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Vanguard proposes international stock fund: News Scan

Our monthly roundup of industry highlights

Vanguard proposes international stock fund
Vanguard filed a preliminary registration with the SEC for a new stock fund, specializing in developed and emerging markets outside the U.S., the company announced.

The International Core Stock Fund will be actively managed by Wellington Management and is expected to be available by the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the firm. The fund will hold anywhere from 60 to 100 equities across sectors and will have no position holding more than 5%.

Vanguard headquarters in Malvern, Pa.
The Vanguard Group headquarters are seen in Malvern, Pennsylvania on Friday, September 4, 2003. Vanguard Group, the second-largest U.S. mutual fund company, received a subpoena from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer as part of an inquiry into illegal trading practices in the $6.9 trillion industry. Photographer: Mike Mergen/ Bloomberg News.

Vanguard has been expanding its roster of actively managed funds over the past two years.

CMFG ventures, Filene research to launch fintech incubator
CUNA Mutual subsidiary CMFG Ventures and Filene Research Institute announced the launch the FinTech Catalyst Incubator, a new platform aimed at testing fintech products and services.

The platform, designed to test new fintech products and services, will run through a group of up to 12 credit unions of varying asset sizes, location and consumer demographics for a span of six months, according to the firm. Participating credit unions will offer their members the new fintech product or service while receiving tools and support from Filene Research Institute to test a unique hypothesis.

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"We have a long and successful track record of executing incubators that test and scale solutions in the marketplace," said Ryan Foss, senior director, Filene Research Institute. "Over the last five years with Filene, more than 100 credit unions have been involved in the creation, launch, testing and adoption of more than 15 products and service innovations across the U.S. and Canada. We're excited to help position credit unions as drivers of innovation in the financial services industry."

RESEARCH
Asset owners integrate responsible investments in hedge funds
As much as 21% of asset owners reported that integrating responsible investing practices into hedge funds is of great importance, a joint survey from Cerulli Associates and Principles for Responsible Investment found.

Increasing demand from asset owners for improved ESG reporting standards and increased commitment to ESG integration and engagement is driving hedge fund managers to define their position — they want greater transparency and expect managers to provide detailed explanations of how they integrate ESG considerations into their investment decisions.

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"In time, the value of a business will be its impact on societal issues; asset owners recognize this, and hedge fund managers have a role to play in helping them make good choices," says associate director of European institutional research at Cerulli, Justina Deveikyte. "Companies must be part of the solution to challenges such as climate change and inequality. Hedge funds can help individual and institutional investors secure legacies that incorporate financial, climate, and social considerations - asset owners do not want to choose between these criteria, and hedge funds can make sure they do not have to."

PRODUCTS
Interactive advisors to offer ETF model portfolios from Global x
Interactive Advisors, an online investing platform, will offer two new ETF model portfolios from Global X, the ETF provider announced.

The portfolios will be allocated across several ETFs, mostly from Global X. The China Sector ETF model consists only of Global X ETFs and exposes investors to China and consumer-led sectors. The other ETF model portfolio, Equity Thematic Disruptors, uses both Global X and third-party ETFs. The model targets ETFs that have the potential to disrupt sectors in the marketplace. The minimum to use Interactive Advisors starts at $5,000 with a management fee of 10 basis points.

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JPMorgan Chase launches automated investment portfolios
JPMorgan Chase announced a new portfolio platform called You Invest Portfolios, which uses a client's risk tolerance assessment to allocate assets into the bank's proprietary index ETFs, according to the firm. The product is available on the website and mobile app, according to the firm.

The portfolio builder is an extension of the You Invest brand which launched last year as a digital brokerage product and offered investors 100 free stock and ETF trades for their first year.

You Invest attracted new and younger customers for JPMorgan, as 90% of its users were first time customers and 56% were under the age of 40. The platform has an account minimum of $2,500 with a fee of 35 basis points and is designed for customers who want help investing.

Amplify announces actively managed cannabis ETF
Amplify ETFs released Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS), an actively managed fund with a 0.75% expense ratio, according to the company. It will expose investors to businesses that operate in the marijuana industry, specifically ones that support cultivation and retail, provide services to the broader market, and specialize in the cannabis or hemp plant.

The average expense ratio among the leading 20 is nearly 40 basis points cheaper than what investors paid on average last year.
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The ETF will contain at least 80% of companies that receive over half of their revenues from the cannabis and hemp industry.

Global X adds funds to Schwab's commission-free platform
Charles Schwab's ETF OneSource will add three ETFs from Global X, according to the firm. With the additions, there will now be 25 total funds available from the New-York based provider on Schwab's platform.

The ETFs come from Global X's Thematic Growth and International Access fund suites, the firm said. They include Global X Cloud Computing ETF (CLOU), the MSCI China Financials (CHIX) and the MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT). The funds are commission-free and available to Schwab clients. Schwab is not affiliated with Global X.

Capital Square rolls out first opportunity zone fund
Leading sponsor of tax-advantaged real estate investments Capital Square is set to launch its first opportunity fund aimed at promoting economic growth in Richmond, Virginia, the firm announced.

The CRSA Opportunity Zone Fund I's focus is to develop Scott's Collection I, a multifamily property in the Scott's Addition designated opportunity zone in Richmond.

ARRIVALS
Eagle Asset Management promotes new portfolio manager
Brad Erwin, a financial advisor at Eagle Asset Management, has been promoted to portfolio co-manager on the team managing Eagle's equity income, value, all-cap equity and strategic income portfolio SMAs, as well as the Carillon Eagle Growth & Income Fund, according to the firm.

Matt Foster, former director of retirement national accounts at Invesco, has joined Franklin Templeton as its national retirement consultant, according to the firm.

SoFi appoints chief risk officer
SoFi will add Aaron Webster as its chief risk officer, according to the firm. He will run the company's risk, fraud and credit management frameworks. He will also lead credit risk and underwriting activities.

Webster comes from Citigroup. He was the CRO for their U.S. retail bank and mortgage business and also worked at Toyota Financial Services for a decade in senior risk management roles.

Franklin Templeton expands defined contributions team
Matt Foster, former director of retirement national accounts at Invesco, has joined Franklin Templeton as its national retirement consultant, according to the firm.

The position is a hybrid role with responsibilities that include national coverage of home office relationships of D.C. advisory and consulting firms, outsourced fiduciaries and D.C. record-keepers, according to the firm.

Foster is responsible for the sales and retention of Franklin Templeton defined contribution and workplace investment solutions through third-party retirement plan providers, mid-market retirement advisors and consultants with various distribution partners in the domestic defined-contribution space.

American Century recruits portfolio manager from Aberdeen Standard
American Century Investments hired Aberdeen Standard's Jason Greenblath as vice president, senior portfolio manager and director of corporate credit research within the firm's Global Fixed Income division, according to American Century.

Greenblath will focus on fixed-income strategies and investment outlook. Before joining American Century, Greenblath worked at Aberdeen Standard for 11 years as a senior portfolio manager and head of U.S. Investment Grade Credit Research. He also worked at RBS Greenwich Capital as a high-yield and distressed credit analyst.

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