New products introduced over the last week include a new ultra short-term bond fund from T. Rowe Price; an enhanced retail platform from Tradeweb; and Two Roads Shared Trust, a shared mutual fund trust announced by Gemini Fund Services.
In addition, BNY Mellon and OTC Markets Group announced a new OTCM ADR index; IRI announced that income annuity sales had set a new quarterly record; and Invesco PowerShares announced the listing of the S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) T. Rowe Price Launches Ultra Short-Term Bond Fund
T. Rowe Price announced Wednesday that it has introduced the Ultra Short-Term Bond Fund (TRBUX) for investors. The new no-load mutual fund, managed by Joseph Lynagh, seeks to provide a high level of income consistent with minimal fluctuations in principal value and liquidity. It also will offer similar flexibility to the firm’s money market products, allowing for check writing capabilities and no trading restrictions.
TRBUX will invest in a highly diversified portfolio of shorter-term investment-grade corporate and government securities, including mortgage- and asset-backed securities, money market securities, and bank obligations, with an approximate average maturity of 1.5 years or less, with a broader credit spectrum that includes any investment-grade security rated BBB or better. Its net expense ratio is estimated to be 0.35%, and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, or $1,000 for retirement plans or gifts or transfers to minors (UGMA/UTMA) accounts.
2) Tradeweb Enhances Retail Platform, Adds Vanguard Wealth Management
Tradeweb Markets announced Tuesday that it has released significant enhancements to its Tradeweb Retail platform; the new functionality includes compliance tools that allow, among other things, a market snapshot of compliance tests based on FINRA guidance, and online audit trails that track compliance and business rules run at order placement. It also adds search and filtering that allow customizable search modeling and searches of market opportunities across multiple asset classes.
Tradeweb Retail also announced the addition of Vanguard Brokerage Services as its newest client. Vanguard Brokerage Services clients and fixed income traders now access Tradeweb Retail as their primary fixed income trading system.
3) Alternative Investment Managers to Launch New Mutual Funds
Gemini Fund Services, LLC announced Tuesday that Alternative Road Investment Advisers, LLC, Belvedere Asset Management, LLC, and LJM Funds Management, Ltd., will advise new alternative mutual funds through Two Roads Shared Trust, a shared mutual fund trust open to new advisers effective November 1.
Two Roads is designed to help hedge fund managers and other alternative investment managers cost-effectively launch mutual funds by leveraging experienced hedge fund and mutual fund service providers, including Gemini Fund Services and Dechert LLP, legal counsel to the trust. In addition to operational efficiencies and cost savings, advisors that use the Two Roads platform are also provided with distribution support, including introductions to broker/dealers and assistance with their marketing and distribution plans.