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Exhibit 3.4

 

HRPT PROPERTIES TRUST

COMMONWEALTH REIT

 

(formerly known as HRPT Properties Trust, which was formerly known as Health and Retirement Properties Trust)

 

Third Amendment and Restatement of Declaration of Trust

 

October 9, 1986
As Amended and Restated on July 1, 1994
and Amended July 9, 1996
and Amended March 3, 1997
and Amended May 26, 1998
and Amended July 1, 1998
and Amended June 16, 2003
and Amended January 2, 2004
and Amended March 16, 2005
and Amended September 12, 2005

and Amended May 24, 2006

and Amended December 29, 2006

and Amended May 15, 2007

and Amended October 16, 2007

and Amended May 14, 2009

and Amended April 15, 2010

and Amended June 30, 2010

 



 

ARTICLE I. THE TRUST; DEFINITIONS

 

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1.1. Name

 

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1.2. Places of Business

 

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1.3. Nature of Trust

 

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1.4. Definitions

 

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ARTICLE II. TRUSTEES

 

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2.1. Number, Term of Office and Qualifications of Trustees

 

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2.2. Compensation and Other Remuneration

 

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2.3. Resignation, Removal and Death of Trustees

 

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2.4. Vacancies

 

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2.5. Successor and Additional Trustees

 

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2.6. Actions by Trustees

 

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2.7. Certification of Changes in Trustees

 

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2.8. Committees

 

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ARTICLE III. TRUSTEES’ POWERS

 

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3.1. Power and Authority of Trustees

 

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3.2. Specific Powers and Authority

 

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3.3. Bylaws

 

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ARTICLE IV. ADVISOR

 

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4.1. Employment of Advisor

 

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4.2. Term

 

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4.3. Other Activities of Advisor

 

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4.4. Advisor Compensation

 

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4.5. Annual Total Operating Expenses

 

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ARTICLE V. INVESTMENT POLICY AND POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN DISTRIBUTIONS TO SHAREHOLDERS

 

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5.1. Statement of Policy

 

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5.2. Prohibited Investments and Activities

 

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5.3. Appraisals

 

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5.4. Change in Investment Policies

 

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ARTICLE VI. THE SHARES AND SHAREHOLDERS

 

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6.1. Description of Shares

 

14

6.2. Certificates

 

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6.3. Fractional Shares

 

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6.4. Legal Ownership of Trust Estate

 

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6.5. Shares Deemed Personal Property

 

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6.6. Share Record; Issuance and Transferability of Shares

 

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6.7. Dividends or Distributions to Shareholders

 

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6.8. Transfer Agent, Dividend Disbursing Agent and Registrar

 

16

6.9. Shareholders’ Meetings

 

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6.10. Proxies

 

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6.11. [Reserved.]

 

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6.12. Fixing Record Date

 

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6.13. Notice to Shareholders

 

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6.14. Shareholders’ Disclosure: Trustees’ Right to Refuse to Transfer Shares; Limitation on Holdings; Redemption of Shares

 

17

6.15. Special Voting Requirements for Certain Business Combinations

 

19

 

 

 

ARTICLE VII. LIABILITY OF TRUSTEES, SHAREHOLDERS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS, AND OTHER MATTERS

 

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7.1. Limitation of Liability of Shareholders, Trustees, Officers, Employees and Agents for Obligations of the Trust

 

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7.2. Express Exculpatory Clauses and Instruments

 

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7.3. Limitation of Liability of Trustees Officers Employees and Agents to the Trust and to Shareholders for Acts

 

 

 

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and Omissions

 

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7.4. Indemnification and Reimbursement of Trustees, Officers, Employees and Agents

 

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7.5. Certain Definitions

 

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7.6. Indemnification and Reimbursement of Shareholders

 

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7.7. Right of Trustees, Officers, Employees and Agents to Own Shares or Other Property and to Engage in Other Business

 

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7.8. Transactions Between Trustees, Officers, Employees or Agents and the Trust

 

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7.9. Independent Counsel

 

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7.10. Persons Dealing with Trustees, Officers, Employees or Agents

 

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7.11. Reliance

 

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7.12. Indemnification of the Trust

 

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ARTICLE VIII. DURATION, AMENDMENT AND TERMINATION OF TRUST

 

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8.1. Duration of Trust

 

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8.2. Termination of Trust

 

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8.3. Amendment Procedure

 

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8.4. Amendments Effective

 

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8.5. Transfer to Successor

 

