Over the past year, direct indexing has become a hot topic in the financial media. It’s hard not to see why with firms such as Fidelity and Vanguard launching direct indexing solutions. But direct indexing is not a new investment product. In fact, Natixis launched Active Index Advisors Strategies, its direct indexing business, in November 2002 with the AIA S&P 500® direct indexing strategy. The strategy has grown from $4 million in assets under management to nearly $8 billion today. Even more impressive is that the AIA S&P 500® strategy has tracked its benchmark index to within 12 basis points annualized since inception, outperforming on an after-tax basis by over 370 basis points on an average annualized basis. The strategy seeks to outperform on an after-tax basis while providing a pre-tax return similar to the S&P 500 Index. The firm’s direct indexing solutions provide fully customizable SMAs that can be customized for tax purposes, align with investor values such as ESG, or tilt towards factors.
Finsum:Amid a recent push by financial firms to launch their own direct indexing solutions, Natixis celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first direct indexing strategy.
According to Wink’s Sales & Market Report, third-quarter sales of deferred annuities soared almost 21% over the prior-year quarter. Deferred annuities include variable annuities, structured annuities, indexed annuities, traditional fixed annuities, and multi-year guaranteed annuities (MYGA). Indexed annuities saw the largest gains. Sheryl Moore, CEO of Wink, Inc. and Moore Market Intelligence said that "It was a record-setting quarter for indexed annuity sales. In fact, 2022 will be a record year for indexed annuities as well." Total non-variable deferred annuity sales, which include indexed annuities, traditional fixed annuities, and MYGAs, came in at $48.8 billion for the quarter, up 67.1% compared to the prior year's quarter. However, variable deferred annuities, which include structured annuities and variable annuity product lines, did not see the same gains. While sales came in at $23.5 billion, that figure was down 10.8% compared to the previous quarter and down more than 23% compared to the same quarter last year. The No. 1 selling deferred annuity for the quarter was Jackson National’s Perspective II Flexible Premium Variable & Fixed Deferred Annuity.
Finsum:With indexed annuity sales leading the way, total deferred annuity sales soared year over year.
Based on a recent report from the Alternative Credit Council, the private credit affiliate of the Alternative Investment Management Association, private credit managers remain bullish on their business prospects heading into the new year. In fact, more than 80 percent of global private credit managers are either bullish or cautiously optimistic about the market’s prospects over the next 12 months. The report was based on a survey of 54 private credit managers with $805 billion in combined assets. The optimism comes at a time when more investors are looking to increase their allocations to private credit next year. This was highlighted by a recent survey by Ernst & Young. According to the report, many private credit managers are taking advantage of this tailwind by expanding into new geographic locations. The report said, “Much of this growth is being led by the private equity market, which continues to spearhead private credit’s expansion into new markets. This development is likely to prove valuable for the European and Asian economies as they seek to diversify the sources of financing available to borrowers.”
Finsum:Due to an increase in interest from investors, private credit managers are optimistic about their business prospects heading into the new year.
Want to mix with the big boys, eh? Well, you can partake in an approach to investing that, previously, institutional or ultra-high-net-worth investors alone had access to, according to Kiplinger.com.
Today, more investment firms offer “personalized” or “direct” indexing to Main Street investors. Typically, the trend, controversial though it might be, compels buying and trading stocks directly – a mirror image of an index. With cost conscious index investors squarely on their radar, smart supercomputer programs and the ability to buy fractions of shares, at least three firms—Fidelity, Schwab and Wealthfront—are repackaging the service, a climate aided by no commission trading.
Meantime, earlier this month, as part of an industry trend, Morningstar became the latest company to launch a direct indexing investment offering, according to thinkadvisor.com.
And in the landscape of firsts, Morningstar Direct Indexing’s has its mojo; it’s one of Morningstar Wealth’s maiden major product launches. The indicated that, to begin with, direct indexing portfolios will be available the Morningstar Wealth Platform.
“Advisors are looking for ways to meet client interest in new investment options, particularly those that allow customization and personalization,” Daniel Needham, Morningstar Wealth president, said in a statement.
According to Richard Best, Head of the Division of Exams at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Regulation Best Interest and the Advisers Act fiduciary duty remains a top priority for 2023 exams. While speaking at the SEC’s National Compliance Seminar, Best said that standards of conduct such as Reg BI and the fiduciary duty “remain top of mind for us.” Best told compliance officers that the Division of Exams is “focused on how broker-dealers and advisors satisfy their obligations under Reg BI and the Advisers Act fiduciary standard to act in the best interest of retail investors and not to place their own interests ahead of retail investors interest.” The exam division publishes an annual priorities letter each year, with the 2023 priorities expected to be issued early next year. The three areas of focus will be ESG-focused investing, private funds, and standards of conduct. For ESG, the SEC will look into whether advisors are accurately disclosing their ESG investing approaches and have implemented policies to prevent violations of federal securities laws.
Finsum:With exam priorities expected to be issued early next year, the SEC has made Regulation Best Interest and the Advisers Act fiduciary duty a top priority for 2023 exams.
Fintech firm WBI and ETF provider Pacer recently announced a strategic partnership to transform how financial advisors interact with clients to personalize and implement model portfolios. WBI offers investment technology that optimizes multi-manager portfolios that target loss or return. The platform’s interactive toolkit takes inputs from the client and assistance from an advisor and establishes client benchmarks for loss and return. The imbedded invest-tech then optimizes a portfolio to meet the client’s targets. Advisors can instantly customize the portfolio to position the client for success. Pacer is a well-known ETF firm that focuses on strategy-driven, rules-based ETFs. The two firms will work together to promote the targeted loss portfolios of WBI’s technology platform. WBI and Pacer will also look for other opportunities to partner on model construction. Matt Schreiber, Co-CEO at WBI had this to say about the partnership, "WBI is excited to work with Pacer. Their rules-based ETF offerings seek to produce strong risk-adjusted returns which are favored by the platform’s optimization engine. This partnership allows both parties to build on the momentum around our innovative products and shared mission to help improve investor outcomes."
Finsum:Fintech firm WBI and ETF provider Pacer are joining forces to promote WBI’s targeted loss portfolios that advisers can construct for clients.