Investment Products and Services Launches

First Eagle to add retirement shares to mutual funds; BCM expands smart beta solutions; Conning unveils LDI pooled fund suite; and more.

Nationwide Unveils International Small Cap Fund

The Nationwide International Small Cap Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities of international companies with smaller market capitalizations at the time of purchase, the firm announced. Nationwide says the fund’s portfolio will be diversified across countries, industries, issuers and styles while aiming for long-term capital growth. It will be subadvised by Wellington Management Company.

The fund will reflect a management structure consisting of multiple sub-portfolios, each one being managed within individual sectors of expertise by one of Wellington’s 24 global industry analysts. Mark Mandel, CFA, and Cheryl Duckworth, CFA, are responsible for risk oversight and ensuring sector neutrality. 

“While many investors maintain international allocations within their portfolios, they are often heavily weighted toward larger, more well-known companies, which may limit a portfolio’s growth potential,” says Mike Spangler, president of Nationwide Funds. “The Nationwide International Small Cap Fund enables investors to further diversify their investment portfolio and expand their potential for capital appreciation.” 

Wellington is an independent investment company with nearly $1 trillion in assets under management serving clients in more than 50 countries.

“We selected Wellington based on their consistent track record of providing above benchmark returns regardless of market conditions, says Spangler. “This appointment serves as another example of our commitment to make institutional-caliber asset managers available to our individual investors.” 

Investors interested in learning more about Nationwide’s mutual funds should contact their financial professional or click here. Financial professionals interested in learning more should call the Nationwide Funds Group sales desk at 877-877-5083, option 3, or visit the website

NEXT: First Eagle to Add Retirement Shares to Mutual Funds

First Eagle to Add Retirement Shares to Mutual Funds

First Eagle Investment Management plans to offer a suite of retirement share classes for its mutual funds. The firm intends to roll out its offering in March 2017 with a transparent menu of pricing options for plan fiduciaries.

“As an investment manager, First Eagle pursues goals that are critically important to retirement savers—preservation of purchasing power, downside protection and attractive long-term returns,” says Robert Bruno, head of retail distribution at First Eagle and president of FEF Distributors. “Our record in these areas has already earned us the trust of a number of retirement plans, and the new share classes should make it easier for plans to access our investments through vehicles that are transparent and dedicated to this market.”

To pursue this initiative, the firm hired Joseph Lee as head of retirement platforms and strategy in December 2016. Lee will be tasked with building relationships with retirement plan recordkeepers and intermediaries, while developing the firm’s strategy for delivering solutions to group retirement plans and individual retirement savers. Prior to joining First Eagle, Lee was at DoubleLine Capital as relationship manager in charge of national accounts for the defined contribution investment-only (DCIO) business.

“I am very pleased that we have attracted such an experienced and talented executive to First Eagle,” says Michael Rosenberg, head of Retirement Investment Solutions. “His arrival at the firm and the addition of the four new share classes enhance our ability to help Americans saving for retirement.”

He added, “A shortfall in retirement savings continues to present significant challenges to many Americans. To make a positive difference in retirees’ lives, we think investments should combine attractive real returns over full market cycles with the ability to help prevent permanent impairment of capital in down periods—especially in the years just before and shortly after retirement. Our investment strategies seek to embody this combination.”

Launched in 2016, First Eagle’s Retirement Investment Solutions group will closely partner with financial advisers, investment consultants and retirement plan recordkeepers to provide investment solutions to plan sponsors, plan participants and individual retirement savers.

NEXT: BCM Expands Smart Beta Solutions

BCM Expands Smart Beta Solutions
 
Beaumont Capital Management has rolled out a new smart beta fixed income solution, the BCM Global Fixed Income strategy. This adds to the firm’s fixed income suite, which includes three defensive fixed income offerings meant to protect against the challenges posed by today’s high-interest rate environment.

“As we’ve experienced in recent months, the bond market is far from immune to periods of volatility and the risk of significant asset loss,” explains Dave Haviland, BCM’s managing partner. “More than ever, investors need the same benefits of tactical management in their fixed income portfolio as they do for their equity investments. BCM Dynamic Global Fixed Income and the suite of BCM fixed income strategies aims to provide that level of protection as we face greater uncertainty in the bond markets.”

The Dynamic Global Fixed Income process seeks risk-adjusted returns and downside protection through rules-based analysis, primarily focusing on volatility. The strategy uses a set of quantitative models seeking to identify patterns in the volatility of domestic and international fixed income markets as a whole to either take advantage of opportunities or avoid negative volatility by reallocating to defensive positioning. The strategy’s inception date is October 1, 2013.

“In this type of prolonged bull market, investors commonly start shifting a portion of profits taken in equities to fixed income in their portfolios. However, investors may forget that with rises in interest rates and the potential for continued hikes, passive fixed income is at risk of drawdowns as well,” explains Eric Biegeleisen, BCM’s director of Quantitative Research and portfolio manager of the strategy. “Compounding this with the U.S. dollar’s strength, investors need a more dynamic approach to fixed income as a way to invest in a lower-than-equity risk portfolio.”

The new strategy joins the BCM Paradigm Tactical Fixed Income and the BCM Income portfolios in the firm’s fixed income suite.

