Pear Tree Essex Environmental Opportunities Fund

The PEAR TREE ESSEX ENVIRONMENTAL OPPORTUNITIES FUND operates at the nexus of environment and finance, investing in companies that enable greater natural resource and energy efficiency.

Investment Process

The Fund invests in companies the management team believes solve environmental and related social challenges, seeking to provide attractive financial and social impact returns. The Fund invests in public equities with full alignment to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Investments are made across nine environmental themes, providing clean technology diversification in companies with revenue and earnings growth greater than the broad equity market, in companies exhibiting effective capital allocation and strong profitability.

Buy and Sell Discipline

The Fund is concentrated, typically owning 35-45 equity holdings, in growth companies which provide solutions to the world's environmental challenges. Stock selection is based on rigorous fundamental company analysis and a valuation process that is informed by the portfolio management team’s thematic industry assessment. The Fund is generally lower turnover, with half from existing positions. Position sizes average 2-3%, and are diversified across themes, geographies and industries. Risk management and assessment is integral to portfolio construction, with position sizes determined by industry maturity, liquidity, individual security volatility and the management of price and profit expectations.

Portfolio Management

The Fund is managed by William Page and Robert Uek of Essex Investment Management, LLC. Essex is an independent, employee-owned firm with over a 40-year history of growth equity investing. Page and Uek have almost 60 years of combined institutional investment experience. The portfolio management team has been managing clean technology portfolios for over 16 years, with the first listed impact strategy in North America.

Fund Overview

YTD RETURN*
-27.83%

NAV*
$13.12

INCEPTION
September 1, 2017

MINIMUM INVESTMENT
$2,500

CUSIP
70472Q724

BENCHMARK
MSCI WORLD

NET EXPENSE RATIO(1)
1.26%

GROSS EXPENSE RATIO(2)
1.57%

 

*as of 5/13/2022

Investment Professionals

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Sub-Advisor

Essex Investment Management Co., LLC

Essex Investment Management Company, LLC. follows an investment philosophy based on the early identification of growth, wherever growth exists.

Portfolio Managers

Robert Uek, CFA
William Page

Performance

YTD
As Of 5/13/2022
Quarterly
As Of 3/31/2022
1 Year
As Of 3/31/2022
3 Years
As Of 3/31/2022
5 Years
As Of 3/31/2022
10 Years
As Of 3/31/2022
Since Inception As Of
3/31/2022
Total Gross Expense Ratio(1) Total Net Expense Ratio(2)
-27.83% -11.28% -6.59% 20.48% N/A N/A 12.94% 1.57% 1.26%

Calendar Year

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
10.89% 62.76% 25.43% -15.79% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Portfolio

as of March 31, 2022

Top Ten Holdings

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 37.60%
SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. 4.40%
Kingspan Group plc 4.10%
MP Materials Corp. 4.00%
Energy Recovery, Inc. 3.80%
Generac Holdings Inc. 3.80%
Enphase Energy, Inc. 3.60%
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. 3.60%
Wolfspeed, Inc. 3.50%
Badger Meter, Inc. 3.40%
Aspen Aerogels, Inc. 3.40%

Sector Weightings

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 100.0%
Information Technology 35.30%
Industrials 31.90%
Materials 16.40%
Financials 3.60%
Utilities 2.50%
Consumer Discretionary 2.10%
Consumer Staples 1.70%
Cash and Other Assets (Net) 6.50%

Top Ten Country Allocations

Percentage Of Total Net Assets 100.00%
United States 62.00%
Israel 7.20%
Germany 7.10%
Ireland 6.20%
Japan 4.50%
Switzerland 2.70%
Denmark 2.50%
Belgium 1.30%
Cash and Other Assets (Net) 6.50%

Portfolio Characteristics

Net Assets $77,102,236
Number Of Holdings 34
Percentage in Top 10 Holdings 37.60%
Weighted Average Market Cap (Mil) $14,114.90
Annual Turnover 41.00%

Portfolio Allocation

Percentage of Portfolio 100.0%
Equity Securities 93.50%%
Cash and Other Assets (Net) 6.50%%

FOR THE QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31, 2022

The Pear Tree Essex Environmental Opportunities Fund’s Ordinary Shares (the “Fund”) underperformed its benchmark, MSCI World Index (the “Index”). The Fund achieved a return of (11.28%) at net asset value compared to (5.04%) for the Index.¹

Market Conditions and Investment Strategies

It goes without saying that the global markets have been volatile for the start of 2022, reflecting broad investor angst, from
continued pandemic complexities, to concerns regarding a protracted inflationary cycle. The month of January punished growth
equities, as investors reevaluated earnings potential in the face of higher interest rates, with better performance in subsequent
months through quarter end. The Wilderhill Clean Energy Index² declined 8.6% for the first quarter. The fourth quarter 2021
earnings results for the Fund’s holdings were released during the quarter, with generally constructive results and guidance for
2022, albeit centered on controlling input costs. While we are amidst an inflationary cycle, we are taken by the commodity price
spikes driven by the economic cycle as well as shocks such as the prolonged pandemic and the war in the Ukraine. The war has
exhibited the linkages between geopolitical strife and utterly important fossil fuel supplies which can be abated though increased
movement to new energy technologies. We believe many of the Fund’s holdings are also well positioned to assist with lessening
the inflationary effects on commerce while improving productivity.

