Franklin Templeton signFranklin Templeton expanded its active exchange-traded fund lineup with the addition of its 10th fixed income ETF offering, Franklin Liberty Ultra Short Bond ETF (FLUD).

The new ETF is listed on the NYSE Arca with an initial net expense ratio of 0.15%, and adds an ultra-short duration option to Franklin LibertyShares’ range of active fixed income ETFs.

“FLUD aims to provide a high level of current income while seeking to maintain an average duration under one year and preserve capital,” the firm said, adding the ETF “can also be used to pursue income while maintaining liquidity needs.”

The ETF is managed by: David Yuen, senior vice president and head of multi-sector and quantitative strategies; Shawn Lyons, vice president and portfolio manager; Johnson Ng, vice president, senior trader and portfolio manager; Tom Runkel, vice president and portfolio manager; and Kent Burns, senior vice president and portfolio manager – all of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income.

“FLUD invests in investment grade short maturity fixed income securities issued by governments and agencies as well as corporate credit and securitized securities,” according to Yuen. “Sector allocation and security selection will be the primary drivers in pursuing income,” he said in the announcement.

“As a multi-sector fund, concentrated in financials-related industries, FLUD provides investors with diversification in the ultra-short investment category and seeks a higher yield potential than traditional cash investments, with limited additional risks,” according to Patrick O’Connor, global head of ETFs for Franklin Templeton. The fund’s relatively low initial expense ratio reflects a fee waiver and/or expense reimbursement contractually guaranteed through July 31, 2021.

BlackRock Expands Citi Relationship

Citi entered into an alliance with BlackRock to enhance the delivery of securities services to Citi’s clients who use BlackRock’s Aladdin end-to-end investment management platform.

Connecting to Aladdin Provider, Citi will offer “outsourced middle office services directly on a client’s instance of Aladdin for seamless integration with their front office, from trade confirmation to post settlement reconciliation,” Citi said in the announcement.

Joining the Aladdin Provider network will enable Citi to “optimize its operating model to support not only BlackRock’s asset management business, but to provide an enhanced level of service to members of the broader Aladdin community,” Citi said in the announcement.

The connection to the Aladdin Provider network “advances Citi’s strategy to leverage technology to achieve operational efficiencies across their custody and fund services platform,” according to Citi. Aladdin combines  risk analytics with comprehensive portfolio management, trading and operations tools on a single, unified platform.

The agreement expands Citi’s relationship with BlackRock to whom it provides custody, accounting and/or fiduciary services for certain BlackRock funds domiciled in Hong Kong, Mexico and Colombia. In addition to funds managed by BlackRock, Citi also provides custody services to many asset managers on the Aladdin platform.

Bank of West’s New Account Combats Climate Change

BNP Paribas subsidiary Bank of the West has teamed with 1% for the Planet to launch the bank’s first checking account designed for climate action.

Bank of the West will donate 1% of net revenues generated from the new account to support environmental non-profit organizations focused on creating a healthier planet, it said.

Key features of the 1% for the Planet Account include: A carbon tracking tool enabling customers to view the carbon impact of each purchase made with the 1% for the Planet debit card; a debit card made from 100% biodegradable/compostable plastic; no monthly service charge with one qualifying deposit per statement; and

Bank of the West will donate 1% of revenue from the account to environmental nonprofit partners of 1% for the Planet, starting with Protect Our Winters.

The launch of the 1% for the Planet Account is the latest action Bank of the West has taken to support a more sustainable planet via policies and investment, the company said, noting it previously restricted the financing of fossil fuels, big tobacco, palm oil and other activities harmful to the planet.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Invesco to License Fidelity’s Active Equity ETF Strategy: Portfolio Products