Investment Product and Service Launches

Buffalo Funds introduces institutional class shares; Nuveen adds to Diversified Dividend and Income Fund team; and State Street Global Advisors launches ESG money market fund. 

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

Buffalo Funds Introduces Institutional Class Shares

Kornitzer Capital Management (KCM), investment advisor to the Buffalo Funds, announced the launch of an Institutional Class of shares, which are available to eligible investors who meet an initial investment minimum of $250,000 or with no initial or subsequent investment minimums to: retirement plans such as 401(a), 401(k) or 457 plans; certain IRAs if the amounts invested represent rollover distributions from investments by any of the retirement plans invested in the funds; registered investment advisers investing on behalf of clients in exchange for an advisory, management or consulting fee; and wrap fee programs of certain broker-dealers. The new share class became effective on July 1.

“The decision to launch institutional shares is in response to the ever-evolving investment marketplace and the desire to meet client expectations to the greatest extent possible,” says Christopher Crawford, director of advisor relationships. “In short, institutional shares should increase the marketability of the funds going forward and help to ensure Buffalo Funds ability to thrive long into the future.”

“The introduction of this institutionally-priced share class reaffirms our commitment to align with customer interests, “ says Clay Brethour, CFA, Buffalo Funds President. “The Institutional Class refines our offerings and provides investors access to Buffalo Funds’ specialized investment capabilities, while matching their liquidity and fee requirements.”

The Institutional Class was added for all 10 mutual funds in the Buffalo Funds family, with new ticker symbols and CUSIP numbers. Financial intermediaries and shareholders should check their custodial platforms to see if the new share class is available for purchase. Current investors who qualified for the new share class as of July 1 had their shares automatically converted to the new Institutional Class.

Nuveen Adds to Diversified Dividend and Income Fund Team

The Nuveen Diversified Dividend and Income Fund has updated its portfolio management team. Effective immediately, Kevin Murphy will be named to the fund’s current portfolio management team and will focus on the portion of the fund managed by Wellington. The fund’s investment objectives, investment strategies and management philosophy remain unchanged.

Murphy, senior managing director, is an emerging markets debt portfolio manager at Wellington. He works closely with Wellington’s Emerging Markets Debt Investment Team to develop investment strategy in the sector. Murphy joined Wellington Management in 2016. Prior to that, he worked at Putnam as the lead portfolio manager responsible for all external sovereign and corporate emerging market debt investments across a range of different strategies, as well as the lead portfolio manager for the investment-grade corporate credit exposure in all of Putnam’s funds. In addition, he co-led a credit team based in Boston and London. Murphy also worked at BancBoston as a managing director on the Emerging Markets Derivative Products Group and at ING Baring Securities in New York City as the vice president of the Commodity Finance, Commodity Derivatives, and Structured Asset Groups. Murphy received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

State Street Global Advisors Launches ESG Money Market Fund

State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation, has launched the State Street ESG Liquid Reserves Fund, which seeks to apply financially material environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores to the management of the fund. The company says the fund is the first money market fund to offer a portfolio composed entirely of investments that meet ESG criteria at the time of purchase.

“We’re proud to apply State Street Global Advisors’ longstanding ESG commitment to the launch of this fund, which provides the first fully ESG-focused money market fund option by incorporating sustainable investing within a cash strategy,” says Pia McCusker, global head of Cash Management at State Street Global Advisors.

The fund uses R-Factor, State Street Global Advisors’ new ESG scoring system that draws on multiple data sources and leverages widely accepted and transparent materiality frameworks to generate a unique ESG score for issuers. In particular, R- Factor leverages the Sustainability Account Standards Board’s (SASB) and country-specific corporate governance frameworks and provides transparency into how and what State Street Global Advisors considers to be financially material ESG factors.

The fund invests in prime money market instruments that meet State Street Global Advisors’ ESG criteria. The portfolio construction process is a multi-step method involving fundamental risk budget allocation, optimization, and ESG assessment. The fund, which is domiciled in the United States and registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the Act), will have a floating net asset value and will be managed and operated to comply with Rule 2a-7 of the Act.

“As appetites for ESG investment opportunities continue to grow, institutional investors need options across all asset classes. There’s currently an industry-wide lack of ESG data that is financially material, consistently reported, and comparable across firms; using the R-Factor scoring system allows us to address this critical issue by incorporating State Street Global Advisors’ expertise,” says McCusker. “This is only the beginning for the application of R-Factor  as we explore further ESG-related opportunities at the institutional level.”