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ARTICLE IX. MISCELLANEOUS

 

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9.1. Applicable Law

 

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9.2. Index and Headings for Reference Only

 

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9.3. Successors in Interest

 

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9.4. Inspection of Records

 

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9.5. Counterparts

 

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9.6. Provisions of the Trust in Conflict with Law or Regulations: Severability

 

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9.7. Certifications

 

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THIRD AMENDMENT AND RESTATEMENT OF DECLARATION OF TRUST OF HRPT PROPERTIES TRUST COMMONWEALTH REIT

 

( formerly known as HRPT Properties Trust, which was formerly known as Health and Retirement Properties Trust)

 

Dated October 9, 1986
As Amended and Restated on July 1, 1994
and as Amended July 9, 1996
and Amended March 3, 1997
and Amended May 26, 1998
and Amended July 1, 1998
and Amended June 16, 2003
and Amended January 2, 2004
and Amended March 16, 2005
and Amended September 12, 2005

and Amended May 24, 2006

and Amended on December 29, 2006

and Amended May 15, 2007

and Amended October 16, 2007

and Amended May 14, 2009
and Amended April 15, 2010

and Amended June 30, 2010

 

The Declaration of Health and Rehabilitation Properties Trust (the “Trust”), as filed with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation on October 9, 1986 and as amended on September 27, 1987, July 23, 1992, and July 30, 1993 (the “Declaration”), is hereby amended and restated as follows:

 

DECLARATION OF TRUST made as of the date set forth above by the undersigned Trustees.

 

WITNESSETH:

 

WHEREAS, the Trustees desire to create a trust for the principal purpose of investing in real property and interests therein; and

 

WHEREAS, the Trustees desire that such trust qualify as a “real estate investment trust” under the REIT Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, and under Title 8 of the Corporations and Associations Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland; and

 

WHEREAS, in furtherance of such purpose the Trustees intend to acquire certain real property and interests therein and to hold, manage and dispose of all such property as Trustees in the manner hereinafter stated; and

 

WHEREAS, it is proposed that the beneficial interest in the Trust be divided into transferable Shares of Beneficial Interest, evidenced by certificates therefore, as hereinafter provided;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby agreed and declared that the Trustees will hold any and all property of every type and description which they are acquiring or may hereafter acquire as Trustees, together with the proceeds thereof, in trust, to manage and dispose of the same for the benefit of the holders from time to time of the Shares of Beneficial Interest being issued and to be issued hereunder in the manner and subject to the stipulations contained herein.

 

ARTICLE I.

 

THE TRUST; DEFINITIONS

 

1.1.          Name.   The name of the Trust created by this Declaration of Trust shall be “ HRPT Properties Trust CommonWealth REIT ” and so far as may be practicable the Trustees shall conduct the Trust’s activities, execute all documents and sue or be sued under that name, which name (and the word “Trust” wherever used in this Declaration of Trust, except where the context otherwise requires) shall refer to the Trustees collectively but not individually or personally nor to the officers, agents, employees or Shareholders of the Trust or of such Trustees.  The Trustees may, at any time, without any action by the Shareholders, amend the Declaration of Trust to change the name of the Trust.

 

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1.2.          Places of Business.   The Trust shall maintain an office in Maryland at CT Corporation or such other place in Maryland as the Trustees may determine from time to time. The Resident Agent of the Trust at such office shall be The Corporation Trust Incorporated, 32 South Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202. The Trust may change such Resident Agent from time to time as the Trustees shall determine. The Trust may have such other offices or places of business within or without the State of Maryland as the Trustees may from time to time determine.

 

1.3.          Nature of Trust.   The Trust shall be a real estate investment trust within the meaning of Title 8 of the Corporations and Associations Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. It is also intended that the Trust shall carry on a business as a “real estate investment trust” as described in the REIT Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The Trust is not intended to be, shall not be deemed to be, and shall not be treated as a general partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, corporation or joint stock company (but nothing herein shall preclude the Trust from being treated for tax purposes as an association under the Internal Revenue Code) nor shall the Trustees or Shareholders or any of them for any purpose be, nor be deemed to be, nor be treated in any way whatsoever to be, liable or responsible hereunder as partners or joint venturers. The relationship of the Shareholders to the Trustees shall be solely that of beneficiaries of the Trust in accordance with the rights conferred upon them by this Declaration.

