorized the establishment of the FSOC, the mandate of which is to identify and respond to threats to U.S. financial stability. Similarly, the U.S. and other members of the G-20 group of nations have empowered the FSB to identify and respond, in a coordinated manner, to threats to global financial stability. To the extent that we or any of our funds are designated as SIFIs by the FSOC or as global SIFIs by the FSB, such designations add additional supervision and/or regulation, which could include requirements related to risk-based capital, leverage, liquidity, credit exposure, stress testing, resolution plans, early remediation, and certain risk management requirements, that could impact our business.
Derivatives and Other Financial Products. Dodd-Frank, as well as other legislation and regulations, impose restrictions and limitations on us related to our financial services and products, resulting in increased scrutiny and oversight. Under Dodd-Frank’s regulations governing derivative transactions, certain categories of swaps are required to be submitted for clearing by a regulated clearing organization and reported on a swap execution facility. The EU and other countries have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, similar requirements. There is some risk that full mutual recognition may not be achieved between the various regulators, which may cause us to incur duplicate regulation and transaction costs. The SEC has also proposed a rule that would impose restrictions on the use of derivatives by registered funds. In addition, SEC rules have changed the structure and operation for certain types of money market funds, and certain U.S.-registered funds are required to adopt liquidity management programs.


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Privacy and Data Protection. There also has been increased regulation with respect to the protection of customer privacy and data, and the need to secure sensitive customer, employee and others’ information. As the regulatory focus on privacy continues to intensify and laws and regulations concerning the management of personal data expand, risks related to privacy and data collection within our business will increase. In addition to the EU’s GDPR data protection rules, we may also be or become subject to or affected by additional country, federal and state laws, regulations and guidance impacting consumer privacy, such as the recently enacted CCPA effective January 2020, which provides for enhanced consumer protections for California residents and statutory fines for data security breaches or other CCPA violations. Noncompliance with our legal obligations relating to privacy and data protection could result in penalties, legal proceedings by governmental entities or affected individuals, and significant legal and financial exposure.
Rule 12b-1 Plans. In 2010, the SEC proposed changes to Rule 12b-1 promulgated under the Investment Company Act that, if adopted, could limit our ability to recover expenses relating to the distribution of our U.S.-registered funds, which could decrease our revenues.
SEC Regulation Best Interest. In June 2019, the SEC adopted a package of new rules, amendments and interpretations, including Regulation Best Interest and a new form of relationship summary, designed to enhance investor protections for all retail customers, that will, subject to a transition period until June 30, 2020, among other things: (i) require broker-dealers to act in the best interest of their retail customers when recommending securities and account types, (ii) raise the broker-dealer standard of conduct beyond existing suitability obligations, and (iii) require a new relationship summary disclosure document to inform retail clients of the nature of the broker-dealers’ relationships with investment professionals and registered investment advisers, including a description of services offered, the legal standards of conduct that apply to each, the fees a client might pay, and conflicts of interest that may exist.
Other Compliance Requirements. Compliance with the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001, and anti-money laundering and economic sanctions, both domestically and internationally, has taken on heightened importance as a result of efforts to, among other things, combat terrorist financing and actions that undermine the stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries. In addition, global regulatory, federal and/or state anti-takeover or business combination laws may impose various disclosure and procedural requirements on a person seeking to acquire control of us, which may discourage potential merger and acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control, including through transactions that some stockholders may consider desirable.
The impacts of these and other regulatory reforms on us, now and in the future, could be significant. We expect that the regulatory requirements and developments applicable to us will cause us to continue to incur additional compliance and administrative burdens and costs. Any inability to meet applicable requirements within the required timeframes may subject us to sanctions or other restrictions by governments and/or regulators that could adversely impact our broader business objectives.
Global regulatory and legislative actions and reforms have made the regulatory environment in which we operate more costly and future actions and reforms could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. As in the U.S., regulatory and legislative actions outside the U.S. have been augmented substantially and made more complex, by measures such as the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and MiFID II. Further, ongoing changes in the EU’s regulatory framework applicable to our business, including changes related to Brexit and any other changes in the composition of the EU’s member states, may add further complexity to our global risks and operations. Moreover, the adoption of new laws, regulations or standards and changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws, regulations or standards have directly affected, and will continue to affect, our business. With new laws and changes in interpretation of existing requirements, the associated time we must dedicate to and related costs we must incur in meeting the regulatory complexities of our business have increased. We may be required to invest significant additional management time and resources to address new regulations being adopted pursuant to MiFID II and other laws. For example, MiFID II requires the “unbundling” of research and execution charges for trading. The industry’s response to the unbundling rules is still evolving and could lead to increased research costs. Outlays associated with meeting regulatory complexities have also increased as we expand our business into new jurisdictions.


