New products and changes introduced over the last week include the addition of five commission-free ETFs to Schwab ETF OneSource, a sustainable investing fund from Thornburg and managed accounts for 401(k)s from MassMutual and Envestnet.
Also, Vanguard announced manager and benchmark index changes, Informa Investment Solutions added a cloud-based investment allocator application, Voya Financial added an index crediting strategy to its fixed indexed annuity products and Lombard International launched its global life insurance-based wealth management business.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) Schwab Adds Commission-Free ETFs to OneSource
Schwab announced the addition of five commission-free ETFs to Schwab ETF OneSource. All are currency-hedged ETFs.
The additions are IQ 50 Percent Hedged FTSE Europe ETF (HFXE), IQ 50 Percent Hedged FTSE Intl ETF (HFXI), IQ 50 Percent Hedged FTSE Japan ETF (HFXJ), ProShares Hedged FTSE Europe ETF (HGEU) and ProShares Hedged FTSE Japan ETF (HGJP).
2) Thornburg Launches Sustainable Investing Fund
Thornburg Asset Management launched the Thornburg Better World International Fund (TBWAX, TBWIX, TBWCX) which focuses on 30 to 60 value-oriented international companies. Managed by Rolf Kelly, the fund is designed to seek a high level of risk-adjusted returns by investing in high-quality, attractively priced companies making a positive impact on the world.
3) Vanguard Announces Windsor II Fund Transition, Index Funds’ Move to FTSE
Vanguard announced that portfolio management responsibilities for the Vanguard Windsor II Fund and the diversified value portfolio of the Vanguard Variable Insurance Fund (VVIF) will transfer from James Barrow, founding partner and executive director of Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss, LLC, to Jeff Fahrenbruch and David Ganucheau, effective January 1.
Fahrenbruch and Ganucheau have served on the portfolio management team of the Windsor II Fund and VVIF Diversified Value Portfolio since 2013. Barrow will remain actively involved in the firm’s investment activities and continue as a portfolio manager of the Vanguard Selected Value Fund. Barrow, Hanley manages approximately 60% of both the Windsor II and Selected Value funds.
In addition, Vanguard announced that the Vanguard European Stock Index Fund and the Vanguard Pacific Stock Index Fund began tracking new FTSE indexes on October 1. The funds transitioned from FTSE benchmarks containing large- and mid-cap stocks to broader FTSE benchmarks that include large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks. The European Stock Index Fund is now tracking the FTSE Developed Europe All Cap Index and the Pacific Stock Index Fund is tracking the FTSE Developed Asia Pacific All Cap Index.
Adding small-cap exposure to the funds moves investors closer to market-cap weightings and fuller diversification benefits. The benchmark changes include all share classes of the two funds, including their ETF share classes, FTSE Europe ETF (VGK) and FTSE Pacific ETF (VPL).