 

1.4.          Definitions.   The terms defined in this Section 1.4., wherever used in this Declaration, shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the respective meanings hereinafter specified. Whenever the singular number is used in this Declaration and when permitted by the context, the same shall include the plural, and the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders, and vice versa. Where applicable, calculations to be made pursuant to any such definition shall be made in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles as in effect from time to time except as otherwise provided in such definition.

 

(a)           Advisor.   “Advisor” shall mean the Person employed by the Trustees in accordance with the provisions of Article IV.

 

(b)           Affiliate.   “Affiliate” shall mean, as to any Person, (i) any other Person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with such Person, (ii) any other Person that owns beneficially, directly or indirectly, five percent (5%) or more of the outstanding capital stock, shares or equity interests of such Person, or (iii) any officer, director, employee, general partner or trustee of such Person or of any Person controlling, controlled by or under common control with such Person (excluding trustees who are not otherwise an Affiliate of such Person).

 

(c)           Affiliated Trustee.   “Affiliated Trustee” shall mean a Trustee who is not an Independent Trustee.

 

(d)           Annual Meeting of Shareholders.   “Annual Meeting of Shareholders” shall mean the meeting described in the first sentence of Section 6.9.

 

(e)           Annual Report.   “Annual Report” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 6.11(a).

 

(f)            Average Invested Real Estate Assets.   “Average Invested Real Estate Assets” for any period shall mean the average of the aggregate book value of the consolidated assets of the Company invested, directly or indirectly, in equity interests in, and loans secured by, real estate and personal property associated with such real estate, before reserves for depreciation or bad debt or other similar non-cash reserves, calculated by taking the average of such values at the end of each month during such period.

 

(g)           Book Value. “Book Value” of an asset or assets shall mean the value of such asset or assets of the Trust on the books of the Trust, without deduction for depreciation or other asset valuation reserves and without deduction for mortgages or other security interests to which such asset or assets are subject, except that no asset shall be valued at more than its fair market value as determined by or under procedures adopted by the Trustees, and the underlying assets of a partnership, joint venture or other form of indirect ownership, to the extent of the Trust’s interest therein, shall be valued as if owned directly by the Trust.

 

(h)           Bylaws.   “Bylaws” shall have the meaning set forth in Section 3.3.

 

(i)            Declaration.   “Declaration” or “this Declaration” shall mean this Declaration of Trust, as amended, restated or modified from time to time. References in this Declaration to “herein” and “hereunder” shall be deemed to refer to this Declaration and shall not be limited to the particular text, article or section in which such words appear.

 

(j)            [Intentionally left blank].

 

(k)           Independent Trustee.   “Independent Trustee” shall mean a Trustee who, in his individual capacity, (i) is neither an Affiliate of, nor has any material business or professional relationship with, the Advisor or any other Person whom the Trustees may pursuant to Section 6.14(c) hereof permit to purchase in excess of 9.8% of the Trust’s Shares (provided, however, that any Trustee affiliated with an underwriter shall not cease to be an Independent Trustee solely on the basis of such underwriter’s purchase of Shares in connection with any public offering of the Trust’s Shares), and (ii) does not perform any services for the Trust except as Trustee.

 

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(l)            Internal Revenue Code.   “Internal Revenue Code” shall mean the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as now enacted or hereafter amended, or successor statutes and applicable rules and regulations thereunder.

 

(m)          Invested Assets.   “Invested Assets” shall mean the Book Value of all the Real Estate Investments of the Trust.

 

(n)           Mortgage Loans.   “Mortgage Loans” shall mean notes, debentures, bonds and other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, whether negotiable or non-negotiable, and which are secured or collateralized by Mortgages.

 

(o)           Mortgages.   “Mortgages” shall mean mortgages, deeds of trust or other security interests in Real Property.

 

(p)           Net Assets.   “Net Assets” shall mean the total assets (other than intangibles) at cost before deducting depreciation or other non-cash reserves less total liabilities, calculated at least quarterly on a basis consistently applied.

 

(q)           Net Income.   “Net Income” for any period shall be calculated on the basis of the Trust’s audited financial statements and shall mean total revenues applicable to such period, less the expenses applicable to such period, other than additions to reserves for depreciation or bad debts or other similar non-cash reserves.

 

(r)            Person.   “Person” shall mean and include individuals, corporations, limited partnerships, general partnerships, joint stock companies or associations, joint ventures, associations, companies, trusts, banks, trust companies, land trusts, business trusts and other entities and governments and agencies and political subdivisions thereof.

 

(s)           Real Estate Investment.   “Real Estate Investment” shall mean any direct or indirect investment in any interest in Real Property or in any Mortgage Loan, or in any Person whose principal purpose is to make any such investment.

 

(t)            Real Property.   “Real Property” shall mean and include land leasehold interests (including but not limited to interests of a lessor or lessee therein), rights and interests in land, and in any buildings, structures, improvements, furnishings and fixtures located on or used in connection with land or interests therein, but does not include investments in Mortgages, Mortgage Loans or interests therein.

 

(u)           REIT .  “REIT” shall mean a real estate investment trust as defined in the REIT Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

(v)           REIT Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.   “REIT Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code” shall mean Parts II and III of Subchapter M of Chapter 1 of Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code or any successor provision.

 

(w)          Securities.   “Securities” shall mean any stock, shares, voting trust certificates, bonds, debentures, notes or other evidences of indebtedness or in general any instruments commonly known as “securities” or any certificates of interest, shares or participations in, temporary or interim certificates for, receipts for, guarantees of, or warrants, options or rights to subscribe to, purchase or acquire any of the foregoing.

 

(x)            Shareholders.   “Shareholders” shall mean as of any particular time all holders of record of outstanding Shares at such time.

 

(y)           Shares.   “Shares” or, as the context may require, “shares” shall mean the shares of beneficial interest of the Trust as described in Section 6.1 hereof.

 

(z)            Total Assets.   “Total Assets” shall mean the Book Value of all the assets of the Trust, as such Book Value appears on the most recent quarterly balance sheet of the Trust.

 

(aa)         Total Operating Expenses.   “Total Operating Expenses” shall be calculated on the basis of the Trust’s annual audited financial statements and shall mean the aggregate annual expenses regarded as ordinary operating expenses (including any compensation payable to the Advisor), exclusive of the following:

 

(i)            interest payments and any other cost of borrowed money;

 

(ii)           taxes on income and taxes and assessments on real property, if any, and all other taxes applicable to the Trust;

 

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(iii)          legal, auditing, accounting, underwriting, brokerage, listing, reporting, registration and other fees, and printing, engraving and other expenses and taxes incurred in connection with the issuance, distribution, transfer, trading, registration and stock exchange listing of the Trust’s securities, including transfer agent’s, registrar’s and indenture trustee’s fees and charges;

 

(A)          expenses of organizing, restructuring, reorganizing or terminating the Trust, or of revising, amending, converting or modifying the Trust’s organizational documents;

 

(B)           expenses directly connected with the acquisition, disposition and ownership of real estate interests or other property (including the costs of foreclosure, insurance premiums, legal services, brokerage and sales commissions, maintenance, repair, improvement and local management of property), other than expenses with respect thereto of employees of the Advisor, to the extent that such expenses are to be borne by the Advisor pursuant to the terms of the advisory contract;

 

(iv)          non-cash provisions for depreciation, depletion and amortization;

 

(v)           losses on the disposition of assets and provisions for such losses; and

 

(vi)          other extraordinary charges including, without limitation, litigation costs.

 

(bb)         Trust.   “Trust” shall mean the Trust created by this Declaration.

 

(cc)         Trustees.   “Trustees” shall mean, as of any particular time, the original signatories hereto as long as they hold office hereunder and additional and successor Trustees, and shall not include the officers, employees or agents of the Trust or the Shareholders. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude the Trustees from also serving as officers, employees or agents of the Trust or owning Shares.

 

(dd)         Trust Estate.   “Trust Estate” shall mean as of any particular time any and all property, real, personal or otherwise, tangible or intangible, which is transferred, conveyed or paid to or purchased by the Trust or Trustees and all rents, income, profits and gains therefrom and which at such time is owned or held by or for the Trust or the Trustees.

 

ARTICLE II.

 

TRUSTEES

 

2.1.          Number, Term of Office and Qualifications of Trustees.   There shall be no fewer than three (3) nor more than twelve (12) Trustees. The exact number of Trustees shall be five (5) until changed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Trustees or by an amendment of this Declaration duly adopted by the Shareholders. The Board of Trustees shall be classified into three groups, with two (2) Trustees in Group I, two (2) Trustees in Group II, and one (1) Trustee in Group III. Each Trustee in Group I shall serve for a term ending at the annual meeting of Shareholders in 1996; each Trustee in Group II shall serve for a term ending at the annual meeting of Shareholders in 1997; and the Trustee in Group III shall serve for a term ending at the annual meeting of Shareholders in 1995. After the respective terms of the groups indicated, each such group of Trustees shall be elected for successive terms ending at the annual meeting of Shareholders held during the third year after election.