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As of May 2018, the EU’s GDPR strengthened and unified data protection rules for individuals within the EU. GDPR also addresses export of personal data outside the EU. The primary objectives of GDPR are to give citizens control of their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying data protection regulation within the EU. Compliance with the stringent data protection rules under GDPR requires an extensive review of all of our global data processing systems. The failure to comply properly with GDPR rules on a timely basis and to maintain ongoing compliance with such rules may subject us to enforcement proceedings and significant fines and costs. For example, a failure to comply with GDPR could result in fines up to 20 million Euros or 4% of our annual global revenues, whichever is higher.
Compliance activities to address these and other new legal requirements have required, and will continue to require, us to expend additional time and resources, and, consequently, we are incurring increased costs of doing business, which potentially negatively impacts our profitability and future financial results. Finally, any further regulatory and legislative actions and reforms affecting the investment management industry, including compliance initiatives, may negatively impact revenues by increasing our costs of accessing or operating in financial markets or by making certain investment offerings less favorable to our clients.

Failure to comply with the laws, rules or regulations in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate could result in substantial harm to our reputation and results of operations. As with all investment management companies, our activities are highly regulated in almost all countries in which we conduct business. Failure to comply with the applicable laws, rules, regulations, codes, directives, notices or guidelines in any of our jurisdictions could result in civil liability, criminal liability and/or sanctions against us, including fines, censures, injunctive relief, the suspension or expulsion from a particular jurisdiction or market, or the revocation of licenses or charters, any of which could adversely affect our reputation and operations. Moreover, any potential accounting or reporting error, whether financial or otherwise, if material, could damage our reputation and adversely affect our business. While management has focused attention and resources on our compliance policies, procedures and practices, the regulatory environments of the jurisdictions where we conduct our business, or where our products are organized or sold, are complex, uncertain and subject to change. Local regulatory environments may vary widely and place additional demands on our sales, investment, legal and compliance personnel. In recent years, the regulatory environments in which we operate have seen significant increased and evolving regulations, which have imposed and may continue to impose additional compliance and operational requirements and costs on us in the applicable jurisdictions. Regulators could also change their policies or laws in a manner that might restrict or otherwise impede our ability to offer our services and products in their respective markets, or we may be unable to keep up with, or adapt to, the ever changing, complex regulatory requirements in such jurisdictions or markets, which could further negatively impact our business.
Changes in tax laws or exposure to additional income tax liabilities could have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. We are subject to income taxes as well as non-income based taxes, and are subject to ongoing tax audits, in various jurisdictions in which we operate. Tax authorities may disagree with certain positions we have taken and assess additional taxes. We regularly assess the likely outcomes of these audits in order to determine the appropriateness of our tax provision. However, there can be no assurance that we will accurately predict the outcomes of these audits, and the actual outcomes could have a material impact on our net income or financial condition. Changes in tax laws or tax rulings may at times materially impact our effective tax rate.
The U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes various changes to the tax law, including a permanent reduction in the corporate income tax rate and one-time transition tax on certain non-U.S. earnings. Further, pursuant to ongoing efforts to encourage global tax compliance, the OECD has adopted CRS, aimed at ensuring that persons with financial assets located outside of their tax residence country pay required taxes. In many cases, intergovernmental agreements between the participating countries will govern implementation of the new CRS rules. CRS is being implemented over a multi-year period and we will continue to monitor the implementing regulations and corresponding intergovernmental agreements to determine our requirements. CRS may subject us to additional reporting, compliance and administrative costs, and burdens in jurisdictions where we operate as a qualifying financial institution.
The OECD has also undertaken a new project focused on “Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digitalization of the Economy.” This project may impact all multinational businesses by allocating a greater share of taxing rights to countries where consumers are located regardless of the current physical presence of a business, and by implementing a global minimum tax. There is significant uncertainty regarding such proposal and any unfavorable resolution could have an adverse effect on our effective tax rate.


