Investment Product and Service Launches

Fidelity Investments expands lineup of SMAs; Unision Risk Advisors launches PEP; Retiree, Inc. creates first decumulation model portfolio; and more.

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

Fidelity Investments Expands Lineup of SMAs

Fidelity Investments has launched Fidelity Advisor separately managed accounts (SMAs)—FA Health Care SMA and FA International Growth SMA.

The Fidelity Advisor SMAs will be available through broker-dealer firms, registered investment advisers, and managed account platform providers.

The continued demand for packaged investment solutions drove managed account assets to $247 billion at year-end 2020, a 10% increase from 2019. “We are committed to providing choice and flexibility and are excited to expand our SMA lineup as advisors continue to look for investment strategies that can be tailored to their clients’ specific needs and preferences,” says Matt Goulet, senior vice president, Portfolio Solutions. “The new FA Health Care SMA and FA International Growth SMA leverage Fidelity’s decades of portfolio management experience and diverse investment capabilities.”

These two model delivered SMAs were developed based on existing Fidelity mutual fund strategies: FA Health Care SMA seeks to invest in health care companies, ranging from high- quality, stable earnings growers to smaller opportunistic names. FA International Growth SMA seeks to invest in companies benefiting from multiyear structural growth tailwinds and high barriers to entry that are trading at attractive valuations based on Fidelity’s earnings estimates.

“Over the last year, the pandemic has reinforced the importance of engaging investors in conversations around health and wellness, and the Fidelity Advisor Health Care SMA is designed to capture innovative opportunities in the U.S. health care industry,” says Eddie Yoon, portfolio manager of FA Health Care SMA. “As advisors work to build deeper relationships with clients and better understand their values and goals, this is an opportunity to have important conversations about advances in public health and technology and the impact they could have on future generations.”

The Platinum 401k Launches PEP

The Platinum 401k Inc. has launched a pooled employer plan (PEP). 

The PEP, titled Unison Risk Advisors Pooled Employer Plan, will deliver retirement plan services to clients in collaboration with Oswald Financial, Inc., as the ERISA 3(38) investment manager; The Platinum 401k, Inc., as ERISA 3(16) plan administrator and the pooled plan provider; and Voya Financial serving as the plan recordkeeper. Unison Risk Advisors serves as the combined holding company of Oswald Companies and RCM&D. 

“With the establishment of our own Pooled Employer Plan — Unison Risk Advisors Pooled Employer Plan — we can pool employer-sponsored plans together for more competitive pricing, expanded services and increased benefits,” says Dave Kulchar, managing director of Oswald Financial, Inc. “This PEP provides our Oswald and RCM&D teams of experienced retirement plan advisors yet another tool to make sure our clients are best positioned with the most suitable options to meet their plan objectives. Oswald continues to be committed and dedicated to our clients’ needs and our marketplace.”

The Platinum 401k, Inc., affiliate Plan Compliance Services, Inc., serves as the ERISA 3(16) plan administrator and is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the plan and compliance with all ERISA and IRS regulations. Oswald Financial, Inc., is the ERISA 3(38) investment manager and is responsible for fund selection and monitoring.

Retiree, Inc. Creates First Decumulation Model Portfolio

Retiree, Inc. is announcing the launch of the first retirement income “decumulation” model portfolio marketplace. The new resource for financial advisers combines the Income Solver platform with a marketplace of solutions including model portfolios, annuities, bonds, and cash alternatives.

“Accumulation-based model portfolio marketplaces are not supporting advisers that need help figuring out optimal ways to generate income across multiple accounts and holdings. We now combine the best model portfolios from leading asset managers with software that helps the advisor figure out how to ‘tap’ holdings to maximize wealth,” states William Meyer, CEO of Retiree, Inc.

Additionally, the company is launching a series of new utilities and tools. A new “Get Cash” tool shows the adviser exactly what to liquidate and trade to generate income aligned to the model portfolios and solutions the advisor selects. The firm’s first step was creating software to identify better withdrawal sequences or ways to maximize assets while generating income. The final step and current launch announcement bring in the best products and programs with tools to implement and manage income over time. Sean Murray, chief growth officer at Retiree, Inc., says, “Retirement income is not an annuity or a single product. Generating a paycheck for clients is a process that needs to be managed over time. We now bring in the best solutions and asset managers to help advisors more efficiently generate income for clients.” 

