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Top Portfolio Products: Vanguard Tweaks Money Market Funds

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include new SRI offerings from Advisor Partners; a fund to invest in female and minority entrepreneurs from Intel Capital; three additional portfolios from W.E. Donoghue; several fund changes announced by Vanguard; and a custom target-date solution from Pensionmark.

Also, Exhilway exited a fund; Advent debuted the next generation of its Black Diamond wealth platform; CAIS and Mercer offered an institutional private equity solution; First Foundation and Pacific Rim Bank announced the completion of their merger; and Lincoln Financial Group announced enhancements to its VUL insurance suite.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Vanguard Announces Fund Changes

Vanguard has announced changes to its money market mutual fund lineup  in response to rules adopted by the SEC in 2014.

Vanguard plans to designate its Prime Money Market Fund and its six tax-exempt funds (one national and five state municipal money funds) as “retail funds.” In addition, effective this coming December, institutional shares of Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMRXX) will be renamed admiral shares and the Vanguard Admiral Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX) will be renamed the Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund. Vanguard is also reopening its Federal Money Market Fund immediately.

2) Advisor Partners Adds Fossil-Free, Empowerment Portfolios

Advisor Partners has announced that it has expanded its socially responsible investment offerings with the addition of fossil fuel-free and empowerment portfolios. The Advisor Partners portfolios will be available through First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC, and will also be broadly available to advisors wishing to respond to clients’ values-driven investment goals.

For the fossil fuel-free aspect, it has created both U.S. equity portfolios and ADR portfolios that exclude fossil fuel companies. The portfolios also reflect inclusionary and exclusionary aspects of SRI investment, excluding companies outside of fossil fuels that have unfavorable SRI characteristics and including companies with favorable SRI characteristics.

The empowerment portfolio emphasizes companies with favorable diversity characteristics, such as a higher proportion of women and minorities in senior management and on the board, as well as other attributes that demonstrate that the company values diversity in its workforce. Other vital SRI considerations are also taken into account.

4) Intel Capital Launches Fund

Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, has announced the launch of the Intel Capital Diversity Fund.

The fund, which will invest in technology startups run by women and underrepresented minorities, launches with investments in four companies: Brit + Co, CareCloud, MarkOne and Venafi.

5) W.E. Donoghue Adds Portfolios

W.E. Donoghue & Co. has announced that three additional portfolios are now available through Mid Atlantic Trust Company’s ModelxChange 401k platform: Power Dividend & Yield, Power Income and Power Growth & Income.

The Power Dividend & Yield and Power Growth & Income strategies are designed to preserve capital during periods of market weakness by investing more heavily in fixed income asset classes. In addition, it will employ tactical investment strategies to attempt to control downside volatility by moving towards defensive money market positions when the market warrants it.

The Power Income strategy has the objective of maintaining long-term capital appreciation while producing high current returns. It invests primarily in high-yield bonds (sometimes termed “junk bonds”) and money market funds.

6) Pensionmark Adds Target-Date Solution

Pensionmark Financial Group has announced the rollout of its custom target-date solution, the Pensionmark SmartLifecycle funds, which went live on May 1. Wilmington Trust created the funds, and is the trustee of the funds. BlackRock will manage the glidepath and underlying strategies of the portfolios.

The funds will include exposure to strategies that seek to track minimum volatility domestic and international equity indexes designed to help reduce portfolio losses during declining markets, while still participating in potential gains during rising markets.

7) Exhilway Announces Exit From Fund

Exhilway Global US announced that it has exited from the emerging markets Exhilway Global Opportunities Fund I to focus on its core business. New investors have taken over the fund, but the value of the deal was not disclosed.

The new investors will rebrand the fund and take charge of its management and investment decisions, based on a third-party surveillance audit report. Exhilway Global Opportunities Fund is expected to conclude by the end of this year.

8) Advent Debuts Next Generation Black Diamond

Advent has announced the debut of the next generation of its Black Diamond wealth platform.

The third-generation redesign integrates portfolio management, reporting, client communications, and rebalancing in a single cloud platform and is complemented by the Black Diamond Link enhanced integration program that provides bidirectional workflow integrations with complementary advisory solutions.

9) CAIS, Mercer Offer Institutional Private Equity Solution for Wealth Management

Alternative investment platform CAIS and investment consultant Mercer have integrated Mercer’s institutional private equity platform with CAIS.

Via the CAIS platform, Mercer will provide RIAs and family offices with institutional strategy recommendations, due diligence summaries, research reports and an active menu of investable third-party funds, as well as access to its proprietary multimanager fund.

10) First Foundation, Pacific Rim Bank Complete Merger

Financial services firm First Foundation Inc. and Pacific Rim Bank, a community bank in Honolulu, Hawaii, have announced the completion of the merger of Pacific Rim Bank with and into First Foundation Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Foundation Inc.

Pacific Rim Bank will assume the First Foundation Bank name. FFI is now a financial services firm spanning eight geographic regions in Hawaii, California, and Nevada.

10) Lincoln Financial Enhances VUL Suite

Lincoln Financial Group has announced the next generation of its Lincoln AssetEdge variable universal life offering.

In addition to an income tax-free death benefit and more than 80 market-driven variable investment options, the VUL now offers three indexed accounts and a fixed account. Clients have the ability to adjust investment allocations over time to align with changing needs and financial goals.

Read the June 13 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.

http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/06/13/top-portfolio-products-direxion-ssga-van-eck-add