NEXT: SunAmerica Funds Rebrands to AIG Funds

SunAmerica Funds Rebrands to AIG Funds
 
American International Group (AIG) announced the rebranding of its retail mutual fund family to AIG Funds from SunAmerica Mutual Funds, effective February 28, 2017.

Under this new brand, AIG will provide financial professionals and consumers with diversified investment and income products.

“We are committed to creating a leaner, more profitable and focused insurer,” says Kevin Hogan, CEO of AIG’s Consumer Insurance. “By aligning the SunAmerica brand more closely with AIG, we are able to leverage the strength and scale to build greater awareness and visibility among our core audience of financial professionals and consumers.”

The name and logo under which the retail mutual funds are marketed is being transitioned to the AIG brand. Each fund series will retain “SunAmerica” in its name. SunAmerica Asset Management will remain the retail mutual fund’s adviser. The fund’s investment strategies, portfolio managers, ticker symbols and CUSIPs in connection with the transition will remain constant as well. In addition to the product rebranding, a new website will be available on February 28, 2017, at www.aig.com/funds.

During this process, the SunAmerica Focused Alpha Growth Fund will be renamed the AIG Focused Multi-Cap Growth Fund. The 2020 High Watermark Fund will not change its name.

NEXT: Ivy Turns to International Exposure in Small Cap Market

Ivy Turns to International Exposure in Small Cap Market

Ivy Investment Management Company has rolled out its Ivy IG International Small Cap Fund, which focuses on smaller-capitalization companies below $10 billion outside North America that exhibit perceived growth at a reasonable price, the firm announced. It will be subadvised by IG International Management.

“One of our strengths is the ability to complement our investment team with outside partners that bring knowledge and skill in unique categories,” says Thomas W. Butch, president and CEO of Ivy Distributors. “IG International is an example of that, as we broaden the Ivy lineup with a focus on an asset class that has not been as widely available in the U.S., giving investors the opportunity to increase international exposure and diversify portfolios.”

The fund is managed by Martin Fahey, CFA; and Bryan Mattei, CFA. Together, they select fund holdings through a proprietary stock selection process, while incorporating a top-down view for thematic drivers.

“Interest in international small caps has been driven by a combination of outperformance, attractive valuations and innovation among smaller companies,” explains Fahey. “We believe successful small cap investing requires the identification of under-valued, under-appreciated companies with growth potential, taking into account competitive advantages.”

NEXT: Conning Unveils LDI Pooled Fund Suite

Conning Unveils LDI Pooled Fund Suite

Conning, a global investment manager serving institutional investors, has launched a pooled fund suite focusing solely on liability-driven investment (LDI) solutions for U.S. corporate pension plans.

In addition, the firm has appointed Erin Spalsbury as head of LDI portfolio management to oversee all LDI mandates including separately managed accounts and the new pooled fund option.

“Conning is deeply committed to helping pensions solve their funding challenges, leveraging our extensive LDI investment experience and our expanding global investment platform,” says Woody Bradford, chairman and CEO of Conning. “It is the next logical step in our strategic efforts to grow the Conning business to serve institutional investors’ evolving needs.”

The suite is structured as a collective-investment trust (CIT) offering pension plans a variety of investment options based on where they stand in de-risking glidepaths. The funds range from standard long-duration to maturity-bucketed credit sleeves which can be used separately or combined to form a customized LDI strategy. These funds also offer interest rate exposure through derivatives on a levered basis. 

“As U.S. defined benefit corporate pension plans continue their de-risking journey, we believe that customizing an LDI strategy becomes even more important for them,” explains Owais Rana, managing director and head of Investment Solutions at Conning. “Our experienced LDI team utilizes a specialized approach to help clients navigate through their glidepath journey and develop LDI strategies at each step of the de-risking framework.”

NEXT:Davis Advisors Launches Active ETFs

Davis Advisors Launches Active ETFs

Davis Advisors has launched three new actively-managed exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Davis Select U.S. Equity ETF (DUSA), Davis Select Financial ETF (DFNL), and Davis Select Worldwide ETF (DWLD) are the first actively managed ETFs released by the firm.

Taking a bottom-up approach, each ETF utilizes the Davis Investment Discipline as a benchmark-agnostic portfolio. The ETFs have low expected portfolio turnover and a strategic long-term time investment horizon, the firm says.

“We’re pleased to offer investment solutions that previously have not been widely available: actively managed equities in a traditional ETF,” says Chris Davis, portfolio manager and chairman. “Davis ETFs offer a differentiated combination of active stock selection and our proven time-tested investment discipline with the traditional benefits of an ETF.”

DUSA is a portfolio of U.S., large-cap businesses, managed by Davis and his partner Danton Goei. It has about 20 holdings and an expense ratio of 0.60%. DUSA aims to provide investors with exposure to best-of-breed, U.S. large-cap companies.

DWLD is a portfolio of best-of-breed businesses in the U.S. and abroad managed by Goei and Davis. It has about 40 holdings and an expense ratio of 0.65%. DFNL is a portfolio of best-of-breed financial companies managed by Davis. It has about 20 holdings and an expense ratio of 0.65%.

“The financial sector is one of the most attractive areas in today’s market; however, it is vast and inefficient, so we believe selectivity and experienced active management are key to outperformance,” says Davis.

To learn more about Davis ETFs, visit: www.davisetfs.com.

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