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Top Portfolio Products: New Low-Carbon Indexes and Enhanced Beta ETFs

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include a series of low-carbon indexes from ERI Scientific Beta; ETFs from Janus Capital and the completion of a Van Eck’s reorganization of two master limited partnership.

In addition, Azzad Asset Management added investments in ethical trade finance deals, Target Asset Management and Blackmoon Financial Group announced an upcoming fund launch in April and T. Rowe Price added a financial wellness solution to its Retire With Confidence program.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) ERI Scientific Beta Launches Line of Low-Carbon Indexes

ERI Scientific Beta launched a series of low-carbon smart beta indexes for institutional investors that can reduce the carbon footprint of their equity investments by more than 80% while outperforming traditional market indexes.

The indexes exclude the largest carbon emitters, the worst carbon-intense firms in major market sectors and the largest holders of fossil assets. ERI Scientific Beta hopes the exclusion of these firms will move them to change their strategy or production process in order to be removed from the exclusion list.

2) Janus Capital Adds Two ETFs

Janus Capital Group launched two enhanced beta ETFs: the Janus Small Cap Growth Alpha ETF (JSML) and the Janus Small/Mid Cap Growth Alpha ETF (JSMD).

The ETFs seek to replicate Janus’s proprietary indexes, the Janus Small Cap Growth Alpha Index and the Janus Small/Mid Cap Growth Alpha Index, respectively, and identify resilient small and mid-cap companies poised for long-run sustainable growth.

3) VanEck Reorganizes Two MLP ETFs

VanEck completed the previously announced reorganization of two MLP ETFs purchased from Yorkville ETF Advisers and Exchange Traded Concepts LLC.

The Yorkville High Income MLP ETF and Yorkville High Income Infrastructure MLP ETF have been reorganized as Market Vectors High Income MLP ETF (YMLP) and Market Vectors High Income Infrastructure MLP ETF (YMLI), respectively. The ETFs continue to track indexes that focus on high-income MLPs and screen constituents based upon business activity, current yield, distribution coverage ratio and distribution growth.

4) Azzad Asset Management Adds Ethical Trade Finance Deals to Fund

Azzad Asset Management added investments in ethical trade finance deals to its Azzad Wise Capital Fund (WISEX), a halal fixed-income fund. By investing primarily in sukuk and community development banks, the fund can provide an alternative fixed-income investment option that contributes to social development without dealing in interest-based transactions.

Through WISEX, Azzad is participating in a group of syndicated ethical trade finance deals arranged by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), an unaffiliated entity. The ITFC, an organization under the auspices of the Islamic

5) Target Asset Management, Blackmoon to Launch Fund

Target Asset Management and Blackmoon Financial Group will launch a fund investing in loans originated by European balance sheet lenders. The fund will be open to international investors with minimum commitment size of 125,000 euros and will be targeting annual returns of 12% to 13% net of fees.

Target Asset Management will manage the fund and Blackmoon will act as a technological provider for access to balance sheet lender portfolios, serve as risk assessor and broker loans. The fund will become fully operational by the end of April 2016.

6) T. Rowe Price Adds Financial Wellness Solution

T. Rowe Price is adding Ramsey Solutions’ SmartDollar, an online financial wellness solution, to its Retire With Confidence program. Plan sponsor clients can elect to provide participants access to SmartDollar’s online tools and interactive lessons.

SmartDollar will be offered to T. Rowe Price’s full-service recordkeeping clients in April.

Read the February 22 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.


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