Investment Product and Service Launches

Lincoln Financial Group adds multi-manager solution within director program; Franklin Templeton increases ETF lineup; Northern Trust announces new series trust; and more.

Lincoln Financial Group Adds Multi-Manager Solution Within Director Program

Lincoln Financial Group is offering a new multi-manager solution built on Lincoln Variable Investment Product (LVIP) funds within the Lincoln Director program.

“We’re proud to build on our legacy of creating flexibility and choice for financial professionals and their plan sponsors,” says Ralph Ferraro, senior vice president, retirement plan products and solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. “And by leveraging our internal investment management expertise, we were able to develop this innovative solution that taps into the experience and knowledge of top asset managers from across the industry.”

Lincoln Director Multi-Manager gives plan sponsors access to more than 80 LVIP funds, with Lincoln Investment Advisors Corp. (LIAC) serving as the investment adviser. LIAC provides third-party oversight over the selection of fund managers from sub-advisory firms to provide day-to-day portfolio construction. Financial professionals and their clients can construct their investment lineup from the LVIP fund list, or they can choose to receive 3(38) fiduciary support from Morningstar Investment Management LLC to develop, monitor and update the portfolios on an ongoing basis. In addition, financial professionals have access to Lincoln Financial’s Client Investment Support team.

The Lincoln Director Multi-Manager funds also offer YourPath Multi-Manager collective investment trust (CIT) portfolios. They may also be used as a plan’s qualified default investment alternative (QDIA).

“With Director Multi-Manager and YourPath Multi-Manager, plan sponsors and financial professionals can create a customized program that builds on the personalized support we’re known for,” says Joe Mrozek, vice president, national sales manager for the intermediary retirement plan services division of Lincoln Financial Distributors. “These competitively priced solutions offer the flexibility to tailor lineups to an organization’s culture, investment philosophy and participant population.”

Franklin Templeton Increases ETF Lineup

Franklin Templeton has expanded its active ETF lineup with the addition of its ninth active fixed income ETF offering, Franklin Liberty U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (FLGV).  

FLGV seeks income by investing primarily in Treasury bonds, bills and notes, and investments that provide exposure to direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury. 

“The launch of FLGV further exemplifies our steadfast belief that active management is critical to achieving investor goals in fixed income,” says Patrick O’Connor, global head of ETFs for Franklin Templeton. “Franklin Templeton Fixed Income has engineered a seamless active quant approach—where portfolio managers, analysts, traders and data scientists work as one team to create a synergistic loop between quantitative and fundamental analysis. We believe marrying our time-tested fundamental expertise and data science insights gives us a competitive edge in navigating challenging investment environments to best serve our clients.” 

FLGV is managed by Patrick Klein, senior vice president, portfolio manager, and Warren Keyser, senior vice president, portfolio manager, and is listed on NYSE Arca. FLGV adds a Treasury-bond focused option to Franklin LibertyShares’ robust active fixed income ETF lineup:  

“With FLGV, we are investing primarily in Treasuries across the entire maturity spectrum, for investors looking to generate income in their portfolios without taking on corporate credit risk,” Klein says. “We have chosen to manage this fund with a low tracking error to the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Index, but we still retain flexibility to drive alpha, primarily through duration and yield curve positioning and with selective, limited allocations to U.S. Treasury inflation-indexed notes (TIPS), U.S. agency mortgage-backed securities, and other U.S. government and agency guaranteed securities.”

Northern Trust Announces New Series Trust

Northern Trust has launched Datum One Series Trust.  

Datum One Series Trust is the second trust organized as part of Northern Trust’s offering. It allows managers to focus on distributing their funds under their own brand name and marketing strategy while leveraging Northern Trust’s infrastructure and back-office services. 

A series trust, commonly known in the United States as an “umbrella trust,” is a registered investment company (RIC) filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The structure enables multiple unaffiliated registered investment advisers (RIAs) to manage separate portfolios or “series” within the same trust.

“Our clients value our superior client service and flexibility as their products expand and new distribution channels are explored,” says Ryan Burns, head of global fund services in North America for Northern Trust. “Creating a second series trust solution increases our capacity to help clients get to market faster in support of their business goals.”

The Datum One Series Trust supports any asset class managed in a 1940 Act fund and is available to SEC-registered investment managers based anywhere in the world looking to access the U.S. mutual fund market.

Calvert Releases ESG Leaders Strategies

Calvert Research and Management (Calvert) has launched Calvert ESG Leaders Strategies, a new series of equity separate account strategies for institutional and individual investors focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing issues.

The ESG Leaders Strategies are as follows: Calvert U.S. ESG Leaders; Calvert Tax-Managed U.S. ESG Leaders; Calvert Global ex.-U.S. Developed Markets ESG Leaders; Calvert Tax-Managed Global ex-U.S. Developed Markets ESG Leaders; Calvert Global Developed Markets ESG Leaders; Calvert Tax-Managed Global Developed Markets ESG Leaders; and Calvert Emerging Markets ESG Leaders.

The Calvert ESG Leaders Strategies are co-managed by Jade Huang and Chris Madden, vice presidents and portfolio managers at Calvert. The strategies invest in the common stocks of selected companies with leading ESG characteristics as determined by Calvert. Calvert serves as the investment adviser to the strategies. Through a partnership with Eaton Vance-affiliate Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC, tax-managed versions of selected strategies are available to serve taxpaying investors.

The Calvert ESG Leaders Strategies seek to invest in companies that are leaders or emerging leaders in ESG factors that Calvert believes are material to long-term performance. The investment process has three primary components: stock selection, portfolio optimization and corporate engagement. The strategies seek to use corporate engagement to strengthen how portfolio companies manage material environmental and social exposures and governance processes and to enhance investment returns.

“In developing the strategies, we conducted a quantitative review of ESG leaders’ past performance,” Huang says. “The results indicate that companies that achieved top ESG scores in financially material factors have historically produced stronger financial performance than those with weaker ESG scores. Additionally, we found that by optimizing the portfolios, we could position the strategies to achieve positive environmental and societal impact by increasing exposure to companies with healthier environmental footprints and better gender diversity.”

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