New products introduced recently include a new managed futures ETF from First Trust, an MLP and energy infrastructure ETF from Global X, and a new limited-duration high income fund from Pacific Life.
In addition, DMS Funds introduced the DMS Poland Index Fund, and the Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I is becoming self-managed.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) First Trust Launches Managed-Futures Strategy Actively Managed ETF
First Trust Advisors announced the launch a new actively managed ETF on Aug. 2.
The First Trust Morningstar Managed Futures Strategy Fund (FMF) is an actively managed ETF that seeks to provide investors with positive returns as its investment objective. The investment team has the flexibility to manage the contract selection to seek to exceed the performance of the fund’s benchmark, the Morningstar Diversified Futures Index. The index currently contains 34 different futures positions consisting of 19 commodities, nine equity indexes and six currencies.
The fund provides exposure, through a wholly owned Cayman Islands subsidiary, to commodities, currencies and equities through a long, short or flat futures strategy, and seeks to achieve positive returns that are not directly correlated to broad market equity or fixed income returns. John Gambla and Rob Guttschow serve as senior portfolio managers, and will primarily be responsible for daily investment decisions under the direction of an investment committee that includes six other individuals with extensive investment experience.
2) Global X Launches MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF
Global X Funds announced Wednesday that it had launched the Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF (MLPX), whch seeks to provide results that track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Solactive MLP & Energy Infrastructure Index. The index is designed to be a MLP benchmark index for midstream energy infrastructure master limited partnerships (MLPs) and corporations, and consisted of 35 holdings as of Aug. 1. The fund expects to pay quarterly income distributions.
MLPX offers exposure to the Solactive MLP Composite Index, which is designed to give investors a means of tracking the overall performance of the U.S. MLP asset class. MLPA consists of 30 MLPs engaged in the transportation, storage, processing, refining, marketing, exploration, production and mining of natural resources. Due to its structure as a regulated investment company, MLPX is not subject to corporate taxes, yet still provides access to the MLP sector. It also requires only 1099 tax filings from investors, not K-1s. Its management fee is 0.45%.
3) Pacific Life Funds Launches PL Limited-Duration High Income Fund
Pacific Life Funds has launched the PL Limited Duration High Income Fund (PLLDX), which invests primarily in high-yield corporate bonds and floating-rate loans.
The portfolio management team is able to allocate between bonds and loans, if the opportunity is available in the markets. The overall portfolio is expected to maintain a zero- to three-year duration, resulting in lower sensitivity to interest rate movements. PLLDX’s floating-rate loan holdings are intended to help lower overall portfolio volatility.
4) DMS Funds Launches DMS Poland Index Fund
DMS Funds announced Tuesday the launch of the DMS Poland Index Fund, which seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and performance of the WIG20 Index, made up of the 20 largest companies trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
The top 10 companies in the WIG20, responsible for 83.21% of its weighting, represent Poland’s banking, insurance, basic materials, oil and gas, energy and telecom industries.
5) Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT to Become Self-Managed
Behringer Harvard Holdings announced Tuesday that a special committee of the board of directors of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I and affiliates of Behringer Harvard, including the REIT’s dedicated advisor and property manager, have entered into contractual arrangements for the REIT to become self-managed. The arrangement allows time for the REIT to develop internal resources to replace various services currently provided by Behringer Harvard.
The management team remains essentially the same, but five Behringer Harvard executives who were solely dedicated to the REIT are now employees of the REIT. They are Mark Alfieri, president and COO; Howard Garfield, CFO; Ross Odland, senior vice president, portfolio management; Daniel Rosenberg, general counsel, securities and risk management; and Margaret Daly, senior vice president, property management.
In addition, Robert Aisner will remain an employee of Behringer Harvard, but continue as CEO of the REIT until the self-management process is complete; at that time, Alfieri will become CEO, in addition to retaining those positions he now holds. This event is expected to be seamless for shareholders, their financial representatives, residents at the multifamily communities in the REIT’s portfolio and others doing business with the REIT.
6) OneAmerica Companies Enhance Bundled Defined Benefit Plan Product
The companies of OneAmerica announced Wednesday that they have introduced a new approach for their bundled defined benefit product that combines the investment platform of American United Life Insurance Company with actuarial services provided by McCready and Keene.
The AUL investment platform offers plan sponsors more than 300 pre-screened investment options, while McCready and Keene’s actuarial services provide in-depth analysis for sponsors. The OneAmerica companies have streamlined the transition and submission process for defined benefit plans, implemented a newly redesigned proposal and are enhancing their actuarial service technology.