 

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The names and business addresses of the current Trustees who will serve as Trustees until the expiration of their respective terms and until their successors are elected and qualify are as follows:

 

 

 

Name

 

Address

Group I:

 

Barry M. Portnoy

 

Sullivan & Worcester

 

 

 

 

One Post Office Square

 

 

 

 

Boston, MA 02109

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John L. Harrington

 

990 Washington Street

 

 

 

 

Suite 315

 

 

 

 

Dedham, MA 02026

 

 

 

 

 

Group II:

 

Rev. Justinian Manning, C.P.

 

St. Gabriel’s Parish Rectory

 

 

 

 

139 Washington Street

 

 

 

 

Brighton, MA 02135

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gerard M. Martin

 

M & P Partners Limited

 

 

 

 

Partnership

 

 

 

 

400 Centre Street

 

 

 

 

Newton, MA 02158

 

 

 

 

 

Group III:

 

Arthur G. Koumantzelis

 

Cumberland Farms, Inc.

 

 

 

 

777 Dedham Street

 

 

 

 

Canton, MA 02021-9118

 

The current Trustees shall be the signatories hereto. No reduction in the number of Trustees shall have the effect of removing any Trustee from office prior to the expiration of term. Subject to the provisions of Section 2.3, each Trustee shall hold office until the election and qualification of his successor. There shall be no cumulative voting in the election of Trustees. A Trustee shall be an individual at least twenty-one (21) years of age who is not under legal disability. A majority of the Trustees shall at all times be persons who are Independent Trustees; provided, however, that upon a failure to comply with this requirement because of the resignation, removal or death of a Trustee who is an Independent Trustee, such requirement shall not be applicable for a period of ninety (90) days. Nominees to serve as Independent Trustees shall be nominated by the then current Independent Trustees, if any. Unless otherwise required by law, no Trustee shall be required to give bond, surety or security in any jurisdiction for the performance of any duties or obligations hereunder. The Trustees in their capacity as Trustees shall not be required to devote their entire time to the business and affairs of the Trust.

 

2.2.          Compensation and Other Remuneration.   The Trustees shall be entitled to receive such reasonable compensation for their services as Trustees as the Trustees may determine from time to time. The Trustees and Trust officers shall be entitled to receive remuneration for services rendered to the Trust in any other capacity. Subject to Sections 7.7 and 7.8, such services may include, without limitation, services as an officer of the Trust, legal, accounting or other professional services, or services as a broker, transfer agent or underwriter, whether performed by a Trustee or any person affiliated with a Trustee.

 

2.3.          Resignation, Removal and Death of Trustees.   A Trustee may resign at any time by giving written notice to the remaining Trustees at the principal office of the Trust. Such resignation shall take effect on the date specified in such notice, without need for prior accounting. A Trustee may be removed at any time with or without cause by vote or consent of holders of Shares representing two-thirds of the total votes authorized to be cast by Shares then outstanding and entitled to vote thereon, or with cause by all remaining Trustees. A Trustee judged incompetent or bankrupt, or for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed, shall be deemed to have resigned as of the date of such adjudication or appointment. Upon the resignation or removal of any Trustee, or his otherwise ceasing to be a Trustee, he shall execute and deliver such documents as the remaining Trustees shall require for the conveyance of any Trust property held in his name, shall account to the remaining Trustees as they require for all property which he holds as Trustee and shall thereupon be discharged as Trustee. Upon the incapacity or death of any Trustee, his legal representative shall perform the acts set forth in the preceding sentence and the discharge mentioned therein shall run to such legal representative and to the incapacitated Trustee or the estate of the deceased Trustee, as the case may be.

 

2.4.          Vacancies.   If any or all the Trustees cease to be Trustees hereunder, whether by reason of resignation, removal, incapacity, death or otherwise, such event shall not terminate the Trust or affect its continuity. Until vacancies are filled, the remaining Trustee or Trustees (even though fewer than three (3)) may exercise the powers of the Trustees hereunder. Vacancies (including vacancies created by increases in number) may be filled by the remaining Trustee or by a majority of the remaining Trustees (or a majority of the remaining Independent Trustees, if any, if the vacant position was formerly held by an Independent Trustee or is

 

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required to be held by an Independent Trustee) or by vote of holders of Shares representing a majority of the total number of votes authorized to be cast by Shares then outstanding and entitled to vote thereon. If at any time there shall be no Trustees in office, successor Trustees shall be elected by the Shareholders as provided in Section 6.9. Any Trustee elected to fill a vacancy created by the resignation, removal or death of a former Trustee shall hold office for the unexpired term of such former Trustee.

