Investment Product and Service Launches

MFS makes changes to CIT line and Diligend and eVestment partner on data exchange platform.

MFS Makes Changes to CIT Line

MFS is making a series of enhancements to its collective investment trust (CIT) line. The enhancements include changes to the unit class structure, lower investment minimums and reductions in management fees or expense caps on several CIT funds. The firm is also adding increased pricing flexibility for mandates over $200 million.

“We believe these enhancements further align MFS with the needs of retirement plan fiduciaries and participants and ensure the firm’s long‐term competitiveness in the U.S. retirement marketplace,” says Sean Kenney, managing director for defined contribution (DC) at MFS. “The defined contribution market grows in complexity year over year, and a robust CIT ecosystem is driving CIT adoption by plan sponsors of all sizes with diverse requirements. We are pleased to be able to offer the enhancements to address plan fiduciaries’ and participants’ evolving needs.”

Highlights of the enhancements include the following:

  • MFS now has Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4 unit‐class offerings, with investment minimums of $0, $50 million and $100 million, respectively;
  • The firm will create dedicated unit classes for mandates above $200 million and certain sub-advised and outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) opportunities; and
  • MFS is dropping the expense cap from 10 basis points (bps) to 5 bps on four international equity CITs and its Global Aggregate Opportunistic CIT.

“The new unit class structure provides the flexibility required to align with larger, more complex plan sponsor mandates, especially those driven by sub-advisory and OCIOs, while providing a compelling value proposition to small and mid‐size plans,” Kenney adds.

Diligend and eVestment Partner on Data Exchange Platform

Diligend, a cloud-based due diligence software provider built for asset allocators, and eVestment, a Nasdaq company that focuses on institutional investment data and analytics, have announced an agreement under which eVestment data will be available through the Diligend platform.

Diligend offers a data exchange platform that automates the tasks and data requests institutional investors and consultants frequently make of asset managers. The platform enables one-to-one, periodic and ad-hoc data collection efforts, which can be difficult to manage as the information is often tied to individual, static documents. Diligend’s tools transform this process by providing a fully custom, digitized and automated due diligence questionnaire tool combined with a full featured workflow and analytics platform. The platform makes requesting data, distributing data requests and initiating follow-up reminders easy to manage, while also automatically flagging answers, tracking changes and aggregating data for benchmarking.

The firms say this agreement will allow clients of both eVestment and Diligend to complete more of their due diligence process via one technology platform. The data and technology tools that will facilitate this data-sharing and due diligence effort between eVestment and Diligend are set to launch in the coming months.

“Collecting and analyzing manager data and documents can be challenging and cumbersome for investors,” says Wissem Souissi, Diligend founder and CEO. “The difficulty in managing the questionnaire distribution process and performing sufficient ongoing due diligence with limited resources limits the level of oversight and increases the operational risk for investors. Diligend solves this through data centralization and process automation. By aligning with eVestment, we’ve made the entire due diligence process more efficient and scalable.”

“Eliminating unnecessary work, risk and complexity in the due diligence process provides opportunities for better engagement between investors and asset managers and, ultimately, better results for the work both are doing,” says eVestment Head of Strategic Partnerships Lisa Terwilliger. “We are excited to add Diligend to our network of technology providers for our joint clients.”