RIA in a Box added a new free level of access to its Vendor Due Diligence Platform as part of its MyRIACompliance software platform.
The platform allows RIA firms and vendors to automate documentation sharing and tracking, including documents such as email compliance, data security and cybersecurity policies. Current industry vendors available on the platform include: Advyzon, Envestnet MoneyGuide, Morningstar, Orion, Redtail, RIA in a Box, Riskalyze and Wealthbox.
Free users can automatically connect with up to five vendors on the platform. Once digitally connected with a vendor, the RIA firm gets real-time access to the vendors’ latest information security due diligence information. The RIA firm can also store vendor documentation and record the diligence process in the firm’s online compliance log that’s entirely exportable at any time for no additional charge, RIA in a Box said.
“The RIA industry is more dependent on third party vendors than ever before,” according to GJ King, RIA in a Box president. “Given the regulatory focus and how important it is for an RIA firm to perform proper third-party vendor due diligence as part of its cybersecurity program, we’ve spearheaded this new platform to streamline this important process for RIA firms and leading industry vendors,” he said in a statement.
Fidelity Joins Forces With Ethic on ESG
Fidelity Investments teamed up with RIA and asset manager Ethic to help advisory firms incorporate environmental, social and governance investment options into their businesses.
The ESG option will be made available to a limited number of firms initially and also provides a client engagement strategy that will help advisors connect with the next generation of investors, Fidelity said. The initial rollout, now underway, includes large RIAs and family offices, Fidelity spokeswoman Nicole Abbott told ThinkAdvisor.
In addition to this new ESG solution, Fidelity has already been providing its “tens of millions of individual investors access to a wide range of ESG-focused products and services, including dedicated index funds in every major asset class,” she said.
Fidelity selected Ethic for this new initiative because that firm’s “creation of values-aligned [separately managed accounts] complement Fidelity’s portfolio construction and practice management resources to help advisory firms incorporate ESG investing into their business,” she told us.
Fidelity thinks of Ethic as a “trusted tour guide to give advisors the confidence to have these conversations with their clients,” according to Bob Litle, senior vice president of Fidelity Institutional Asset Management. “We see a significant growth opportunity for advisors who incorporate an ESG investing approach because it drives more meaningful conversations with clients,” he said in a statement.
Goldman Sachs Taps BNY Mellon for European ETFs
BNY Mellon was appointed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management to deliver a suite of asset services for its new European Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities exchange-traded funds.
In addition to BNY’s ETF solutions supporting ETF order management, PCF production and AP servicing, BNY is also providing fund accounting, transfer agency, depository, custody, paying agent and common depository, BNY announced.
Separately, BNY said it expanded its ESG Analytics offering by integrating fixed income scoring for corporate bonds. The firm’s clients now have the ability to view ESG and United Nations Global Compact (GC) scores on equities and fixed income at the portfolio level versus relevant benchmarks over time, it said. Clients also have the ability to view the ESG and GC scores at the company-level.
Scientific Beta Adds ESG Option
Scientific Beta is now providing an ESG option for all of its indices, EDHEC-Risk Institute’s division announced.
The ESG option allows investors to use Scientific Beta’s High Factor Intensity (HFI) Multi-Beta Multi-Strategy (MBMS) indexes while “upholding ESG norms and materially reducing exposure to companies with high exposure to ESG risks,” it said.
State Street Adds 7 Rebranded SPDR ETFs to SPDR Portfolio
State Street Global Advisors added seven rebranded SPDR ETFs to its SPDR Portfolio suite. The Boston company’s asset management division introduced the SPDR Portfolio in 2017 and, since then, it’s attracted $34.4 billion in new assets to the portfolio that’s now made up of 22 low-cost ETFs and offers access to a wide variety of domestic and international equity and fixed income asset classes, according to the company.
The seven rebranded funds include five fixed income and two international equity ETFs, representing $4.4 billion in assets, the company said. All seven have new names and ticker symbols to align with the SPDR Portfolio ETF suite, and three funds have reduced net expense ratios.
The SPDR MSCI ACWI ETF (ACIM) has become the SPDR Portfolio MSCI Global Stock market ETF (SPGM) and its net expense ratio was lowered from 0.25% to 0.09%. The SPDR STOXX Europe 50 ETF (FEU) has become the SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF (SPEU) and its net expense ratio was lowered from 0.29% to 0.09%. The SPDR Bloomberg Barclays TIPS ETF (IPE) was changed to the SPDR Portfolio TIPS ETF (SPIP) was reduced from 0.15% to 0.12%.
The expense ratios of the other four were already reduced, the company noted. Those fund names changed from SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Corporate Bond ETF (CBND) to SPDR Portfolio Corporate Bond ETF (SPBO) with its expense ratio remaining 0.06%; SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Intermediate Term Treasury ETF (ITE) to SPDR Portfolio Intermediate Term Treasury ETF (SPTI) with its expense ratio remaining 0.06%; SPDR Bloomberg Barclays Mortgage Backed Bond ETF (MBG) to SPDR Portfolio Mortgage Backed Bond ETF (SPMB) with its expense ratio remaining 0.06%; and SPDR ICE BofAML Broad High Yield Bond ETF (CJNK) to SPDR Portfolio High Yield Bond ETF (SPHY) with its expense ratio remaining 0.15%.
The underlying index for the SPDR STOXX Europe 50 ETF, meanwhile, changed from the STOXX Europe 50 Index to the STOXX Europe Total Market Index.
Avantis Launches Five Low-Cost ETFs
Avantis Investors by American Century Investments introduced five low-cost, broadly diversified ETFs: Avantis International Small Cap Value ETF (AVDV), Avantis International Equity ETF (AVDE), Avantis Emerging Markets Equity ETF (AVEM), Avantis U.S. Equity ETF (AVUS) and Avantis U.S. Small Cap Value ETF (AVUV).
The new ETFs are listed on the NYSE Arca and were designed to “fit seamlessly into investors’ asset allocations,” the Kansas City, Missouri-based company said.
To benefit various types of investors, gross expense ratios for the five ETFs and soon-to-be-launched mutual funds are expected to have the same objective, the company said, noting they are 0.36% for International Small Cap Value; 0.23% for International Equity; 0.33% for Emerging Markets Equity; 0.15% for U.S. Equity and 0.25% for U.S. Small Cap Value.