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Our contractual obligations may subject us to indemnification costs and liability to third parties. In the ordinary course of business, we and our subsidiaries enter into contracts with third parties, including, without limitation, clients, vendors, and other service providers, that contain a variety of representations and warranties and that provide for indemnifications by us in certain circumstances. Pursuant to such contractual arrangements, we may be subject to indemnification costs and liability to third parties if, for example, we breach any material obligations under the agreements or agreed standards of care, or in the event such third parties have certain legal claims asserted against them. The terms of these indemnities vary from contract to contract, and future indemnification claims against us could negatively impact our financial condition.
Regulatory and governmental examinations and/or investigations, litigation and the legal risks associated with our business, could adversely impact our AUM, increase costs and negatively impact our profitability and/or our future financial results. From time to time, we receive and respond to regulatory and governmental requests for documents or other information, subpoenas, examinations and investigations in connection with our business activities. In addition, regulatory or governmental examinations or investigations that have been inactive could become active. In addition, from time to time, we are named as a party in litigation. We may be obligated, and under our certificate of incorporation, by-laws and standard form of director indemnification agreement we are obligated under certain conditions, or we may choose, to indemnify directors, officers or employees against liabilities and expenses they may incur in connection with such matters to the extent permitted under applicable law. Even if claims made against us are without merit, litigation typically is an expensive process. Risks associated with legal liability often are difficult to assess or quantify and their existence and magnitude can remain unknown for significant periods of time. Eventual exposures from and expenses incurred relating to any examinations, investigations, litigation, and/or settlements could adversely impact our AUM, increase costs and/or negatively impact our profitability and financial results. Allegations, findings or judgments of wrongdoing by regulatory or governmental authorities or in litigation against us, or settlements with respect thereto, could affect our reputation, increase our costs of doing business and/or negatively impact our revenues, any of which could have a material negative impact on our financial results.
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2.
Properties.
We conduct our worldwide operations using a combination of owned and leased facilities. While we believe our facilities are suitable and adequate to conduct our business at present, we will continue to acquire, lease and dispose of facilities throughout the world as necessary.
We own our San Mateo, California corporate headquarters and various other office buildings in the U.S. and internationally. We lease excess owned space to third parties under leases with terms through 2029. Our owned properties consist of the following:
Location
 
Owned Square
Footage
 
Owned Square
Footage Leased
to Third Parties
San Mateo, California
 
743,793

 
315,590

St. Petersburg, Florida
 
560,948

 
301,716

Rancho Cordova, California
 
445,023

 
62,660

Hyderabad, India
 
379,052

 

Poznan, Poland
 
284,436

 

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
 
102,246

 
20,264

Other
 
108,383

 
13,641

Total
 
2,623,881

 
713,871


We lease office space in nine states in the U.S. and Washington, D.C., and internationally, including, without limitation, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong), Germany, India, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and the U.K. As of September 30, 2019, we leased and occupied approximately 1,133,000 square feet of office space worldwide, and subleased to third parties approximately 13,000 square feet of excess leased space.


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Item 3.
Legal Proceedings.
The information set forth in response to this Item 3 of Regulation S-K under “Legal Proceedings” is incorporated by reference from the “Legal Proceedings” section in Note 14 – Commitments and Contingencies in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Form 10‑K, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The following description of our executive officers is included as an unnumbered item in Part I of this report in lieu of being included in our definitive proxy statement for our annual meeting of stockholders. Set forth below are the name, age, present title, and certain other information for each of our executive officers as of November 12, 2019. Each executive officer is appointed by Franklin’s Board of Directors and holds his/her office until the earlier of his/her death, resignation, retirement, disqualification or removal.
Gregory E. Johnson
Age 58
Chairman of the Board of Franklin since June 2013 and Chief Executive Officer of Franklin since January 2004; formerly, President of Franklin from December 1999 to September 2015; officer and/or director of certain subsidiaries of Franklin; director or trustee of 42 funds registered as investment companies managed or advised by subsidiaries of Franklin.
Rupert H. Johnson, Jr.
Age 79
Vice Chairman of Franklin since December 1999 and director of Franklin since 1969; officer and/or director of certain subsidiaries of Franklin; director or trustee of 40 funds registered as investment companies managed or advised by subsidiaries of Franklin.
Jennifer M. Johnson
Age 55
President of Franklin since December 2016 and Chief Operating Officer since February 2017; formerly, Co-President of Franklin from October 2015 to December 2016, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Franklin from March 2010 to September 2015, Executive Vice President–Operations and Technology of Franklin from December 2005 to March 2010, and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Franklin from May 2003 to December 2005; officer and/or director of certain subsidiaries of Franklin; director or trustee of certain funds registered as investment companies managed or advised by subsidiaries of Franklin.
Matthew Nicholls
Age 47
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Franklin since May 2019; formerly, with Citigroup, Inc. (a financial services firm) from 1995 to May 2019, as Managing Director, Global Head of Financial Institutions, Corporate Banking, and Global Head of Asset Management, Corporate and Investment Banking, from 2017 to May 2019, as Managing Director, Co-Head, Financial Institutions Corporate and Investment Banking, North America, and Global Head of Asset Management, Corporate and Investment Banking, from 2014 to 2017, as Managing Director, Co-Head, Financial Institutions Corporate and Investment Banking from 2011 to 2014, as Managing Director and Co-Head of Financial Institutions Corporate Banking from 2007 to 2011, and as Managing Director and Co-Head of Asset Management Banking from 2006 to 2007; officer of certain subsidiaries of Franklin since June 2019.


