(Photo: AP)

Schwab Advisor Services made enhancements to its Institutional Intelligent Portfolios automated investment platform that include a new account conversion feature enabling RIAs to simply and quickly transfer investors’ existing Charles Schwab brokerage accounts to advisor-branded automated investment accounts.

The paperless process allows advisors to incorporate automated investing into their practices while freeing more time to spend with clients and efficiently grow their businesses, according to Schwab.

“Automated investment management helps advisors scale their businesses while complementing the invaluable wealth management services they already provide to investors,” said Lauren Wilkinson, Schwab’s vice president of digital advisor solutions, in a statement.

Past enhancements made to the platform include an increase number of available funds, now 2,700 mutual funds and 1,400 ETFs; unlimited portfolio-modeling capabilities, including infinite model creation and custom drift settings; the ability to handle inherited IRA accounts; and an option for advisors to initiate the digital account open process on clients’ behalf, enabling firms to provide an even higher level of client service. More than 1,100 firms have signed on to use the solution to date, Schwab said.

AssetMark Introduces Savos Personal Portfolios

AssetMark added Savos Personal Portfolios to its platform, which can be customized to meet clients’ needs and adapted as those needs change.

The new offering incorporates individual stocks, yield-focused fixed income and a tactical strategy that AssetMark said “seeks additional equity exposure when the markets are rising and reduces equity exposure to avoid large losses in downturns.”

Savos Personal Portfolios provide a “personalized investment experience with features that are typically only available at much higher investment minimums and fees,” according to Jason Thomas, CEO and chief investment officer of Savos Investments, the AssetMark division that’s managing the new offering.

The features include a “personalized client proposal, a personalized tax analysis and tax-sensitive portfolio transition, custom investment allocations to tailor solutions to each client’s personal goals, and account-level tax loss harvesting and ongoing rebalancing to keep portfolios in line,” he told ThinkAdvisor.

Principal Makes Enhancements to its Retirement Record-Keeping Platform

Principal Financial Group enhanced its retirement record-keeping platform  to “make administration easier, more flexible, personalized and help drive better participant outcomes.”

Principal recently completed its acquisition of Wells Fargo’s institutional retirement and trust business, which had close to $830 billion in assets under administration as of the end of last year. As part of the integration that followed, Principal is incorporating capabilities from the Wells Fargo platform into its own proprietary record-keeping platform that it said will serve Principal and transitioning Wells Fargo customers moving forward.

“Investment in our digital capabilities in combination with our top-tier service model will enable plan sponsors to deliver more successful outcomes for their participants,” said Renee Schaaf, president of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal, in a statement.

Principal has also accelerated investments its Principal Total Retirement Suite and retirement record-keeping system.

Barclays Launches iPath Series B Carbon ETNs

Barclays launched iPath Series B Carbon ETNs (GRN) that will track the performance of Barclays Global Carbon II TR USD Index (BXIIGC2T).

The New ETNs are trading on the NYSE Arca exchange with an investor fee of 0.75% per annum and will be redeemable at the sole discretion of Barclays on any trading day on or after their inception until maturity, the firm said.

Holders of the existing iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRNTF) can put Existing ETNs to Barclays with no minimum redemption size and simultaneously buy new iPath Series B Carbon ETNs in an amount having an equal dollar value, with each transaction having the same valuation date and settlement date, the firm said.

Barclays Bank is the issuer of iPath ETNs, while Barclays Capital is the issuer’s agent in the distribution, it said.

Commonfund Adds Diverse Manager Portal

Commonfund launched an online Diverse Manager Portal it said was “designed specifically to receive due diligence materials from women and minority managers investing in equities, fixed income and credit, real estate and hedge funds.”

With the portal, Commonfund is looking to “better facilitate the receipt and review of investment information from diverse managers who are defined as firms with 33% or more ownership by women, people of black or African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander descent, veterans and/ or people with disabilities,” the Wilton, Connecticut-based independent asset management firm said.

For the past year, Commonfund’s Diversity and Inclusion Office has been looking to start a cross-asset class database of diverse managers to determine the size and depth of the firm’s diverse manager universe relative to the broader “known” universe available via traditional database sources, it said. The portal will enable diverse managers across the U.S. to submit their investment information for consideration and potential inclusion in the new Diverse Manager Database, it said.

“We are excited about the opportunity” the portal will offer “for us to expand our clients’ access to a larger pool of investment talent,” said Caroline Greer, managing director and inaugural chairperson of the company’s Diversity Office.

Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Wisdom Tree Introduces Cloud Computing Fund: Portfolio Products