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Security Benefit Adds 9 Funds to Variable Annuities: Portfolio Products

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Security Benefit expanded the underlying fund options available within the EliteDesigns suite of variable annuities. The recent additions bring the total number of fund options within the EliteDesigns products to 313.

The nine new funds have been added to both the EliteDesigns and EliteDesigns II variable annuities.

The new funds include eight TOPS funds, five of which are goal-based strategies ranging from conservative to aggressive based on individual risk tolerances, and three of which are goal-based managed risk strategies. The ninth new fund is a rules-based, non-correlating strategy to manage portfolio volatility from Rational Advisors.

The new offerings are TOPS Conservative ETF, TOPS Balanced ETF, TOPS Moderate Growth ETF, TOPS Growth ETF, TOPS Aggressive Growth ETF, TOPS Managed Risk Balanced ETF, TOPS Managed Risk Growth ETF, TOPS Managed Risk Moderate Growth ETF, and Rational Dynamic Momentum VA Fund.

“Properly planning for retirement demands a diverse mix of investments, including passive and active strategies, as well as strategies to manage portfolio volatility,” said David Byrnes, Security Benefit’s president of distribution. “These additions to the EliteDesigns Suite of Variable Annuities give clients more tax-deferred, risk-mitigating investment options as they navigate their way [through retirement].”

The TOPS funds, managed by ValMark Advisers Inc., are funds of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available in the EliteDesigns’ lineup.

The Rational Dynamic Momentum Fund, managed by Jerry Parker of Chesapeake Capital Corp., employs multiple quantitative trading systems that use different time frames for analyzing and identifying trends and emphasizes capital preservation. The Rational Dynamic momentum fund is available exclusively through the EliteDesigns Suite of Variable Annuities.

Turner Investments Acquires ETF Innovator Elkhorn Capital Group and Plans New Products

Turner Investments Holdings announced that the Elkhorn Funds’ Board of Trustees has approved Turner’s acquisition of Elkhorn Capital Group, a leading innovator of exchange-traded products.

The acquisition is subject only to documentation and is not conditioned on shareholder approval. 

Upon the closing of the acquisition, Turner will gain significant product capability, which complements the company’s existing investment processes and the technology platform developed by Veracen. 

According to Bob Turner, the CIO and founder of Turner Investments, “we are shifting the firm’s investment focus to uncorrelated returns and more predictable investment processes, more efficient and lower cost product structures utilizing the development capabilities of Elkhorn.”

The acquisition provides Turner with a cohesive team with 25 years of experience in ETFs, unit investment trusts and exchange-traded notes, which will complement Turner’s long history and experience in mutual funds and separately managed accounts. 

Ben Fulton, head of Elkhorn, said he is “very excited” about the number of new ETF strategies that can be launched on a combined platform.

Clearbrook Launches ClearShares OCIO ETF

ClearShares LLC recently launched the ClearShares OCIO ETF (OCIO).

An early adopter of the Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) model in ETF form, the fund is an ETF of ETFs, offering access to an actively managed, diverse portfolio of passive and active index-based ETFs. It is distributed by Quasar Distributors LLC.

“We are excited to have launched ClearShares OCIO ETF in response to the needs of our investors for an innovative solution that incorporates experienced investment management with the cost advantages, liquidity and transparency of an ETF structure,” Elliott Wislar, CEO of Clearbrook, said in a statement.

Wislar said they’ve received positive feedback on the new fund, and are looking to launch similar ETF products over the next year or two.

Bitcoin IRA Adds XRP, which allows individuals to purchase cryptocurrencies for an IRS-approved retirement account, has made the digital asset XRP available to clients.

With the addition of XRP, Bitcoin IRA is expanding its cryptocurrency options, which also include Bitcoin and Ethereum.

According to Chris Kline, COO of Bitcoin IRA, “XRP is an unique innovation in modernizing cross-border payments using superior blockchain technology. We’re excited to feature XRP and work with BitGo to bring this extraordinary asset opportunity to market.”

Customers who opt for XRP on will have their XRP stored in a multi-signature digital wallet from BitGo. According to Bitcoin IRA, BitGo is “widely considered” the most secure digital wallet, with multi-signature encryption.

With, investors are able to set up a qualified cryptocurrency account, roll over funds from an existing IRA custodian, execute a live trade and then move funds into a secured, multi-signature digital wallet.

In the coming weeks, Bitcoin IRA plans to announce additional alternative coins including Litecoin, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash.

Bloomberg BNA Expands Global Coverage With International Tax Management Portfolios 

Bloomberg BNA announced the release of a number of new and significantly enhanced Tax Management Portfolios.

The foreign country Tax Management Portfolios are written by in-country experts, each covering the tax and business regulatory system of the respective country, and are designed to help tax practitioners and investors gain clear and structured insight into the country’s major direct and indirect taxes.

The new European Union Portfolio covers non-tax regulatory issues and complements the existing European Union Portfolio dealing with EU tax issues. The other recently released Country Tax Management Portfolios include Business Operations in Switzerland (new edition); Business Operations in the Baltic States (new); Business Operations in Denmark (new edition); Business Operations in Brazil (new edition); Business Operations in Peru (new); and Business Operations in Greece (new).

Virtus ETF Solutions Rebrands BioShares ETFs

Virtus ETF Solutions announced that the BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials Fund (BBC) and the BioShares Biotechnology Products Fund (BBP) will change their names to the Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF and the Virtus LifeSci Biotech Products ETF, respectively. They also will change their primary listing venue to NYSE Arca.

The funds, which are advised by Virtus ETF Advisers, will retain their current ticker symbols when they commence trading on the NYSE Arca exchange at market open on Sept. 1.

Current BBC and BBP shareholders are not required to take any actions as a result of these changes.

—Read last week’s portfolio roundup here: Swell Introduces Impact IRAs and Lowers Minimum: Portfolio Products