New products and changes introduced over the last week include a SPDR ETF from State Street Global Advisors; a portfolio focused on companies with female chief executive officers from EQIS Capital Management; an index of climate change leaders from Etho Capital; and an international momentum trust from SmartTrust.
Also, Merk Investments’ physical gold ETF is being rebranded; Lincoln Financial Group added a living benefit rider for its variable annuities; the Principal added a guaranteed income option for plan participants; CUNA Mutual Group added online tools; and FiServ partnered with InvestEdge on reporting capabilities.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1. State Street Global Advisors Adds SPDR ETF
State Street Global Advisors launched the SPDR S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD), which seeks to track the performance of the S&P 500 High Dividend Index.
SPYD provides access to a portfolio of the 80 highest dividend-paying stocks in the S&P 500 Index and is designed for investors seeking both equity income and the potential for capital appreciation.
2. Etho Capital Launches Climate Change Leaders Index
Etho Capital introduced the Etho Climate Leadership Index (ECLI), a diversified, low-cost index completely divested of fossil fuels and focused on climate efficiency in other industries. Etho Capital will launch an ETF based on stocks in the ECLI later in 2015.
Companies included in the ECLI have to meet standards of fossil-free and socially responsible investing. The ECLI combines quantitative data, socially responsible investing expertise and broad sector diversification while using strategies that select the best equities for the future of the planet and portfolios.
3. EQIS Capital Management Introduces Women CEO Portfolio
EQIS Capital Management added a Women CEO Focus portfolio, consisting of Fortune 1000 companies whose CEO is a woman.
The portfolio, managed by Dr. Kenneth Kim, chief financial strategist, and Dr. William Nelson, chief investment officer, was created after extensive research uncovered that these firms tend to outperform their benchmarks. Holdings include IBM (IBM), Pepsico (PEP) and Lockheed Martin (LMT).
4. Merk Gold Trust ETF Gets Wider Distribution Through Van Eck
Van Eck Global has begun to act as marketing agent for the Van Eck Merk Gold Trust (OUNZ), previously known as the Merk Gold Trust, the money manager and Merk Investments, headed by Axel Merk, announced Monday.
OUNZ gives investors the option to take physical delivery of gold.
The rebranded fund will retain its ticker symbol and its expense ratio of 0.40%.