Top Portfolio Products: INVEST Signs Credit Union; Gemini Adds 9 Funds

Hatteras renames fund; Van Eck announces expiration of exchange offers

New products introduced over the last week include INVEST Financial Corp.’s brokerage and investment services for Texans Credit Union and a nine-fund expansion of the Northern Lights Variable Fund Trust by Gemini Fund Services.

In addition, Hatteras Funds renamed its Multi-Strategy Fund the Hatteras Core Alternatives Fund, and exchange offers expired on six Merrill Lynch-sponsored HOLDRS.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) INVEST Financial Signs Texans Credit Union

INVEST Financial Corp. announced Wednesday that it will provide brokerage and investment services for Texans Credit Union, which provides a full suite of financial products and services to more than 133,000 members.

INVEST currently supports more than 140 banks and credit unions and more than 1,200 representatives nationwide, and is a subsidiary of independent broker-dealer network National Planning Holdings.

2) Gemini Fund Services Expands Northern Lights Trust With Nine Funds

Gemini Fund Services announced Wednesday the expansion and growth of the Northern Lights Variable Trust (NLVT). With the addition of nine funds throughout 2011, the NLVT now comprises 14 funds in total, with over $380 million in assets.

The funds comprising the NLVT are part of a variable insurance trust (VIT). Similar to a mutual fund shared trust, a VIT is a single registered entity through which a series of funds can be registered with the SEC, with the funds comprising the trust advised by

multiple advisors. Shares of VIT funds are sold only on life insurance platforms and are offered to separate accounts of participating life insurance companies for the purpose of funding variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies.

3) Hatteras Funds Renames Multi-Strategy Fund Hatteras Core Alternatives Fund

Hatteras Funds announced Wednesday that the Hatteras Multi-Strategy Fund has been renamed the Hatteras Core Alternatives Fund. The fund’s strategies, objectives and management will not change.

Launched in 2004 to serve as a complement to a traditional portfolio of bonds, stocks and cash, the fund was designed after the university endowment’s alternative investment portfolio and allocates to four hedged strategies, including opportunistic equity, enhanced fixed income, absolute return and tactical trading. Additionally, the fund allocates to private investment strategies diversified across seven vintage years.

Renaming the fund better articulates the Hatteras Core Alternatives Fund from other multi-strategy funds of funds, according to a company release. Managed in partnership with Morgan Creek Capital Management, the core alternative investment solution allocates to both hedged strategies and private investments in a single investment vehicle.

4) Market Vectors ETF Trust Announces Expiration of Exchange Offers for 6 Merrill-Sponsored HOLDRS

Van Eck Global announced Dec. 20 the expiration of the exchange offers by its Market Vectors Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Trust for all outstanding receipts of six Merrill Lynch-sponsored HOLDRS.

The six HOLDRS are Oil Service (OIH), Semiconductor (SMH), Pharmaceutical (PPH), Biotech (BBH), Retail (RTH) and Regional Bank (RKH). The offering period expired as scheduled on Dec. 20.

A total of 33.76 million HOLDRS were validly tendered. All owners are entitled to shares of a new corresponding Market Vectors ETF, which were expected to begin trading on Dec. 21 under the corresponding HOLDRS ticker symbols. “We believe that ETFs offer a better investment vehicle when compared to the HOLDRS structure,” said Adam Phillips, managing director of ETFs at Van Eck Global, in a statement.

Read the Dec. 27 Portfolio Products Roundup at AdvisorOne.com.

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