blurry graph for non-transparentInvesco expanded its plan to move forward with active non-transparent exchange-traded funds by filing for an exemptive order to license Fidelity’s active equity ETF methodology.

“The partnership between Fidelity and Invesco will build on both firm’s shared heritage of innovation and strengthen Invesco’s ability to help achieve better outcomes for investors,” Invesco said.

(Related: Fidelity Launches 3 Nontransparent ETFs)

Invesco launched the first active transparent ETF in 2008.  Using Fidelity’s active equity model for active non-transparent ETFs is “perfectly aligned with the pioneering spirit that has driven our focus on innovation,” said Anna Paglia, global head of ETFs  and Indexed Strategiesshe added.

RBB Teams With Precidian on ActiveShares ETFs

The RBB Fund signed an agreement with Precidian Investments to offer ActiveShares patented ETF technology, another non-transparent ETF structure.

The relationship “enhances RBB’s turnkey platform for managers looking to access the ActiveShares technology, and further distinguishes RBB’s unique position within the marketplace – one that is completely independent of any bank sponsor or service provider,” RBB said.

ActiveShares ETFs were “designed to fit seamlessly into the existing ETF ecosystem, offers investors and managers a far more flexible structure than currently exists with today’s mutual funds or by other recently introduced active ETF models,” RBB  said.

Potential benefits for investors include lower operating costs, more pricing transparency, improved tax efficiency, the benefits of exchange trading, lower liquidity charges and the elimination of multiple share classes, RBB said.

Voya Launches COVID-19 Planning Tool

Voya Financial collaborated with financial wellness platform developer SAVVI Financial to develop a COVID Relief Planning Assistant that Voya said was designed to help people who were laid off, furloughed or are working reduced hours as a result of the pandemic.

Via its Retirement and Employee Benefits businesses, Voya will offer the SAVVI Financial COVID Relief Planning Assistant to its workplace clients as an online resource for their plan participants and employees. Voya previously collaborated with SAVVI in April when it launched myHealthMoney, a digital assistant to help workers make more informed decisions about their Voya health savings account.

The new COVID relief tool is a “targeted experience for those financially impacted by the pandemic who need a short-term plan,” Voya noted. If somebody has lost his or her income or had their income reduced, the tool provides educational resources or an action plan that adjusts their household financial plan by organizing assets, debt, expenses and existing income to create a strategy to help get through the next three to six months, it noted.

Users will be provided with a link to the online tool by their employer or retirement plan sponsor and then guided through a series of six questions concerning their financial situation. If they qualify for COVID-19 relief planning assistance, they will then receive a personalized, short-term financial action plan, Voya said. The recommended actions take into account CARES Act benefits, tax consequences and long-term retirement goals.

If a person does not qualify, they will be directed to educational resources selected by SAVVI, Voya said.

Blackstone Announces Final Close of Life Sciences Fund

Blackstone announced the final close of Blackstone Life Sciences V (BXLS V), its inaugural Life Sciences private fund.  BXLS V was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap of $4.6 billion of total capital commitments, the firm said.

Blackstone Life Sciences has three main investment strategies: strategic collaborations with established life science companies, late-stage product financings, and growth investments in emerging companies, the company noted.

Discover Student Loan Introduces Parent Loan

Discover Student Loans updated its product suite to include a new Parent Loan option and expanded its Rewards for Good Grades program to reward incoming college freshmen for good grades earned in high school.

The additions were designed to “give families more options and benefits when financing their college journeys,” it said.

The new Parent Loan from Discover Student Loans allows parents or other creditworthy individuals to take out a loan on behalf of their students to cover higher education costs. As with all Discover student loans, Parent Loans have no fees and U.S.-based loan specialists are available to help 24/7, it said.

The new option for incoming freshmen is “incremental to the existing cash reward students are eligible for, by earning good grades while in college which is a 1% cash reward for a 3.0 GPA or higher,” it said.

USA Financial Adds JUST Capital Model Portfolios

USA Financial’s model portfolio lineup has expanded to include its first sustainable equity investment strategies.

The strategies, being offered through the firm’s USA Financial Formulas investment advisor subsidiary, come from JUST Capital and include four offerings that USA Financial said “leverage” JUST Capital’s polling research. The four strategies are: JUST Capital 100 – Sustainable Equity Active Freedom; JUST Capital 100 – Sustainable Equity Active VLR; JUST Capital Industry Leaders – Sustainable Equity Active Freedom; and JUST Capital Industry Leaders – Sustainable Equity Active VLR.

“Each strategy will adhere to the USA Financial Formulas philosophy of systematically reviewing, reallocating, and rebalancing the portfolio holdings on a predetermined schedule,” USA Financial said. “This non-emotional approach helps investors to know what they own, why they own it, and what will trigger a change,” it added.

Bank of Montreal’s FNGD ETNs to Get Reverse Split

Bank of Montreal will implement a 1-for-10 reverse split of its MicroSectors FANG+ Index -3X Inverse Leveraged ETNs (FNGD).

The exchange-traded notes trade on the NYSE Arca and have a net expense ratio of 0.95%.

The reverse split will be effective at the open of trading July 20 and trade on the NYSE Arca on a reverse split-adjusted basis starting that day under the same ticker symbol, the firm said. Holders of FNGD who bought such ETNs prior to July 20 will receive one reverse split-adjusted ETN for every 10 pre-reverse split ETNs. Also, purchasers who hold a number of ETNs not evenly divisible by 10 will receive a cash payment for any fractional ETNs remaining, the company said.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Lazard Adds US Sustainable Equity Portfolio: Portfolio Products