As fund companies enter the second quarter of 2011, product deals have come from a diverse range of shops, including UBS in a deal with Wells Fargo, Envestnet in a strategic initiative with Vestmark and National Advisors Trust in partnerships with Advisors Asset Management and EPIC Advisors Inc.
UBS Announces Exchange-Traded Note Linked to Wells Fargo Index
UBS Investment Bank announced Thursday that it has added to its suite of E-TRACS exchange traded notes (ETNs) with a first-to-market E-TRACS linked to the Wells Fargo Business Development Company (BDC) Index, offering diversified exposure to BDCs with the convenience of an exchange traded security. The ETN began trading today on NYSE Arca under the ticker symbol BDCS.
BDCs are public vehicles that invest in private equity and debt and were created to increase financing available to small businesses. They function much like private equity funds, although BDCs allow various investors, regardless of size, to participate. A BDC lends to small and midsized companies at high yield equivalent rates and often takes equity stakes in these companies.
The Wells Fargo Business Development Company Index comprises 26 BDCs and is a float-adjusted, capitalization-weighted index intended to measure the performance of BDCs that are publicly listed, satisfying specified market capitalization and other eligibility requirements.
Envestnet Announces Strategic Initiative to Offer Vestmark Functionality
Envestnet Inc., an investment and practice management solutions provider for financial advisors, announced Tuesday an initiative to offer the trading and model management capabilities of Vestmark, a leading provider of unified wealth management and investment advisory technology.
The partnership will expand portfolio accounting, modeling and trading choices available to money managers and advisors as part of Envestnet's comprehensive wealth management platform, reflecting Envestnet's focus on delivering open architecture solutions across all areas of an advisor's business. Envestnet will integrate with Vestmark's platform, with first phase completion expected by summer.
In other Envestnet news, Symmetric Advisors Inc.(SAI), an independent RIA, now offers “The Prism Grid,” its managed money programs, nationwide through Envestnet. The Prism Grid, as ranked by Morningstar, has consistently provided five-star returns for the periods YTD, 1-year, 3-year and 5-year, while maintaining a below-average risk profile. This suggests global tactical asset allocation is relevant and necessary in any investment program.
National Advisors Trust in Partnerships With Advisors Asset Management, EPIC Advisors
At the company’s 10th anniversary celebration conference, National Advisors Trust on Thursday announced a strategic partnership with Advisors Asset Management, Inc.(AAM). National Advisors Trust will provide direct access to AAM’s fixed income securities tools and services from the trust company’s AdvisorDesk multicustodian technology platform. Using AdvisorDesk’s single sign-on technology, RIAs have a more direct and efficient way to get quotes and trade fixed income securities.
AAM enables advisors to view a searchable inventory of fixed income products, including municipals, corporates, treasuries and agencies. Advisors can purchase bonds, receive current bids and sell bonds online; they also have access to market research and can produce client-facing reports. AAM will analyze their current bond portfolios and give guidance.
National Advisors Trust also announced an agreement with EPIC Advisors Inc. to provide a branded 401(k) program with open architecture and daily valuation defined contribution retirement plan services to its shareholder advisor firms. EPIC was chosen through a national search.
SPDR ETFs Named Most Recognized ETF Brand for Fourth Consecutive Year
State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), the asset management business of State Street Corp., on Friday announced that SPDR ETFs received its fourth consecutive award for the Most Recognized ETF Brand in the Americas at the 7th Annual Global ETF Awards Dinner held recently in New York.
SSgA was also co-presented with its third annual Most Informative ETF Website in the Americas award for SPDRs.com, which features data and research on ETFs and the markets and links to SPDRUniversity, a free online educational center designed to meet investment advisors’ demand for high-quality thought leadership. SSgA also received awards for ETF with the most assets raised (in absolute growth) in the Americas – SPDR Gold Shares (GLD); and the most liquid ETF in the Americas – SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
The Global ETF Awards, voted on by ETF industry professionals worldwide, were created in 2005 by exchangetradedfunds.com to recognize those who contributed to the development of the industry.