Our weekly roundup of industry highlights

BNY Mellon Investment Management to sell CenterSquare
Global asset manager BNY Mellon Investment Management announced earlier this month that it has entered into an agreement to sell the business of real assets boutique CenterSquare to its management team and the private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners.

BNY Mellon Investment Management CEO Mitchell Harris said the move is expected to "provide a focused set of specialist investment solutions for clients." Bloomberg News

"This transaction meets our strategy of streamlining our portfolio to provide a focused set of specialist investment solutions for clients via our global distribution network," BNY Mellon Investment Management CEO Mitchell Harris said in a statement.

Prudential looks to expand PGIM Investments beyond mutual funds
PGIM Investments, the investment management unit of Prudential, is said to be exploring the process of building a U.S. ETF business, a source tells Bloomberg.

After recieving regulatory approval, the company is looking for a way to package its quantitative and active strategies into ETFs, the source said.

The move by Prudential, the largest U.S. life insurer by assets, will expand the capabilities of PGIM Investments beyond mutual funds and target-date funds. Actively managed funds account for almost 1% of ETFs in the U.S., but cash has been pouring in, driving assets to about $40 billion at the end of August, Bloomberg says.

ICI hosts 2017 Tax and Accounting Conference in San Antonio
DS Economics President Diane Swonk and PwC Senior Policy Advisor Dave Camp were keynote speakers at ICI's 2017 Tax and Accounting Conference in San Antonio.

DS Economics President Diane Swonk was a keynote speaker at ICI's 2017 Tax and Accounting Conference in San Antonio.
DS Economics President Diane Swonk was a keynote speaker at ICI's 2017 Tax and Accounting Conference in San Antonio. Louis Fugazy

Panels this year focused on upcoming tax overhaul proposals from the Trump administration and how they may impact the fund industry. Both Camp and Swonk were involved in the 1986 tax law overhaul, according to ICI.

SimCorp and TradingScreen form front office alliance
SimCorp and TradingScreen announced a strategic alliance to offer cross asset coverage to the global buy side in a single solution, according to SimCorp. Combined, SimCorp and TradingScreen expect to deliver better expertise and products in the order and execution management system space.

"Our partnership with TradingScreen aims to continue that focus, and to provide a much-needed solution to the current gap in the market," said Matthew Reid, product manager at SimCorp.

RESEARCH
Managers need to be aware of where active outplays passive
Asset managers have to find a way to better align their product development plans with how advisors construct portfolios, new research from Cerulli Associates, a global research and consulting firm, shows. This includes the planned use of active and passive, investment vehicles, and asset classes.

"Our data shows that 58% of asset managers are currently offering asset allocations that consist entirely of their own underlying strategies," says Brendan Powers, senior analyst at Cerulli.

PRODUCTS
John Hancock launches indexed universal life portfolio
John Hancock launched a new indexed universal life portfolio with lower premiums, improved income potential and policy management tools.

The product series includes single-person and survivorship coverage, the firm says. The portfolio provides life insurance protection while offering the chance to increase cash value by linking to the performance of a wide variety of indexed account options - without risking market loss.

USCF, SummerHaven collaborate on two new ETFs
USFC announced this week that it has teamed up with SummerHaven to launch two new ETFs, each of which will look to track a newly launched index: the USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Strategy Index Fund and the USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index Fund.

The USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Strategy Index Fund seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index.

Slideshow
Highest returns at biggest corporate bond funds
These investments offered better returns than the broader fixed-income world in recent years, but the risk/reward equation leans heavier on risk.

The USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index Fund seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index.

John Hancock Investments enhances advisor coverage model
John Hancock announced efforts to invest further in its sales unit to offer greater support for advisor relationships across a number of locations and channels.

The enhanced coverage model allows the firm to be more strategic in its territory design, which will result in fewer territories but an increase in its overall sales support personnel.

The move follows Hancock's 2016 decision to open a 50-person Tempe, Arizona office that is dedicated to serving advisors in the western U.S.

ARRIVALS
Broadridge appoints head of corporate strategy
Broadridge Financial Solutions appointed former Worldwide Services Executive Director Michael Tae to head of corporate strategy.

Melissa Wasser will work to connect FT Partners' clients with a range of investors throughout the industry.
Melissa Wasser will work to connect FT Partner clients with a range of investors.

As senior vice president of corporate strategy, Tae will lead strategy, acquisitions, partnerships, and other growth-related activities. Tae will report to Broadridge CEO Rich Daly.

"Michael has a deep financial services background and a proven track for delivering for clients, from his consulting career at McKinsey to his recent role at Microstrategy," Daly said in a statement announcing Tae's appointment.

FT Partners appoints head of private capital markets
Melissa Wasser, a former senior banker in the Global Private Placements Group at Goldman Sachs, is joining Financial Technology Partners as the director and head of the firm's private capital markets segment.

Wasser will help to spearhead FT Partners' mission to connect the firm's clients with a range of investors across the industry.

"In an effort to double-down on [our] success, we are excited to bring Melissa to our team," FT Partners' founder and CEO Steve McLaughlin said in a statement announcing Wasser's appointment.

Janus Henderson names global head of fixed income
Janus Henderson has appointed Columbia Threadneedle's Jim Cielinski to global head of fixed income, based out of the firm's London headquarters, starting on Nov. 1.

Jim Cielinski has over 30 years of experience in investment management, having most recently served as the Global Head of Fixed Income for Columbia Threadneedle Investments, overseeing fixed income globally, including more than 165 investment professionals and $190 billion in fixed income AUM.

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Amanda Schiavo

Amanda Schiavo is an associate editor for Financial Planning. Follow her on Twitter at @SchiavoAmanda.