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Transamerica launches smart beta investment options powered by BlackRock’s iShares ETFs


Transamerica has launched three new variable annuity investment options with underlying portfolios that invest across a series of BlackRock's iShares smart beta exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

Transamerica is offering these new options as part of a commitment to provide a full array of investment solutions for financial advisors and investors.

Smart beta investment strategies track non-traditional and fundamentally constructed indexes. They differ from their conventional market capitalisation weighted counterparts through compositions and weightings based on unique investment factors such as value, quality, momentum and size. Smart beta strategies aim to take advantage of systematic biases or inefficiencies in the market in an effort to help investors reduce risk, generate income or enhance returns.

"We are excited to be offering these variable annuity investment options emphasising smart beta ETFs as underlying holdings," says Tom Wald (pictured), Transamerica Asset Management's chief investment officer. "These are new solutions that present the opportunity to have an interest in equity portfolios possessing a high degree of investment rationale."

"We've worked closely with Transamerica to incorporate our smart beta ETFs into their variable annuity lineup. As insurers continue to seek new investment options, we're committed to delivering next generation solutions that make a real difference to their customers," said Raman Suri, head of iShares Insurance at BlackRock.

The new underlying investment options — TA BlackRock Equity Smart Beta 100, TA BlackRock Smart Beta 75, and TA BlackRock Smart Beta 50 — are now available in Transamerica's variable annuities investment lineups. Each of the three underlying investment options emphasizes different weightings of BlackRock's iShares smart beta ETFs, including, among others, iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility ETF (EEMV) and iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL).

All three underlying investment options will be sub-advised by BlackRock Investment Management, LLC, a leader in asset management, risk management and advisory services worldwide. Transamerica Asset Management, Inc. is the investment manager.

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