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UBS Launches Products Tied to UN Development Goals: Portfolio Products

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UBS Investment Bank is launching a series of investment products aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A predefined portion of revenues will be donated as philanthropic contributions, managed by UBS’ dedicated philanthropic foundation, the Optimus Foundation.

— (Related: Third of UBS Assets Are in Sustainable or Impact Investments)

The new products will be linked to sustainability- and impact-screened indexes based on various themes directed at specific investor groups. Among the themes will be a global sustainability index, a social-equality based LGBTQ investment index, and an index linked to the environment and clean energy.

In its role, the UBS Optimus Foundation will leverage its extensive partner network to identify and support suitable SDG-aligned programs. It will also track each program’s progress and provide a rigorous evaluation of the impact achieved.

The initiative was announced at a media event streamed simultaneously over three UBS locations in Zurich, London and New York, where UBS highlighted its commitment to and progress in supporting the UN SDGs through a growing catalog of sustainable and impact investing products across four business divisions.

Frost Investment Advisors Announces Big Fee Cuts

Frost Investment Advisors, an RIA, announced significant fee reductions to several of the mutual funds in the Frost family.

As of Sept. 1, the management fee for Frost’s Value, Growth and Mid Cap Equity funds dropped by 15 basis points to .50%. The management fee for Frost’s Credit Fund dropped 10 bps to .50%.

The move follows a decision in 2015 to eliminate the front-end loads on Frost Funds’ Investor Class shares.

“This change is consistent with our effort to offer excellence at a fair price,” said Tom Stringfellow, president and chief investment officer of Frost Investment Advisors. “As fee compression has become more common, we’ve seen the median fees fall for the peer groups which compete with our equity strategies,” said Tom Stringfellow, president and chief investment officer of Frost Investment Advisors.

Frost manages $3.47 billion in mutual fund assets as of June 30. The advisor began offering mutual funds in April 2008, initially to serve the needs of institutional clients, expanding to offer retail shares in June 2008. Frost Investment Advisors now offers 10 managed strategies as mutual funds, with most including institutional and investor share classes.

Four New Issuers Join ImpactUs Marketplace

Financial technology provider ImpactUs announced the onboarding of four additional issuers to its impact investing platform, ImpactUs Marketplace.

The Marketplace is a community-driven full-service platform offering institutions, individuals and financial advisors an extensive range of private impact investing opportunities.

The four issuers — Coastal Enterprises, Enterprise Community Investment, Iroquois Valley Farms REIT and MicroVest Capital Management LLC — are mission-driven organizations dedicated to building strong, healthy and successful communities.

Coastal Enterprises is a national leader in rural business development. It helps to grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises and shared prosperity in Maine and across the country.

Enterprise Community Investment, part of the Enterprise Community Partners family of companies, brings capital to developments that make well-designed homes affordable.

An early adopter of the ImpactUs Marketplace, Iroquois Valley Farms has added its REIT to the platform to enable investors to directly support the growth of the organic food movement by supporting regenerative organic farmers.

Founded in 2003, MicroVest applies a commercial framework to investing in unbanked and underserved markets to address financial inclusion by investing in financial intermediaries serving unbanked and underserved communities around the world.

SummerHaven Launches Liquid Investable Private Equity Strategy Indexes

SummerHaven Index Management announced the launch of the SummerHaven Private Equity Strategy Index (SHPEI) and the SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index (SHPEN).

Both are investable indexes that seek to replicate the long-term return characteristics of diversified private equity allocations. The indexes will be calculated and disseminated by ICE Data Services, part of Intercontinental Exchange.

The SHPEI and SHPEN indexes seek to produce returns similar to private equity investments by investing in public companies with the characteristics of companies that have historically been acquired by private equity fund managers. The indexes capture two important aspects of private equity investment: first, including companies that private equity firms are perceived to be likely to buy; and second, closely matching the historical sector allocations of private equity firms.

The indexes will be published daily and on a real-time basis on NYSE Global Index Feed under the tickers SHPEI and SHPEN and will be available through most market data vendors. 

Global X Launches U.S. Preferred ETF

Global X Funds launched the Global X U.S. Preferred ETF (PFFD), tracking the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Diversified Core U.S. Preferred Securities Index.

The fund provides investors with broad exposure to the income-oriented U.S. preferred asset class. PFFD’s expense ratio is 0.23%.

PFFD offers investors a low-cost option for accessing the preferred market and is Global X’s twelfth ETF in its income suite. It is aimed at investors looking for cheap funds with attractive yields, particularly those looking for income-focused options.

BlueStar Indexes and Aperio Launch Israel Exposure Tilt Strategy 

Aperio Group and BlueStar Indexes launched an investment strategy designed to overweight public companies that have a strong connection to the Israeli economy and its widely recognized innovation ecosystem.

BlueStar’s Israel Exposure Universe features more than 350 leading global multinationals — such as Intel, Apple, Cisco, Nestle, Mylan, HP, Berkshire Hathaway and Singapore Telecoms — and represents a broad cross-section of companies in diverse sectors, from information technology to health care, financials and consumer discretionary/staples.

BlueStar has identified these companies as having a major or material presence in Israel’s economy and/or participating in Israel’s technological dynamism. Approximately 70% of the companies are American, 25% developed international (mostly from Europe), and 5% from emerging markets.

Aperio’s Israel Exposure Strategy is designed to track a broad global, international or domestic equity market benchmark, depending on a client’s preference. Investors can further customize the strategy to reflect additional ESG/SRI values, focus on harvesting tax losses, and/or tilt the portfolio toward factors such as high quality, low volatility or momentum. 

Solactive Releases Solactive US Large Cap Equal Weight Index

Solactive announced the release of the Solactive US Large Cap Equal Weight Index, an equally weighted benchmark mimicking the performance of the 500 largest US companies, which will be tracked by the Goldman Sachs Equal Weight U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (GSEW).

With this launch, Solactive is expanding its range of countrywide benchmarks relying on an equal-weighting system, which at the moment covers France, Germany and Switzerland. The index can provide an alternative indicator of the performance of the U.S. equity market to the market-cap weighted version.

In addition, aside from constituting the underlying index for ETFs, the Solactive US Large Cap Equal Weight Index can also be used as a starting universe for smart beta strategies.

The index is calculated as a price return and gross total return index denominated in U.S. dollars. It is composed of 500 U.S. stocks with the highest float-adjusted market capitalization. The index is readjusted semiannually and equally weighted on a monthly basis.

— Check out Goldman Starts Smart Beta ETF Price War on ThinkAdvisor.


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