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Top Portfolio Products: ETF Securities, Zacks Launch 2 Funds

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include the launch of two ETFs by ETF Securities; an execution service from Russell Investments and Integral; and Gemini Funds partnered with SunGard for enhanced reporting capabilities.

Also, Acquire Real Estate launched an investing platform for individuals; Pershing launched a retirement plan network; Touchstone Investments launched a microsite for advisors, and iBillionaire updated its app and launched a dividend index.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) ETF Securities Adds 2 Funds With Zacks

ETF Securities has announced the launch of two ETFs that are based on Zacks proprietary earnings investment strategies covering U.S. equities. They are ETFS Zacks Earnings Large-Cap U.S. Index Fund (ZLRG) and ETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund (ZSML).

ZLRG seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Zacks Earnings Large-Cap U.S. Index, while ZSML seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index. Steps have been taken to help mitigate risk, including high liquidity and capacity screens and a focus on high diversification across sectors and stocks. The combination of the investment strategies with the risk management overlay aims to deliver more consistent total returns at a lower cost.

2) Russell Investments, Integral Add Execution Service

Russell Investments and FX technology company Integral Development Corp. have launched the Russell FX Network, an end-to-end trading solution for the buy-side community for netting, execution and allocation of foreign exchange transactions. RFX Network is designed to help institutional investors including asset managers obtain currency exchange rates that seek to minimize tracking error with respect to the rates published by WM/Reuters.

The network allows buy-side firms to automate execution of complex trade lists in a solution that combines internal netting within an investor’s trading portfolio with external matching in the larger buy-side community. Participants have access to advanced netting, process automation and best execution while minimizing market impact of their orders. Investors can place orders electronically into RFX Network or have Russell process them on their behalf.

3) NewOak Adds Non-QM Support Services Platform

Financial advisory firm NewOak has added a non-QM support services platform that provides a range of solutions to address the demands on originators and investors in non-qualified mortgage products to manage increasing regulatory and enforceability risks.

The platform provides a range of targeted offerings, including due diligence and quality assurance consulting services, customizable underwriting applications that ensure accurate and defendable data and work flows, and its mortgage defense package, a proprietary electronic repository of all key documentation and decision-support data needed to defend the loan approval.

4) Gemini Fund Partners with SunGard

Gemini Fund Services, LLC, has announced a partnering with SunGard to provide additional reporting and business process management services to help clients control and monitor their fund portfolios.

SunGard’s InvestOne investment accounting and reporting system controls and monitors clients’ fund portfolios with reporting features and compliance functionalities. The system offers more than 300 standard reports, as well as report customization tools, on a single database. ControlCenter interfaces with InvestOne as an operational management and monitoring workflow tool that provides a centralized view of fund accounting activity.

5) Acquire Real Estate Launches Investing Platform

Acquire Real Estate has announced the launch of an investing platform for individuals that allows accredited investors to access institutional-quality commercial real estate investments.

The firm, which operates differently from typical crowdfunding sites, is made up of executives experienced in underwriting, acquisition and management, and has financing in excess of $10 billion. To ensure that the firm’s interests are aligned with those of investors, it screens potential investments and prefunds those that are selected before offering them to investors.

6) Pershing Launches Retirement Plan Network

Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, has launched a retirement plan network, an open-architecture platform that allows advisors to serve the needs of retirement plan sponsors and individual investors.

The platform allows advisors to connect to independent recordkeepers, hold assets in custody, and leverage an integrated suite of investment products, retirement plan tools and practice management solutions. The network will be rolled out during the first quarter of the year.

7) Touchstone Investments Launches Microsite

Touchstone Investments has announced the launch of a microsite to educate advisors about Active Share, a concept that measures the fraction of a fund’s portfolio (based on position weights) that differs from its benchmark index. Active Share is not a performance measurement. Part of the effort behind the microsite is a consultative partnership with Martijn Cremers, currently professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame, whose research defined the concept.

The term Active Share was originally coined by Cremers and his coauthor Antti Petijisto in a 2006 study they conducted at the Yale School of Management. The study reviewed domestic all-equity mutual funds and discovered that funds with the highest Active Share tended to significantly outperform their benchmarks, while nonindex funds with the lowest Active Share tended to underperform theirs.

8) iBillionaire Updates App, Launches Dividend Index

iBillionaire announced that it has updated its mobile app and launched a new index.

Available for iOS and Android, iBillionaire 2.0 combines search and discovery to consolidate billionaire investment data in a curated mobile platform.

The iBillionaire High Dividend Index (IBD and IBDTR) is designed to track high-dividend stocks across a select group of billionaire investors. Equally weighted and composed of 50 equities, it signals which dividend investments billionaires are selecting.

Read the Jan. 16 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.