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Franklin Templeton Launches 3 Passive ETFs: Portfolio Products

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Franklin Templeton Investments introduced three new passive exchange traded funds to its Franklin LibertyShares lineup — Franklin FTSE Saudi Arabia ETF (FLSA), Franklin FTSE South Africa ETF (FLZA) and Franklin FTSE Latin America ETF (FLLA).

All are linked to market-cap weighted foreign stock indexes and seek results that closely respond to those indexes before fees and expenses.

“Many investors are looking to go beyond broad-based emerging markets or developed markets portfolios to capture the differences in performance that individual countries or regions can experience at different times based on a variety of market events,” said Patrick O’Connor, head of global ETFs, in a statement. “We offer investors access to a large proportion of this universe in order to make these tactical allocations using passive ETFs.”

Franklin FTSE Saudi Arabia ETF (FLSA) seeks results that closely correspond to the performance of the FTSE Saudi Arabia Capped Index, representing Saudi Arabian large- and mid-cap stocks. FLSA has a net expense ratio of 0.39%.

Franklin FTSE South Africa ETF (FLZA), which has a net expense ratio of 0.19%, is tied to the performance of the FTSE/JSE South Africa Capped Index, representing South African large- and mid-cap stocks.

Franklin FTSE Latin America ETF (FLLA) also has a net expense ratio of 0.19%. and tracks the FTSE Latin America Capped Index, representing Latin American large- and mid-cap stocks.

Franklin LibertyShares has more than $2 billion in assets under management globally as of September 30.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments Launches a Muni Bond Strategic Beta ETF 

Columbia Threadneedle Investments expanded its strategic beta ETF offerings with the launch of Columbia Multi-Sector Municipal Income ETF (MUST).

MUST tracks the Beta Advantage Multi-Sector Municipal Bond Index, which has exposure to five sectors of the municipal bond market using a rules-based approach to bond selection. MUST’s custom index was designed by Columbia Threadneedle’s municipal fixed-income team and is administered by Bloomberg Index Services Limited.

MUST is intended to serve as a core municipal bond allocation in investors’ portfolios but can also complement traditional core holdings to deliver higher tax-exempt income and risk-adjusted return potential than traditional benchmark products. It has a total annual fund operating expense of 0.28%.

InterGen Data to Provide “Predictive Life Event” Capabilities on Orion Advisor Platform

InterGen Data, Inc.,  an AI-driven technology company that helps financial services firms identify when clients are likely to have an important life event occur, announced a new integration with Orion Advisor Services.

With the integration, advisors can incorporate InterGen’s predictive data with Orion alerts and workflows, such as marketing campaigns, calendaring, and live advisor audio/video calls.

According to InterGen founder and CEO Robert Kirk, the integration will give advisors the ability to see the potential impact of certain life events on their clients’ portfolios.

“Knowing what is likely to happen, when it’s likely to happen, and what the financial impact could be, is very powerful,” Kirk said in a statement. “We saw a gap in many of the available financial planning platforms where they don’t account for any future life event expenditures (health or wealth) in either a predictive and/or chronological manner.”

Advisors will be notified via Amazon’s Alexa when the advisors clients are conducting online searches about certain life events.

The advisor will be told what the life event searched for was, what specific criteria was included, and what the financial impact could be. Advisors can also use InterGen’s robo advisor module, Digital Advice via Demographics (“DAViD”), to show their clients a cash-flow forecast model; advisors can utilize that widget in their own portal.

Betterment for Advisors Adds Mutual Funds ACATS Process to Platform

Betterment for Advisors announced an additional feature to the platform – a Mutual Funds ACATS process.

This enhancement gives advisors the ability to use ACATS to transfer clients’ mutual fund investments from external accounts into Betterment for Advisors.

The process, which Betterment says is “simple” and “intuitive,” supports most major mutual fund families. When funds are transferred using ACATS, they’ll be held in a Transferred Securities goal until advisors want to sell out of the position and into a Betterment portfolio strategy.

The Betterment for Advisors’ platform will also estimate how capital gains taxes might impact clients using its “tax impact preview” tool.

According to Jon Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment, this functionality follows other updates including trust account openings, advisor aggregation abilities, account opening updates and more – all part of a trajectory towards more advisor controls and preferences.

“Understanding that offering Mutual Fund ACATS would be valuable to advisors is what drove us to this point – and we continue to look for input from advisors as we launch major product enhancements,” Stein said in a statement.

Envestnet | Tamarac Announces Integration with Private Client Resources

Envestnet | Tamarac  announced a new integration with Private Client Resources, a provider of wealth data aggregation services.

The integration will enhance the capabilities of advisors on the Tamarac platform serving investors that have more sophisticated portfolio needs, especially those offering alternative investments and/or operating family offices.

The collaboration will integrate Private Client Resources’ data aggregation capabilities, including automated alternative/illiquid assets, into Tamarac’s platform.

The Private Client Resources services are fully bundled, including increased custodial coverage, investment analysis and ready held-away aggregation. Its data services are integrated seamlessly with the Tamarac platform and supported directly by Private Client Resources’ specialists.

Other benefits to advisors include a statement of alternative investments, a dashboard providing a reconciliation of data feeds and business intelligence updates.

Hornor, Townsend & Kent Launch Digital Service Through Betterment for Advisors

Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. released a digital investment solution powered by Betterment for Advisors called SmartJourney.

SmartJourney will directly support Hornor, Townsend & Kent advisers by streamlining their back-office operations, automating portfolio management and creating greater efficiencies within their practice to have more time to work directly with clients.

In addition to the adviser functionality, SmartJourney also offers clients a portal to interact with investments and real-time financial plans housed in one place. SmartJourney will also attract clients looking to combine the efficiency of a digital investment management platform with the comfort of a human financial adviser to help guide them toward meeting their goals.

Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and a full service broker-dealer offering a complete range of financial solutions, including investments, insurance and annuities.

HANetf Introduces ETFs based on New Solactive Indices

Solactive launched two new indices – the Solactive Innovative Technologies Index and the Solactive Cloud Technology Index – that will be used as underlying for the HAN-GINS Innovative Technologies ETF and the HAN-GINS Cloud Technology ETF, respectively. Both ETFs launched on the London Stock Exchange on Oct. 10.

The Solactive Innovative Technologies Index excludes companies that do not fulfil minimum size and liquidity criteria and selects companies operating in industries classified as: robotics and automation, future cars, cyber security, cloud computing, genomics and social media. Current index components include: Inc., Amazon Inc., Seattle Genetics Inc., and Fortinet Inc.

The Solactive Cloud Technology Index is free-float market-cap weighted with 50 stocks that are most closely related to the theme of cloud computing. Current index components are for example: Apple Inc., Nvidia Crop., Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

Timo Pfeiffer, Head of Research at Solactive, commented: “Technology is advancing at a very fast pace creating many opportunities in the market. … By investing in companies driving innovation, investors can be directly exposed to the performance of market segments expected to grow in the future. For example, the Solactive Cloud Technology Index is tracking this exciting industry that is tapping in our everyone’s life.”

–Read last week’s product roundup here: Invesco Launches Emerging Markets BulletShares: Portfolio Products


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