The only significant transaction for the first quarter was the sale of the Norwegian hydrogen electrolyzer company Nel late in
January. We believe Nel to be well positioned in the hydrogen ecosystem yet think the profitability will be pushed out further given
competitive pressures and higher input costs.

Attribution (First Quarter 2022)
Top contributors:

SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG): (+14.9%) is a power technology company, providing inverter and power conversion solutions for
the solar and battery storage markets. SolarEdge’s quarterly earnings are showing signs of improvements from some supply chain
bottlenecks over the past year, and its orders were impressive with guidance for 2022 well above consensus. SolarEdge is now
providing a differentiated approach to power management through DC coupling, which connects all DC power devices, from solar to batteries and heat pumps, providing fewer power conversions with enhanced efficiency.

MP Materials (MP): (+26.2%), produces rare earth materials in North America. As the world moves to electrification in the form
of vehicles and wind turbines, more magnet technology will be needed at great scale. In the throes of increased global trade
disputes, U.S. domestic rare earth supplies are increasingly recognized as of paramount importance as we seek to lead the new
energy revolution. MP’s production process recycles over 95% of water, is fully closed loop and zero discharge, in one of the most
advanced rare earth processing facilities in the world.

Enphase Energy (ENPH): (+10.3%) is also providing power technology solutions to the solar and battery storage markets like
SolarEdge. Enphase generated over 80% sales growth last year, and we believe can post near 40% growth in 2022. Enphase is
experiencing strong end market demand for their solutions amidst edge of the network applications such as stationary power
storage and bidirectional electric vehicle (EV) charging.

Underperformers:

Kornit Digital (KRNT): (-45.7%) provides automated production equipment to the garment industry. Kornit’s expanding portfolio
spans from digital screen printing to non-toxic ink consumables. Kornit systems use 95% less water and energy than traditional
garment printing technologies – a key environmental success given garment production is responsible for an estimated 20% of
global wastewater according to the United Nations. While quarterly sales results, as well as the 2022 outlook were better than
expected, stock performance was weak based on profitability concerns. The margin pressures are due to increased research and
development which will drive better future returns as new product platforms are released.

Aspen Aerogels (ASPN): (-30.8%) is in the Fund’s clean tech & efficiency theme, producing highly efficient and safe insulating
foam products for industrial applications. Aspen is a great example of a company moving to clean technology end markets
leveraging its core intellectual property. Aspen develops highly efficient insulation products, with a proprietary gel technology that is
light as well as fire resistant. The material has been used in the energy industry, and Aspen is now focused on the electric vehicle
and power storage markets, which we believe will lead to a doubling in revenue.

Enovix Corp. (ENVX): (-47.7%) is developing next generation battery technology based on silicon anodes to increase energy
density. The company is in the process of ramping commercial production of batteries at its new plant and is initially targeting
consumer electronics like smart phones, smart watches and virtual reality headsets. The company is an early stage growth
company and has been hurt by the sell-off in highly valued growth stocks.

Social Impact Management Update

We have observed some backlash lately against environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, with “gotcha” criticisms,
questioning, for example Russian equity or fossil fuel exposures. We believe general ESG funds don’t do enough to solve real
problems – the debates are moot and detract from action. We simply believe the Fund’s investment philosophy resonates at this
time, given our focus on investing solely in companies that are providing clear solutions to global issues across the board, from
climate change to air quality. While many funds look inward, to ensure and measure ESG exposures and progress, we invest
outward, in solutions to assist and solve urgent problems. There is a growing call to action to solve these problems now, and we
expect more investors will recognize thematic, solutions-oriented investing.

One important element of our solutions orientation is sharing tangible examples of the impact of the Fund’s portfolio companies,
as well as highlighting alignment with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or real action toward net zero commitments.
We also believe no company is perfect and we continue to engage with our companies more formally on ESG concerns and related
progress.

We recently engaged with Iteris to discuss ESG progress at the company. Iteris recently released their inaugural ESG report, and we
commended management for taking the initial step to increase ESG transparency. Moving forward, we emphasized the importance
of producing standardized ESG disclosures based on an ESG reporting framework such as the Task Force for Climate-Related
Financial Disclosures. We also encouraged Iteris to continue progressing in two key areas: diversity and climate governance. We
recommended setting diversity goals and tracking diversity metrics internally to ensure Iteris’ diversity initiatives are helping to
increase workforce diversity. Finally, we advocated for stronger climate governance related to the physical risks of climate change
and their scope 1-3 emissions. Iteris is well positioned to help reduce transportation emissions, and we believe the company can
increase business resilience to physical climate impacts as well.

