New products and changes introduced over the last week include a global bond fund from DoubleLine; a generic drug ETF from Van Eck Global; a technology ETF from State Street Global Advisors; an alternative solutions fund from the Archstone Partnerships; a global bond fund from DoubleLine; 19 added investment options in a suite of Security Benefit’s variable annuities; and the launch of single ticker strategies by FTJ FundChoice.
Also, Oppenheimer Asset Management introduced its unified advisory platform; BroadRiver completed the sale of its life settlements portfolio; Financial Engines updated its Social Security planner; Lombard International Assurance is acquiring Zurich Eurolife S.A.’s private banking solutions business; and Rage Frameworks launched its LiveWealth solution.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) DoubleLine Launches Global Bond Fund
DBLGX will normally be invested in in debt obligations issued by governments and governmental agencies, authorities or instrumentalities located anywhere in the world. It expects to invest significantly in obligations of members of the G-20, an organization of governments comprising 20 of the major economies in the world, including in developed and emerging markets.
Under normal conditions, it will have significant exposure to foreign currencies.
Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO and chief investment officer of DoubleLine, is portfolio manager of the new global bond fund; he will be supported by DoubleLine investment-team members, such as Luz Padilla, William Campbell, Valerie Ho and Gregory Whiteley.
"The investment teams at DoubleLine have deep experience managing non-dollar investments as well as foreign bonds. The question was not if but when we would offer our global bond strategy," Gundlach said in a statement.
“With the dollar having rallied so sharply in recent years, non-dollar-denominated assets now have much greater value than at any time since the founding of DoubleLine,” he explained. “So we internally launched the DoubleLine Global Bond Fund last month and [on Jan. 11] opened the fund to investors."
2) Van Eck Adds Generic Drug ETF
Van Eck Global has launched the Market Vectors Generic Drugs ETF (GNRX), which targets global manufacturers of generic drugs and biosimilars, similar copies of existing but difficult to replicate biological drugs.
GNRX seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Indxx Global Generics & New Pharma Index.
To be included in the index, companies must derive a significant proportion of their revenues, or have the potential to derive a significant proportion of their revenues, from the generic drug industry or have a primary business focus on the generic drug industry. Constituents must also meet market capitalization, daily trading volume, and daily trading activity requirements.
3) State Street Launches Technology ETF
State Street Global Advisors has launched the SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF (XITK), which seeks to provide exposure to companies with high revenue growth, including companies involved in cutting edge research, innovative product and service development, disruptive business models or a combination of these.
XITK seeks to track the FactSet Innovative Technology Index, which is designed to represent the performance of U.S.-listed stocks and American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of technology-related companies with high revenue growth. The index is designed to track companies within the highest growth segments of the technology sector and the electronic media subsector of the media sector.
4) Oppenheimer Introduces Passport Platform
Oppenheimer Asset Management (or OAM) has introduced plans for its unified advisory platform, Passport, which will consolidate the accounting and trading platforms to manage all of its fee-based offerings. It will be made available to Oppenheimer & Co.’s 1,300 advisors in the winter of 2016.
The platform is the first step in an OAM platform improvement project, which will replace a number of legacy systems and streamline operational processes to improve the advisory and trading tools available to advisors, as well as enable OAM to provide better guidance and improve the oversight of its advisory programs. As part of this initial launch, Vestmark and OAM have integrated Vestmark’s unified wealth management platform VestmarkONE with Oppenheimer’s underlying custody and trading platforms.
The Archstone Partnerships has launched the Archstone Alternative Solutions Fund (AASF), which seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation while attempting to reduce volatility relative to the equity markets.
AASF offers investors access to an actively managed portfolio of professionally selected hedge funds through a single investment that is designed to complement long-only investing portfolios. It employs a fund-of-hedge-funds strategy that was previously only available to qualified purchasers. It is available as an SEC-registered, non-diversified, closed-end management investment company that expects to offer quarterly liquidity, dividend-type payouts, and will provide 1099 tax reporting.
6) Security Benefit Expands Investment Options in VAs
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company has added 19 investment options to its EliteDesigns suite of investment-oriented variable annuities. They have been added to both EliteDesigns and EliteDesigns II VAs, and include a single offering each from FormulaFolio Investments, Redwood Investment Management and Guggenheim Investments, as well as 16 funds from Vanguard.
The added offerings are: FormulaFolios US Equity Portfolio; Redwood Managed Volatility; Rydex VIF High Yield Strategy; Vanguard VIF Balanced; Vanguard VIF Capital Growth; Vanguard VIF Conservative Allocation; Vanguard VIF Diversified Value; Vanguard VIF Equity Income; Vanguard VIF Equity Index; Vanguard VIF Growth; Vanguard VIF High Yield Bond; Vanguard VIF International; Vanguard VIF Mid-Cap Index; Vanguard VIF Moderate Allocations; Vanguard VIF REIT Index; Vanguard VIF Short Term Investment Grade; Vanguard VIF Small Company Growth; Vanguard VIF Total Bond Market Index; and Vanguard VIF Total Stock Market Index.
7) FTJ FundChoice Launches Single Ticker Strategies
FTJ FundChoice has launched a Single Ticker Strategies offering, and has partnered with Rocaton Investment Advisors to identify, perform due diligence, and monitor single ticker funds that represent a diverse set of investment methodologies.
The offering is a collection of alternative investment funds with broadly diverse investment methodologies that offers financial advisors the ability to seek noncorrelated returns and to further reduce market risk across an entire portfolio.
8) BroadRiver Completes Sale of Life Settlements Portfolio
BroadRiver Asset Management, L.P. has completed the sale of its BroadRiver I, L.P. portfolio of traditional life settlement assets to an institutional buyer for an undisclosed price. The transaction concluded at the end of 2015.
BroadRiver continues to invest actively in the secondary and tertiary life settlements markets through BroadRiver II, L.P., which will have its final close in June, 2016.
9) Financial Engines Updates Social Security Planner
Financial Engines has updated its Social Security planner to support changes to Social Security regulations enacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
The planner is designed to enable users to consider different strategies to get the most out of their Social Security benefits. It was introduced in June of 2014. The changes to Social Security regulations resulting from the Bipartisan Budget Act have been incorporated to provide users with up-to-date guidance regarding benefit claiming strategies and assist them in maximizing their expected lifetime benefits and household income in retirement.
Lombard International Assurance has entered an agreement to acquire the private banking solutions business of Zurich Eurolife S.A. in Luxembourg. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and it is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2016.
Lombard International Assurance provides multijurisdictional wealth planning solutions to high-net-worth individuals and their families throughout Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. Its European partner networks will ensure continued support to the clients impacted by the acquisition.
11) Rage Frameworks Launches LiveWealth Solution
Rage Frameworks has launched its LiveWealth Intelligent Agent platform, a next-generation wealth management framework.
LiveWealth, powered by the Rage aggregation engine, is a wealth management service that offers features ranging from data aggregation to big data analytics. It allows wealth managers to become active advisors by continuously monitoring changes in the external environment that can impact their clients’ portfolios, as well as changes in their personal environment that can impact preferences and objectives.
Read the Jan. 8 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.