Investment Product and Service Launches

John Hancock Investments enacts expense reductions in TDF suite; Defined Contribution Real Estate Council publishes investing checklist for plans; Morningstar introduces new global risk model.

Expense Reductions in John Hancock Investments TDF Suite

John Hancock Investments announced “a sweeping package of expense reductions” aimed at providing cost savings to investors in its suite of target-date Retirement Living Portfolios, as well as in four other mutual funds.

Andrew Arnott, president and CEO of John Hancock Investments, says the reductions will further ensure the firm’s funds are cost-effective for investors. “That is an important facet of our goal of maximizing the value we provide our mutual fund shareholders,” he adds.

The expense reductions and new breakpoint schedule cover the following funds:

  • John Hancock Retirement Living Portfolios – 9 bps reduction on all share classes across the suite.
  • John Hancock Enduring Assets Fund – 30 bps reduction on all share classes.
  • John Hancock Investment Grade Bond Fund – 8 bps reduction on all share classes.
  • John Hancock Strategic Income Opportunities Fund – Additional breakpoints added to the fund’s expense schedule to help shareholders benefit from lower costs as the fund grows.
  • John Hancock Value Equity Fund – 9 basis point reduction on all share classes.

Additional details of these new expense reductions and fee schedules can be found in the funds’ and portfolios’ latest prospectuses, the firm says, adding that the latest round of reductions mark the firm’s fifth set of expense cuts in the past four years—affecting more than 30 funds.

Additional information may be found at

NEXT: DCREC Publishes Investing Checklist for Plans

DCREC Publishes Investing Checklist for Plans

The Defined Contribution Real Estate Council (DCREC) has published a checklist for use by defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors and consultants considering the addition of private real estate as an investment option in their plans.

DCREC describes the checklist as an “evaluation tool created to help plan sponsors and their partners in evaluating private real estate options that could be incorporated into their plan’s overall investment structure.” The checklist incorporates a wide range of recommended questions on topics such as daily valuation, liquidity, investment strategy, product structure and investor eligibility, as well as the operational considerations involved in implementing private real estate strategies on existing record-keeping platforms. 

“Plan sponsors and their consultants continue to seek diversified portfolio options for their participants,” says Jackie Hawkey, who co-chairs DCREC’s Best Practices Committee. “Interest is growing in allocating to private real estate for uncorrelated diversification, often within customized target-date funds or as part of a multi-asset class portfolio. The purpose of this checklist is to give market participants a standard set of questions to ask product providers when considering adding the asset class. This will make it easier to assess and compare offerings to determine the best fit for a particular plan.”

Additionally, DCREC released a research paper on the “Ten Key Principles Recommended for Daily Valuation of Private Real Estate Investments.” DCREC says the publication is a guide to understanding best practices in valuation covers topics such as incorporating third-party appraisals, establishing an objective daily valuation process, recognizing the impact of material events, and using currently accepted methods for daily valuation.

“Daily valuation and liquidity are seen as two of the biggest areas of focus for DC sponsors who want to add private real estate as an investment option in their plans,” Hawkey concludes. “Together, our checklist and guide provide an excellent starting point for anyone hoping to learn more about how they can incorporate this important asset class into a DC platform.”

More information on both resources can be found be at

NEXT: Morningstar Introduces New Global Risk Model

Morningstar Introduces New Global Risk Model

New global risk management models from Morningstar Inc. are designed to help investors with deeper analysis of stocks and equity portfolio characteristics.

The firm’s firm Global Risk Model takes into account 36 factors across style, sector, region, and currency characteristics to help investors understand an investment's factor exposures and to forecast the future return distribution of individual stocks and equity portfolios. The company plans to eventually expand the risk model to additional asset classes, it says.

Morningstar's Global Risk Model has 36 different factors that help decompose the sources of return and risk for a stock or a portfolio. Six of the 36 factors are based on Morningstar's proprietary ratings, including Quantitative Fair Value Estimate; Morningstar Quantitative Economic Moat Rating; Quantitative Uncertainty Rating; Quantitative Financial Health; Ownership Risk; and Ownership Popularity. A list of all 36 factors in Morningstar's Global Risk Model is available online here.

Warren Miller, head of asset management software for Morningstar, explains the model evaluates more than 40,000 stocks and 10,000 equity fund portfolios in Morningstar's database and then builds a comprehensive forecast of future returns for various time horizons based on all 36 factor exposures. In addition, the Global Risk Model can assess an equity portion of a client's multi-asset portfolio. Investors can screen individual stocks or equity funds or make comparisons based on any of the factors. Morningstar updates the factor exposures and forecasts daily.