With mounting evidence that diverse leadership teams more effectively drive creativity, innovation, and strong business performance, Green Alpha Advisors has introduced its Next Economy Social Index portfolio.

Green Alpha’s Investment Committee spent years testing potential variables before launching the portfolio at the end of 2015, and they have since been building track record with in-house assets invested in the strategy. It is now officially available as an option for clients to open separately managed accounts in the strategy.

To manage the Social Index, Green Alpha starts with their list of Next Economy Index constituents, then removes any that lack strong female representation in leadership and/or on the board.

They set starting weights based on market cap, with additional portfolio weight then given to companies that are doing more than the minimum needed for inclusion — for example, where women hold positions of significant authority, women have especially strong representation in leadership, and/or corporate policies are overtly socially inclusive.

According to Betsy Moszeter, Investment Committee member and COO at Green Alpha, “Gender diversity is clearly just one material aspect of any given team’s composition, but an important one that clients are asking about.”

“Clearly, investors are recognizing the value of diversity, too,” she said in a statement. “Done correctly, a diversity-centric portfolio can offer investors the opportunity to earn higher return-on-equity, benefit society, and reward companies that recognize the top and bottom-line impacts of significant female representation in leadership and on their board of directors.”

CAIS and Bluerock to Bring Interval Fund Access to Independent Wealth Channel

CAIS and Bluerock Capital Markets formed a strategic partnership that will introduce interval funds onto the CAIS platform, broadening the product selection for advisors.

The first Bluerock product available on the CAIS platform — the Bluerock Total Income+ Real Estate Fund (TIPWX) — is an interval fund sub-advised by Mercer and Deutsche Asset Management with a focus on private equity real estate investments.

Since inception, the fund has employed a multi-sector, multi-manager strategy that has provided investors with capital appreciation through net asset value growth, regular cash distributions, and access to a highly diversified portfolio of non-correlated real estate assets.

While the fund will be purchased through custodians via a ticker symbol instead of a subscription document, CAIS will use its communication and engagement platform to educate advisors regarding the benefits and opportunities that Bluerock’s interval funds represent.

In addition to the existing fund, CAIS and Bluerock will work hand-in-hand with the advisor community to create new interval products specifically tailored to their evolving investment needs.

BNY Mellon’s Pershing Expands its Trust Network to Serve Special Needs

BNY Mellon’s Pershing added Capital First Trust Company to its Trust Network. Capital First focuses on special needs trusts — an area of growing interest for Pershing clients. This latest addition brings the total number of providers in the Pershing Trust Network to seven.

In addition to expertise in special needs trusts, Capital First also brings lower minimums geared toward the unique needs of Pershing’s community.

In addition to Capital First’s standard low fee schedules, the firm offers fee schedules for large revocable, irrevocable, and special asset accounts, bypassing the traditional fee schedule approach and providing separate discounted breakpoints for relationships at $5 million and $10+ million.

Launched in 2008, Pershing’s Trust Network includes capabilities such as full trustee services and administrative trustee services. The platform enables Pershing’s clients to perform investment management activities for their clients’ trust accounts with all related assets held in custody at Pershing. Trust Network is available to Pershing’s introducing broker-dealer clients through Pershing LLC and registered investment advisors via Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC.

Morningstar Investment Management Selects Northern Trust for Mutual Fund Services

Northern Trust has been selected to provide fund accounting, fund administration, transfer agency and global custody services for Morningstar Funds Trust, a new fund complex with nine subadvised mutual funds to be launched by Morningstar Investment Management.

“Northern Trust’s global technology platform and mutual fund expertise make it an excellent mutual fund service provider to support our new funds,” said Daniel Needham, President and Chief Investment Officer of Morningstar Investment Management, the investment adviser to Morningstar Funds Trust.

(Related: Morningstar Prepares to Launch Its Own Funds)

Northern Trust’s Global Fund Services unit provides fund administration, global custody, and investment operations outsourcing solutions to more than 650 asset managers across the globe.

Morningstar’s Investment Management group provides discretionary investment management and advisory services. As of March 31, 2018, Morningstar’s Investment Management group was responsible for $201 billion* in assets under advisement and management across North America, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.

SS&C Launches Enhanced Client Portal on the Black Diamond Platform

SS&C Technologies Holdings announced the latest innovation to the Black Diamond wealth platform: Investor Experience, a next-generation client portal.

Investor Experience allows advisors to offer their clients a personalized, custom-branded and interactive online environment that is accessible anytime, anywhere on any device.

The new portal gives investors direct access to their advisory team and to all of their financial data, 24/7. Investors can personalize their experience so they have a clear picture of their spending, budgeting and goal tracking.

The portal also features a relationship timeline, which visualizes key interactions and decisions that have occurred throughout the course of the partnership clearly showing advisors commitment and value to their clients.

LifeYield To Make Its Taxficient Platform Available to Hundreds of Financial Advisors

LifeYield, the leading cloud-based solution that facilitates tax-smart, risk-smart management of an investor’s entire portfolio, announced its strategic partnership with United Planners Financial Services, a full-service independent broker/dealer and registered investment advisor firm.

Through this strategic partnership, LifeYield will make its proprietary Taxficient Score available to United Planners’ nearly 500 financial advisors nationwide.

The Taxficient Score provides an easy way to explain the value of tax-smart household portfolio management.

Similar to a credit score, the Taxficient Score assesses the tax efficiency of all the investor’s accounts on a scale of 0-100. The higher the score means the better-positioned the investor is to minimize taxes to keep more money, as well as achieve retirement goals.

Additionally, it enables financial advisors to coordinate and aggregate all accounts in one place to provide a holistic view of an investor’s portfolio.

–Read last week’s portfolio lineup here: Merrill Lynch and Merrill Edge Launch Impact Portfolios: Portfolio Products