THIS AGREEMENT is made as of _February 10, 1999 by and between
AmeriPrime Insurance Trust, an Ohio business trust (the "Trust"), and AmeriPrime
Financial Securities, Inc., a Texas corporation ("Underwriter").
WHEREAS, the Trust is an investment company registered under the
Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the "Act"); and
WHEREAS, Underwriter is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and
Exchange Commission and a member of the National Association of Securities
Dealers, Inc. (the "NASD"); and
WHEREAS, the Trust and Underwriter wish to enter into an agreement
providing for the distribution by Underwriter of shares of beneficial interest
(the "Shares") of the series of shares of the Trust listed on Exhibit A attached
hereto, as it may be amended from time to time (the "Series").
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the promises and agreements of the
parties contained herein, the parties agree as follows:
1. Appointment. The Trust hereby appoints Underwriter as its exclusive
agent for the distribution of the Shares of the Series and Underwriter hereby
accepts such appointment under the terms of this Agreement. While this Agreement
is in force, the Underwriter shall not sell any Shares of the series except on
the terms set forth in this Agreement. Notwithstanding any other provision
hereof, the Trust may terminate, suspend or withdraw the offering of Shares of
any Series whenever, in its sole discretion, it deems such action to be
2. Sale and Repurchase of Shares.
(a) Underwriter will have the right, as agent for the Trust,
to enter into dealer agreements with responsible investment dealers, and to sell
Shares to such investment dealers against orders therefore at the public
offering price (as defined in subparagraph 2(e) hereof) less a discount
determined by Underwriter, which discount shall not exceed the amount of the
sales charge stated in the Trust's effective Registration Statement on Form N-1A
under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, including the then current
prospectus and statement of additional information (the "Registration
Statement"). Upon receipt of an order to purchase Shares from a dealer with whom
Underwriter has a dealer agreement, Underwriter will promptly cause such order
to be filled by the Trust.
(b) Underwriter will have the right, as agent for the Trust,
to sell such Shares to the public against orders therefor at the public offering
(c) Underwriter will also have the right, as agent for the
Trust, to sell Shares at their net asset value to such persons as may be
approved by the Trustees of the Trust, all such sales to comply with the
provisions of the Act and the rules and regulations of the Securities and
Exchange Commission promulgated thereunder.
(d) Underwriter will also have the right to take, as agent for
the Trust, all actions which, in Underwriter's judgment, are necessary to carry
into effect the distribution of the Shares.
(e) The public offering price for the Shares of each Series
(and, with respect to each Series offering multiple classes of Shares, the
Shares of each Class of such Series) shall be the respective net asset value of
the Shares of that Series (or Class of that Series) then in effect, plus any
applicable sales charge determined in the manner set forth in the Registration
Statement or as permitted by the Act and the rules and regulations of the
Securities and Exchange Commission promulgated thereunder. In no event shall any
applicable sales charge exceed the maximum sales charge permitted by the Rules
of Fair Practice of the NASD.
(f) The net asset value of the Shares of each Series (or Class
of a Series) shall be determined in the manner provided in the Registration
Statement, and when determined shall be applicable to transactions as provided
for in the Registration Statement. The net asset value of the Shares of each
Series (or each Class of a Series) shall be calculated by the Trust or by
another entity on behalf of the Trust. Underwriter shall have no duty to inquire
into or liability for the accuracy of the net asset value per share as
(g) On every sale, the Trust shall receive the applicable net
asset value of the Shares promptly, but in no event later than the tenth
business day following the date on which Underwriter shall have received an
order for the purchase of the Shares.
(h) Upon receipt of purchase instructions, Underwriter will
transmit such instructions to the Trust or its transfer agent for registration
of the Shares purchased.
