Investment Product and Service Launches

Voya Financial and Morningstar announce new adviser managed account program; BNY Mellon to launch first active ETF solutions; AFL-CIO collaborates with multiple entities to distribute CIT funds; and more.

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

Voya Financial and Morningstar Announce New Adviser Managed Account Program

Voya Financial Inc. has launched its new adviser managed accounts advisory program in collaboration with Morningstar Investment Management LLC.

As one of the latest services within Voya’s suite of resources that support the financial wellness needs of all Americans, the new adviser managed accounts program provides registered investment advisers (RIAs) with resources needed to distribute investment advice to retirement plan participants.

“In today’s world, financial professionals are becoming increasingly important, particularly as some individuals will need to rebuild their savings due to the financial impacts of COVID-19,” says Jeff Cimini, senior vice president, retirement product, Voya Financial. “At Voya, we are continuously focused on investing in both the resources and technology that can help play a role in advancing a better financial future for all individuals—many of whom are increasingly looking to their employer for guidance and resources. As we continue to think holistically about how the financial wellness needs of individuals will evolve and, importantly, how we can address them, innovations such as managed accounts are an important consideration for employers. By improving savings, investment and retirement ‘spend down’ decisions, managed accounts can ultimately help to have a positive impact on one’s future financial outlook.”

Morningstar Investment Management provides the technology for the adviser managed accounts platform and serves as the fiduciary for portfolio assignment and recommendations on such things as savings rates and retirement age. With Voya serving as the recordkeeper, the adviser-managed accounts program offers an integrated service model, providing participants with a single sign-on to Morningstar Investment Management’s user interface and support services through Voya’s core capabilities. These include financial professional phone support through Voya’s service center, maintaining the connection with Morningstar Investment Management to transfer plan participant data and transactions, and implementation of participant portfolio assignments.

Through the program, employers can also provide their retirement plan participants with personalized advice based on model portfolios aligned with an RIAs firm’s investment expertise.

The program can also help RIA firms when it comes to generating new business opportunities by allowing financial professionals to offer personalized advice in a scalable manner. Voya has already launched the adviser managed accounts program with advisory firms CBIZ Investment Advisory Services LLC and Resources Investment Advisors, a OneDigital company. As the program advances, Voya expects to work with additional firms to offer the service to more clients.

“The main reason we created adviser managed accounts is to give more working Americans access to personalized advice that positions them to achieve the retirement they are working so hard for,” says Brock Johnson, president, global retirement and workplace solutions, Morningstar Investment Management. “To accomplish this objective, we need to make it as easy as possible for advisers to offer and advocate for managed accounts, so we are thrilled that Voya has agreed to support our platform with so many advisory firms.”

BNY Mellon to Launch First Active ETF Solutions

BNY Mellon Investment Management has announced its intention to launch its first active exchange-traded fund (ETF) solutions.

The initial suite is comprised of three sustainable solutions: BNY Mellon Sustainable US Equity ETF, BNY Mellon Sustainable International Equity ETF and BNY Mellon Sustainable Global Emerging Markets ETF.

BNY Mellon says all three are sub-advised by Newton, an equity and multi-asset manager with more than four decades of sustainable and responsible investing experience. The firm says the launch reinforces BNY Mellon Investment Management’s recently announced plans to realign Mellon Investments Corp.’s capabilities in fixed income, equities and multi-asset, and liquidity management with Insight Investment, Newton Investment Management and Dreyfus Cash Investment Strategies, respectively.

The decision, made in partnership with the investment firms, will enhance their respective specialist capabilities, and strengthen their research platforms and global reach.

More information about the ETF solutions will be available when they are launched.

AFL-CIO Collaborates With Multiple Entities to Distribute CIT Funds

The AFL-CIO has announced its collaboration with Wilmington Trust, BNY Mellon, PGIM Fixed Income and AFL-CIO ITC Financial to distribute 12 new target-date collective investment trust (CIT) funds, expanding retirement planning options for its 56 unions and 12.5 million members.

“This suite of target-date CIT funds is a welcome addition to the lineup of financial products which carry the AFL-CIO name,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Defined benefit [DB] plans remain the bedrock of a secure retirement. However, the labor movement’s philosophy that all Americans are entitled to retire with dignity and financial security dictates that we must also ensure that defined contribution [DC] investors’ interests are protected. This product provides a cost-effective solution that brings this proposition to life. We are grateful to our partners for sharing our values and making good on that commitment.”

The AFL-CIO target-date fund (TDF) series was developed as a low-cost product for DC plans. Offered in five-year increments, the target-date solutions provide democratized pricing at a flat fee of 12 basis points (bps) for all investors. Voting proxies for each fund conform with the AFL-CIO’s Proxy Voting Guidelines, per an independent proxy voting fiduciary.

Wilmington Trust will serve as trustee for all 12 funds; BNY Mellon will provide the glide path and index management for the funds; PGIM Fixed Income will manage the fixed-income component of the products; and AFL-CIO ITC Financial LLC, the broker/dealer (B/D) subsidiary of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corp., will handle distribution.

“As a trustee with nearly 120 years of experience successfully managing large, complex transactions, Wilmington Trust’s primary goal with this collaboration with the AFL-CIO is to offer high-quality retirement solutions to millions of American workers,” says Bill Farrell, executive vice president, Wilmington Trust. “We’re excited to work with America’s leading federation of labor unions to offer these solutions, and, together, we are confident we can help more U.S. workers effectively prepare for retirement.”

Fidelity Files for Registration of Bitcoin ETF

Fidelity intends to offer a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the ETF is named the Wise Origin Bitcoin Trust, and it issues common shares of beneficial interest.

The trust’s investment objective is to seek to track the performance of Bitcoin, as measured by the performance of the Fidelity Bitcoin Index PR, adjusted for the trust’s expenses and other liabilities. The index is constructed using Bitcoin price feeds from eligible Bitcoin spot markets and a volume-weighted median price (VWMP) methodology, calculated every 15 seconds based on VWMP spot market data over rolling five-minute increments. The index is designed to reflect the performance of Bitcoin in U.S. dollars.

In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the trust will hold Bitcoin and will value its shares daily based on the same methodology used to calculate the index. FD Funds Management LLC is the sponsor of the trust; Delaware Trust Co. is the trustee of the trust; and Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC is the custodian for the trust and will hold all of its Bitcoin on the trust’s behalf.