Investment Product and Service Launches

MassMutual debuts RetireSMART TDF series with J.P. Morgan glide paths, while AXA doubles down on SRI/ESG integration.

The MassMutual RetireSMART Target Date Funds, available through 401(k)s and other defined contribution (DC) retirement plans offered by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., now offer enhanced glide paths sub-advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management Inc.

Formally, the fund family will now be called the MassMutual RetireSMART by J.P. Morgan Target Date Funds.

The new glide paths are available within the 12 MassMutual RetireSMART TDFs, ranging from the In Retirement Fund to the 2060 Fund. Important to note, the MassMutual RetireSMART Target Risk Funds are not being sub-advised by J.P. Morgan.

Tina Wilson, head of MassMutual’s Investment Solutions Innovation group, says the new glide paths are “more sensitive to balancing investment risk and investors’ goals, especially as retirement savers approach and enter retirement.”

As the sub-adviser, J.P. Morgan will create a glide path using its long-term capital market assumptions and MassMutual participant data.  J.P. Morgan employs four main principles to managing glide paths, which include defining success as maximizing the number of retirement savers who attain an adequate level of income replacement at retirement; designing glide paths to withstand the stresses of real-life saving and withdrawal patterns; dynamically managing the multi-faceted risks of defined contribution investing, balancing the need to minimize risk and maximize returns; and employing a well-diversified glide path allocation strategy.

In addition, J.P. Morgan will provide tactical asset allocation expertise to take advantage of short- to intermediate-term opportunities.

AXA Boosts SRI/ESG Integration

AXA Investment Managers says it is moving to the next phase of its commitment to strengthen its socially responsible investment (SRI) capabilities, further integrating these with the firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing expertise.

AXA leadership says the firm is integrating ESG analysis into all of its investment platforms, providing fund managers with access to proprietary ESG scores and key performance indicators (KPIs) in their front office tools, as well as additional ESG data and research.

Additionally, new specialists are progressively being embedded into each investment team to help fund managers incorporate ESG and impact analysis into their investment processes.

Within AXA, the firm is building a central SRI team focusing on thematic research, corporate governance and shareholder engagement as well as on developing quantitative solutions. Climate, human capital and health have been identified as the key thematic priorities of the centralized team, and specialists are appointed for each of these three themes. ESG analytic experts are also embedded in the investment teams to enhance capabilities most relevant to the firm’s key asset classes.