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State Street Launches its First Actively Managed Muni Bond ETF: Portfolio Products

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State Street Global Advisors has launched the SPDR Nuveen Municipal Bond ETF (MBND), which trades on the Cboe BZX Exchange and has a net expense ratio of 0.40%.

MBND, developed by State Street Global Advisors and Nuveen, is an actively managed exchange-traded fund that enhances the SPDR municipal bond ETF suite.

It seeks to provide current income that is exempt from federal income taxes, with capital appreciation a secondary objective. In selecting securities for MBND, Nuveen uses a rules-based, value-oriented strategy designed to identify higher-yielding and undervalued municipal bonds that offer above-average total return potential.

The ETF targets a weighted average duration between 4.5 and 7 years and a weighted average maturity between 5 and 12 years. It is managed by Timothy Ryan and Steven Hlavin, portfolio managers at Nuveen. SSGA Funds Management serves as advisor to MBND and Nuveen Asset Management serves as investment sub-advisor

The new ETF joins three index-based ETFs at State Street: SPDR Nuveen Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond ETF (TFI), SPDR Nuveen Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond ETF (HYMB) and SPDR Nuveen Bloomberg Barclays Short Term Municipal Bond ETF (SHM).

Citi and QMA Launch ESG Offerings

Citi has launched a new equity benchmark index family that places environmental, social and governance considerations and opportunities at its core.

The Citi ESG World Indices are Citi’s first proprietary indices to offer a benchmark for best-in-class ESG performers from across global markets, it says. The indices use ESG ratings provided by Arabesque, an ESG data and analytics company. They adopt negative screening and a differentiated, best-in-class approach, identifying the best performers in terms of ESG metrics.

Separately, QMA has launched PGIM Quant Select, a service for RIAs that it says combines active multi-factor equity solutions with customized ESG and tax management.

QMA is the quantitative equity and multi-asset solutions specialist division of PGIM, Prudential Financial’s $1.4 trillion global investment management business.

PGIM Quant Select, to be made available to RIAs by the end of the current quarter, will offer five advantages that QMA says have not been delivered previously in combination for separately managed account clients: active multi-factor investing, tax management, custom ESG solutions, innovative technology and flexible account minimums starting at $50,000.

Hercules Fund Looks to Profit From Volatility

Hercules Investments has introduced the Hercules Fund (NFLHX), which is aimed at helping investors profit from stock market volatility amid COVID-19 uncertainty and risks of rising inflation, the RIA and alternatives investment manager says.

The mutual fund trades on the Nasdaq and has a total annual operating expense ratio of 3.36%.

The Hercules Fund seeks to profit from periods of stock market volatility using liquid alternative assets, investments outside of traditional stocks and bonds. It aims to generate positive returns during times of rising and falling stock markets. The fund seeks to implement very short-term long and short positions in call and put options on the main U.S. stock indexes.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: State Street to Liquidate 10 ETFs: Portfolio Products