New products and changes introduced over the last week include a buyback ETF from Invesco PowerShares; an emerging markets Internet and e-commerce ETF from Exchange Traded Concepts; a corporate bond index fund from FlexShares; a China bond ETF from Van Eck; enhancements to a deferred annuity from Lincoln Financial; an additional option on variable annuity contracts from Nationwide; and MyNewFinancialAdvisor Inc. announced an online advisor marketplace.
Also, SWIFT announced the SWIFT profile for Know Your Customer compliance; Quovo announced integration with Orion; RiXtrema announced its RetireRisk tool; AdvisoryWorld announced its client-facing risk analysis tool; Barclays and MSCI announced the launch of a green bond index family; and Envestnet|Tamarac has announced the integration of streamlined trade processing with Schwab OpenView Gateway.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) Van Eck Launches China Bond-Focused ETF
Van Eck Global has announced the launch of the Market Vectors ChinaAMC China Bond ETF (CBON), designed to provide investors with direct access to China’s onshore bond market. ChinaAMC will serve as subadvisor to CBON using a renminbi-qualified foreign institutional investor (RQFII) quota that it has received in order to gain access to this market on behalf of foreign investors.
CBON seeks to invest in all major segments of the Chinese fixed-income markets, including sovereigns, policy banks, and high-rated corporate bonds, and seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the ChinaBond China High Quality Bond Index (CDHATRID). The index is comprised of fixed-rate renminbi (RMB)-denominated bonds issued in the People’s Republic of China by Chinese credit, governmental and quasi-governmental (e.g., policy banks) issuers.
2) Invesco PowerShares Adds Buyback ETF
Invesco PowerShares has announced the PowerShares Global Buyback Achievers UCITS ETF (BUYB), which launched in the U.K. and Europe.
BUYB is based on the Nasdaq Global Buyback Achievers Index, made up of securities from the Nasdaq U.S. Buyback Achievers Index and the Nasdaq International BuyBack Achievers Index.
The Nasdaq US Buyback Achievers Index is comprised of corporations that have effected a net reduction in shares outstanding of 5% or more in the trailing-12 months and the Nasdaq International BuyBack Achievers Index is comprised of corporations that have effected a net reduction in shares outstanding of 5% or more in its latest fiscal year.
3) Exchange Traded Concepts Adds EM Internet, E-Commerce ETF
EMQQ seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the performance of EMQQ The Emerging Markets Internet and ECommerce Index, created by Big Tree Capital. Penserra Capital Management LLC serves as a subadvisor to the fund.
4) FlexShares Adds Corporate Bond-Index Fund
FlexShares has launched the FlexShares Credit-Scored U.S. Corporate Bond Index Fund (SKOR), a fixed-income portfolio consisting of corporate debt securities selected using a proprietary credit scoring process.
SKOR focuses on an intermediate maturity, with securities ranging from two to 10 years in maturity. It seeks to maximize the credit score while maintaining a similar spread and duration to the intermediate maturity corporate debt universe.
5) Lincoln Financial Announces Enhancements to Deferred Annuity
Lincoln Financial Group has announced enhancements to its Lincoln Deferred Income Solutions annuity that provide additional flexibility for clients.
The changes include flexible premium options and a shorter minimum deferral period, allowing annuity owners to spread premiums over multiple years at any frequency or to begin taking income as early as 13 months for those requiring income in the near term. There is also optional death benefit protection during the deferral and income phases.
6) Nationwide Adds Option on New VA Contracts
Nationwide has announced that an additional feature is being offered on new contracts for most of its variable annuity products at no additional cost. The Enhanced Surrender Value for Terminal Illness (ESVTI) feature allows terminally ill owner-annuitants access to their full death benefit value prior to passing away.
ESVTI pays the owner-annuitant an amount equal to their full death benefit value upon notification by a medical doctor of terminal illness (defined as anticipated death within 12 months). The feature is available after the first contract year, and the owner-annuitant must surrender the contract in order to take advantage of this feature. If a client purchased an enhanced death benefit, then Nationwide will pay the higher death benefit value amount. Upon payment, there are no restrictions on how the money is used. In addition, the ESVTI feature works with the spousal protection feature. If either co-annuitant is declared terminally ill, the owner has the option of exercising the ESVTI feature and receiving the death benefit value.
