Investment Product and Service Launches for the Week

Nationwide beefs up investment solution builder program; Acuitas establishes new long/short equity option designed for retirement plans; LGIMA touts new liability-based funds for small and mid-sized pensions. 

Nationwide Enhances Investment Solutions Builder

Nationwide reports this week it is “making its Investment Solutions Builder tool even more efficient.”

The online solutions builder tool is a Web-based investment platform that allows registered investment advisers (RIAs) to build and manage retirement plan fund lineups and asset-allocation models for plan sponsors and participants.

Nationwide explains that, with the enhancements, an RIA can now manage core fund lineups and asset allocation models across all of his or her plans simultaneously. This new functionality further enhances the tool by allowing an RIA to access detailed fund information such as underlying fund performance, ratings, fees and risk measures to facilitate investment selection and monitoring.

Advisers can also leverage the tool to add alternative funds to models that are not part of the core fund lineup and provide a model selection risk questionnaire for participants who are considering one of their asset-allocation models. Other functions allow the RIA to establish and change investment lineups and models in real time or up to 90 days in the future, and set automatic rebalancing for models on a calendar quarter, semi-annual, annual or date-specific basis.

More information from the firm is at

NEXT: A new long/short equity option designed for plans 

Long/Short Equity from Acuitas

Acuitas announced the launch of a long/short equity strategy that builds on the firm's expertise in researching microcap and small cap managers. 

As the firm explains, the long/short product is a multi-manager strategy intended for plan sponsors, endowments, wealth managers and other institutional investors. It will be offered in a commingled vehicle as well as in separate accounts for larger investors, “and comes at a time when Acuitas believes market participants are increasingly looking for unique sources of returns with less volatility and low correlations to their existing portfolios.”

Acuitas says its proprietary research indicates that microcap and small cap stocks remain an “undiscovered” asset class, since of the estimated 5,200 publicly traded securities with market caps less than $1.5 billion and at least $500,000, more than 60% have no sell-side analytical coverage. “This gives skilled professional investors an opportunity to generate an informational advantage that has the potential to result in strong returns,” according to Acuitas.

The investment philosophy centers on exploiting the return opportunities available in the least efficient areas of the equity markets and “seeks to deliver high absolute returns with low correlation to equity markets.” 

To identify potential opportunities, Acuitas employs a fundamental research process “supplemented by quantitative analysis, while also taking into account the unique qualities of the capacity-constrained asset classes.” The research process includes a comprehensive analysis of the manager’s investment process, philosophy, management team, and risk controls, Acuitas says.

More information about the strategy and the firm can be found at

NEXT: LGIMA to launch Liability-Based Funds

LGIMA Touts New Funds for Small and Mid-Sized Pension Plans

Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc. (LGIMA) announced the planned release of six new Legal & General Collective Investment Trust funds sponsored by Reliance Trust Company of Delaware, an FIS Company.

LGIMA says the fund series is “an innovative product that provides small to mid-size defined benefit pension plans access to liability-based solutions which have been used by larger counterparts for a number of years. The funds complement LGIMA’s existing range of pooled funds and are designed to offer scalable and cost-effective solutions for pension plans.”

According to the firm, the liability-based funds provide plans with a comprehensive solution in which the funds are used as building blocks to hedge actual plan liabilities across a wide range of durations and discounting methodologies. The funds include both a levered and an unlevered structure to accommodate a diverse set of strategic plan objectives that would otherwise be cost prohibitive for small pension plans trying to achieve the same objective with segregated accounts. 

To provide additional transparency, LGIMA says the funds are benchmarked against the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Pension indices, which track the performance of typical pension liabilities across several duration profiles to provide customized solutions that directly account for actual client liabilities and help mitigate funding status volatility.

More information is at