Investment Products and Services Launches

Mercer Brings Analytics Service to FactSet Clients; MPI Releases Target-Date Radar; Fidelity ETFs See Another Price Reduction; and more
Mercer Brings Analytics Service to FactSet Clients

Global consulting firm Mercer has partnered with FactSet, a provider of integrated financial information and analytical applications. The collaboration will allow Mercer to offer its MercerInsight services to FactSet’s North American clients on the FactSet platform.

MercerInsight is a cloud-based platform that provides asset managers with performance data and analytics on more than 29,000 strategies across traditional and alternative asset classes. It acts as an evaluation tool that enables comprehensive analysis of institutional track records versus competitors’ track records or market indices. FacSet customers in the United States and Canada now can subscribe to MercerInisght and integrate this data into local databases or analytics tools already available in their workflow.

“We are excited to offer our clients the same performance data and analytics available to MercerInsight subscribers, leveraging Mercer’s extensive investment consulting experience to enhance FactSet’s offering in the institutional market,” says Drew Cronin, vice president and director of Analytics Strategy at FactSet. “This partnership expands on our multi-asset class solution, providing broad coverage of both traditional and alternative asset managers.”

NEXT: MPI Releases Target-Date Radar

MPI Releases Target-Date Radar

Markov Process International (MPI) has released its MPI Target-Date Radar, an interactive search and selection tool designed for fiduciaries seeking to match defined contribution (DC) plan participants’ demographics, behaviors and preferences with appropriate target-date fund (TDF) families.

The MPI TDF analysis process, which was designed to help advisers address DOL guidelines for selecting TDFs, also includes detailed reporting features for qualitative, quantitative, and suitability comparisons, the firm says.

By combining holdings-based data with its patented Dynamic Style Analysis (DSA) modeling, MPI measures TDF glide paths to uncover exposures that manage longevity, volatility, and inflationary risks. The firm says, “This unique approach also allows users of the tool to dial-in their risk management preferences across three critical retirement zones—before, near, and in retirement—to shape their ideal glide path.”

MPI stresses that its independent ownership ensures its Target-Date Radar plan questionnaire and the resulting custom TDF recommendations are based on unbiased and objective analysis matching the attributes of a plan to a subset of the most appropriate TDF families.  

"Although there are other TDF decision tools on the market, most of these come from asset management firms or wealth management firms that have an interest in directing plan sponsors to a particular fund family,” says Chas Mansfield, CIO of Compass Financial Partners. “As it stands, the market desperately needs unbiased, analytics-based TDF guidance that helps DC plans identify the right products for their participants, as well as why a particular offering might be a poor fit. MPI's Target-Date Radar incorporates the methods and approach that I have found to be most effective in working with DC plans. This tool has no hidden agenda, empowering the adviser, the plan and the participants."

MPI is a fintech company providing custom plan analysis and reporting solutions to DC-focused firms. For more information on MPI's Target-Date Radar, visit the Markov Processes website

NEXT: Fidelity ETFs See Another Price Reduction 

Fidelity ETFs See Another Price Reduction

Fidelity Investments’ price-reduced US iShares Core Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are now available commission-free on, the firm announced.

This move builds on Fidelity’s alliance with ETF provider BlackRock to include all 18 iShares Core ETFs in its commission-free offering. Fidelity says it’s the only provider that offers all 18 of these ETFs commission-free to advisers and investors.

This price reduction follows Fidelity's expense reductions for 27 of its leading equity and bond index mutual funds and sector ETFs. Expenses start at .045%  for Fidelity’s 16 index mutual funds and .084% for Fidelity’s 11 sector ETFs, and all are available commission-free.

“We want customers to receive the best value possible, whether that means offering a Fidelity solution or one from a third-party leader,” says Ram Subramaniam, president of Fidelity Brokerage Services. “At Fidelity, investors can now build an even lower-cost, diversified equity and bond portfolio in the industry using both index mutual funds and ETFs.”

NEXT: Ardian Launches North American Investment Business

Ardian Launches North American Investment Business

Ardian, a private investment company, has partnered with Seven Mile Capital Partners (SMCP) to establish Ardian’s North American direct investment business.

Currently led by Vincent Fandozzi and Kevin Kruse, the entire SMCP team has agreed to join the company with a continued investment focus on middle market businesses that operate within or serve the industrial and related business-services sectors. Fandozzi and Kruse will be spearheading Ardian’s North American direct investment effort as the company looks to grow its activities in each region around the globe.

Fandozzi will lead a seven-person team with experience investing in North American mid-market companies. SMCP, founded in 2011, previously managed a portfolio of middle market investments on behalf of Ardian’s funds of funds team and other investors.

Fandozzi has more than twenty years of financial and investment experience, most recently as the founder and managing partner of SMCP. Prior to this, Fandozzi was the global head of private equity and alternative assets at Citi Holdings, where he oversaw approximately $6 billion in assets. Kruse has more than twenty years of private equity experience, most recently as a partner at SMCP and previously as a managing director at Warburg Pincus, where he was responsible for sourcing and executing transactions in the North American Consumer and Industrials Group.

Ardian manages funds worth $60 billion for 550 investors across the world including pension funds sovereign wealth funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals in Europe, North America and Asia.  

“Ardian has long dominated the secondaries space in North America and its expansion into direct middle market activities is a natural extension of its capabilities, especially given that many of our relationships are based in the North American market,” says Benoît Verbrugghe, member of the Executive Committee, and head of Ardian USA.

NEXT: New TDF Index Focuses on Fiduciaries

New TDF Index Focuses on Fiduciaries

Hand Benefits & Trust (HB&T) has partnered with Target Date Solutions to release the SMART Funds Target-Date Index, which tracks performance expectations for prudent target-date funds (TDFs). It would be the first and only index of its kind, according to HB&T.

This index follows the patented Safe Landing Glide Path that seeks to preserve the purchasing power of accumulated assets at the target date, and to provide for the growth of assets during accumulation. It is managed using two Nobel Prize winning theories in a three-phase process that invests in nine passive asset classes. The index emphasizes broad diversification at long dates, and safety at the target date, with less than 10% in equities. Also, performance of the Index is net of fees.

The Index is investable as a collective investment fund for eligible qualified retirement plans through the NSCC Fund/SERV, and has a live track record that starts in 2014, back-tested to 1998.

HB&T, a Benefit Plans Administrative Services (BPAS) Company, and its affiliates are national providers of administrative, actuarial, consulting, and institutional trust services. HB&T also serves as sponsor and trustee of collective investment funds.