Investment Products and Service Launches

Wilshire Launches VETS Index; Betterment Sprouts SRI Option for Participants; LPL Opens Mutual-Fund Only Platform; and more.

Wilshire Launches VETS Index

Wilshire Associates has launched the Military Times Best for VETS Index. It’s designed to measure the performance of public companies most supportive of military veterans, service members and their families as identified by the Military Times Best for Vets: Employer annual rankings.

First launched in 2010, the annual employer rankings survey by Military Times focuses on metrics such as company culture, policies and reservist accommodations. Results are used to compute an overall company score. The Military Times Best for VETS Index is constructed of those public companies that score highest, carry a market capitalization of $200 million or more, and have been included in the annual list for at least three consecutive years.

“Wilshire Analytics is extremely proud to help fuel this veteran-friendly Powered by Wilshire index offering from Track One,” says Michael R. Kennedy, managing director at Wilshire Associates. “Wilshire’s calculation and analytical expertise combined with Track One’s innovative rules-based approach to measuring performance of companies most supportive of military veterans demonstrates the value of a Powered by Wilshire approach, which can help clients bring new investment index strategy ideas to market quickly.”

“We have always recognized the unique skill sets and mission critical mindset that our military veterans bring to the workplace,” says Joseph Gelin, vice president at Track One. “The Military Times Best for VETS Index now demonstrates the measurable benefit that these organizations reap. We consider the Military Times to be the most well-respected publication within the veteran community, and are thrilled to be aligning with them and with Wilshire.”

For more information about the Military Times Best for VETS Index, visit  

NEXT:Betterment Sprouts SRI Option for Participants

Betterment Sprouts SRI Option for Participants

Betterment for Business has launched its first socially responsible investing (SRI) portfolio option for its clients’ 401(k) participants.

The firm developed its SRI portfolio by analyzing low-cost SRI funds available to 401(k) plans, while searching for products that could replace components of its core strategy without disrupting the diversification or cost of the overall portfolio.

The portfolio is designed to give participants the opportunity to invest using an approach that reduces exposure to companies that are deemed to have a negative social impact. These include companies that profit from poor labor standards or environmental devastation. Instead, the portfolio increases exposure to companies that are deemed to have a positive social impact such as those that foster inclusive workplaces or commit to environmentally-sustainable practices.

The firm says its SRI portfolio reflects a 44% improvement to social responsibility scores for U.S. large-cap stock holdings, when compared to its core portfolio. Other asset classes, such as value, small-cap, and international stocks and bonds are not replaced with an SRI alternative due to the current state of available SRI products.

Betterment notes that it developed its SRI portfolio in response to the lack of such options in the 401(k) space in light of increasing demand for investment options that reflect participants’ values.

“The SRI portfolio is designed to maintain our fundamental advice for a low-cost, diversified investment strategy with tax optimization, while helping socially conscious participants make sure their investments reflect their personal values,” Betterment said in a statement.

NEXT:LPL Opens Mutual-Fund Only Platform

LPL Opens Mutual-Fund Only Platform

LPL Financial has revealed details of its first Mutual Fund Only (MFO) platform designed to improve the way advisers offer mutual funds in brokerage accounts with participating fund companies. LPL also intends for the platform to expand investor choice by offering exchangeability across fund families within the platform, and removing barriers that have tied investors to stay within a single fund family.

The platform is scheduled to be made available to LPL advisers and institutions early in 2018.

The platform will offer load-waived shares from 20 mutual fund companies in an attempt to provide free exchangeability across fund companies for broader choice and greater flexibility to move funds over time as investors’ needs change.

It also offers standardized mutual fund compensation to the financial adviser through an upfront onboarding commission, cross-fund-company exchangeability and consistent trail. MFO accounts will be subject to a maximum upfront onboarding commission of 3.5% and a 0.25% trail payment. Investors will be eligible for discounts based on the combined amount of brokerage assets held at LPL that are invested in MFO-eligible mutual funds.

“With this platform, LPL is striving to preserve choice for investors while managing the evolving regulatory environment,” says Rob Pettman, LPL executive vice president, Product and Platform Management. “We will be delivering a price competitive solution with the benefit of free exchanges across participating fund companies to help our advisers differentiate their practices in the market and serve a broad range of investors.”

For more details about LPL Financial’s MFO, visit

NEXT:Deutsche Launches Liquid Real Assets CIT  

Deutsche Launches Liquid Real Assets CIT 

Deutsche Asset Management’s (Deutsche AM) Alternatives has released the Deutsche Real Assets Collective Investment Trust Fund for certain retirement plan investors.

The fund is designed to give eligible investors exposure to a variety of liquid real assets including global REITs, listed infrastructure, commodity futures, natural resource equities and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.

“The new strategy gives investors efficient access to a breadth of liquid real assets as a tool to diversify their existing allocations and complement their exposure from a risk perspective,” says John Vojticek, CIO and head of Liquid Real Assets. “In today’s economic environment, defined benefit and defined contribution plans are looking for cost-effective, highly liquid investment opportunities. The Deutsche Real Assets Collective Investment Trust Fund is managed holistically across all liquid real assets while utilizing our best ideas and expertise in the underlying sectors.”

The Liquid Real Assets group’s investment approach focuses on active stock selection with a top-down global overlay of strategic allocation and risk management.