Addepar introduced a new program that is designed to make it easier for new RIA clients to gain access to its wealth management platform during challenging market conditions like the ones we are facing now.

The Addepar Assurance program “provides a credit for new clients to offset their cost of Addepar until the negative impact of market conditions on their business subsidies,” it said. The program is out to “arm RIAs with the technology and data-driven insights they need right now to meet increasing client demands,” it said.

“COVID-19 is causing significant economic and operational disruption for the RIA industry,” David Lessing, the firm’s chief revenue officer, said in a statement. “We’re fielding increased inquiries from RIAs who are struggling to address client needs with their current tools,” he added.

Addepar Assurance is available to U.S.-based RIAs with up to $25 billion in assets under management. The program applies to new contracts signed between April 1 and June 30 with  a credit of up to 50% of the cost of an Addepar license. The credit amount depends on the size and complexity of the firm and it will be applied up to 18 months following contract signing or the achievement of a new client’s benchmark of choice, whichever is earlier, said Addepar.

RIA in a Box Introduces New Form CRS Tool

RIA in a Box launched an automated Customer Relationship Summary creation tool and resources to help RIAs complete the upcoming required Form CRS, which must be filed by June 30, according to the SEC.

The proprietary Form CRS tool is available for no additional charge to all subscribers of the firm’s MyRIACompliance platform, it said.

RIA in a Box uses a firm’s existing Form ADV data, along with a short, “rules-based smart questionnaire to streamline” the Form CRS drafting process, it said. Its  team of compliance experts will then work with the individual RIA firms, allowing advisors to make any additional edits to the Form CRS, it said.

“When it comes to Form CRS, the challenge for RIA firms will be to distill the information down to only two pages, especially when you consider that the official Form CRS rule release is 564 pages,” GJ King, president of RIA in a Box, pointed out. 

The firm also created a resource page accessible to the public that shares an overview of submission requirements and relevant checklists and links. It will be updated as resources and details become available.

Direxion to Introduce Work From Home ETF

Looking to capitalize on the huge number of people now working remotely, Direxion plans to introduce a work-from-home-themed exchange-traded fund, the firm disclosed in an SEC filing.

The Direxion Work From Home ETF (WFH) new ETF will seek investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Solactive Remote Work Index, Direxion said. It will be listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange Arca. The net expense ratio and launch date were not disclosed.

Dave Mazza, managing director-head of product at Direxion, told ThinkAdvisor that “when an ETF is filed we’re limited with what we can say.  We can confirm that the product is in filing, that it is not a leveraged ETF and … the objective is to launch in June after it becomes effective. However we aren’t able to disclose the expense ratio at this time.”

The Solactive Remote Work Index is made up of 40 U.S. listed securities and American Depository Receipts that have “significant exposure” to companies that specialize in providing products that focus on the ability to work from home, including remote communications, cybersecurity, project and document management, and cloud technologies, Direxion said.

“Direxion’s intention is to accelerate and expand the launch of additional buy-and-hold ETFs – which [it has] outlined in the past – and this filing is consistent with this objective,” said Mazza.

ETFMG Collaborates With Wedbush on Global Cloud Tech ETF

Thematic ETF issuer ETFMG teamed with financial services and investment banking firm Wedbush Securities for an ETF focused on global cloud computing.

The ETFMG Drone Economy Strategy ETF (IFLY) has changed into the Wedbush ETFMG Global Cloud Technology ETF (IVES, with an expense ratio of 0.68%) and trades on the NYSE Arca. The ticker symbol was named after Wedbush technology analyst Dan Ives, who partnered with ETFMG on the ETF.

The Wedbush ETFMG Global Cloud Technology ETF is designed to respond to investor demand for “direct access to a pure-play cloud technology product” – specifically “cloud infrastructure and cloud ‘enabler’ companies.” Those companies are expected to be major beneficiaries of an estimated $1 trillion in enterprise cloud spending over the next decade, the firms said.

They include companies representing infrastructure equipment, Software-as-a-Service, connectivity, data backup and storage services and data center management for enterprise-based software applications, as well as firms engaged in enterprise cloud services.

The IVES fund is the fifth product launched by ETFMG in its “disruptive technology” investment theme and represents the first in-market collaboration between ETFMG and Wedbush, the firms said.

CAIS Joins Schwab Alternative Investment Marketplace

Fintech platform CAIS was selected to join the Schwab Alternative Investment Marketplace.

The CAIS platform gives Schwab’s independent advisor clients a large selection of alternative investment strategies that “can be accessed directly, avoiding expensive intermediary structures such as feeders,” CAIS said. CAIS also brings them a streamlined workflow and a personalized learning system for mastering alternative investments, it said.

All private funds available via CAIS are institutionally rated and undergo independent investment and operational due diligence performed by Mercer, CAIS said.

“Hundreds of RIAs who custody at Schwab” had collectively transacted more than $1 billion on the CAIS platform prior to the new agreement that now brings CAIS onto the Schwab Alternative Investment Marketplace as a third-party platform sponsor, according to Matt Brown, CEO and founder of CAIS. It’s expected that 84% of investors plan to increase their allocation of such investments in the coming years, CAIS said, citing a Prequin Insights report.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup hereBNY Mellon Widens ETF Pact With USCF: Portfolio Products