Investment Products and Service Launches

USAA Launches New R6 Share Class Funds; First Eagle Launches New Mutual Fund Share Classes; Natixis Rolls out ESG TDF; and more.

USAA Launches New R6 Share Class Funds

USAA is launching the NASDAQ-100 Index Fund, which Morningstar calls the first of its kind. Also adding to the organization’s R6 share class offerings is the USAA Ultra Short-Term Bond Fund. USAA says these moves represent its strategic response to an industry shift to passive equity flows.

With its R6 share class products, USAA is aiming to offer plan sponsors a low-cost option with greater fee transparency to equip its members and the military community with financial security.

In December, USAA began rolling out its first R6 share class products across six of its mutual funds: USAA Income Fund (URIFX), USAA High Income Fund, USAA Income Stock Fund, USAA Short-Term Bond Fund, USAA Intermediate-Term Bond Fund, and USAA Government Securities Fund.

USAA serves current and former members of the U.S. military and their families, representing more than 60 million Americans.

NEXT: First Eagle Launches New Mutual Fund Share Classes

First Eagle Launches New Mutual Fund Share Classes

First Eagle Investment Management has launched a suite of retirement share classes for its mutual fund line-up. The new R3, R4, R5 and R6 share classes are available without investment minimums or front-end sales charges, and offer varying levels of intermediary compensation, including 12b-1 and sub-TA fees. The R6 shares do not include any form of intermediary compensation and represent the lowest-cost offering among the newly launched shares, the firm says.   

“By introducing share classes that are dedicated to group retirement plans, we are continuing our commitment to this important market,” says Mike Rosenberg, head of Retirement Investment Solutions at First Eagle. “I am excited that plan fiduciaries will have access to our investment solutions through share classes of their choice that address their specific needs. This brings us a step closer in our quest to help American savers with investment strategies that aim to deliver attractive returns, preserve purchasing power and provide downside protection.”

NEXT: Natixis Rolls Out ESG TDFs

Natixis Rolls Out ESG TDFs

Natixis Global Asset management has officially launched its new target-date fund (TDF) based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategies. Natixis Sustainable Future Funds managers will select securities from companies demonstrating positive roles in fair labor, anticorruption, human rights, fair business practices and mitigation of environmental impact, the firm says.

The TDF suite includes ten funds with vintages ranging every five years from 2015 to 2060.

According to Natixis’ 2016 Global Survey of Individual Investors, 82% of respondents said they want their investments to reflect their personal values. Moreover, the firm found that 62% of respondents said they would be more likely to start contributing or increase contributions to a retirement plan if they knew their investments were contributing to social good.

“Our research shows that most people want to align their investments with their personal values, and we’re thrilled to introduce a retirement option that allows participants to invest in a more meaningful way,” says David Giunta, firm president and CEO for the U.S. and Canada. “This offering provides workers who want to make a difference with the option to invest in companies that are committed to sustainable business practices.”

The funds are advised by NGAM Advisors, L.P. and sub-advised by Natixis Asset Management U.S.

Among other investment constituents, the funds will incorporate equity and fixed-income allocations that leverage the ESG expertise of Mirova, operated in the U.S. through Natixis AM U.S., which has managed responsible investment solutions for almost 30 years. Wilshire Associates Incorporated will serve as a sub-adviser to provide glide path design and portfolio allocation services.

NEXT: Vanguard Reports Third Wave of Expense Ratio Reductions 

Vanguard Reports Third Wave of Expense Ratio Reductions

Vanguard has reported lowered expense ratios for 68 additional mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) shares, saving clients more than $105 million. The firm says it has saved clients $143 million in savings across 124 fund shares reported over the last three months.

“While Vanguard is lowering—and will continue to lower—the cost of investing, the so-called fee war is essentially over on the beta battleground. Investors have won,” says Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb, who noted that broad market equity and bond exposure can be obtained for 10 basis points or less through index funds and ETFs. “The new fronts in the fee war are active management and advice. Again, investors will ultimately win.”

He adds, “The demand for low-cost funds and ETFs, along with intense competition, have made investing far more affordable today than ever before. With the broad availability of low-cost options, investors – whether on their own or with the help of a financial adviser or employer – need to focus on the other factors that can lead to investing success, including saving more, developing a suitable asset allocation, using broadly diversified funds, and maintaining discipline through market ups and down.”

Ten Vanguard international ETFs are reporting lower expenses, including five that are the largest in their category and two that are the second largest in their category The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF declined one basis point to 0.14%, Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF declined two basis points to 0.10%, Vanguard FTSE Pacific ETF declined two basis points to 0.10%, Vanguard Total World Stock ETF declined three basis points to 0.11%, Vanguard Total International Bond ETF declined three basis points to 0.12%, Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate ETF declined three basis points to 0.15%, Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF declined four basis points to 0.13%.