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Trust Company of America Launches ETF Trading Platform: Portfolio Products

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Trust Company of America announced the launch of its new ETF trading platform, ETF Custody Advantage.

The offering provides 60 ETFs from key asset classes — including domestic and international equity, bond, sector, currency and commodities — and include funds from ETF providers Guggenheim Investments and Global X.

To help manage costs, TCA will provide a custody fee offset on all participating ETFs, automatically applied to assets held in the products on the trading platform.

“TCA’s ETF platform will ensure investors receive greater levels of diversification through exposure to a wide array of asset classes,” said TCA’s president and CEO, Joshua Pace, in a statement. “What sets ETF Custody Advantage apart is its transparency, allowing advisors to know exactly what returns their clients are receiving, giving them a greater amount of flexibility. In addition, the tax efficiency and investment options advisors will have through this will be a game-changer.”

TCA’s ETF Custody Advantage enables advisors to provide their clients with significantly lower expense ratios than most mutual funds and a greater investment flexibility through intraday trading on a regulated exchange.

TCA’s ETF sponsors, Guggenheim Investments and Global X, will provide advisors and their clients with ETF educational resources, including white papers, commentaries, sales ideas and fact sheets. In addition, TCA plans to add to its lineup of ETF providers throughout the year.

JPMorgan Municipal Income Fund Receives ‘Socially Conscious’ Designation From Morningstar

The JPMorgan Municipal Income Fund (OTBAX) has received a “Socially Conscious” designation from Morningstar, making it one of the first in the municipal bond space, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The fund has an established track record and investment process, and the new categorization formalizes its long-held, sustainable investing practices.

The fund, which has $269 million in AUM and a 24-year track record, is designed to invest the majority of its assets in municipal bonds that provide positive social and environmental benefits.

In order to identify bonds with positive social impacts, portfolio managers, working closely with credit research analysts, have developed a proprietary framework that relies on internal assessment and third-party data to track each bond’s intended use of proceeds. Current income continues to be the fund’s primary focus, and it seeks to produce income in a manner consistent with the preservation of principal.

The fund has a net expense ratio of 0.73%.

FTJ FundChoice Launches SMA Program With Meeder Investment Management

FTJ FundChoice announced the launch of the FTJ FundChoice Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) Program to further enhance their managed account offerings with strategist-tailored solutions for high-net-worth families and individuals.

Designed for portfolios with a minimum of $1 million, FTJ FundChoice’s SMA Program bridges the gap for advisors between their businesses and their high-net-worth clientele with tailored investment solutions.

FTJ FundChoice also announced Meeder Investment Management as the program’s first SMA strategist partner. Meeder’s Private Wealth Management team will construct custom portfolios for FTJ FundChoice advisors built to the needs and objectives of each of their clients designed specifically to minimize taxes and track a client-specified benchmark.

Additional partners are currently in the vetting process and will be added to the program on an ongoing basis.

Allianz Life Adds Accelerated Underwriting and ApplyNOW Technology

Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America announced the launch of accelerated underwriting and ApplyNOW, new technology available to help streamline the application process for Allianz Life Pro+ Fixed Index Universal Life Insurance policies.

The accelerated underwriting process has fewer underwriting requirements for eligible applicants, resulting in a faster, better underwriting experience. The ApplyNOW digital tool will allow financial professionals to submit Allianz Life Pro+ applications online, resulting in more complete and accurate submissions.

With the accelerated underwriting program and mobile-friendly ApplyNOW tool, the entire underwriting process can be reduced from as many as 35 days (traditional paper application and full underwriting) to as little as 3 days.

All applications that meet the eligibility criteria will be considered for accelerated underwriting. ApplyNOW technology is also available for the application process with Allianz Life annuity products.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Launches Unconstrained Fixed Income Active ETF

J.P. Morgan Asset Management launched the JPMorgan Global Bond Opportunities ETF (JPGB), an actively managed ETF built off the success of the JPMorgan Global Bond Opportunities Fund.

The strategy takes a benchmark-agnostic approach and seeks to take advantage of opportunities across market sectors, credit quality, countries and currencies, extending beyond traditional fixed income investments. It captures J.P. Morgan’s highest conviction ideas in a flexible strategy that identifies opportunities in response to evolving market conditions.

The fund is managed by a highly experienced investment team, led by Global CIO and portfolio manager Bob Michele, who has been managing global fixed income for more than 35 years.

Solactive Introduces Canadian Bond Universe TR Index

Solactive is releasing a new cost-efficient broad-market index providing exposure to the investment-grade Canadian bond market.

The Solactive Canadian Bond Universe TR Index tracks the performance of CAD-denominated IG government and corporate bonds issued in Canada.

The Solactive Canadian Bond Universe TR Index is part of a broader family of Canadian indices offered by Solactive catering to investors interested in gaining Canada-specific exposure on both the fixed income and hybrid sides.

Solactive Launches Scandinavian Benchmark

In a move to expand the offering of cost-efficient benchmarks, Solactive has released the Solactive Nordic 150 Index. The new index tracks the 150 most liquid shares listed in the Nordic region covering Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Investors can use the benchmark to evaluate the performance of the Scandinavian equity market and to compare their portfolio’s returns against it.

The three most represented sectors are industrials, finance and health care, reaching a composite weight of nearly 65% of the index. The index is calculated as a gross total return, price return and net total return index and is denominated in Swedish krona. The index is readjusted semiannually.

Hartford Funds Launches ETF Whiteboard Videos

Hartford Funds has launched its new educational ETF whiteboard video series, which will educate investors and advisors about strategic beta ETFs.

This launch partially stems from a Hartford Funds survey revealing that a lack of familiarity with these products has prevented both advisors and investors from exploring and using these strategies.

The videos, which will be released on Hartford Funds’ whiteboard video microsite, range from best practices for trading, the primary five factors explained, the importance of considering risk in ETF portfolios, factor blending and conflict, and implementing strategic beta ETFs in a portfolio.

— Read last week’s round up here: ETF Securities Launches K-1 Free Commodity ETF Suite: Portfolio Products


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