Franklin Templeton Adds Fixed-Income ETF Offering
Franklin Templeton has expanded its active exchange-traded fund (ETF) lineup with the addition of its 10th fixed-income ETF offering, Franklin Liberty Ultra Short Bond ETF (FLUD).
FLUD aims to provide a high level of current income, while seeking to maintain an average duration under one year, and preserve capital. FLUD can also be used to pursue income while maintaining liquidity needs.
“As a multi-sector fund, concentrated in financials-related industries, FLUD provides investors with diversification in the ultra-short investment category and seeks a higher yield potential than traditional cash investments, with limited additional risks,” says Patrick O’Connor, global head of ETFs for Franklin Templeton. “Franklin Templeton is once again delivering its time-tested expertise in active fixed income management through this very competitively priced, low-cost ETF. FLUD leverages our unique approach of blending top-down macroeconomic views, bottom-up fundamental research and proprietary, quantitative analysis.”
FLUD, which is listed on the NYSE Arca, is managed by David Yuen, senior vice president, head of multi-sector and quantitative strategies; Shawn Lyons, CFA, vice president, portfolio manager; Johnson Ng, CFA, vice president, senior trader, portfolio manager; Tom Runkel, CFA, vice president, portfolio manager; and Kent Burns, CFA, senior vice president, portfolio manager.
“FLUD invests in investment grade short maturity fixed-income securities issued by governments and agencies, as well as corporate credit and securitized securities,” Yuen says. “Sector allocation and security selection will be the primary drivers in pursuing income.”
OneAmerica Releases RetirementTrack Target-Date Series
OneAmerica has announced the new RetirementTrack target-date series, the company’s first foray into multi-glide path funds.
RetirementTrack, launched June 1, goes beyond traditional target-date funds (TDFs), which tie asset allocation to age and retirement date. The new product takes TDFs a step further, allowing participants to further customize by risk tolerance. Three glide path options—conservative, moderate or aggressive—are available within each TDF. The inclusion of a stable value asset class in the investment lineup helps manage market volatility.
“The industry has seen such a rise in traditional target-date funds because they can be a great option for many people,” says Sandy McCarthy, president of Retirement Services at OneAmerica. “RetirementTrack is really the next chapter in target-date funds. Where traditional target-date funds have ‘one-size-fits-all’ limitations, RetirementTrack allows participants to customize investments in a way that meets their individual needs and objectives.”
“RetirementTrack really speaks to our foundational belief in the importance of customization,” McCarthy adds. “No two participants are alike, and the solutions we offer need to reflect that.”
RetirementTrack is available exclusively to OneAmerica customers through a collective investment trust (CIT), with additional highlights of 3(38) investment management. RetirementTrack also adheres to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary guidelines, released to help protect fiduciaries and guide them in making prudent decisions.
“Now, more than ever, fiduciaries need a tool to help protect them when it comes to their TDFs,” says Terry Burns, managing director for products and investments, Retirement Services, OneAmerica. “RetirementTrack can be that tool. Not only does it offer best-practice options with cost efficiencies built in, it also provides various levels of 3(38) fiduciary protection.”
BCG Teams Up with Russell Investments to Launch Personalized Solution
Benefit Consultants Group (BCG), a Horace Mann company, has partnered with Russell Investments to offer personalized retirement accounts (PRA) on the BCG platform.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to work with Russell Investments to offer PRA to the adviser community,” says Michael Reis, vice president of business development at BCG. “BCG is dedicated to helping our partners provide plan sponsors and participants with customized, outcome-oriented asset allocations. The goal of this product is to increase the likelihood plan participants will reach their targeted retirement income objectives and be ready for retirement.”
PRA offers customized asset allocation that solves for a targeted retirement income goal using Russell Investments’ capital market assumptions and an asset allocation model.
Additionally, no participant input is necessary as the required data points are collected through a technology connection to recordkeeper or plan sponsor data, and PRA uses the plan’s core investment options as selected and monitored by the financial adviser.
“Our personalized retirement accounts are a great fit for the BCG platform as our two firms are fully aligned philosophically on providing plan participants with tailored solutions to improve their retirement readiness,” says Kevin Knowles, senior director, Strategic Accounts at Russell Investments. “We look forward to a productive partnership that ultimately helps their participants achieve desired retirement income goals.”
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