(i) Nothing in this Agreement shall prevent Underwriter or any
affiliated person (as defined in the Act) of Underwriter from acting as
underwriter or distributor for any other person, firm or corporation (including
other investment companies) or in any way limit or restrict Underwriter or any
such affiliated person from buying, selling or trading any securities for its or
their own account or for the accounts of others for whom it or they may be
acting; provided, however, that Underwriter expressly represents that it will
undertake no activities which, in its judgment, will adversely affect the
performance of its obligations to the Trust under this Agreement.
(j) Underwriter, as agent of and for the account of the Trust,
may repurchase the Shares at such prices and upon such terms and conditions as
shall be specified in the Registration Statement.
3. Sales of Shares by the Trust or other Underwriter. The Trust
reserves the right to issue any Shares at any time directly to the holders of
Shares ("Shareholders"), to sell shares through and enter underwriting
agreements with other underwriters, to sell Shares to its Shareholders or to
other persons approved by Underwriter at not less than net asset value and to
issue Shares in exchange for substantially all the assets of any corporation or
trust or for the shares of any corporation or trust.
4. Basis of Sale of Shares. Underwriter does not agree to sell any
specific number of Shares. Underwriter, as agent for the Trust, undertakes to
sell Shares on a best efforts basis only against orders therefor.
5. Compliance with NASD and Government Rules.
(a) Underwriter will conform to the Rules of Fair Practice of
the NASD and the securities laws of any jurisdiction in which it sells, directly
or indirectly, any Shares.
(b) Underwriter, at its own expense, will pay the costs
incurred in establishing and maintaining its relationship with the dealers
selling the Shares. Underwriter will require each dealer with whom Underwriter
has a dealer agreement to conform to the applicable provisions hereof and the
Registration Statement, and neither Underwriter nor any such dealers shall
withhold the placing of purchase orders so as to make a profit thereby.
(c) Underwriter agrees to furnish to the Trust sufficient
copies of any agreements, plans or other materials it intends to use in
connection with any sales of Shares in adequate time for the Trust to file and
clear them with the proper authorities before they are put in use, and not to
use them until so filed and cleared.
(d) Underwriter, at its own expense, will qualify as dealer or
broker, or otherwise, under all applicable State or federal laws required in
order that Shares may be sold in such States as may be mutually agreed upon by
(e) Underwriter shall not make, or permit any representative,
broker or dealer to make, in connection with any sale or solicitation of a sale
of the Shares, any representations concerning the Shares except those contained
in the then current prospectus and statement of additional information covering
the Shares and in printed information approved by the Trust as information
supplemental to such prospectus and statement of additional information. Copies
of the then effective prospectus and statement of additional information and any
such printed supplemental information will be supplied by the Trust to
Underwriter in reasonable quantities upon request.
6. Records to be Supplied by Trust. The Trust shall furnish to
Underwriter copies of all information, financial statements and other papers
which Underwriter may reasonably request for use in connection with the
distribution of the Shares, and this shall include, but shall not be limited to,
one certified copy, upon request by Underwriter, of all financial statements
prepared for the Trust by independent public accountants.
7. Expenses to be Borne by Trust. The Trust will bear the following
(a) preparation, setting in type, printing of sufficient
copies of the prospectus and statement of additional information for
distribution to shareholders, and the distribution to shareholders of the
prospectus and statement of additional information;
(b) preparation, printing and distribution of reports and other
communications to shareholders;
(c) registration of the Shares under the federal securities law;
(d) qualification of the Shares for sale in the jurisdictions
designated by Underwriter; (e) qualification of the Trust as a
dealer or broker under the laws of jurisdictions
designated by Underwriter as well as qualification of the Trust to do business
in any jurisdiction, if Underwriter determines that such qualification is
necessary or desirable for the purpose of facilitating sales of the Shares;
(f) maintaining facilities for the issue and transfer of the
Shares; (g) supplying information, prices and other data to be
furnished by the Trust under this Agreement; and
(h) any original issue taxes or transfer taxes applicable to
the sale or delivery of the Shares of certificates therefor.
