Our weekly roundup of industry highlights

Invesco buys ETF business from Guggenheim
Invesco announced that it acquired Guggenheim Investments' ETF business, which includes $36.7 billion of AUM as of Aug. 31.

The move is in an attempt to expand Invesco's active, passive and alternative capabilities, as well as its ability to offer investment objective achievement solutions to clients.

Guggenheim isn’t selling Invesco its institutional funds, which make up most of the firm’s $237 billion in assets, according to someone with knowledge of the deal.
Invesco managed over $906 billion in assets on behalf of clients worldwide as of Aug. 31. Bloomberg News

"Guggenheim Investments' ETF business is highly complementary to Invesco's, and will enable us to provide one of the industry's most comprehensive and innovative ranges of smart beta ETFs, including fixed income, equal-weight and self-indexed product offerings," Martin Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco said in a statement. "The acquisition further expands our ability to build better, more diversified portfolios through our solutions capability, and enhances the range of capabilities available via Jemstep, our advisor-focused digital solution."

Cohen & Co. announces merger with Arthur Bell
Cohen & Co. merged with Arthur Bell to create one of the largest accounting firms in the country that specializes in ETFs, auditing mutual funds, investment advisors and hedge funds.

"Our combined expertise in hedge funds, mutual funds, and ETFs will be a tremendous advantage to our clients that are evolving to innovate and attract new investors," said Corey McLaughlin, co-president of investment industry services.

"Our focus will continue in the alternative investment industry, with elevated service offerings that more holistically support our clients' expanding business goals," he added.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Voya increases use of iShares ETFs
Voya Financial's asset management business, Voya Investment Management, has made iShares ETFs the exclusive provider across the entire line-up of ETFs in the firm's Global Perspectives Market Models space.

"The ETF landscape has evolved since the GPMM ETF series was launched nearly five years ago," Douglas Coté, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management and the fund's portfolio manager, said in a statement. "Increased focus on the fund's tax efficiency, quality and performance, led us to expand our partnership with BlackRock as we believe iShares ETFs are best designed to meet our investors' goals."

American Century is reorganizing Nomura high-yield fund
American Century Investments reorganized the Nomura High Yield Fund into American Century High Income Fund, effective in October. Nomura Corporate Research and Assent Management have been managing the fund since it was launched in 2012 and will remain its subadvisor.

"The Nomura investment teams are seasoned investors with proven track records," said David MacEwen, the firm's co-chief investment officer.

"We believe this is an excellent opportunity for the firm to leverage their investment capability for the benefit of our clients," he added.

The investment objective of American Century High Income is to achieve current yield and capital growth.

PRODUCTS
Envision teams with Bancorp to launch new mutual fund platform
Envision Financial Systems and Bancorp Fund Services joined forces to launch FundKeeper, a new mutual fund account servicing platform.

FundKeeper's first clients includes CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial, which have more than 500 registered representatives. The firms went live with FundKeeper in August, fully integrating the platform into their existing systems.

"The collaboration between our firms can transform intermediaries' ability to support the mutual fund only investor," says Brian Jones, Envision executive vice president. "Our goal with FundKeeper has been to solve the longstanding business problems faced by many financial intermediaries as they struggle with hassle, expense, or both when managing mutual fund accounts."

Direxion Switches Index for Small Cap ETF
Direxion changed the benchmark index of its Daily Small Cap Bull 1.25X Shares to the S&P Small Cap 600 Index, from the Russell 2000 Index.

"We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Standard & Poors, whose indices have long been among the leaders in the industry," says Sylvia Jablonski, managing director at Direxion. "The S&P SmallCap 600 Index provides our investors with the most recognizable exposure to the U.S. small-cap equities."

Nuveen launches new bond ETF
Nuveen is expanding it suite of ESG ETFs with the launch of NuShares ESG U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NUBD).

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The fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.20%, is designed to offer exposure to the U.S. investment grade, taxable fixed-income market, while sticking with specific environmental, social and governance principles. The ETF started trading on the NYSE on Oct. 2.

"We are pleased to offer investors the opportunity to build a full asset allocation portfolio that incorporates [responsible investing] principles and helps to align their full portfolio with their values in a transparent, tax-efficient and low-cost solution," said Martin Kremenstein, senior managing director and head of ETFs at Nuveen.

ARRIVALS
Axiom appoints new co-portfolio manager for emerging markets
Axiom Investors appointed Mirae Asset Global Investments' José Gerardo Morales to co-portfolio manager for the Axiom Emerging Markets Equity Strategy and Axiom Emerging Markets World Equity Strategy, the firm said.

Morales, a 20-year industry veteran, joins Axiom after almost a decade with Mirae in New York and London. The team include managers Andrew Jacobson, Bradley Amoils, Christopher Lively and Donald Elefson.

Todd Moyer was promoted to chief operating officer at Confluence.

"José's addition reinforces the leadership of our already successful emerging market strategies," said Axiom Investors President Kurt Polk. "The entire investment team is excited to work with José and values the depth of his emerging market knowledge, as well as his record of investment success."

Confluence appoints a chief operating officer
Confluence, a global back-office data consolidator, announced that Todd Moyer, the firm's former executive vice president of global business development, was promoted to chief operating officer.

Moyer, who joined the firm in 2012 as a senior vice president of global sales, is responsible for global strategic and operational direction for the firm, according to Confluence.

"Todd has been instrumental in establishing key client partnerships and delivering record-breaking year-over-year revenue growth," said Confluence CEO Mark Evans. "Under his leadership as chief operating officer I trust that he will deliver on our promises to our clients while continuing to focus on strategic growth opportunities."

Before Confluence, Moyer was the executive vice president of SunGard's wealth management business.

Mercury Capital names new head of iFund distribution
Mercury Capital Advisors appointed Donal Mastrangelo, a former Guggenheim Partners director, to head of U.S. iFund Distribution, overseeing business growth for the platform, according to the firm.

Mastrangelo, a 25-year industry veteran, oversaw middle market consultants, multi family offices, RIAs and bank trust clients at Guggenheim before Mercury.

"IFunds provides digital access to an ecosystem of the same proprietary suite of leading-edge alternatives managers and pre-IPOs that we source for our most sophisticated institutional clientele," said Mercury CEO Michael Riccardi.

Mercury has also added two analysts to the iFunds distribution team.

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Amanda Schiavo

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