New products introduced over the last week include three alternative investment funds from BlackRock, a new dynamic allocation fund from Putnam, and two Credit Suisse funds reorganized into Aberdeen funds, as well as an expansion in Russell ETFs and new European indexes from Chi-Ex Europe and Russell.
In addition, Neuberger Berman opened an office in Buenos Aires; ProShares added two VIX ETFs; Brown Advisory launched a new fund; and Touchstone announced it would acquire some of Old Mutual’s fund assets.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) BlackRock Launches Three Mutual Funds Featuring Alternative Investment Strategies
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BlackRock Inc. announced Thursday the launch of three mutual funds featuring alternative investment strategies. The funds are designed to provide individual investors with access to strategies that offer non-correlated returns and diversification benefits with the goal of minimizing portfolio volatility and preserving return objectives. The new funds will be available to retail and HNW investors through financial intermediaries.
The Commodity Strategies Fund (BCSAX) is designed to provide complete commodities exposure through commodities futures equities with exposure to natural resources. It will be managed by a team led by Evy Hambro and Robin Batchelor, joint chief investment officers of the natural resources equity team and members of the global index commodities team.
The Emerging Markets Long/Short Equity Fund (BLSAX) uses advanced techniques to identify misvaluations across stocks and markets in a risk-controlled manner. Jeff Shen, Ph.D., head of Asia Pacific and emerging market equity within the scientific active equity group, will be lead portfolio manager.
The Global Long/Short Credit Fund (BGCAX) is an interest-rate-neutral, global long/short credit fund seeking to generate total returns from credit markets. Michael Phelps, head of European credit, and Joshua Tarnow, member of the corporate credit group within the fundamental fixed income team, will co-manage.
2) New Putnam Dynamic Risk Allocation Fund Seeks Total Return in Varying Market Conditions
Putnam Investments announced Tuesday that it has launched the Putnam Dynamic Risk Allocation Fund (Class A: PDREX), designed to actively balance sources of portfolio risk across multiple asset classes, with flexibility to respond dynamically to changing economic conditions and market valuations, in pursuit of consistent levels of total return. The fund will use a risk parity approach utilized for institutional clients, and is managed by the global asset allocation team, led by Jeffrey L. Knight, head of global asset allocation.
It diversifies across global markets, reducing reliance on equities, to pursue a more consistent total return, and has a “risk lens” at the asset allocation level; it attempts to create more consistent performance by boosting exposure to less volatile and/or less correlated asset classes and diversifying risk exposure.
3) Two Credit Suisse Funds Reorganized Into New Aberdeen U.S. Equity Funds
Aberdeen Asset Management Inc. (“Aberdeen”), adviser for Aberdeen Funds, announced Thursday that shareholders of two Credit Suisse funds, currently managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management, approved a reorganization into new Aberdeen Funds at a special meeting on October 3. The reorganizations are expected to close on October 10.
The Credit Suisse Large Cap Blend Fund will be reorganized into the Aberdeen U.S. Equity I Fund; its name will change to Aberdeen U.S. Equity Fund. The Credit Suisse Large Cap Blend II Fund will be reorganized into the Aberdeen U.S. Equity II Fund.
4) Russell Expands “Investment Discipline” ETFs With 4 New Small-Cap Funds
Russell Investments launched four small-cap investment discipline ETFs on NASDAQ Wednesday. They are based on corresponding and newly launched Russell U.S. small-cap investment discipline indexes.