Envestnet | Tamarac launched a new offering that will make it easier for firms, such as “breakaways,” to jump-start their technology implementation process and accelerate growth.

The Quick Start offering is designed for registered investment advisors whose priority is to get Tamarac’s portfolio management solution up and running within 30 days. The program has been successfully tested and implemented for multiple firms and is now ready to support RIAs of any size.

“The Quick Start offering was developed to enable RIAs to more quickly benefit from the automation our integrated platform delivers,” Stuart DePina, president of Envestnet | Tamarac, said in a statement. “This offering is especially beneficial for firms that need to scale as soon as possible and establish their business operations.”

The Quick Start offering provides numerous advantages for “breakaways” and other firms, regardless of size or lifecycle stage, that benefit from fast onboarding.

For example, Quick Start enables RIAs to scale their business more quickly during a time when a firm starting out or looking to grow is facing significant challenges such as transitioning clients, hiring staff and establishing customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

“Breakaways are most vulnerable to external forces as they work to secure their business and build their operations,” DePina said in a statement. “We’ve found that some firms initially gravitate toward half-measures and believe they should wait to grow their business before implementing an integrated platform like Tamarac. But the research shows that firms that invest in scalable technology early in their growth are able to better competitively position themselves and streamline their operations during the critical formative stage.”

The Quick Start program is designed for firms that can bypass the conversion process of historical accounting data when implementing Tamarac’s portfolio management and reporting solution — which is especially beneficial for “breakaway” firms establishing a new practice.

T. Rowe Price Closes International Discovery Fund To New Investors

T. Rowe Price announced that it closed the T. Rowe Price International Discovery Fund (PRIDX), along with similar portfolios, to new investors.

Although the fund is closed to new investors, investments from current shareholders and retirement plans that currently offer the International Discovery Fund, and hold a plan name account with the funds, will continue to be accepted.

The International Small-Cap Strategy had assets of $9.9 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017, including $7.9 billion in the International Discovery Fund.

The International Discovery Fund launched in 1988, and seeks long-term growth of capital through investments primarily in the common stocks of rapidly growing, small- to medium-sized companies outside the U.S.

Innovator ETFs to Manage Two Elkhorn ETFs  

Innovator Capital Management, LLC announced an interim investment advisory agreement whereby Innovator will replace Elkhorn Investments as the investment adviser to the Elkhorn Lunt Low Vol/High Beta Tactical ETF (LVHB) and Elkhorn S&P High Quality Preferred ETF (EPRF).

LVHB is based on the Lunt Capital US Large Cap Equity Rotation Index, which is designed to tactically rotate between low-volatility and high-beta stocks in the S&P 500. The strategy seeks to capture alpha created by the wide dispersion between low volatility and high beta stocks.

EPRF is based on the S&P U.S. High Quality Preferred Stock Index, which selects fixed-rate investment grade preferred issues (BBB- or higher) from U.S. listed preferred stocks on a quarterly basis.

Guggenheim Launches New UIT

Guggenheim announced a new Unit Investment Trust (UIT) that combines the benefits of owning individuals bonds with the diversification and professional supervision of bond mutual funds.

The new UIT — Advisory Series: Guggenheim Investment Grade Corporate Trust 3-7 Year, Series 1 — is specifically designed for fee-based advisory accounts. The Trust provides investors transparency, diversification and professional selection and supervision, at a unified competitive sales fee of 0.30% and a relatively low minimum investment.

Guggenheim notes that UITs have similar risks to those associated with individual bonds, which may include interest rate risk, credit risk, market risk, risk of default, and liquidity risk. The Advisory Series, like individual bonds, may also be affected by early call provisions.

AQR Launches Core Plus Fixed Income Mutual Fund

AQR Capital Management launched a systematic fixed income fund designed to provide investors with a differentiated approach to fixed income investing.

The Core Plus Bond Fund (QCPIX) systematically implements fundamental drivers of returns such as value, momentum, carry and defensive themes. It seeks to consistently outperform its benchmark, the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index, and generate excess returns that are uncorrelated to fixed income markets, other fixed income managers as well as equity markets.

The fund is invested in a portfolio of liquid instruments, balanced across the fixed income universe. The fund aims to generate returns through security selection within sectors, curve positioning, and currency selection, with minimal active duration or credit “bets.” It strives to maintain a risk level consistent with its benchmark.

The fund is only distributed through financial advisors. The fund is offered in I shares, N shares and R6 shares.

DWS Expands Xtrackers Factor ETF Suite

DWS launched a new quality factor ETF: Xtrackers Russell 1000 US QARP ETF (QARP).

The fund seeks investment results that generally correspond to the performance of the underlying index that aims to identify companies that have strong quality scores relative to their peers, while also looking at the value scores of the securities to avoid those quality companies that are potentially over-priced. The quality focus also seeks to avoid “value traps” — companies with favorable valuation metrics as they approach bankruptcy, that a pure value exposure would likely fall into.

QARP, which stands for Quality at a Reasonable Price, seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Russell 1000 2Qual/Val 5% Capped Index.

QARP has a net expense ratio of 19 basis points.

JLL Income Property Trust Announces Reductions in Fees

JLL Income Property Trust reduced the fees on two of its publicly available share classes.

Dealer manager fees on its Class A shares were reduced by 19%, from 1.05% to 0.85% of net asset value. Dealer manager fees on its Class M-I shares were eliminated completely, from 0.05% to zero percent of net asset value.

As dealer manager fees are deducted quarterly from dividends paid to stockholders, these reductions in share class specific expenses effectively result in a comparable 5.9% increase in any future dividends paid to Class A stockholders and a 1.1% increase for Class M-I stockholders.

These share class specific expense reductions, which were effective as of April 1, would first be reflected in JLL Income Property Trust’s second quarter 2018 dividend declaration, subject to board approval, payable in August of 2018.