7) MyNewFinancialAdvisor Announces Online Advisor Marketplace
MyNewFinancialAdvisor, Inc. has announced the launch of its online advisor marketplace, which provides integration with online advisors, compatibility with multiple custodians and capabilities for client acquisition.
Advisors can define a marketing program using MNFA’s product platform. They then receive lead flow from MNFA that is immediately directed to their online advisor page, which is available 24/7. In addition, the advisor is immediately notified of the lead’s request (such as a consultation), what channel they came from (radio, print, TV) and their critical data (such as AUM). Advisors can customize the campaign based on AUM and geographic targets. An advisor can implement the entire campaign, from designing the marketing to the online advisor in minutes.
8) SWIFT Announces Profile for Know Your Customer Compliance
SWIFT has announced the development of the SWIFT Profile, a report that provides a global overview of an institution’s correspondent banking activities, which banks can share at their own discretion. The new service will be available in January 2015 and forms part of SWIFT’s Know Your Customer (KYC) offering, which is designed to address the growing KYC challenge for banks.
The SWIFT Profile uses aggregated SWIFT traffic data to help banks pinpoint areas of potential risk within specific jurisdictions and supports due diligence activities. It provides an independent fact-based overview of both the direct and nested correspondent banking activities of a specific bank. The SWIFT Profile also acts as a business enabler for institutions that wish to provide more transparency on their correspondent banking activities. Banks have the option of asking SWIFT to create their institution’s SWIFT Profile, which the banks can then share with their counterparties at their discretion, using The KYC Registry. Each bank retains full control over which institutions can view its SWIFT Profile information.
9) Quovo Announces Integration with Orion
Account aggregation provider Quovo has announced the integration of its services with the Orion Advisor Services platform.
Advisors on the platform will have access to thousands of investment institutions, as well as to the Quovo data management dashboard to add clients and sync held-away accounts. They will be able to view holdings, transactions and account statuses via a cloud dashboard optimized with Web usability best practices. Aggregated account data will automatically push into Orion every day to provide advisors a holistic, 360-degree view of clients assets.
10) RiXtrema Integrates Risk Analytics with Retirement Planning
RiXtrema has announced the introduction of RetireRisk, a tool advisors can use to combine institution-quality risk analytics with retirement planning.
The tool enables users to see the results of RiXtrema’s Portfolio Crash Test and also measure the impact of losses on the investor’s long-term retirement goals. This will enable users to compare long-term projections among a number of portfolios to determine which one best suits the client’s needs.
11) AdvisoryWorld Launches Risk Analysis Tool
AdvisoryWorld announced that it has developed a customized and investor-facing version of its proposal tool.
The interactive Web application enables advisors to show prospective clients whether or not the risk/return characteristics of their portfolios are out of alignment with their risk profile and financial objectives. The app is designed to be used, viewed and understood by a prospective client who may have only limited financial knowledge.
12) Barclays, MSCI Announce Green Bond Index Family
Barclays and MSCI Inc, have announced the launch of the Barclays MSCI Green Bond Index family, which measures the global market of fixed-income securities issued to fund projects and initiatives with direct environmental benefits.
Eligibility for the Barclays MSCI Green Bond Index family is based on an independent and objective assessment of securities by MSCI ESG Research along four dimensions closely tracked by green bond investors: use of proceeds, project evaluation, management of proceeds, and reporting. Additional fixed income index criteria are then applied to this screened universe to identify index membership on a monthly basis.
13) Envestnet|Tamarac Announces Trade Processing Integration
Envestnet|Tamarac has announced that it will be rolling out streamlined trade processing that has been integrated with Schwab OpenView Gateway.
Trades can now be sent directly from Tamarac’s Advisor Xi platform to the SchwabAdvisorCenter.
Read the Nov. 7 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.