“Different from accumulation-based offerings, we now have a robust platform to empower advisors to deliver better retirement income advice and implement an income stream efficiently over time with the best asset managers,” Meyer states. “We believe this will be a game changer as over 70 million Baby Boomers need help maximizing their savings and generating a paycheck to live on in retirement.”

NTAM Increases Services for Minority Brokers

Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM) is increasing its trade execution services commitment to broker-dealers owned by minorities, women, veterans or people with disabilities.

The execution target for its Minority Brokerage Program is increasing in March from 10% to 15% of equity security trading commissions in certain commingled funds. NTAM started its Minority Brokerage Program in 2007 and in 2018 instituted a 10% trading target for participating funds.

“As one of the world’s largest investment managers, we founded the program over a decade ago because we recognized both the impact we can have to advance diversity within the industry and that partnering with diverse organizations can lead to better outcomes,” Northern Trust Asset Management President Shundrawn Thomas said. “Empirical data has long shown that top-performing companies, regardless of industry, are those that excel on cultural, ethnic and gender diversity. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as it’s only logical that diversity strengthens culture and increases creativity and innovation—all key ingredients to success.”

Investors have been increasingly looking to partner with asset managers that share a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The pandemic has led investors to focus even more on doing so, as inequities and other social ills have come into sharp view.  

“We are delighted that our Minority Brokerage Program provides clients with a proven means to have a significant percentage of their assets aligned with firms owned by minorities, women, veterans or people with disabilities,” said Chief Investment Officer Bob Browne. “And from an even larger perspective, we take pride in the fact that clients understand that the program is just one part of our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

American Century Investments Adds to Target Date Lineup

American Century Investments has added to its target date lineup with the launch of the One Choice Blend+ Portfolios. The actively managed series features the firm’s time-tested glide path philosophy in a competitively priced mutual fund vehicle.

Each vintage will be offered in a mutual fund structure that features a variety of share classes. The expense ratio for share classes ranges from 0.58% for the Investor share class to 0.23% for the R6 share class.

Choosing a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) is one of the most important responsibilities of a retirement plan fiduciary according to Richard Weiss, chief investment officer for American Century’s Multi-Asset Strategies.  “We understand that a prudent selection process can pose complex challenges that depend on a variety of factors, including plan sponsor goals and objectives, participant demographics, and risk appetite. Our new series is built on our time-tested glide path philosophy, which pursues greater wealth accumulation by focusing on offering a smoother ride across market cycles.”

Milliman Partners with Resources Investment Advisers to Launch Adviser Managed Accounts

Milliman, Inc., has announced it will work with Resources Investment Advisors to introduce Morningstar adviser managed accounts services.

Adviser managed accounts allow a plan’s registered investment advisor (RIA), such as Resources, to create personalized investment portfolios for participants through Morningstar Investment Management LLC’s technology platform. Within that platform, Morningstar Investment Management serves as the fiduciary for portfolio assignment and for its recommendations on such things as savings rates and retirement age. Milliman has integrated the platform into its recordkeeping system using single-sign-on for a seamless participant experience and branding it for the respective RIA firm.

“We are pleased to work with Resources and Morningstar Investment Management to offer advisor managed accounts to retirement plan participants. Participants receive access to personalized investment advice, the goal of which is to help them achieve healthier financial outcomes, and RIAs gain a broader platform to deliver individual service directly to participants,” says Kyle Hughes, Milliman principal and Employee Benefits Administration national sales leader.

“We are very excited to launch Personalized Portfolios with Milliman. This service will leverage Morningstar Investment Management’s robust managed account capabilities and seamless integration with Milliman’s platform to help more participants meet their retirement goals,” said Vince Morris, President of Resources Investment Advisors.

“Our adviser managed accounts service uses personalized advice designed to help more American workers achieve their retirement goals,” says Brock Johnson, president, Global Retirement & Workplace Solutions, Morningstar Investment Management LLC. “Milliman was one of the first to integrate with our advisor managed accounts platform, recognizing early on the opportunity to seamlessly enable advisors to deliver personalized retirement advice in a scalable way. Its support has enabled our platform to serve a growing list of advisory firms, and ultimately to give more people the help they need to save for the type of retirement they want.”