Investment Product and Service Launches

SEI acquires investor lifecycle management firm; ISS ESG launches another ESG measurement index series; IndexIQ expands thematic ESG exchange-traded fund offerings; and more.

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

SEI Acquires Investor Lifecycle Management Firm

SEI has announced the acquisition of Finomial, an investor lifecycle management firm offering cloud-native financial technology. The technology is expected to be added to SEI’s existing investor-focused platforms to further enhance automation and digitization capabilities, as well as reporting and transparency.

Finomial’s cloud-based technology is expected to complement SEI’s existing platforms, including SEI Trade, the SEI Manager Dashboard, SEI Investor Platform and the Global Regulatory and Compliance Platform. This technology will add data-mapping tools, flexible data models and rules engines to further enhance current capabilities. The technology is able to enhance and streamline existing anti-money laundering and know-your-client services, while adding depth and flexibility to data and reporting capabilities.

For more stories like this, sign up for the PLANADVISERdash daily newsletter.

Finomial Founder and CEO Meredith Moss joins SEI, along with a total of 42 engineers, developers, cloud specialists and client service personnel from the U.S. and India. SEI said it believes Finomial’s clients, representing approximately $500 billion in assets under administration (AUA), will also benefit from the combined expertise and expanded opportunities for alternatives market participants.

“We see potential for immediate applications of its digital collaboration tools and solutions—not just in our outsourcing and fund administration services, but also in our wealth management solutions,” says Steve Meyer, head of SEI’s global wealth management services.

“We believe time is better spent building investor relationships, not managing documents and workflows. We built Finomial to transform interactions between investors, asset managers and asset servicers—encouraging collaboration and transparency, while maintaining peerless regulatory compliance,” Moss says.

ISS ESG Launches Another ESG Measurement Index Series

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), parent company of PLANADVISER, has announced the launch of a proprietary EVA Leaders Index Series to enable investors to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and financial materiality across leading global companies.

The new EVA Leaders Index Series identifies sector-leading companies, using economic profit as measured by a company’s economic value added (EVA) margin, which converts accounting profit to economic profit by reversing accounting distortions and measuring profit after all costs. Constituent equities must also receive a medium or high ISS ESG Corporate Rating and comply with standards regarding international norms and controversial weapons to be eligible.

Sector-leading companies within the new EVA Leaders Index Series currently include Apple, Air Liquide, JPMorgan Chase, TC Energy, Procter & Gamble and American Tower Corp., among others. Initial coverage spans three regions including the U.S., Europe and developed markets.

“Through this release, ISS ESG is pleased to bring to market additional index offerings that are truly unique and differentiated by combining the trusted financial fundamental analysis of EVA with essential ESG indicators,” says Maximilian Horster, head of ISS ESG.

Creation of the index follows a four-step process and starts with screening constituents of the Solactive Global Benchmark Series. From there, ISS ESG screens are applied to remove prospective constituents with Red Norm Based Research flags, Red Controversial Weapons flags and those with an overall ISS ESG Corporate Rating of D-, D or D+. Next, the EVA screen is applied to remove prospective constituents with a negative EVA margin and, lastly, qualifying constituents are added by sector, based on descending EVA margin until reaching a market cap threshold and targeting sector neutrality. Indexes are market cap weighted after the above steps and rebalanced quarterly.

Index methodologies are available on the ISS website and that of the index administrator, Solactive AG, an authorized benchmark administrator under European Benchmarks Regulation (BMR). Index values may be obtained using the following identifiers: ISSEVAUT, ISSEVAET and ISSEVADT.

More information about ISS ESG’s index offerings is available here.

IndexIQ Expands Thematic ESG Exchange-Traded Fund Offerings

IndexIQ, a New York Life Investments company, has announced the expansion of its Dual Impact family of thematic investment strategies with the launch of three new exchange-traded funds (ETFs): IQ Engender Equality ETF (NYSE Ticker: EQUL), IQ Clean Oceans ETF (NYSE Ticker: OCEN) and IQ Cleaner Transport ETF (NYSE Ticker: CLNR).

The IQ Engender Equality ETF was developed using analysis from Equileap, a provider of gender equality data. The fund is designed to offer investors exposure to companies that have demonstrated a commitment to gender equality. Contributions will be made to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, on an ongoing basis. 

The IQ Cleaner Transport ETF was developed in alignment with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the largest conservation organization in the U.S. The fund provides exposure to select global companies that support the transition to more environmentally efficient transportation technologies, such as electric vehicles, bicycles, motor vehicle parts manufacturers and multi-passenger transportation.

The IQ Clean Oceans ETF was developed in alignment with Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. The fund offers exposure to global companies that help to protect and/or achieve a cleaner ocean through reduced pollution and increased resource efficiency.

“Today, investors are demanding more when it comes to ESG investment approaches, and they’re demanding more from the companies in which they’re investing. Meeting these demands takes nothing short of a revolution in ESG investing, and that is exactly what we have sought to do with our Dual Impact suite,” says Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO, New York Life Investment Management. “This is not simply a group of funds based on screens or factors, but rather it is one built on the belief that the same funds that have the potential to positively impact a portfolio can also have a direct and positive impact on our communities.”

Invesco Expands QQQ Innovation Suite With ESG Options

Asset management firm Invesco Ltd. has expanded the Invesco QQQ Innovation Suite with the introduction of two new environmental, social and governance (ESG) exchange-traded fund (ETF) offerings. The launch of Invesco ESG NASDAQ 100 ETF and Invesco ESG NASDAQ Next Gen 100 ETF advances the firm’s goal of offering investors the benefit of personalizing their exposure to the innovative companies listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The Invesco QQQ Innovation Suite now includes six different investment structures that complement Invesco QQQ:

  • Invesco ESG NASDAQ 100 ETF (QQMG);
  • Invesco ESG NASDAQ Next Gen 100 ETF (QQJG);
  • Invesco NASDAQ 100 ETF (QQQM);
  • Invesco NASDAQ Next Gen 100 ETF (QQQJ);
  • Invesco NASDAQ 100 Index Fund (IVNQX – R6 Shares); and
  • Invesco NASDAQ-100 Growth Leaders Portfolio (QQQG).

“Invesco has been fortunate to work in lockstep with Nasdaq for almost two decades, finding beneficial ways to offer investors all over the globe access to Nasdaq-listed companies,” says Anna Paglia, global head of ETFs and indexed strategies, Invesco. “Today’s launch will mark our continued collaboration. We are confident that the new Invesco QQMG and QQJG ETFs will bridge innovation and ESG to offer every type of investor a unique way to help meet their desired investment outcomes.”

Through the launch of QQMG and QQJG, which track the performance of the Nasdaq-100 ESG Index and the Nasdaq Next Generation 100 ESG Index, respectively, Invesco expands the exposure to ESG approaches, by giving investors the option to access to the same companies as QQQM and QQQJ, but with a tilt toward ESG-related values.

“The interest in integrating ESG considerations into investment portfolios is on the rise globally. We are pleased to work with Invesco to introduce a refined and ESG-friendly version of one of the world’s most pre-eminent benchmarks,” says Lauren Dillard, executive vice president and head of investment intelligence, Nasdaq.