New products introduced over the last week include a new corporate-bond ETF from iShares; a new MLP ETF from Global X; Touchstone’s completion of the acquisition of Old Mutual funds; investment by Affiliated Managers Group in Yacktman Asset Management; and an opening date announcement by AdvisorShares for its Global Echo ETF.
In addition, State Street Global Advisors launched a Upromise 529 plan; Gemini Fund Services and Cole-Frieman Mallon & Hunt announced the launch of a shared trust; and Lincoln Financial announced the enhancement of its LifeSpan program with Ibbotson model portfolios.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) iShares Launches Emerging Markets Corporate-Bond ETF
BlackRock, Inc. announced Thursday that its iShares ETF business has launched the first index-based ETF focused on corporate bonds in emerging market countries. The iShares Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund (CEMB) offers broad access to dollar-denominated, investment grade and high-yield bonds issued by corporations based in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. An Irish-domiciled fund with the same exposure listed earlier the same day on the London Stock Exchange.
Both funds are benchmarked to the Morningstar Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Index, a customized, investable index that utilizes built-in liquidity screens and a 5% issuer cap. The top three country holdings are Brazil (19.0%), Mexico (11.8%) and Russia (11.6%).
2) Global X Funds Launches MLP ETF
Global X Funds announced Thursday that it has launched the Global X MLP ETF (MLPA), which provides a comprehensive benchmark of the MLP industry while maintaining a fee of 0.45% versus the industry average of 0.85%. MLPA potential tax features include 1099 tax reporting (no K-1s), qualified dividends, and IRA and 401k eligibility. The fund pays quarterly income distributions.
MLPA offers exposure to the Solactive MLP Composite Index, which is designed to be a MLP benchmark index for energy and resource master limited partnerships. As of April 17, the index consisted of 30 MLPs and the three largest components of the index were Energy Transfer Partners LP, Enterprise Products Partners, and Plains All American Pipeline LP.
3) Touchstone Investments Completes Acquisition of Old Mutual Funds
Touchstone Investments announced on April 16 the completion of its acquisition of selected fund assets of Old Mutual Asset Management’s (OMAM) U.S. mutual fund business that were previously managed by OMAM’s Old Mutual Capital subsidiary. The company announced the planned acquisition in October 2011.
Thirteen of the 17 acquired funds will retain their current Old Mutual-affiliated subadviser.
4) AMG Announces Investment in Yacktman Asset Management
Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. announced Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority equity interest in Yacktman Asset Management Co. After the closing of the transaction, the management partners of Yacktman will continue to hold a substantial portion of the equity of the business and direct its day-to-day operations.