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Vanguard Launches Total International Bond II Index Fund: Portfolio Products

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Vanguard launched the Vanguard Total International Bond II Index Fund to provide three retirement funds exposure to international bonds: the Vanguard Target Retirement Funds, Vanguard Target Retirement Trusts and Vanguard LifeStrategy Funds.

As previously stated by the firm’s chief investment officer, Greg Davis, the Target Retirement series and LifeStrategy Funds had become “increasingly large shareholders of their underlying index funds” in the first Total International Bond Index Fund so Vanguard decided to start a second fund, like the first in term of investments “to segregate the transaction costs produced by these funds of funds from the costs generated by other investors in the Total International Bond Index Fund.”

Like its predecessor the Vanguard Total International Bond II Index Fund tracks the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Float Adjusted RIC Capped Index, which hedges its currency risks against the U.S. dollar.

Expense ratios for the new fund range from 0.07% for Institutional shares (VTILX) to 0.13% for Admiral shares (VTIEX). Investor shares (VTIXX) have a 0.13% fee, according to a spokeswoman.

BNY Mellon Rolls Out SMA ETF Model Portfolios on Envestnet Platform

BNY Mellon Investment Management introduced 14 separately managed account ETF Portfolio models, available on the Envestnet advisory platform.

The models include taxable and tax-free versions of seven passive strategies that use proprietary and ETFs and ETFs from outside asset managers. They are the BNY Mellon Growth, Growth & Income, Balanced, Stable Growth, Income, Stability and Stable Income. According to the BNY website, all the models include stocks and bonds and some cash, and except for the BNY Mellon Growth ETF Model, some alternatives as well, but the allocations of these assets differ from model to model. Fees range from roughly 0.05% to 0.13% for each portfolio.

By the end of the first quarter, Lockwood Asset Allocation Portfolios, from Lockwood Advisors, an affiliate of BNY Mellon | Pershing, will also be available on the Envestnet platform.

“While some of these services have been offered previously to our institutional clients, through the vehicle of ETF model portfolios we are now opening up that capability to wider audiences,” said Jamie Lewin, head of BNY Mellon Investor Solutions, in a statement.

SoFi Files for Sixth ETF

Digital advisor SoFi in partnership with Tidal ETF Trust has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to trade its sixth ETF, the SoFi Weekly Dividend ETF.

Like the SoFi Weekly Income ETF (TGIF), the dividend ETF is designed to provide investors with a weekly dividend payout. The passive equity ETF will invest at least 80% of its net assets in dividend-paying companies.

The fund will attempt to invest all, or substantially all, of its assets in the component securities that make up the Solactive GBS Developed Markets Large & Mid Cap USD Index, according to SoFi.

Companies included in the index must have paid regular dividends during the prior 12 months and be forecast to pay regular dividends during the next 12 months — dividends that are higher or equal to 90% of the annual dividends per share paid out one year ago and five years ago.

Other criteria include a dividend yield over the past 12 months that is higher than 1.2 times the weighted average dividend yield of the GBS Universe. If less than 100 companies meet that requirement, additional companies can be selected based on the highest dividend yield until the index reaches 100 constituent companies.

Ariel Investments Launches Private Asset Management Firm

Ariel Investments has launched Ariel Alternatives, a private asset management firm. Its first initiative, Project Black, focuses on creating more middle-market minority-owned businesses and supporting existing Black and Latino-owned businesses.

J.P. Morgan Chase has committed to invest up to $200 million alongside Project Black for future transactions, as part of its $30 billion planned investment to advance racial equity.

Leslie Brun, chairman and chief executive officer of Sarr Group, and a member of the Ariel Investments board of directors along with other corporate board roles, heads Project Black and is a co-founder of Ariel Alternatives, along with Ariel co-CEO Mellody Hobson.

Frantz Alphonse and Richard Powell, co-founders and senior managing directors of APC Holdings, a private investment and corporate development firm, along with Charles Corpening, former chairman of private equity firm Joshua Partners, are the senior members of the investment team.

Envestnet Launches Impact Investing Curriculum

Envestnet | PMC has launched a new curriculum intended to help advisors begin discussions about impact investing with their clients. It covers impact investing trends, strategies and products.

“The market is sending a clear signal that investors want to invest with impact,” said Brett Wayman, vice president of Impact Investment at Envestnet | PMC, in a statement. “Our goal is to make sure advisors have the knowledge and confidence to build values-aligned portfolios.”

The educational materials were prepared in partnership with The Investment Integration Project, which is dedicated to advance sustainable investment strategies for managing system risk and solving systemic problems such as climate change and income inequality.

It includes three in-depth guides focused on what impact investing is, why advisors should care about it and how advisors can include impact investing in their practice.

Sustainable fund net flows more than doubled between 2019 and 2020, attracting a record $51.1 billion in 2020 and accounting for nearly 25% of overall fund flows in 2020, according to data from Morningstar cited by Envestnet.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Virtus, Roundhill Launch Active ETFs: Portfolio Products