Investment Product and Service Launches

Oppenheimer unveils new infrastructure fund; Morningstar acquires fixed-income analytics firm InvestSoft Technology; Cohen & Steers named adviser to new SEI fund; Hartford Funds partners with Schroders to expand investment platform; and more. 

Oppenheimer Unveils New Infrastructure Fund

The new Oppenheimer Macquarie Global Infrastructure Fund seeks to deliver exposure to an “under-researched area of the global equity markets,” through which investors can benefit from “knowledge asymmetries.”

According to Oppenheimer, “rigorous proprietary research driving extensive financial models by an experienced and well-resourced investment team can take advantage of the market research inefficiencies and generate alpha insights. Portfolios based on these alpha signals, combined with risk management, seek to deliver attractive risk adjusted returns over time.”

In running the fund, the Macquarie Investment Team narrows down the investable universe to approximately 150 “pure” infrastructure stocks, listed infrastructure companies that own or operate physical infrastructure assets—i.e. not infrastructure support or servicing companies. The fund employs proprietary financial modeling, utilizing discounted cash flow analysis, to narrow the infrastructure stocks into investment opportunities.

The Fund will typically hold a portfolio of 40 to 70 such holdings, Oppenheimer says. Key drivers of position size include valuation upside, confidence in assumptions, likely catalysts and liquidity consideration—with an anticipated focus on companies that own and/or operate physical infrastructure assets such as toll roads, airports, seaports, utilities and pipelines. Securities will be brought together in “a diversified portfolio across countries, sectors and regulatory regimes, with rigorous risk limits at the country, sector and individual security level.”

More information is here.

NEXT: Morningstar Acquires Fixed-Income Analytics Firm

Morningstar Acquires Fixed-Income Analytics Firm InvestSoft Technology

Morningstar Inc. has acquired InvestSoft Technology, a provider of fixed-income analytics.

InvestSoft helps investment firms analyze fixed-income securities and portfolios, primarily through its BondPro Fixed-Income Calculation Engine, which provides more than 130 analytic and accounting calculation functions.

Frannie Besztery, head of data for Morningstar, says the firm is committed to enhancing the ability of clients to analyze bond portfolios. “Our asset management and adviser clients have been asking for more robust fixed-income capabilities,” he notes, “and InvestSoft's analytics will help us create a more complete view of mutual fund and exchange-traded fund portfolios, providing investors with better transparency into bond funds.”

Todd Roitfarb, chief executive officer of InvestSoft, adds that his company “understands the real-time needs of investment firms, and we pride ourselves on the speed and accuracy of our calculations and the seamlessness of our data processing. Now that we are part of Morningstar, we can reach and better serve more investors who need high-quality fixed-income analytics.”

Morningstar will “gradually integrate the firm's capabilities into its data processing systems and product functionality.” The company will rebrand InvestSoft under the Morningstar name.

InvestSoft is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Al Roitfarb founded InvestSoft in 1992 as Investment Technology. State Street, a client of the company, acquired the firm in 2001. In 2005, Investment Technology reacquired key software, and in 2011, Al Roitfarb and his son, Todd Roitfarb, formed InvestSoft after spending several years upgrading and redesigning the software. Todd Roitfarb has been CEO since joining InvestSoft in 2011. He previously held roles at Fidelity Investments, Merrill Lynch, and Ernst & Young.

Al Roitfarb will become head of architecture, fixed income, and Todd Roitfarb will become head of fixed-income products for Morningstar. The investment banking firm DGZ Associates, Inc. advised InvestSoft on the transaction.

NEXT: Cohen & Steers Named Adviser to New SEI fund

Cohen & Steers Named Adviser to New SEI fund

Cohen & Steers Inc. announced that it will act as adviser to the Cohen & Steers Real Assets Multi-Strategy Fund, a new addition to a collective investment trust (CIT) established by SEI Trust Company.

According to the firms, CITs are a rapidly expanding component of defined benefit and defined contribution plans “due to the vehicle's ability to accommodate flexible investment strategies, low-cost structure and daily valuation, among other benefits.” The CIT is also an effective structure for satisfying growing interest in liquid real assets, with the Cohen & Steers Real Assets Multi-Strategy Fund leveraging Cohen & Steers' investment expertise in these asset classes, according to the firm.

The new CIT's core asset classes will include global real estate securities, commodity futures, natural resource equities and global listed infrastructure. “The multi-strategy CIT is a cost-efficient investment vehicle for the institutional retirement plan market that will aid investors in achieving broader diversification, while providing the potential for attractive long-term returns and positive sensitivities to inflation,” the firms add.

SEI Trust Company serves as the trustee to the CIT, acts as an ERISA 3(38) fiduciary investment manager, and provides accounting and administrative functions.

More information is available at

NEXT: Hartford Funds Partners with Schroders to Expand Investment Platform

Hartford Funds Partners with Schroders to Expand Investment Platform

Hartford Funds and Schroders have entered into a strategic relationship to expand Hartford Funds’ investment platform.

The relationship “allows Hartford Funds to provide a broader, more diverse set of actively managed mutual funds to advisers and their clients, and enhances Schroders’ growth potential in the U.S intermediary channel.”

The relationship will involve Hartford Funds adopting 10 of Schroders’ existing U.S. mutual funds, the firms explain, “with potential for the partnership to expand over time.” The first set of funds includes equity, fixed income and multi-asset investments, collectively holding $2.2 billion assets under management as of March 31, 2016. The adopted funds will be sub-advised by Schroders and renamed “Hartford Schroders Funds.”

The fund adoptions are expected to be complete by the end of the third quarter of 2016, subject to shareholder approval. Both firms say the partnership will complement and accelerate ongoing growth plans for the U.S. markets.

For more information about the fund family, visit

NEXT: Morningstar ‘Framework’ Helps Glide Path Decisions 

Morningstar ‘Framework’ Helps Glide Path Decisions

Selecting the right glide path for defined-contribution plan participants is one of the most important decisions for an employer seeking to design a competitive benefits package, according to a new white paper from Morningstar.

The paper also introduces a new glidepath selection tool for plan advisers and sponsors, based on the findings of the firm's latest research into target-date funds.

“While the U.S. Department of Labor advocates taking specific plan participant characteristics into account when choosing a target-date fund provider, research shows that nearly half of all employers who sponsor a retirement plan simply accept their record-keeper’s target-date product,” the paper warns. “One reason is that methods to evaluate participants’ risk capacity have been sparse and largely qualitative, offering employers little guidance.”

To help employers optimize their retirement offering, Morningstar’s Investment Management says it has devised a “quantitative framework to determine the appropriate risk capacity for a given plan, based on underlying participant data.”

Authors Daniel Bruns, Lucian Marinescu, and Nathan Voris outline the approach and include hypothetical cases to illustrate how specific participant characteristics can change the shape of a plan’s optimal glide path. The glide path tool, in turn, leverages the proprietary Morningstar Wealth Forecasting Engine, while Morningstar’s investment management staff applies quantitative analysis to each plan participant’s balance sheet, “factoring in data points such as each participant’s age, salary, deferral rate, and defined benefit plans, to determine a plan’s optimal equity exposure.”

The whitepaper and more information on the glide path selection tool are available here