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Craig S. Tyle
Age 59
Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Franklin since August 2005; formerly, a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP (a law firm) from March 2004 to July 2005 and General Counsel for the Investment Company Institute (a trade group for the U.S. fund industry) from September 1997 through March 2004; officer and/or director of certain subsidiaries of Franklin; officer of certain funds registered as investment companies managed or advised by subsidiaries of Franklin.
Jed A. Plafker
Age 48
Executive Vice President of Franklin since April 2019, formerly, Senior Vice President from June 2018 to April 2019; officer and/or director of various subsidiaries of Franklin for more than the past five years, including, for example, as Executive Vice President of Franklin Templeton Institutional, LLC since April 2009, President and director of Templeton Institutional, Inc. since September 2009, and President since February 2017 and director since December 2016 of Templeton Worldwide, Inc.
Gwen L. Shaneyfelt
Age 57
Chief Accounting Officer of Franklin since April 2019; officer and/or director of various subsidiaries of Franklin for more than the past five years, including, for example, as Director of Franklin Templeton Fund Management Limited since May 2019, Manager of Franklin Templeton International Services S.à r.l. since November 2013, and Senior Vice President of Franklin Templeton Companies, LLC since March 2011.
Alok Sethi
Age 58
Officer and/or director of various investment adviser, operations, and technology related subsidiaries of Franklin for more than the past five years, including, for example, as Senior Vice President of Franklin Advisers, Inc., Franklin Templeton Institutional, LLC and Templeton Investment Counsel, LLC since July 2014, Vice President of FASA, LLC since June 2014, and Vice President of Franklin Templeton Companies, LLC since June 2010.
Family Relationships
Gregory E. Johnson is the nephew of Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. and the brother of Charles E. Johnson (a director of Franklin) and Jennifer M. Johnson. Charles E. Johnson is the nephew of Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. and the brother of Gregory E. Johnson and Jennifer M. Johnson. Jennifer M. Johnson is the niece of Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. and the sister of Gregory E. Johnson and Charles E. Johnson.


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PART II
Item 5.
Market for Registrants Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our common stock is traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “BEN.” At October 31, 2019, there were 2,805 stockholders of record of our common stock.
The following table provides information with respect to the shares of our common stock that we repurchased during the three months ended September 30, 2019.
Month
 
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
 
Average Price
Paid per Share
 
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
As Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs
 
Maximum
Number of Shares
that May Yet Be
Purchased Under
the Plans or
Programs
July 2019
 
971,064

 
$
34.52

 
971,064

 
51,792,521

August 2019
 
3,157,049

 
27.97

 
3,157,049

 
48,635,472

September 2019
 
1,459,653

 
28.48

 
1,459,653

 
47,175,819

Total
 
5,587,766

 
 
 
5,587,766

 
 

Under our stock repurchase program, which is not subject to an expiration date, we can repurchase shares of our common stock from time to time in the open market and in private transactions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including without limitation applicable federal securities laws. In order to pay taxes due in connection with the vesting of employee and executive officer stock and stock unit awards, we may repurchase shares under our program using a net stock issuance method. In April 2018, we announced that our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to 80.0 million additional shares of our common stock under the stock repurchase program.


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Item 6.
Selected Financial Data.
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
as of and for the fiscal years ended September 30, 
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Summary of Operations (in millions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating revenues
 
$
5,774.5

 
$
6,319.1

 
$
6,392.2

 
$
6,618.0

 
$
7,948.7

Operating income
 
1,557.4

 
2,118.6

 
2,264.3

 
2,365.7

 
3,027.6

Operating margin
 
27.0
%
 
33.5
%
 
35.4
%
 
35.7
%
 
38.1
%
Net income attributable to Franklin Resources, Inc.
1,195.7

1 
764.4

2 
1,696.7

 
1,726.7

 
2,035.3

Financial Data (in millions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
 
$
14,532.2

 
$
14,383.5

 
$
17,534.0

 
$
16,098.8

 
$
16,335.7

Debt
 
696.9

 
695.9

 
1,044.2

 
1,401.2

 
1,348.0

Debt of consolidated investment products
 
50.8

 
32.6

 
53.4

 
682.2

 
807.3

Franklin Resources, Inc. stockholders’ equity
 
9,906.5

 
9,899.2

 
12,620.0

 
11,935.8

 
11,841.0

Operating cash flows
 
201.6

 
2,229.7

 
1,135.4

 
1,727.7

 
2,252.0

Investing cash flows
 
(1,077.1
)
 
(290.4
)
 
52.0

 
192.2

 
248.9

Financing cash flows
 
(40.5
)
 
(3,761.7
)
 
(956.0
)
 
(1,800.7
)
 
(1,612.2
)
Assets Under Management (in billions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ending
 
$
692.6

 
$
717.1

 
$
753.2

 
$
733.3

 
$
770.9

Average 3
 
697.0

 
740.5

 
736.9

 
749.3

 
869.5

Per Common Share
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$