UBS HQ Zurich (Photo: AP)

UBS Financial Services is expanding its offering of Separately Managed Accounts with no additional investment manager fee to third-party asset managers.

Starting July 7, UBS clients will have access to nine additional SMA strategies, including Natixis Investment Managers/AIA, Breckinridge Capital Advisors and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, across equity and fixed income asset classes.

In August, another nine strategies are expected to join, from Franklin Templeton, Invesco, Brandes Investment Partners and Pimco, UBS said.

All SMA strategies will be made available via WM USA’s ACCESS, Strategic Wealth Portfolio and/or the recently launched Advisor allocation Program platforms, UBS said.

In January, UBS launched a simplified, all-inclusive pricing structure for all strategies available from UBS Asset Management and started providing clients access to select SMAs with no additional manager fee. The fee paid to investment managers are borne by UBS instead but  certain strategies, such as sustainable investing or personalized tax management, can be selected for a fee, it said.

Separately, UBS Investment Bank said the ETRACS Midstream Energy Index ETN (AMNA) started trading on the NYSE Arca. The new exchange-traded note is linked to the Alerian Midstream Energy Index and has a 0.75% annual tracking fee rate.

State Street Partners With Orion

Orion Advisor Solutions teamed with State Street Global Advisors to provide new low-cost growth opportunities on the Orion platform.

State Street’s Strategic Asset Allocation ETF Portfolios are now available on the Orion Communities models marketplace and through the Orion Portfolio Solutions Turnkey Asset Management Program. They include six model portfolios, spanning from conservative to maximum growth, and represent a distinct mix of SPDR ETFs.

These portfolios offer “global diversification based on their target balance of risk and return, helping advisors deliver a consistent investment approach with lower turnover and greater cost efficiency,” according to Orion.

Users of Orion Communities and Orion Portfolio Solutions can also access State Street’s Tax-Sensitive Strategic Asset Allocation ETF Portfolios, spanning from conservative to growth, which can help advisors capture the federal, state and local tax advantages and lower default rates of U.S. municipal bonds, Orion said.

Also in Communities, the State Street Income Allocation ETF Portfolio which incorporates multiple asset classes, including dividend-paying equities, investment-grade and high-yield bonds, hybrid securities and global REITs. Advisors in search of uncorrelated alpha can access the State Street Active Asset Allocation ETF Portfolios which “blend quantitative rigor and qualitative insight to find opportunities in temporary security mispricings,” Orion said.

Separately, Orion announced the creation of two market-relevant, thematic stock and direct indexing strategies, designed and managed through Orion’s SMA portfolio optimization tool, ASTRO. The new strategies are U.S. Biotechnology stock and direct indexing portfolios and U.S. Metals and Mining stock and direct indexing portfolios, both available through Communities and the Orion Portfolio Solutions TAMP.

Direxion Launches Work From Home ETF

The previously announced Direxion Work From Home ETF (WFH) launched Thursday on the NYSE Arca with a net expense ratio of 0.45% as the firm looks to capitalize on the huge number of people now working remotely.

In disclosing its plan for WFH in an April 7 SEC filing, Direxion said it would seek investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Solactive Remote Work Index.

Pacer Widens ETF Lineup

Pacer ETFs introduced four new funds as the company celebrated its fifth anniversary: the Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF (VIRS; with a 0.70% net expense ratio); Pacer Lunt Large Cap Alternator ETF (ALTL, 0.60%); Pacer Lunt Large Cap Multi-Factor Alternator ETF (PALC, 0.60%); and Pacer Lunt MidCap Multi-Factor Alternator ETF (PAMC, 0.60%).

The Pacer BioThreat Strategy ETF is trading on the Cboe BZX Exchange and “seeks to track the LifeSci BioThreat Strategy Index to invest in U.S. listed companies whose products or services help to protect against, endure or recover from biological threats to human health,” Pacer said.

The other three new funds trade on the NYSE Arca and use Lunt Capital’s proprietary relative strength methodology, Pacer said. ALTL “aims to rotate between high-beta and low-volatility stocks listed in the S&P 500 Index, according to Pacer. PALC and PAMC are passively managed funds that “rotate among value, quality, volatility and momentum stocks within” the S&P 500 Index and S&P MidCap 400 Index, respectively, Pacer said.

“Given the increased market volatility seen in 2020, it is now more important than ever to incorporate investment solutions that can rely on strategy and timeliness to navigate market uncertainty,” according to Sean O’Hara, president of Pacer ETF Distributors.

