Investment Product and Service Launches

Securian and QPA launch managed account for plan sponsors; ProShares and S&P announce ETF to invest in surging battery metal market; Franklin Templeton teams with experts on free alternative investment education program; and more.

Securian and QPA Launch Managed Account Product for Workplace Retirement Plans

Securian Financial and Qualified Plan Advisors announced an adviser-managed account solution, built with Stadion Money Management, focused on personalization to manage risk and help employees reach retirement income goals.

The QPA Managed Account Service leverages employee data to create an investment allocation unique to each individual and adjusts the investment mix automatically over time as an employee’s circumstances change, the firms said. Using data already provided streamlines processes and keeps costs reasonable, the companies said, adding that employees who want to provide additional data can do so to further personalize their allocation.

All aspects of portfolio management are integrated with Securian Financial’s recordkeeping system, the firms said.

ProShares Launches ION, an ETF to Invest in Companies Mining In-Demand Battery Metals

ProShares, an exchange-traded fund provider, announced the launch of ProShares S&P Global Core Battery Metals ETF (ION), an ETF investing only in companies mining battery metals.

The companies in the fund supply the raw metals needed to power the batteries used in the growing number of electric vehicles, laptops, smartphones and energy-storage devices, the company said.

“An energy revolution is underway that is transforming the way we power our lives,” Michael Sapir, ProShares founder and CEO, said in a press release. “With ION, there is now an ETF that offers investors an effective way to access companies meeting the soaring demand for batteries and the metals needed to make them.”

ION tracks the S&P Global Core Battery Metals Index, which is currently made up of 41 companies in more than 15 countries, including Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and China. Many of these companies can be difficult for U.S. retail investors to conveniently access on their own, ProShares said.

SRIA Fintech Altruist Partners with HIP on Fossil Fuel Free Portfolios

The registered investment adviser fintech firm Altruist announced a partnership with environmental, social and governance investment firm HIP Investor to give advisers access to fossil fuel-free portfolio models focused on ESG and climate action.

“While markets are down, we’re seeing advisors rotate into strategies that they have had their eyes on, in particular values-based investing strategies,” Adam Grealish, head of investments for Altruist, said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Altruist launched its Model Marketplace in February 2021 featuring its own investment models—the Simplicity Series—alongside those of Vanguard and Dimensional Fund Advisors, later adding BlackRock, Redwood Investment Management and StateStreet Global Advisors.

Franklin Templeton Academy Introduces Alt Investing Learning Platform

The Franklin Templeton Academy has partnered with industry experts to launch an alternatives education program aimed to help financial professionals expand their knowledge of alternative investments.

The program offers a comprehensive curriculum on various types of alternatives, including courses on private equity, real estate, private credit, infrastructure and hedge strategies, the investment manager’s education division said.

“With today’s market volatility, geopolitical risks, and 40-year highs in inflation, financial professionals need a more sophisticated toolbox to help their clients meet their long-term financial goals,” Shane Clifford, a senior managing director for alternative strategies at Franklin Templeton, said in a release. “As advisors increasingly look to integrate alternative investments into their portfolios, we are committed to providing advanced education on and building proficiency in using these versatile and valuable investment strategies.”

The Alternatives Education program is offered through in-person and on-site classes, interactive webinars, e-learning modules and pre-recorded video. Course content is developed and delivered by experts in the alternatives industry and provided for free, the academy said.

Coursework is eligible for credit toward Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants® (CIMA®), Retirement Management Advisor® (RMA®) and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certifications.

Markov Shows Results of Indices Designed to Capture Top Hedge Fund Performance in Liquid ETFs

Markov Processes International, Inc., an independent fintech risk analyzer, released eight years of performance data of an index that tracks a collection of liquid, retail exchange-traded funds that the firm says can deliver the performance of a diversified portfolio of institutional-quality hedge funds.

The MPI Eurekahedge 50 Tracker Index comprises anywhere between 25 to 30 liquid ETFs and is priced daily and updated monthly, the release said, adding that the performance of the tracker shows it can deliver the performance of a diversified portfolio of institutional-quality hedge funds, a path it has been on for the past eight years.

“We are excited about these results for two reasons,” Michael Markov, co-founder and CEO of MPI, said in a press release. “For one thing, we believe we have achieved a solid benchmark off which hedge fund and investors in hedge funds performance should be judged. Second, there are profound implications for investors, since we have shown that transparent, liquid ETFs can indeed be a proxy for opaque hedge funds.”

Year-to-date through October 2022, the MPI Eurekahedge 50 Tracker investable index tracker is down -1.8%.