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Top Portfolio Products: First Trust Launches Eurozone ETF

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include a eurozone ETF from First Trust; a DAX Germany ETF from Recon Capital; two ETFs from Global X; and an international small-cap fund from Causeway Capital Management.

Also, the Phoenix Companies partnered with Credit Suisse on a tactical mult-iasset index; Aegon UK has launched its Whole of Life protection policy; AssetMark acquired Aris Corporation of America; and ABMM Financial launched to provide support to advisors on retirement planning.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) First Trust Launches Eurozone AlphaDEX ETF

First Trust has announced the launch of the First Trust Eurozone AlphaDEX ETF (FEUZ), which provides a way to gain exposure to the potential opportunity in eurozone equities without having to choose individual companies.

FEUZ seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before the fund’s fees and expenses, of the Nasdaq AlphaDEX Eurozone Index. By providing additional features such as tax efficiency, exchange-traded liquidity and transparency, the fund offers an alternative strategy to active management when seeking alpha.

2) Global X Adds Two ETFs

Global X Funds has announced the addition of two ETFs based on indexes developed by J.P. Morgan Corporate and Investment Bank: the Global X-JPMorgan Efficiente Index ETF (EFFE) and the Global X-JPMorgan US Sector Rotator Index ETF (SCTO).

EFFE aims to provide investors with risk-adjusted returns. It rebalances monthly, shifting exposures across five asset classes and thirteen subclasses, while targeting an annual realized volatility of 10%. The strategy is designed as an alternative investment, seeking to generate low-volatility returns across a variety of market conditions.

SCTO seeks to provide investors with the ability to participate in market upside while limiting downside exposure. On a monthly basis, it will select up to five U.S.-sector ETFs that have demonstrated positive recent performance from a pool of 10 possible sectors. The fund may shift up to 100% of its exposure to 1–3 year U.S. treasuries to defend against declining or volatile markets.

3) Recon Capital Adds DAX Germany ETF

Recon Capital has announced the launch of the Recon Capital DAX Germany ETF (DAX).

The DAX Index tracks the blue chip segment of the German equities market, and contains the shares of the 30 largest and most liquid companies admitted to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB). The exchange-listed portion of the German equity market is concentrated around just a few highly capitalized global players. The largest 30 German stocks cover about 80% of the capitalization of the entire German prime standard.

4) Causeway Capital Management Adds International Small-Cap Fund

Causeway Capital Management has announced the launch of the Causeway International Small Cap Fund (CIISX), which is managed by Arjun Jayaraman, head of quantitative research for Causeway; MacDuff Kuhnert, director of quantitative research; and Joe Gubler, quantitative portfolio manager.

CIISX invests primarily in common stocks of companies with small market capitalizations located in developed and emerging markets outside the U.S, and normally invests at least 80% of its assets in equity securities of small-capitalization companies, as defined in its prospectus. It primarily uses a quantitative investment approach and intends to normally hold between 120 and 200 stocks.

5) Phoenix Companies, Credit Suisse Partner on Index

The Phoenix Companies and Credit Suisse have partnered to license the CS Tactical Multi Asset Index, an ETF-based index available exclusively to Phoenix fixed indexed annuities and managed directly by Credit Suisse.

The index allocates across a selection of 10 ETFs with the goal of optimizing return for a given level of risk, measured by volatility. It offers exposure to four separate asset classes and is dynamically rebalanced and based on concepts found in modern portfolio theory. While there is no direct investment in the index, the annuity offers accounts that can receive credits for index performance above a certain threshold (a “spread rate”).

6) Aegon UK Launches Whole of Life Policy

Aegon UK has launched its Whole of Life protection policy, designed to to provide money to help cover an inheritance tax (IHT) bill payable on a customer’s estate when they die in the United Kingdom.

The policy can be placed in a discretionary trust, to enable customers to protect and pass their wealth on to the next generation. There is also an integrated trust process to place a whole of life policy in trust at application. This limits the chance of delay or forgetting to do this once the policy is set up.

7) AssetMark Acquires Aris Corporation

AssetMark, Inc. has acquired Aris Corporation of America, which allows it to provide Aris as an investment choice for advisors alongside the other portfolio strategists offered through AssetMark’s investment platform. The closing is targeted for Dec. 31.

Aris offers asset management, retirement and purpose-based solutions.

8) ABMM Financial Launches Retirement Advisory Practice

Investment firm ABMM Financial has launched to provide professional investment advisors with a variety of retirement plan platforms, investment management tools and consumer-facing marketing support and to provide employees of not-for-profit organizations with a broader range of retirement savings options.

The firm was cofounded by David Ciotta, CEO, and Michael Zarelli, CFO.

Read the Oct. 17 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.


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