 

2.5.          Successor and Additional Trustees.   The right, title and interest of the Trustees in and to the Trust Estate shall also vest in successor and additional Trustees upon their qualification, and they shall thereupon have all the rights and obligations of Trustees hereunder. Such right, title and interest shall vest in the Trustees whether or not conveyancing documents have been executed and delivered pursuant to Section 2.3 or otherwise. Appropriate written evidence of the election and qualification of successor and additional Trustees shall be filed with the records of the Trust and in such other offices or places as the Trustees may deem necessary, appropriate or desirable.

 

2.6.          Actions by Trustees.   The Trustees may act with or without a meeting. A quorum for all meetings of the Trustees shall be a majority of the Trustees; provided, however, that, whenever pursuant to Section 7.8 or otherwise the vote of a majority of a particular group of Trustees is required at a meeting, a quorum for such meeting shall be a majority of the Trustees which shall include a majority of such group. Unless specifically provided otherwise in this Declaration, any action of the Trustees may be taken at a meeting by vote of a majority of the Trustees present (a quorum being present) or without a meeting by written consents of a majority of the Trustees, which consents shall be filed with the records of meetings of the Trustees. Any action or actions permitted to be taken by the Trustees in connection with the business of the Trust may be taken pursuant to authority granted by a meeting of the Trustees conducted by a telephone conference call, and the transaction of Trust business represented thereby shall be of the same authority and validity as if transacted at a meeting of the Trustees held in person or by written consent. The minutes of any Trustees’ meeting held by telephone shall be prepared in the same manner as a meeting of the Trustees held in person. The acquisition or disposition of any investment (other than investments in short-term investment Securities described in Section 5.1) shall require the approval of a majority of Trustees, except as otherwise provided in Section 7.8. Any agreement, deed, mortgage, lease or other instrument or writing executed by one or more of the Trustees or by any authorized Person shall be valid and binding upon the Trustees and upon the Trust when authorized or ratified by action of the Trustees or as provided in the Bylaws.

 

With respect to the actions of the Trustees, Trustees who have, or are Affiliates of Persons who have, any direct or indirect interest in or connection with any matter being acted upon may be counted for all quorum purposes under this Section 2.6 and, subject to the provisions of Section 7.8, may vote on the matter as to which they or their Affiliates have such interest or connection.

 

2.7.          Certification of Changes in Trustees.   No alteration in the number of Trustees, no removal of a Trustee and no election or appointment of any individual as Trustee (other than an individual who was serving as a Trustee immediately prior to such election or appointment) shall become effective unless and until there shall be delivered to the secretary of the Trust an instrument in writing signed by a majority of the Trustees, certifying to such alteration in the number of Trustees and/or to such removal of a Trustee and/or naming the individual so elected or appointed as Trustee, together with his written acceptance thereof and agreement to be bound thereby.

 

2.8.          Committees.   The Trustees may appoint an audit committee and such other standing committees as the Trustees determine. Each standing committee shall consist of three or more members, provided, however, that the Trustees may appoint a standing committee consisting of at least one Trustee and two non- Trustees. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, all members of the audit committee shall be Independent Trustees. A majority of the members of each other standing committee comprised solely of Trustees shall be Independent Trustees; provided, however, that upon a failure to comply with this requirement because of the resignation, removal or death of a Trustee who is an Independent Trustee, such requirement shall not be applicable for a period of ninety (90) days. Each committee shall have such powers, duties and obligations as the Trustees may deem necessary or appropriate. The standing committees shall report their activities periodically to the Trustees.

 

ARTICLE III.

 

TRUSTEES’ POWERS

 

3.1.          Power and Authority of Trustees.   The Trustees, subject only to the specific limitations contained in this Declaration, shall have, without further or other authorization, and free from any power or control on the part of the Shareholders, full, absolute and exclusive power, control and authority over the Trust Estate and over the business and affairs of the Trust to the same extent as if the Trustees were the sole owners thereof in their own right, and may do all such acts and things as in their sole judgment and discretion are necessary for or incidental to or desirable for the carrying out of or conducting the business of the Trust. Any construction of this Declaration or any determination made in good faith by the Trustees as to the


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