Investment Product and Service Launches

Annexus, SSGA create income-focused TDFs; AIG hands over management of certain assets to BlackRock; and Columbia Threadneedle Investments launches a semiconductor and technology ETF.

Annexus, SSGA Create Income-Focused TDFs

Annexus Retirement Solutions has joined forces with State Street Global Advisors to help develop a target-date fund series with an embedded income solution for the defined contribution plan marketplace. Upon launch, the series will become the second TDF income solution on the market that leverages the Annexus Retirement Solutions patent-pending Lifetime Income Builder design.

The investment solution embeds Lifetime Income Builder—a product that employs group fixed-indexed annuities with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit—within the familiar and automatic structure of a TDF. Innovation in product design enables daily valuations of Lifetime Income Builder, a common feature for retirement plan products.

By integrating Lifetime Income Builder into a TDF, the solution seeks to give DC plan sponsors an efficient investment option that is also compliant as a qualified default investment alternative. For participants, it offers a combination of liquidity, portability and ease of use leading up to and throughout retirement.

The TDF design anticipates using three of the nation’s major insurance providers to deliver lifetime income. This multi-carrier model is meant to allow the insurance providers to bid on pricing each month, which can help lower participant costs while delivering higher income.

In delivering the TDF series, Annexus Retirement Solutions will provide its Lifetime Income Builder product and the Annexus Retirement Data Exchange, a proprietary middleware solution that streamlines data communication and administration. State Street will manage the solution’s underlying assets and provide the index for the group fixed-indexed annuity.

The TDF will be available across multiple recordkeeping platforms and is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2022.

AIG Hands Over Management of Certain Assets to BlackRock

American International Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc. have announced significant partnerships in which certain liquid fixed-income and private placement assets will be managed by BlackRock.

The arrangement could see BlackRock managing up to $60 billion of the global AIG investment portfolio and up to $90 billion of the life and retirement investment portfolio. Additionally, BlackRock’s Aladdin platform will provide investment management technology as part of the partnership.

The arrangement with BlackRock will be implemented in phases across AIG’s global operations, subject to customary onboarding and implementation requirements and any required regulatory approvals.

Columbia Threadneedle Launches Semiconductor and Technology ETF

Columbia Threadneedle Investments has announced the expansion of its exchange-traded fund offerings with the launch of its first actively managed, semi-transparent ETF, the Columbia Seligman Semiconductor and Technology ETF. The ETF is a thematic, growth-focused technology strategy that will invest primarily in the securities of semiconductor, semiconductor equipment and related technology companies.

The new fund is managed by Paul Wick, Sanjay Devgan, Shekhar Pramanick and Christopher Lo. Wick leads Columbia Threadneedle’s Seligman Technology team, which comprises 11 investment professionals averaging 24 years of industry experience.

The portfolio management team seeks to find fundamentally attractive semiconductor companies and related businesses with reasonable valuations. The fund is a concentrated, high-conviction portfolio consisting of companies with which the team has insight gained through fundamental research and industry knowledge. On average, the fund typically will invest in 30 to 50 companies, from small emerging businesses to more well-established mega-cap stocks. The fund’s management fee is 75 basis points.

The new fund uses Fidelity’s active equity ETF methodology.