October 18, 2013

Top Portfolio Products: New Arbitrage Fund From Touchstone

Commonfund launches new program, staffs up; AllianceBernstein adds share class

New products and changes introduced over the last week include a new arbitrage fund from Touchstone Investments and a new program from Commonfund.

In addition, AllianceBernstein added a new share class and revamped the retirement section of its website.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Touchstone Investments Launches Arbitrage Fund

Touchstone Investments recently announced the launch of the Touchstone Arbitrage Fund (TMARX), which is subadvised by Longfellow Investment Management Co. TMARX seeks to achieve positive returns regardless of market conditions over the long-term. It primarily invests in securities of companies that are involved in publicly announced mergers and other corporate reorganizations that have been defined and disclosed. Non-deal arbitrage and fixed-income complement the fund’s merger arbitrage investments. TMARX will be offered across several share classes.

The fund’s portfolio management team includes Barbara McKenna, who is managing principal and portfolio manager; Alexander Graham; David Stuehr; and John Villela. Collectively, the team brings more than four decades of arbitrage investing experience to Touchstone.

2) Commonfund Launches Multi-Asset Program, Announces New Appointments

On Thursday Commonfund formally announced its multi-asset program, which is designed to increase investment solutions and support for the company’s mid-sized (under $50 million in assets) non-profit clients. The firm also announced three new appointments.

Steven Snyder has been appointed to the position of managing director and head of the program. A 15-year veteran of the firm, he is currently managing director, head of client services.

Michael Strauss, current chief investment strategist and chief economist, will team with Snyder to communicate the firm’s points of view to investors in the program. He will also work with Snyder to construct new investment strategies.

Marc Bernhardt, currently a relationship officer serving program clients, has been appointed to the role of director, portfolio strategist. Reporting to Strauss, he will direct the investment team’s efforts in support of all clients of the program.

3) AllianceBernstein Launches Z Class of Retirement Shares, Enhances Website

AllianceBernstein L.P. announced Wednesday that it will now offer a new nonrevenue share class, Z shares, for a select group of mutual funds. Z shares will be the lowest-priced share class for the firm’s funds. They became available for purchase on Wednesday for the following funds: AllianceBernstein Core Opportunities Fund (ADGZX); AllianceBernstein Discovery Value Fund (ABSZX); AllianceBernstein Equity Income Fund (AUIZX); AllianceBernstein Global Bond Fund (ANAZX); AllianceBernstein Growth and Income Fund (CBBZX); and AllianceBernstein High Income Fund (AGDZX).

Z shares are offered without 12b-1 fees or subtransfer agency fees and there is no minimum initial investment requirement. In addition, the firm will not make distribution services and educational support payments in respect of Class Z shares.

AllianceBernstein has also introduced a series of enhancements to the retirement section of its website. The newly revamped Retirement Leaders website provides tools and resources for retirement-focused advisors, including a personalized home screen with access to retirement practice-management resources, industry trends, interactive tools, recent legal and regulatory updates, tools to help build investment menus and other topics.

Read the Oct. 11 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.

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