March 2010 Products

Friends Provident has launched its new corporate investment platform, which is aimed at employee benefit consultants and trustees in the unbundled pensions market. The new product sets a new benchmark for investment platforms, and was developed in partnership with FNZ. It forms the first part of Friends Provident's 'next generation solutions' programme for corporate clients, and provides the foundations for the Corporate Platform, which will be launched later this year.

Finles Capital Management has launched its first index tracker, focused exclusively on Dutch-based hedge funds. The aim is to attract more institutional investments in Dutch hedge funds, and hopes to put the Netherlands on the map as an international centre for this sector.

Friends Provident has published a new guide to help employers to understand the practical and financial implications that personal accounts will have on their businesses. The group says that even with the uncertainty and speculation surrounding the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) under any new Government, now is the time for employers to begin thinking about and planning for the effects of NEST and the new employer duties.

BNY Mellon Asset Management
has launched its Global Real Return Fund (EUR), a multi-asset global absolute return fund. The fund is a sub-fund of BNY Mellon Global Funds, plc, and will be managed by Newton Investment Management Limited. Newton is one to BNY Mellon's boutique asset managers, and specialises in global and regional equities and bonds, as well as multi-asset, unconstrained and absolute return funds.

Saxo Bank has launched a new equity platform to provide private investors with institutional-style trading and analysis tools. The Saxo Equity Platform allows clients to use peer groupings to find comparable companies and compare investments to peer averages. It also includes share price performance, operational performance and valuation multiples with three year forecasts of aggregated analyst estimates.

Skandia Investment Group (SIG) has launched an investment grade corporate bond fund, which will supplement its Dublin-based Skandia Global Funds range of single manager funds. The fund aims to take advantage of opportunities created by historically wide investment grade spreads, issuers focusing on balance sheet repair, Government action to support strategic companies, significant demand from corporate pension liability and hedging and retail investors seeing higher yields.

Baillie Gifford has launched its Global Alpha Growth Fund, which aims to provide above average total returns over the long-term through investment in global equities with a preference for growth companies.

Investec Asset Management has registered three new UCITS III funds in Germany and Switzerland. The Luxembourg-domiciled funds add to the Global Strategy Fund range, Investec's internationally distributed fund range. The Investec GSF Enhanced Natural Resources Fund, Enhanced Global Energy Fund and Emerging Markets Currency Alpha Fund are aimed at international investors, discretionary buyers, fund of funds and institutional buyers on a global basis.

Swiss Life as launched its improved expat solutions - Swiss Life Expat Select. The new product covers retirement, death, disability, health and assistance through a flexible, one-stop-shop solution, and offers clients a modular approach for the five coverages. It features improvements in underwriting and pricing across all lines, and simplified and coordinated sales, underwriting and administration processes for multiple coverages.

Barclays Capital has published its biennial Inflation-Linked User's Guide, which aims to provide a solid base for those looking to understand these products and derivatives. The guide covers products within this universe, market features, inflation-linked indices and tradable inflation-linked index products, and asset class themes.

HSBC Global Asset Management
is to launch a UCITS III European absolute return fund in April 2010, subject to final approval. The HSBC GIF European Alpha Equity Fund will seek opportunities via a market neutral strategy across developed Europe. It will be primarily implemented through equities and equity swaps.

Argonaut Capital Partners and Ignis are to launch the Ignis Argonaut European Enhanced Income Fund, the first onshore fund to employ a covered call strategy to generate additional income from overseas equity markets. It aims to achieve a high income yield of around seven per cent, with a low level of volatility by using a covered call strategy.

Unigestion has launched its UCITS III-compliant Minimum Variance fund, which accesses the long-term growth potential of emerging markets. Unigestion's product targets long-term excess returns with less volatility by harnessing and controlling risk through a quantitative and disciplined portfolio constriction process.

ETF Securities has listed ten new currency exchange traded commodities (ETCs), tracking the Morgan Stanley Foreign Exchange Indices. The ETCs are designed to replicate a fully-collateralised long or short investment in EUR, versus CHF, GBP, JPY, NOK or SEK, providing exposure to local interest rates.

Online trading and investment specialist, Saxo Bank, has launched property investment products for its private and institutional clients, through its new company Saxo Properties. The investment firm is fully owned by Saxo Bank and will launch closed-ended funds for both high net worth clients and institutional investors.

Pitman Trustees Ltd has launched its Group Life Master Trust, a service designed for employers with life only members, which aims to save them time, effort and money, as well as reducing their risk. Since the Pensions Act 2004, pension schemes can no longer provide life assurance benefits to members who have no actual or potential pension interest in a scheme, hence life only members. Rather than setting up and running a life assurance trust, the Group Life Master Trust can be used. Employers who choose to sign up can continue using their existing insurer, but will have their own dedicated segment of the Master Trust.

Deutsche Bank
has launched its exchange traded commodities (ETC) platform, with the launch of four new products on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra). The new platform, db ETC, will roll out to the rest of Europe in 2010, and will include ETCs on gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Amundi ETF has listed its first ETFs on Borsa Italiana. The first series, which consists of 15 Equity ETFs, seven of which are unprecedented, will be joined by several further listings within the coming months. The range now consists of 78 ETFs, with presence on the NYSE Euronext Paris and Deutsche Borse.

MetLife Europe Limited has expanded its guarantee choice range into the Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS) markets with its Trustee Retirement Portfolio. The trustee investment plan carries with it the option for investors and trustees to choose income and capital guarantees for SIPPs and SSASs, and they can lock-up up to ten per cent growth annually or unlimited growth every 2 ½ years. The launch completes MetLife's product range enhancements, which were carried out in response to customer and adviser research which showed an increasing demand for guarantee choices and higher income at key ages.

FTSE Group
has added the FTSE ActiveBeta Index Series to its list of indices, a transparent and cost-effective vehicle for capturing systematic sources of active equity returns. The series draws on the FTSE All-World Index Series, which is the benchmark of choice for international investors thanks to its base universe.

Canada Life has launched its Guaranteed Retirement Plan, a defined benefit personal pension which offers future financial certainty without investment or annuity rate risk. The plan allows clients to pay a single premium in exchange for a guaranteed future income paid for life. It is designed to sit alongside a client's existing money purchase arrangements.

Auriel Capital
has launched a new market neutral fund, the Auriel UK Equity Fund. This hedge fund comprises both long and short investments in FTSE100 companies, and complements Auriel Capital's existing European equity market neutral strategy. The fund involves trading the most liquid shares in the UK market, with the objective of generating absolute returns by managing a diversified, risk-controlled portfolio with low correlation to traditional asset classes.

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