Toews Introduces its First ETFs

Risk-managed investment specialist Toews Corp. jumped into the ETF sector with its first two offerings: the Agility Shares Managed Risk ETF (MRSK, with a net expense ratio of 0.96%) and Agility Shares Dynamic Tactical Income ETF (THY, 1.16%), both trading on the Cboe BZX Exchange.

Toews is serving as the adviser for Agility Shares ETFs, starting with these first two offerings, the firm said.

ETFs are a natural progression for the investment management firm’s business model, according to Philip Toews, its CEO. “Over nearly a quarter century of managing money for investors, our focus on downside risk mitigation appears to have been prescient,” he said in a statement, adding: “We think that investors, who have been experiencing ongoing market turmoil, may appreciate the availability of risk managed strategies in ETF form.”

Agility Shares ETFs “seek market exposure while attempting to limit risk, utilizing stringent rules-based strategies,” Toews Corp. said. MRSK “seeks to provide index-like returns, with put options to attempt to limit losses in a market downturn through a rules-based methodology,” the firm said. THY, meanwhile, “seeks to provide investors with exposure to the high-yield bond market while attempting to manage risk,” it said.

Janus Henderson Launches Global Sustainable Equity Fund

Janus Henderson Investors introduced the Janus Henderson Global Sustainable Equity Fund, an open-end mutual fund that it said is an extension of its existing Global Sustainable Equity strategy for U.S. investors.

The fund is being offered in seven share classes: A (JEASX), C (JECTX), I (JEUIX), N (JETNX), S (JESSX), T (JETTX) and D (JEDTX). The estimated net expense ratio for JEDTX is 1.00%. Estimated net expense ratios for the other share classes were not provided.

The mutual fund is available to direct investors now and is expected to become available subsequently on intermediary platforms, the firm said. The Global Sustainable Equity strategy is also offered in the U.S. as a managed account option on certain intermediary platforms, it noted.

Hamish Chamberlayne, CFA and Aaron Scully, CFA are co-managing the new fund. Chamberlayne has been managing the firm’s Global Sustainable Equity strategy since 2012. The strategy was started in 1991.

BlackRock Cuts ETF Fees

BlackRock said it will reduce expenses one basis point on three of its iShares Core U.S. equity ETFs that trade on the NYSE to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the funds. The net expense ratio of the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) is being reduced to 0.03%, while the net expense ratio of the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (IJH) is dropping to 0.05% and the iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR) net expense ratio is dropping to 0.06%, the firm said. The moves were “consistent” with BlackRock’s “long-term pricing strategy,” which is to provide value, it said.

Separately, BlackRock Advisors announced that the previously announced merger of BlackRock Muni New York Intermediate Duration Fund (MNE) into BlackRock New York Municipal Opportunities Fund (NYMO), with NYMO being the surviving fund, became effective June 22.

Invesco Liquidates ETF

Invesco said it will close and liquidate the Invesco RAFI Strategic Developed ex-US Small Company ETF, which trades on the Nasdaq (ISDS, with a net exchange ratio of 0.35%). The Invesco ETF board recently approved the liquidation. The company did not specify why it decided to make the move and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The last day of trading for the affected Invesco ETF will be Aug. 17, while the last day creation orders will be accepted will be Aug. 10, the company said. Shareholders may sell their holdings of the affected ETF on Nasdaq until market close Aug. 17, the affected ETF will no longer trade on Nasdaq after market close that day, and it will be subsequently delisted, Invesco noted. The final distribution to shareholders of the affected ETF is expected to occur on or about Aug. 24, it added.

MSCI Introduces Real Estate Risk Tool

MSCI launched a new tool that it said will help real estate investors assess and manage their exposure to climate change.

The new MSCI Real Estate Climate Value-at-Risk solution follows the launch of MSCI Climate Value-At-Risk (Climate VaR) in February and “builds on MSCI’s commitment to enable investors to effectively manage and plan for risk,” the firm said. The new tool offers a “forward-looking and return-based valuation assessment to measure climate-related risks” for real estate assets in investors’ portfolios, it noted.

“By calculating the financial risks from both changing legislation due to climate action (transition risk) and the extreme weather impacts caused by climate change (physical risk), per real estate asset and per scenario, MSCI Real Estate Climate Value-at-Risk provides a framework” for investors to “improve portfolio performance, risk management, regulatory reporting and progress towards broader sustainability goals,” the company said.  The framework is closely aligned to the G20’s Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD), MSCI pointed out.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Principal Adds Tax-Advantaged ETF: Portfolio Products