VanEck launched an exchange-traded fund that provides targeted exposure to “the future of sports”: video game and related software developers, streaming services, companies involved in esports events, and more.

The VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the performance of the MVIS Global Video Gaming and eSports Index (MVESPO). It targets exposure to “the future of sports” — video game and related software developers, streaming services, companies involved in esports events, and more.

The index is a rules-based, modified capitalization weighted, float adjusted index intended to give investors a means of tracking the overall performance of companies involved in video gaming and esports.  To be included in the index, companies must generate at least 50% of their revenues from video gaming or esports.

“Just a few years ago, talk of sold-out stadiums, viewership in the millions, high-profile sponsors and notable marketing arrangements would have been centered on football, baseball, basketball or hockey. But today, that talk can just as easily be applied to the world of video games and esports,” said Ed Lopez, head of ETF product at VanEck. “This is the future of sports and a growth story that is global in scope.”

ESPO has a gross expense ratio of 0.60% and a net expense ratio of 0.55%, which is capped contractually until February 1, 2020.

Barings Expands Introduces Its First Equity Fund Offering in the US

Barings launched its first equity mutual fund, the Barings Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund (BXQYX), in the U.S.

The fund seeks to achieve long-term capital growth through investment primarily in equity and equity-related securities of issuers that are economically tied to one or more emerging markets countries. It’s managed by the same Global Emerging Markets Equity team that currently actively manages strategies for both retail and institutional clients around the world.

Barings’ open-end funds are available through Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) custodial platforms, wirehouses, private banks and independent and regional broker dealers.

PGIM Investments Expands ETF Platform With New Active Equity Strategy

PGIM Investments launched the first of four actively managed equity exchange-traded funds that it plans to roll out in 2018, expanding the platform from the two actively managed fixed income ETFs launched earlier this year.

The PGIM QMA Strategic Alpha Large-Cap Core ETF (PQLC), which is priced at 0.17%, seeks long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in large-cap stocks.

By the end of 2018, PGIM Investments plans to offer three more actively managed equity ETFs. These four Strategic Alpha ETFs will seek to provide investors with access to broad multifactor equity exposure while capitalizing on investor bias. By being actively managed, these strategies give the portfolio managers discretion to rebalance and enhance portfolios more flexibly, as determined by market conditions and ongoing research.

Russell Investments Announces “Tax-Smart” Partnership with LifeYield LLC

Russell Investments announced a “tax smart” partnership with LifeYield, the industry leader in tax-smart, risk-smart household-level portfolio management software.

The agreement aims to make LifeYield’s proprietary Taxficient Score available to financial advisors who offer Russell Investments’ multi-asset, tax-managed investing solutions to retail investors. The two firms expect to launch their initial offering by early 2019.

This strategic collaboration unites Russell Investments’ tax-aware investing strategies and products with LifeYield’s tax-smart asset location software, marking the first such agreement in the asset management industry.

Using LifeYield’s Taxficient Score, advisors will be able to advise their clients on multi-account tax-smart strategies and solutions by providing them with a view of all of their assets, including assets not actively managed by their advisor.

Wealthfront Partners with Intuit to Streamline Account Opening Process

Wealthfront and Intuit announced a strategic partnership to deliver technology-based solutions to help Americans better understand and manage their finances.

The first phase of the partnership is an integration with verified TurboTax data to streamline Wealthfront’s account opening process and deepen our automated financial planning and advice capabilities.

Now, when customers open a Wealthfront account they’ll be able to securely connect their TurboTax account to instantly pre-fill essential fields like income, employer and a number of others, halving the number of fields you need to manually enter.

Wealthfront says this will make its account opening process even more streamlined.

In early tests, Intuit has seen that more than 95% of qualifying Turbo users have consented to pre-fill their application with their TurboTax data. Existing Intuit partners are leveraging pre-qualification within Turbo to generate up to a nine times conversion rate in personalized offer performance.

— Read last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Franklin Templeton Launches 3 Passive ETFs: Portfolio Products