Investment Product and Service Launches

US SIF Launches Money Manager-Focused Guide, and Wells Fargo Updates Personalized Solution.   

The US SIF Foundation has released a comprehensive guide for money managers on how to incorporate sustainable, responsible and impact investing at their firms. The Money Manager Roadmap provides best practices and practical steps asset managers can take to develop and enhance sustainable investing strategies.

The guide is the second released by the US SIF Foundation this year. The roadmaps are a core deliverable from US SIF’s strategic plan goal to identify and disseminate information about best practices within the field and provide tools for practitioners to undertake a rigorous and comprehensive approach to sustainable and impact investing. A roadmap for financial advisers was released earlier this year, and asset owners will be the focus of the third and final guide in the series. 

The Roadmap was designed with input from portfolio managers at US SIF member firms and covers the following steps, from introductory to advanced, for money managers to develop sustainable investment programs and products: establish board and senior level oversight; identify sources of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) data, research and training; develop and implement an ESG incorporation strategy; develop and implement an investor engagement strategy; measure and manage impact; and participate in building the field.

“As the field expands, we consistently hear that asset managers need basic information about how to get started in creating ESG-focused products and strategies. We also believe that asset managers need to continually build out their offerings and provide transparency about their investing process,” says Lisa Woll, CEO of the US SIF Foundation. “The Money Manager Roadmap is a tool that asset managers can use whether they are just starting out or are experienced practitioners moving toward a more rigorous practice.” 

The guide is now available on US SIF’s website and will be distributed to asset managers throughout the year.

Wells Fargo Updates Personalized Solution

Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust has created the newest iteration of its Target My Retirement solution, providing 401(k) plan participants access to a personalized investment solution to help them achieve their retirement income goals.

Target My Retirement offers an internally managed, factor-based index collective fund array charging lower fees and has the potential for greater risk-adjusted returns, while also maintaining the essence of the product design to create a personalized glide path based on the participant’s individual situation.

The underlying factor-based collective funds were created by Wells Fargo Asset Management. Morningstar Investment Management LLC—a registered investment adviser (RIA) and subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc., retained by Wells Fargo as an independent financial expert to provide advice in connection with Target My Retirement—created the participant investment strategies.

“We continue to believe that the future of retirement planning—and the probability of a successful outcome—comes down to moving away from ‘one size fits all’ approaches and drawing on more personalized solutions,” says Joe Ready, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. “This version of Target My Retirement builds on this belief by combining the investment strength of Wells Fargo Asset Management with the allocation expertise of Morningstar Investment Management to deliver what we see as a compelling option for plan sponsors.”

Like previous versions of Target My Retirement, the latest iteration can be used as a plan’s qualified default investment alternative, delivering an evolution in the underlying investment strategy of the product at a cost of 24 basis points, including both the product administration and investment fund expenses.

Features of the enhanced Target My Retirement solution includes close to 600 possible portfolios; personalization; factor-based investment options; and a process focused on controlling risk and return drivers.