Essex also engaged with Bloom Energy to discuss the company’s decarbonization plan and human capital management. Bloom
has not yet committed to a net-zero target and we wanted a better sense of the company’s decarbonization progress. Our takeaway
from the conversation is that Bloom will not set a net-zero target without a clear and established plan to reduce emissions in the
short, medium, and long term. We believe this is the right approach, but also stressed the need to reduce emissions quickly given
the dire state of the global climate. We also engaged with Bloom regarding their human capital management strategy in the wake
of the Great Resignation. We look forward to seeing more details about Bloom’s human capital strategy in their next sustainability
report.

Outlook

We are amidst a transition of our global economy which will impact trade and business for the foreseeable future. Inflation will
affect input costs for companies and consumer behavior and will be exacerbated by higher and extended interest rates. Global
trade will continue to be disrupted given the greatly increased geopolitical conflicts driven by disputes with China, and the effects
of the Russian sanctions. The war in the Ukraine has caused severe increases in price beyond just oil and natural gas. The Ukraine
has historically supplied over 20% of global grain supply, which is now off the table. To make matters worse, food insecurity is
increasing with 45 million people on the brink of famine now given drought and geopolitical strife in South America, Africa, and
the Middle East according to the U.N. And, as the U.N. Intergovernmental on Climate Change (IPCC) released their latest report
exclaiming in the strongest language to date that climate change severely threatens global food security, with global yields of
agricultural commodities forecast to decrease up to 25% with each additional degree of global warming. Our world is running out
of time to limit the worst impacts of climate change, and we all have “a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity” to act.
Dire warnings and a continued alarming news cycle. What to do? To highlight a favorite quote of ours from Nelson Rockefeller,
“Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.” The Fund invests in stocks of companies
positioned for these problems, from re-onshoring domestic manufacturing to flexible factories and addressing food shortage
solutions and agricultural solutions. As we watch and reflect on the alarming news flow of late, we continue as always to leverage
the Fund’s investment philosophy, investing in companies solving global challenges to provide attractive financial and social impact
returns.

 

Distributions

Dividend Short-Term Capital Gain Long-Term Capital Gain
2021 $0.0000 $0.2301 $0.9761
2020 $0.0000 $0.1204 $0.1626
2019 $00000 $0.0000 $0.0000

Performance data quoted represents past performance and is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than performance data quoted. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than original cost.

Before investing, carefully consider the Fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. For this and other information obtain the Fund's prospectus or, if available, the Fund's summary prospectus by calling (800) 326-2151 or by clicking the Literature and Forms section of this website to view or download a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

1, 3, 5, and 10Yr performance numbers quoted are average annual total returns. Performance numbers quoted under one year are cumulative.

Polaris Capital began subadvising the Pear Tree Small Cap Fund on January 1, 2015.

Axiom International Investors began subadvising the Pear Tree Axiom Emerging Markets World Equity Fund December 8, 2018.

The Pear Tree Essex Environment Opportunities Fund (the “Fund”) is the successor to the investment performance of the Essex Environmental Opportunities Fund (“Predecessor Fund”) as a result of the reorganization of the Predecessor Fund into the Environmental Opportunities Fund on September 1, 2021. Performance information shown prior to the close of business on August 31, 2021 is that of the Predecessor Fund’s for the Fund’s Ordinary Shares and Institutional Shares.

Expense Ratios Disclosure

1. Expense Ratio (Gross)
The gross expense ratio is the total operating expense from the class of shares of the fund stated as a percent of the fund's total net assets as disclosed in the fund’s most recent prospectus before waivers or reimbursements.

2. Expense Ratio (Net)
Net Expense Ratio is the total annual operating expense from the class of shares of the funds stated as a percent of the fund's total net assets as disclosed in the fund’s most recent prospectus after any fee waiver and/or expense reimbursements that will reduce any fund operating expenses until July 31, 2022 for all funds and share classes except Pear Tree Essex Environmental Opportunities Fund. Fee waivers and/or expense reimbursement for Pear Tree Essex Environmental Opportunities Fund and its share classes are in effect through August 31, 2022.

Risk Disclosure

Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value
Pear Tree Polaris Foreign Value Small Cap
Pear Tree Polaris International Opportunities
Pear Tree Polaris Small Cap
Pear Tree Axiom Emerging Markets World Equity
Pear Tree Essex Environmental Opportunities

Foreign and Emerging Market Risk. Foreign markets, particularly emerging markets, can be more volatile than the U.S. market due to increased risks of adverse issuer, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments and can perform differently from the U.S. market. Emerging markets can be subject to greater social, economic, regulatory, and political uncertainties and can be extremely volatile.

Small Cap Investing. The value of securities of smaller, less well-known issuers can perform differently from the market as a whole and other types of stocks and can be more volatile than that of larger issuers.