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Janus Readies ETF; Edward Jones Pushes Back Fund Rollouts

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Two groups watched carefully by advisors and investors alike had different developments in their fund introduction plans.

The Securities and Exchange Commission gave a preliminary thumbs-up to a bond ETF run by Janus Capital Group (JCG) on Wednesday. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Edward Jones filed a one-month extension to its application to register a group of new Bridge Builder mutual funds.

Janus hired fixed income expert Bill Gross to come on board as a portfolio manager after he left the bond ship he started, PIMCO, in the fall. Around the same time, the Denver-based firm said it was buying VelocityShares, an ETF provider.

Janus’ first ETF is focused on both domestic and foreign fixed income securities of varied durations. Investors and others who wish to submit comments to the SEC about the new product can do so through March 27.

(Earlier this week on Bloomberg TV, Gross said the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates by 25 basis points in June.)

Edward Jones

Broker-dealer Edward Jones filed a request with the SEC to extend the registration for four Bridge Builder equity funds with a large-cap growth, large-cap value, small/mid-cap growth and small/mid-cap value focus.

The group launched its Bridge Builder Bond Fund (BBTBX) in 2013. It has about $8.3 billion in assets, according to Morningstar, and is up 1.27% year to date after improving 5.91% in 2014.

According to Edward Jones, which has roughly 13,000 advisors, the Bridge Builder funds are only available to clients of its fee-based Advisory Solutions program, which had some $128 billion in assets in late 2014.

Olive Street Investment Advisers, an Edward Jones affiliate, will be the investment advisor to the new funds. Olive Street is establising the funds’ investment strategies and will select one or more asset management firms, also known as subadvisors, for the day-to-day individual security selection and trading. Initially, the new funds are expected to have three to five subadvisors each.

The Bridge Builder Bond Fund has been subadvised by J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., Prudential Investment Management Inc., and Robert W. Baird & Co., and the Bridge Builder funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, which is not affiliated with Edward Jones.

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