8. Services to and Actions for Trust, Not Underwriter. Any person,
even though also a director, officer, employee, shareholder, member or agent of
Underwriter, who may be or become an officer, trustee, employee or agent of the
Trust, shall be deemed, when rendering services to the Trust or acting on any
business of the Trust (other than services or business in connection with
Underwriter's duties hereunder), to be rendering such services to or acting
solely for the Trust and not as a director, officer, employee, shareholder,
member or agent, or one under the control or direction of Underwriter, even
though paid by it.
9. Limitation of Liability. Underwriter may rely on information
reasonably believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Except as may otherwise
be required by the Act or the rules thereunder, neither Underwriter nor its
members, shareholders, officers, directors, employees, agents, control persons
or affiliates of any thereof (collectively, the "Underwriter's Employees") shall
be subject to any liability for, or any damages, expenses or losses incurred by
the Trust in connection with, any error of judgment, mistake of law, any act or
omission in connection with or arising out of any services rendered under or
payments made pursuant to this Agreement or any other matter to which this
Agreement relates, except by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross
negligence on the part of any such persons in the performance of the duties of
Underwriter under this Agreement or by reason of reckless disregard by any of
such persons of the obligations and duties of Underwriter under this Agreement.
10. Indemnification of Underwriter. Subject to and except as otherwise
provided in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Act, the Trust shall
indemnify Underwriter and each of Underwriter's Employees (hereinafter referred
to as a "Covered Person") against all liabilities, including but not limited to
amounts paid in satisfaction of judgments, in compromise or as fines and
penalties, and expenses, including reasonable accountants' and counsel fees,
incurred by any Covered Person in connection with the defense or disposition of
any action, suit or other proceeding, whether civil or criminal, before any
court or administrative or legislative body, in which such Covered Person may be
or may have been involved as a party or otherwise or with which such person may
be or may have been threatened, while serving as the underwriter for the Trust
or as one of Underwriter's Employees, or thereafter, by reason of being or
having been the underwriter for the Trust or one of Underwriter's Employees,
including but not limited to liabilities arising due to any misrepresentation or
misstatement in the Trust's prospectus, other regulatory filings, and amendments
thereto, or in other documents originating from the Trust. In no case shall a
Covered Person be indemnified against any liability to which such Covered Person
would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross
negligence or reckless disregard of the duties of such Covered Person.
11. Advances of Expenses. The Trust shall advance attorneys' fees or
other expenses incurred by a Covered Person in defending a proceeding to the
full extent permitted by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Act.
12. Termination and Amendment of this Agreement. This Agreement shall
automatically terminate, without the payment of any penalty, in the event of its
assignment. This Agreement may be amended only if such amendment is approved (i)
by Underwriter, (ii) either by action of the Board of Trustees of the Trust or
at a meeting of the Shareholders of the Trust by the affirmative vote of a
majority of the outstanding Shares, and (iii) by a majority of the Trustees of
the Trust who are not interested persons of the Trust or of Underwriter, by vote
cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.
Either the Trust or Underwriter may at any time terminate this Agreement on
sixty (60) days' written notice delivered or mailed by registered mail, postage
prepaid, to the other party.
13. Effective Period of this Agreement. This Agreement shall take
effect upon its execution and shall remain in full force and effect for a period
of two years from the date of its execution (unless terminated automatically as
set forth in Paragraph 12, and from year to year thereafter), subject to annual
approval (i) by Underwriter, (ii) by the Board of Trustees of the Trust or a
vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares, and (iii) by a majority of the
Trustees of the Trust who are not interested persons of the Trust or of
Underwriter, by vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of
voting on such approval.
