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Wisdom Tree, AlphaClone and SPARX Group Add Foreign-Focused ETFs

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include a global ETF from Wisdom Tree, an international ETF from AlphaClone, an Asian ETF from SPARX Group and two new tools  from Schwab.

Also, Stifel is acquiring Eaton Partners, MassMutual added a variable annuity, Ascent Private Capital Management formed a partnership with Motif Investin and SS&C launched a beta version of Black Diamond aggregation.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) WisdomTree Launches Global Fund

WisdomTree launched the WisdomTree Global SmallCap Dividend Fund (GSD).

The fund provides exposure to dividend-paying small-cap companies in the U.S., developed and emerging markets.

2) AlphaClone Adds International ETF

AlphaClone, Inc. introduced the AlphaClone International ETF (ALFI), which tracks the AlphaClone International Downside Hedged Index.

The index uses AlphaClone’s proprietary clone score methodology to continuously score managers based on the efficacy of following their disclosures, then aggregates at least 40 high-conviction American Depository Receipt (ADR) holdings from managers with the highest score. Holdings are weighted based on the number of holders and are adjusted and weighted quarterly at predefined intervals. The index also can vary from long-only to market-hedged when the S&P 500 closes below its 200-day simple moving average at any month’s end.

3) SPARX Group Adds UCITS Fund

Hong Kong-based SPARX Asia Investment Advisors Limited, a subsidiary of the SPARX Group, launched, together with ML Capital, the SPARX OneAsia Long Short UCITS Fund, a Pan-Asia market neutral strategy hosted on the MontLake UCITS platform.

The OneAsia investment and research team is led by Hak Kim.

4) Schwab Adds Gateway Data Delivery, Recruitment Playbook

Schwab introduced Schwab OpenView Gateway, which provides actionable Schwab custody account data in Salentica CRM, and the “RIA Talent Advantage Recruitment Playbook,” a recruitment resource from Schwab Advisor Services.

Gateway data delivery allows advisors and their staff the ability to make custody account information such as account alerts, balances and positions available and actionable within Salentica CRM. Independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) can use the data to trigger CRM automation events such as CRM workflows and view important account information like cash available within a CRM dashboard.

The playbook includes tools, tips and examples to help advisors through the four key phases of the recruitment process: getting started, sourcing and screening, interviewing and selecting and onboarding and retention.

5) Stifel Financial Corp. to Acquire Eaton Partners

Stifel Financial Corp. has agreed to acquire global fund placement agent Eaton Partners, LLC. in a deal expected to close in early 2016. Eaton’s relationships with private equity firms, hedge funds and high-net-worth family offices will let Stifel leverage its investment banking platform and its HNW private client business, which will include the previously announced Barclays Wealth Americas business once that acquisition closes in the fourth quarter.

Eaton will retain its brand name and be run as a Stifel company upon closing. Stifel expects that the transaction, subject to customary closing conditions, will be immediately accretive to earnings.

6) MassMutual Adds Variable Annuity

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company launched its MassMutual Capital Vantage variable annuity, which allows individuals to invest in both traditional and nontraditional asset classes including hedged equity, alternatives and tactical allocation strategies.

The MassMutual Capital Vantage variable annuity has a choice of two share classes:  B shares and C shares. Each share class has different expense structures.

7) Ascent Private Capital Management, Motif Partner on Thematic Portfolios

Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank has partnered with Motif Investing’s new subsidiary, Motif Capital Management, which will be the exclusive manager of thematic portfolios for Ascent’s advisors.

The partnership will integrate thematic investing that identifies and acts on specific social, economic, technological and demographic trends in Ascent’s wealth management process to preserve multigenerational legacies for Ascent’s clients.

8) Black Diamond Aggregation and Reporting Capabilities Beta Launched

SS&C launched a beta of aggregation and net worth reporting capabilities for the Black Diamond wealth platform through a partnership with financial data science company Quovo.

Quovo aggregation capabilities will supplement Advent’s direct data interfaces through Advent custodial data services, which connect with over 800 financial institutions. Black Diamond will now provide advisors with a solution to illustrate a client’s complete net worth, including held-away assets and liabilities such as credit card debt, checking and savings accounts, student loan debt and mortgage debt.

9) Informa Investment Solutions Launches Zephyr Analytics API

Informa Investment Solutions introduced Zephyr Analytics API, which enables users to link proprietary, internal or external applications to a statistical library to leverage MPT/PMPT statistics and generate returns-based and asset-allocation analysis.

The Zephyr Analytics API currently offers over 170 statistical calculations. It is sourced from Informa’s Zephyr StyleADVISOR and PSN Enterprise solutions, as well as separate account and fund research.

Read the November 9 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor