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First ETF to Track 'Blank Check' Companies Launches: Portfolio Products

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Defiance ETFs has launched the first exchange-traded fund that tracks special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which are shell companies that have no operations and raise capital through initial public offerings for the sole purpose of acquiring one or more companies with existing operations. SPACs are also known as “blank check” companies.

They have been around for decades but are having a record-breaking year in 2020, raising over $41 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SPAK and has a 0.45% net expense ratio. The ETF has 29 holdings, rebalanced on a quarterly basis, with 80% weighted toward IPO companies derived from SPACs like DraftKings and Virgin Galactic Holdings and 20% allocated to common stock of newly listed SPACs, ex-warrants.

SPAK “allows both financial advisors and retail investors to participate in an IPO private equity style of investing, which until now, was only available to large financial institutions,” Defiance said. It added that the ETF structure provides investors “access the most liquid SPAC IPOs in a diversified basket.”

SoFi Launches First Weekly Income ETF

In another first for the ETF market, SoFi launched the first ETF to offer weekly income to investors.

(Related: SoFi Files for Its First Bond ETF)

TGIF, so named because the income is delivered every Friday, is an actively managed fund that invests in investment-grade and high-yield U.S. bonds, targets a portfolio duration of less than three years and has a 0.59% expense ratio.

3 TIAA-CREF Quant Funds Are Being Liquidated

Nuveen is liquidating three TIAA-CREF quant funds on Dec. 2, after closing them to new investors Nov. 2, the company disclosed in an SEC filing.

The three funds are the $3 billion TIAA-CREF Quant Large-Cap Growth Fund, the $1.3 billion TIAA-CREF Quant Large-Cap Value Fund and the $2 billion TIAA-CREF Quant International Equity Fund.

“The changes are part of the already in progress absorption of Nuveen’s quantitative capabilities into our core investment platform,” a company spokesperson said.

UBS Adds 8 Franklin Templeton SMAs

Franklin Templeton made eight separately managed account strategies involving muni and taxable bond ladders available through UBS Global Wealth Management as part of its new “all inclusive” fee structure.

All eight strategies will be available to UBS clients with no additional investment management fee and can be accessed through UBS Global Wealth Management’s SMA and unified managed account programs that include the ACCESS, Strategic Wealth Portfolio and Advisor Allocation Program platforms, Franklin Templeton said.

The eight SMAs span bond sectors and maturity ranges with various customization features to support different client needs, and include the Muni Ladder Suite (Franklin Municipal Ladder 1-7 Year SMA, 1-15 Year SMA and 5-20 Year SMA) and Taxable Ladder Suite (Franklin Corporate Ladder 1-5 Year SMA and 1-10 Year SMA and Franklin U.S. Government Ladder 1-5 Year SMA, 1-10 Year SMA and 5-20 Year SMA).

TrueMark Adds Fourth Structured Outcome ETF

Asset manager TrueMark Investments launched the TrueShares Structured Outcome (October) active ETF (OCTZ, with a 0.79% net expense ratio) on the Cboe BZX, the fourth exchange-traded fund in its True-Shares structured outcome product suite.

OCTZ is expected to provide an 8-12% downside buffer (with the advisor targeting 10%) on the first losses of the S&P 500 Price Index over a 12-month investment period, according to TrueMark. In addition to the downside buffer, it will seek upside returns similar to the S&P 500 Price Index, the company said.

A New Insurance Marketplace Planned 

SS&C Technologies has partnered with DPL Financial Partners to create the SS&C Advent Insurance Marketplace, a new way for advisors to access a wide variety of fee-only insurance solutions that is expected to launch in early 2021, the companies said.

The SS&C Advent Insurance Marketplace will give clients direct access to annuities, life insurance, long-term personal care and disability offerings via DPL membership and services, the firms said. The integration “will allow advisors to provide clients a complete financial picture with a full reconciliation of accounts, including position and transaction data, fee calculations and robust reporting,” they said.

The platform will integrate DPL’s fee-only insurance technology with SS&C Advent’s advisory portfolio management and accounting solutions, including the Black Diamond Wealth Platform, Advent Axys and Advent APX. Black Diamond was acquired by Advent in 2011 and Advent was bought by SS&C in 2015.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup hereVanguard, BlackRock, Transamerica Launch New ESG ETFs: Portfolio Products


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