Investment Product and Service Launches

J.P. Morgan improves TDF analysis tool; Nuveen presents CIT TDF series; and Fidelity promotes new bond index fund.

J.P Morgan Improves TDF Analysis Tool

J.P. Morgan Asset Management has enhanced its Target Date Compass, the target-date fund (TDF) analysis tool used by advisers to help plan sponsors evaluate and select funds with greater knowledge and confidence.

The enhanced Target Date Compass delivers new search capabilities that allow advisers to more quickly find the funds that align to plan sponsor goals, while new filters enable them to easily narrow down the target-date universe. The upgraded tool is powered by third-party Morningstar data.

“Since Target Date Compass was launched in 2008, the program has been a standard bearer for target-date fund evaluation. Over the past decade we have continued to work in consultation with our clients to evolve the tool. The latest iteration provides advisers with the capability to assess target-date funds more quickly, easily and accurately,” says Michael Miller, head of Retirement Distribution at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The new Target Date Compass offers a suite of new search filters resulting from extensive user testing with advisers. These include fund types, minimum track records, Morningstar analyst rating, equity exposure, diversification, and more.

Nuveen Presents CIT TDF Series

Nuveen has increased its target-date fund (TDF) solutions offering with the introduction of the Nuveen TIAA Lifecycle Blend CIT series. The new collective investment trusts (CITs) will be managed by Nuveen’s mixed assets portfolio management team.

The Nuveen TIAA Lifecycle Blend CIT series consists of 12 funds, including 11 target-date funds (TDFs) at five-year intervals for retirement dates 2010 through 2060 and a retirement income fund for those already in retirement.

The trustee for the new CITs is SEI Trust Company, wholly owned subsidiary of SEI Investments Company, a global provider of institutional and private client wealth management solutions. SEI maintains ultimate fiduciary authority over the management of and the investments made in the CITs, with Nuveen as adviser.

“Collective investment trusts offer an attractive investment framework for plan sponsors and their advisers and consultants who are focused on cost-effective investment solutions,” says Jeff Eng, managing director and head of retirement products at Nuveen. “This new blended target date fund CIT series helps meet a growing demand in the 401(k)-market space.”

The Nuveen TIAA Lifecycle Blend CIT series contains a blend of active and passive holdings. The series aims to appeal to plan sponsors seeking expertise and experience in actively managed funds while seeking to balance investment costs by using index funds where appropriate.

“We’re excited to partner with SEI to offer a blended CIT series with direct real estate investments,” says Brendan McCarthy, defined contribution investment only (DCIO) national sales director at Nuveen. “With the addition of an active passive mix of underlying investments designed to help meet the needs of today’s corporate retirement plan market, we expect the response from plan sponsors and their advisers to be very positive.”

Fidelity Promotes New Bond Index Fund

Fidelity Investments has launched Fidelity International Bond Index Fund (FBIIX).

Fidelity International Bond Index Fund’s total net expense ratio is 0.06%, and is available, with no investment minimum, to individual investors, as well as through third-party financial advisers and workplace retirement plans.

The fund will normally invest at least 80% of its assets in securities included in the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Float Adjusted RIC Diversified Index (USD Hedged), which is a multicurrency benchmark that includes fixed-rate treasury, government-related, corporate and securitized bonds from developed and emerging markets issuers while excluding U.S. dollar-denominated debt. The fund’s foreign currency exposures will be hedged by utilizing forward foreign currency exchange contracts.

“While historically known for our active management expertise, Fidelity has arguably built one of the best index fund franchises in the industry, backed by exceptionally low costs and world-class customer service,” says Colby Penzone, head of Investment Product. “Whether it’s index funds, actively managed funds or separately managed accounts, we’re focused on providing individual investors, workplace retirement plan sponsors and participants, and financial advisers with extensive choice and exceptional value, elements that we believe are unmatched in the industry.”