Investment Product and Service Launches

TD Ameritrade Expands Commission-Free ETF Trading Program, and Federated Investors Acquires Several PCA Equity Funds.

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

TD Ameritrade Expands Commission-Free ETF Trading Program

TD Ameritrade has expanded its commission-free exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading program, increasing the number of offerings from more than 300 to 569 ETFs from 21 providers covering some 90 Morningstar categories. Its effective date is expected to be June 1.

ETFs from 12 new providers join TD Ameritrade’s expanded line up, which covers an additional 13 Morningstar categories and offers more choices for those already represented in TD Ameritrade’s commission-free ETF program.

Along with more municipals, commodities, index-tracking, countries, single currency, sector, asset allocation and low-cost core offerings, advisers and investors can access actively managed ETFs utilizing long-short smart beta and environmental social governance (ESG) strategies. RIAs and individual investors will be able to choose ETFs from providers including Invesco, ProShares, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and more. New providers as of the effective date are Principal, Nuveen, PIMCO, and others.

“While we’re pleased to again offer our clients a greater selection of commission-free ETFs, we’re particularly excited about the broad range of strategies, sectors and asset classes available without a commission,” says Eileen Norton, director of investment solutions at TD Ameritrade Institutional. “It doesn’t end here. We’ll continue to innovate and upgrade the ETF Market Center and commission-free program going forward as part of our constant efforts to improve the investing experience for our clients.”

TD Ameritrade first launched the ETF Market Center in 2004, and in 2010 offered commission-free ETF trading. TD Ameritrade’s ETF Market Center also offers RIAs and individual investors access to screeners, research tools, analysis and independent commentary.

“We’re committed to providing our clients access to a robust suite of commission-free products through the ETF Market Center,” says Keith Denerstein, director of investment products and guidance at TD Ameritrade. “With a wide range of commission-free ETFs to choose from and industry-leading research tools and analysis, we’re helping our clients build portfolios that meet their needs.” 

Federated Investors Acquires Several PCA Equity Funds

Federated Investors, Inc. and The PNC Financial Services Group have reached a definitive agreement for Federated to acquire certain components of PNC Capital Advisors LLC’s (PCA) investment-management business.

The proposed transaction includes the reorganization of PNC’s family of liquidity, equity and fixed-income mutual funds into corresponding Federated mutual funds, the acquisition of a portion of PNC’s separate account and separately managed account business, and the transition of a six-person international equity management team from PNC to Federated. 

Through the agreement, approximately $9 billion in assets from three PNC government and treasury money market funds is expected to be transitioned through mutual fund reorganizations. Further, approximately $2.7 billion in equity mutual fund assets and $700 million in fixed-income mutual fund assets would be reorganized from an additional 15 PNC funds into 10 existing and three newly created Federated funds. The existing Federated mutual funds have comparable investment strategies.

Federated expects to transition three of PNC’s fundamentally driven international equity mutual funds into new Federated shell portfolios created for the purpose of continuing the investment operations and performance records of each mutual fund as part of the Federated complex.

To aid in the transition of the investment assets related to this transaction, Federated and PCA will encourage PCA’s current select equity, structured equity and international separate account and separately managed account clients with approximately $1.5 billion in assets to move to Federated.

“PNC’s institutional asset management business will now be focused on its core strength: providing comprehensive outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services and custom investment solutions to help our clients run their businesses better,” says Michael Lyons, head of Corporate & Institutional Banking and the Asset Management Group at The PNC Financial Services Group. “PNC will continue to proactively deliver value-added advice and solutions for our wealth management and institutional clients, leveraging our bespoke investment solutions and strong open architecture platform.”

Post-closing, PCA will manage approximately $21 billion of custom liquidity and fixed-income solutions to address the needs of PNC’s corporate and institutional clients, including corporations, health care organizations, insurance companies, unions, higher education, government entities and endowment, and foundations. The employees of PNC’s liquidity and taxable fixed-income teams will remain with PCA, focused on managing separate accounts.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

FTJFundChoice Adds American Funds Portfolios to Asset Management Program

FTJ FundChoice has announced that an additional seven American Funds model portfolios are now available on the FTJ FundChoice open architecture Turnkey Asset Management Program (TAMP). With the addition of these seven models, advisers can now access the entire suite of American Funds’ models via FTJ FundChoice.

The additional models now available in the Market Movement Strategies (MMS) strategic sleeve on FTJ FundChoice are: American Funds Retirement Income Model Portfolio – Conservative; American Funds Retirement Income Model Portfolio – Enhanced; American Funds Retirement Income Model Portfolio – Moderate; American Funds Conservative Income Model Portfolio; American Funds Moderate Growth Model Portfolio; American Funds Tax-Advantaged Growth and Income Model Portfolio; and American Funds Tax-Exempt Preservation Model Portfolio. 

“FTJ FundChoice is excited to now have the full suite of American Funds’ models available on our platform. American Funds’ experienced investment team and bottom-up approach have a long track record of success, making them a great complement to the list of model portfolios available in our strategic sleeve,” says Cory Kendall, executive vice president of sales at FTJ FundChoice.

“Aligning investor goals with portfolio objectives can create better investment outcomes. We have thoughtfully built a suite of objective-based model portfolios for advisors to select from when working with their clients,” says Kris Spazafumo, vice president, model portfolio business development at Capital Group, home of American Funds. “With our full suite of model portfolios available on FTJ FundChoice’s platform, advisors can easily customize their investment management offerings to their clients’ goals and add scale to their practice.”