Transamerica and Businessolver have launched an industry-first direct one wallet” integration of wealth and health that provides employees a holistic view of their overall wealth and health when electing their workplace benefits.

Through this collaboration, employees using Businessolver’s proprietary benefits administration platform, Benefitsolver, will be able to enroll in or update their Transamerica retirement plan during the open enrollment period when they are also selecting the core medical and voluntary benefits offered through their employer.

This can help employees see how various retirement plan contribution levels affect their near-term take-home pay, as well as their long-term retirement income goals, according to Transamerica and Businessolver.

“We’re excited to work with Transamerica to bring retirement solutions integration to Benefitsolver and help resolve two of the largest barriers to retirement plan participation: ease of access and perceived affordability,” said Businessolver President and CEO Jon Shanahan, in a statement. “We believe in a ‘one wallet’ approach to drive employee education about how benefits fit into basic budgeting and financial planning.”

Within the agreement, Transamerica serves as the retirement plan record keeper, while Businessolver manages the retirement plan enrollment in Benefitsolver. When employees elect their wealth, health, and voluntary benefits, they will be able to see the total cost of their benefits package, as well as what their employer is contributing toward their total rewards — all from one system, with real-time connections for all contribution changes.

This new solution is available now in Benefitsolver and includes advanced integrations that allow employees to easily view their ongoing investment balance and link to Transamerica to select and manage their investments.

Virtus Introduces Small-Mid Cap Core Fund

Multi-boutique asset manager Virtus Investment Partners and investment manager Kayne Anderson Rudnick introduced a new fund that seeks to invest in high-quality companies with a competitive advantage and purchase them at attractive valuations.

The Virtus KAR Small-Mid Cap Core Fund (VKSIX), seeks to generate attractive risk-adjusted long-term returns by investing in the stocks of U.S. small- and mid-cap companies that KAR believes have durable competitive advantages, excellent management, and an ability to generate high and enduring profitability.

The fund expects to invest in a high-conviction portfolio of 25 and 35 select companies believed to be undervalued relative to their future growth potential. The fund, benchmarked to the Russell 2500 Index, pursues long-term capital appreciation while seeking to incur less risk than the small- and mid-cap markets.

Allianz Life Launches New Accumulation Advantage Annuity  Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America launched the Allianz Accumulation Advantage Annuity, the newest addition to their fixed indexed annuity (FIA) suite of products.

Accumulation Advantage offers principal and credited interest protection from market downturns, tax-deferral, a death benefit for beneficiaries, and opportunities to accumulate wealth for retirement. Accumulation Advantage also offers various index allocation options including a new volatility controlled index from BlackRock, the BlackRock iBLD Claria Index, which has also been added to other select Allianz Life FIAs.

Accumulation Advantage can help clients address their accumulation needs using a variety of crediting methods including annual point-to-point with a participation rate. This FIA offers growth potential provided by eight index allocation options (plus a fixed interest allocation). Additional features include a Nursing Home Benefit and a Flexible Annuity Option Rider.

RetireUp Partners with Redtail for Next Gen Retirement Income Planning Platform

RetireUp announced an integration with Redtail Technology that will power RetireUp’s entire suite. This includes RetireUp’s newest product RetireUp Pro, an end-to-end retirement planning tool that enables advisors to build customized retirement income plans for clients in minutes.

According to RetireUp, this integration furthers its advisors’ ability to streamline back-end processes and client workflow, enabling them to re-focus their time on their clients to achieve optimal financial outcomes.

RetireUp Pro, which launched in October 2017, provides back-office solutions specifically suited for an advisor’s fiduciary role. Features include automated form-filling and transaction history documentation to ensure the advisor remains fully compliant. These capabilities, paired with Redtail’s web-based, user-friendly interface, will allow advisors to feel confident that they are providing the most informed, personalized, and powerful financial plans for their clients.

The Redtail integration is available for all current users of RetireUp.

Compound Breaks New Ground With Real Estate Thematic Funds

Compound Asset Management announced its first-ever real estate thematic fund (ReTF).

ReTFs combine the thematic investment strategy of an exchange traded fund with the tax and diversification benefits of a REIT (real estate investment trust).

ReTFs are a proprietary product of Compound and are intended to be listed on national stock exchanges once eligible, providing liquidity for investors.

ReTF: NY Residential was created to offer exposure to the Manhattan residential real estate market, which has historically been too expensive for most investors to access. NY Residential will invest exclusively in Manhattan residential real estate including condominiums, single-family homes, and apartment buildings with a focus on long-term capital appreciation.

For the first time, retail investors can own interests in high-quality Manhattan residential real estate with a minimum investment of only $1,000.

New Energy ETF Launched With the Backing of T. Boone Pickens Index

TriLine Index Solutions announced the launch of the NYSE Pickens Oil Response ETF (BOON), with a ticker symbol honoring the energy leadership of T. Boone Pickens.

BOON aims to redefine energy investing by offering a more modern and enhanced way to obtain exposure to energy.

BOON tracks the performance of the NYSE Pickens Oil Response Index, which is owned and administered by ICE Data Indices. The index is made up of equities highly correlated to energy, based upon the price of the global benchmark for oil, ICE Brent Crude.

The index also includes firms that are “energy-intensive” end users of energy who have the potential to benefit from the abundance of U.S. supply as well as growing global demand for energy. The inclusion of end users is intended to lessen the effect of the “boom and bust” nature of commodity cycles and attempts to mitigate downsize capture while preserving upside capture.

The Index is equally-weighted and reconstitutes annually while rebalancing quarterly.

REX Shares Announces Changes to Investment Strategy for its VolMAXXTM Funds

REX Shares announced that its volatility funds — the REX VolMAXX Long VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF (VMAX) and the REX VolMAXX Short VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF (VMIN) — have filed supplemental registration statements that revise their stated principal investment strategies.

The funds expect to invest primarily in VIX Futures Contracts with two to six months to expiration, rather than VIX Futures Contracts with less than one month to expiration as was previously the case.

The funds began investing in VIX Futures Contracts with greater than one month to expiration on March 7. Effective on or about April 25, the name of VMAX will change to “REX VolMAXXTM Long VIX Futures Strategy ETF,” and the name of VMIN will change to “REX VolMAXXTM Short VIX Futures Strategy ETF.”

Orion Introduces an Alternative Investment Platform 

Orion Advisor Services announced the release of its Alternative Investment Platform, a tool that lets Orion advisors show their clients’ private assets as easily as their public holdings at no additional cost.

AIP lets financial advisors easily track and maintain alternative investment data for client assets held in private equity, direct investments, venture capital, hedge funds, private real estate, REITs and more.

The new platform also lets advisors aggregate and update committed capital amounts, total cash distributions, return of capital and commitment amounts for alternative investments of all types into client reports alongside publicly-traded assets to create a cohesive picture of the client’s net worth.

Previously, clients had to create new private accounts through Orion’s New Account wizard. With AIP, they can create and update data on private holdings all within Orion Connect’s user interface.

Check out 3 Vanguard Funds to Transition Benchmarks: Portfolio Products on ThinkAdvisor.