Investment Product and Service Launches

Putnam reveals ‘Maneuver in Markets’ program for advisers; Vanguard reopens money market fund ahead of SEC changes; Wells Fargo offers enhanced pension metrics reporting.

Putnam Reveals ‘Maneuver in Markets’ Program

Putnam Investments is launching a multi-faceted program to help advisers and their clients “navigate some of the most vexing challenges of today’s financial markets,” especially as investors confront low interest rates, highly volatile markets and geopolitical instability.

Described as a “broad-based Putnam informational campaign,” the program is “designed to provide the adviser community with an ongoing stream of timely observations and perspectives to create deeper understanding of the rapidly changing market environment.” Advisers participating in the program will also gain insights about potential investment strategies that can help clients achieve their key financial goals, despite prevailing headwinds. 

“In recognizing that meticulous investment research and flexible management strategies are crucial to helping investors ‘maneuver in markets,’ we will be bringing a new dimension to our dialogue with the marketplace this year,” explains Bob Reynolds, president and CEO of Putnam Investments. “As a firm that has spent years piloting investors through virtually every type of investment climate, we are committing the full force of our resources and best thinking to help advisers steer their clients through these times.”

Putnam says the program will largely center around four key challenges facing investors today. These include navigating interest rates and addressing client challenges with active rate strategies; expanding short-term choices and preserving client options and capital; diversifying portfolios to reduce risk and manage volatility; and pursuing greater returns and performance potential amid more sluggish markets.

As the program rolls out advisers can expect “frequent delivery of robust content” through a host of different vehicles, including regular updates on, thematic video commentary from portfolio managers, investment webinars, expert white papers on a range of topics, social media, and digital and print advertising.

NEXT: Vanguard reopens Treasury MMF

Vanguard Reopens Treasury Money Market Fund  

Vanguard has reopened the Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund to all investors.

The firm closed the $9.1 billion fund in January 2009 to “protect existing clients from high levels of cash flow that could potentially dilute the fund’s yield.” Market conditions have since improved, the firm says, and the fund’s board determined that it would be in the best interests of shareholders to reopen the fund.

Vanguard investors will now have access to two low-cost U.S. government money market funds, the firm explains, after it announced in June that it was reopening its $4.8 billion Federal Money Market Fund to all investors.

The Treasury Money Market Fund invests primarily in U.S. Treasuries, while the Federal Money Market Fund invests primarily in U.S. agency debt. As U.S. government money market funds, both funds provide investors with a stable $1 net asset value (NAV). Moreover, they will not be subject to new liquidity fee or redemption gate requirements under rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2014 (taking effect later this year). 

NEXT: Wells Fargo offers enhanced pension metrics reporting

Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust is offering enhanced reporting capabilities that will connect its defined benefit discretionary asset management clients to a new pension metrics system, offering daily portfolio monitoring and management of a pension plan’s dynamic glide path.

This will give investment managers the opportunity to help handle portfolio shifts on a daily basis when certain financial market trigger dynamics are met.

Traditionally, providers generate a paper-bound asset and liability study for clients as the key outcome of asset/liability analysis process. The pension metrics system will give Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust the flexibility to offer clients live modeling updates by changing assumptions and other factors, generating a living document that matches today’s volatile investment climate.

“The ability to know the funded status of our clients’ plans on a daily basis will be ever more important as we move into a rising interest rate environment,” says Tom Hooley, managing director of Institutional Asset Advisors at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. “As rates rise, we will be able to immediately see the impact on our clients’ plans and make the necessary change to investment strategies.”

Portfolio managers will be able to walk sponsors through a dashboard of assets, liabilities, funded status and potential risk measures, as well as model interest rate and portfolio sensitivities and provide what-if scenario analysis of portfolio changes. Multi-year monitoring and forecasting trends and variation in funded status, accounting expense, contributions and balance sheet impact will also be part of the enhanced pension reporting.

Other key benefits, according to Wells Fargo, include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity, freeing up more time for consultation;
  • On-demand desktop analysis, allowing for more  sophisticated investment discussions with clients;
  • Greater volume of data, leading to more informed decisions and better results; and
  • Timely advantages in light of interest rate volatility environment expected in future quarters.