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ALPS Fund Services launches ETF asset allocation portfolios for use as annuity investment options

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ALPS Fund Services has launched a series of asset allocation portfolios comprised of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for use by insurance companies in their variable insurance products.
ALPS Fund Services has launched a series of asset allocation portfolios comprised of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for use by insurance companies in their variable insurance products.

Ibbotson Associates, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc., will serve as a subadvisor for the portfolios, ALPS Advisers, Inc. will be the adviser, ALPS Distributors, Inc. will be the distributor.

‘As the insurance industry continues to expand the guaranteed benefits offered to clients, there’s a growing need for those clients to have well-diversified investments within their annuity products that produce more predictable returns,’ said Scott Wentsel, vice president and senior portfolio manager for Ibbotson Associates. ‘Now insurance companies will have the ability to offer clients asset allocation portfolios of ETFs that are created and managed according to Ibbotson’s latest dynamic asset allocation methodology using ETFs from multiple providers.’

There are five risk-based portfolios that include the Ibbotson Conservative ETF Asset Allocation Portfolio, the Ibbotson Income and Growth ETF Asset Allocation Portfolio, the Ibbotson Balanced ETF Asset Allocation Portfolio, the Ibbotson Growth ETF Asset Allocation Portfolio, and the Ibbotson Aggressive Growth ETF Asset Allocation Portfolio.

Comprised of 11 asset classes, the portfolios expand beyond the core holdings of large- and small-cap domestic growth and value stocks, international stocks, long and short fixed income and cash to include allocations to emerging market stocks, treasury inflation protected securities, and real estate investment trusts.

Based on its tactical asset allocation process, Ibbotson’s Investment Policy Committee will overweight or underweight asset classes in these portfolios to reflect its market expectations for the coming 12-to-18 months. Roger Ibbotson, founder of Ibbotson Associates and professor of finance at the Yale School of Management, chairs the committee.

‘We’ve combined our industry-leading ETF distribution and advisory experience with Ibbotson’s asset allocation expertise to build a turnkey asset allocation solution for the insurance industry that meets the growing investor need for professionally diversified portfolios,’ said Edmund ‘Ned’ Burke, president of ALPS.

Ibbotson Associates, a leading authority on asset allocation, was founded by Professor Roger Ibbotson in 1977. The company has been entrusted to create asset allocation models for many of the largest companies in the finance and investment industries. Morningstar acquired Ibbotson in March 2006. Ibbotson is now part of Morningstar’s Institutional business segment, and is a leading provider of retirement advice and investment consulting services to institutions.

ALPS  Fund Services, Inc. is a Denver-based outsourcing solution for administration, fund accounting, legal, marketing, tax, transfer agency and shareholder services for open-end funds, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds. ALPS has approximately USD 14 billion in assets under administration. ALPS Distributors, Inc. provides distribution services to over USD 150 billion in client assets. For more information, visit alpsfunds.com.

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