14. Limitation of Trust's Liability. The term "AmeriPrime Investment
Trust" means and refers to the Trustees from time to time serving under the
Trust's Declaration of Trust as the same may subsequently thereto have been, or
subsequently hereto be, amended. It is expressly agreed that the obligations of
the Trust hereunder shall not be binding upon any of the Trustees, Shareholders,
nominees, officers, agents or employees of the Trust, personally, but bind only
the trust property of the Trust, as provided in the Declaration of Trust of the
Trust. The execution and delivery of this Agreement have been authorized by the
Trustees and Shareholders of the Trust and signed by the officers of the Trust,
acting as such, and neither such authorization by such Trustees and Shareholders
nor such execution and delivery by such officers shall be deemed to have been
made by any of them individually or to impose any liability on them personally,
but shall bind only the trust property of the Trust as provided in its
Declaration of Trust. A copy of the Agreement and Declaration of Trust of the
Trust is on file with the Secretary of State of Ohio.
15. New Series. The terms and provisions of this Agreement shall become
automatically applicable to any additional series of the Trust established
during the initial or renewal term of this Agreement.
16. Successor Investment Company. Unless this Agreement has been
terminated in accordance with Paragraph 13, the terms and provisions of this
Agreement shall become automatically applicable to any investment company which
is a successor to the Trust as a result of a reorganization, recapitalization or
change of domicile.
17. Severability. In the event any provision of this Agreement is
determined to be void or unenforceable, such determination shall not affect the
remainder of this Agreement, which shall continue to be in force.
18. Questions of Interpretation.
(a) This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Ohio.
(b) Any question of interpretation of any term or provision of
this Agreement having a counterpart in or otherwise derived from a term or
provision of the Act shall be resolved by reference to such term or provision of
the Act and to interpretation thereof, if any, by the United States courts or in
the absence of any controlling decision of any such court, by rules, regulations
or orders of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued pursuant to said Act.
In addition, where the effect of a requirement of the Act, reflected in any
provision of this Agreement is revised by rule, regulation or order of the
Securities and Exchange Commission, such provision shall be deemed to
incorporate the effect of such rule, regulation or order.
19. Notices. Any notices under this Agreement shall be in writing,
addressed and delivered or mailed postage paid to the other party at such
address as such other party may designate for the receipt of such notice. Until
further notice to the other party, it is agreed that for this purpose the
address of the Trust shall be 0000 Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxx, Xxxxx 000, Xxxxxxxxx, Xxxxx
00000 and of the Underwriter shall be 0000 Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxx, Xxxxx 000,
Xxxxxxxxx, Xxxxx 00000.
20. Counterparts. This Agreement may be in one or more counterparts,
each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall
constitute one and the same instrument.
21. Binding Effect. Each of the undersigned expressly warrants and
represents that he has the full power and authority to sign this Agreement on
behalf of the party indicated, and that his signature will operate to bind the
party indicated to the foregoing terms.
22. Force Majeure. If Underwriter shall be delayed in its performance
of services or prevented entirely or in part from performing services due to
causes or events beyond its control, including and without limitation, acts of
God, interruption of power or other utility, transportation or communication
services, acts of civil or military authority, sabotages, national emergencies,
explosion, flood, accident, earthquake or other catastrophe, fire, strike or
other labor problems, legal action, present or future law, governmental order,
rule or regulation, or shortages of suitable parts, materials, labor or
transportation, such delay or non-performance shall be excused and a reasonable
time for performance in connection with this Agreement shall be extended to
include the period of such delay or non-performance.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Trust and Underwriter have each caused this
Agreement to be signed on its behalf, all as of the day and year first above
ATTEST: AmeriPrime Insurance Trust
Xxxx Xxxxxxx By:_______/s/____________________
Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxxxxxx, President
ATTEST: AmeriPrime Financial Securities, Inc.
Xxxx Xxxxxxx By:_______/s/_____________________
Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxxxxxx, President
UNDERWRITING AGREEMENT EXHIBIT A
Shepherd Values Growth
Shepherd Values Small-Cap Fund
Shepherd Values International Fund
Shepherd Values Fixed Income Fund