Investment Products and Services

Hartford Funds reduces dees for strategic beta ETFs; John Hancock launches ESG-focused funds; Nuveen introduces ESG-focused ETFs.
Hartford Funds Reduces Fees for Strategic Beta ETFs
Effective January 1, 2017, Hartford Funds will lower the fees across its lineup of strategic beta exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to an average of 14% among four funds.

“With our recent acquisition of strategic beta ETF capabilities, our scale allows us to create additional cost-efficiencies and pass those savings along to our ETF investors,” explains James Davey, president of Hartford Funds. “We want these strategies to be as accessible as possible for investors to help them reach their long-term goals.”

The Hartford Multifactor Developed Markets ETF will reduce its fee from .50% to .39%; the Multifactor Emerging Markets ETF will reduce its fee from .65% to .59%; the Multifactor U.S. Equity ETF will lower its fee from .35% to .29%; and the Multifactor Global Small Cap ETF will reduce its fee from .60% to .55%.

The fee rate for the Hartford Multifactor REIT ETF (RORE), which launched in October will remain unchanged at .45%.

Hartford Funds’ ETF fee reductions follow the acquisition earlier this year of Lattice Strategies. The firm added strategic beta ETFs to its existing portfolio of actively managed mutual funds.

NEXT: John Hancock Launches ESG-Focused Funds

John Hancock Launches ESG-Focused Funds

John Hancock Investments is looking to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies with the release of two new funds. The John Hancock ESG Core Bond Fund and John Hancock ESG International Equity Fund will be managed by Breckinridge Capital Advisors and Boston Common Asset Management, respectively. 

John Hancock ESG Core Bond Fund invests in corporate and taxable municipal debt, while John Hancock ESG International Equity Fund invests in developed- and emerging-market equities across the market capitalization spectrum. The new funds complement John Hancock Investments’ existing U.S. equity-focused ESG funds.

“This is an important milestone for John Hancock Investments in the ESG space,” says Andrew G. Arnott, president and CEO. “As a company, we’re constantly looking for ways to deliver new investment solutions for our shareholders. To be able to offer not just two new funds but two new asset classes to socially and environmentally conscious investors is an exciting next step.”

In the last 20 years, ESG investing has grown from a niche market consisting of 55 funds that mostly excluded polluting corporations to more than 900 funds today representing a diversity of approaches. Earlier this year, Principles for Responsible Investment was created and has grown to represent nearly 1,500 signatories and roughly $60 trillion in invested assets.

John Hancock Investments says the asset managers it has selected to run these funds are experienced in the ESG space. Breckinridge Capital Advisors, an independently owned investment manager with approximately $27 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016, focuses exclusively on high-grade fixed income offering municipal, corporate, and government bond strategies. Boston Common Asset Management is dedicated exclusively to ESG investing, with approximately $2 billion in assets under management invested across multiple strategies as of September 30, 2016.

To learn more about John Hancock ESG funds, visit   

NEXT: Nuveen Introduces ESG-Focused ETFs

Nuveen Introduces ESG-Focused ETFs
Nuveen, an operating division of TIAA Global Asset Management, has launched a suite of five exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track indices employing environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

The NuShares ESG ETFs, which are trading on the Bats Exchange, seek to track the investment performance of the U.S. stock market across various market capitalizations and investment styles while giving special consideration to certain ESG criteria, the firm explains.

The ESG Large-Cap Value ETF will track the TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Value Index; the ESGF Large-Cap Growth ETF will follow the TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Growth Index; the ESG Mid-Cap Value ETF will track the TIAA ESG Mid-Cap Value Index; the ESG Mid-Cap Growth ETF will track the TIAA ESG USA Mid-Cap Growth Index; and the ESG Small-Cap ETF will follow the TIAA ESG USA Small-Cap Index.

The underlying investments in each index are selected with consideration given to certain ESG criteria initially established by the fund’s sub-adviser, Teachers Advisors, an affiliate of TIAA.

TIAA measures ESG performance on an industry-specific basis, with assessment categories varying by industry. Environmental assessment categories can include a company’s impact on climate change, natural resource use, and waste management and emission management. Social evaluation categories can include a company’s relations with employees and suppliers, product safety and sourcing practices. Governance assessment categories can include a company’s corporate governance practices and business ethics. The ESG criteria also consider how well a company adheres to national and international laws and regulations as well as commonly accepted global norms related to ESG matters.

“Following the success of our initial ETF offering, NuShares Enhanced Yield U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NUAG), we are pleased to bring this new suite of ETFs to the market as we strive to offer our clients products that are most meaningful to their long-term portfolio needs and success,” says Martin Kremenstein, managing director and head of ETFs at Nuveen. “This latest offering highlights the many areas of strength across our firm as we are able to leverage the widely respected ESG expertise of TIAA with the product development and service platform of Nuveen.”

For more information about the NuShares ESG ETFs, visit