WisdomTree Restructures 2 Funds: Portfolio Products

EUMF seeks to achieve income and capital appreciation by investing in European equity securities that exhibit the highest potential for returns based …

WisdomTree implemented changes for two of its products: the WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged Europe Equity Fund (DDEZ) and the WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged Japan Equity Fund (DDJP).

Effective March 29, the fund names, tickers, investment objectives and investment strategies have changed, and both funds will transition to transparent, models-based actively managed multifactor strategies. The funds’ expense ratios remain unchanged.

The DDEZ fund will now become WisdomTree Europe Multifactor Fund (EUMF). EUMF seeks to achieve income and capital appreciation by investing in European equity securities that exhibit the highest potential for returns based on proprietary measures of factors such as value, quality, momentum and correlation.

DDJP becomes WisdomTree Japan Multifactor Fund (JAMF), which seeks to achieve income and capital appreciation by investing in Japanese equity securities that exhibit the highest potential for returns based on proprietary measures of factors such as value, quality, momentum and correlation.

Both funds seek to manage currency risk by dynamically hedging currency fluctuations against the U.S. dollar, ranging from a 0% to 100% hedge. The hedge ratios are adjusted periodically, utilizing signals such as interest rate differentials, momentum and value.

CNote Launches Wisdom Fund to Close Lending Gap for Women

CNote launched a new impact investment opportunity that aims to fix the gender disparity in small business lending.

According to CNote, less than 5% of small business lending goes to women.

CNote’s new Wisdom Fund funnels money from accredited investors — institutions, funds, foundations, family offices and individuals — into business loans for low- to moderate-income women and women of color.

The loans are provided by nonprofit community lenders with experience delivering the capital and resources that women small business owners need.

The lending partners in the Wisdom Fund’s first phase include Carolina Small Business Development Fund, LiftFund and TruFund.

Investors in the Wisdom Fund will earn an estimated 4% annual return, over a 60-month term, on a loan portfolio that’s diversified across established community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

RealCrowd Invites RIAs to Test Its New Real Estate Investment Software

RealCrowd is launching a test-pilot program for its new technology platform serving independent investment advisors.

Called ReAllocate, the platform will help RIAs provide access to professionally managed direct real estate investments via its risk-based Allocation Intelligence (AI) platform.

The platform will help advisors match investors with risk-appropriate real estate investment opportunities.

ReAllocate’s risk-scoring methodology and matching algorithms transparently align client goals with professionally managed direct real estate investments, identifying risk across five major sectors – the market, the asset, the manager, the capitalization and the partnership structure – to ensure the investments align with the investors’ risk profiles.

ReAllocate is inviting investment and financial advisors to apply for participation in the test program that will allow its team to work with a select few advisors, identifying what RIAs require most to ensure they can provide the best experience for their clients.

MassMutual Launches Holistic Financial Wellness Tool for 401(k) Investors

MassMutual introduced a new workplace financial and benefits planning tool to help workers assess and balance their short- and long-term financial needs.

The MapMyFinances tool, which replaces MassMutual’s MapMyBenefits, is available automatically at no cost through employers that use MassMutual’s 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plan services, voluntary insurance benefits or both.

The new tool provides users with a personal financial wellness score to help them ascertain their relative financial health and it provides guidance to help prioritize overage choices based on their family situation and budget.

The score is based on answers to a series of questions about budget and personal finances, including retirement savings, healthcare, life insurance and other protection benefits; and debt such as college tuition, credit cards, mortgage, car loans and others.

The tool analyzes the user’s personal financial needs budget and then sets priorities accordingly, creating a to-do list of simple, actionable steps to improve his or her financial wellness score.

FPA Launches a Next Generation Planner Publication

The Financial Planning Association published its first edition of the FPA Next Generation Planner, a monthly app-based publication designed for those who are new to the financial planning profession.

The new publication – available now via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store – provides tailored content to help new planners develop personally and professionally as they advance on their career journey.

The FPA Next Generation Planner focuses on the “how” of financial planning, featuring practical, actionable content across a wide spectrum of topics.

The inaugural edition of the Next Generation Planner dives deeper into a range of topics commonly asked by new planners, including networking advice for new planners from members of the FPA NexGen community and advice on how to build memorable client experience as a foundation to drive a successful marketing strategy.

The publication also addresses the confusion and lack of clarity that many aspiring young planners have after becoming Certified Financial Planner professionals and provides tips for those wanting to learn practical financial planning, regardless of their current role.

— Read the last portfolio product roundup here: Hoya Capital Launches Housing ETF: Portfolio Products

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Aura Closes $50 Million Social Bond Issuance with Varadero Capital, LP as Lead Investor

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 21, 2019–Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to …

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 21, 2019–Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, this week completed a $50 million private social bond issuance as part of its mission to accelerate financial inclusion and invest capital into low-income communities in America.

This is Aura’s largest social bond issuance to date, and it will provide the capital needed to fund 32,561 affordable, credit-building loans. This latest bond issuance brings Aura’s total capital raised to over $403 million across 21 bond issuances, which have helped fund 283,469 loans.

Millions of working families in America lack access to safe and affordable loans and are vulnerable to predatory lenders. Working with investors like Varadero Capital, L.P., Aura is able to provide borrowers with affordable loans that have saved borrowers hundreds of millions of dollars in additional fees and interest by avoiding predatory options.

“We have been investing with Aura for the past four years because we strongly believe in the company’s mission and credit culture,” said Fernando Guerrero, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Varadero Capital. “Not only do these bonds provide compelling returns for our investors, but they support affordable loans to hard-working people who might not otherwise be able to obtain access to capital.By seeing borrowers as more than their credit score, Aura is setting the standard for responsible small balance loan origination.”

“We are proud to have worked with Varadero on two-thirds of our social bond issuances since 2015,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Founder of Aura. “Our shared values reinforce our mutual investment in building a responsible credit culture rooted in a borrower’s ability to repay.This latest investment will help Aura serve more working families across America and further our mission of expanding access to capital in low-income communities.”

About Varadero Capital, L.P.

Founded in 2009, Varadero Capital is a value-driven alternative investment manager with more than $2 billion in assets under management. Varadero makes investments across specialized credit markets with a focus on achieving capital preservation and delivering uncorrelated risk-adjusted returns. Varadero is an active investor in specialty finance assets, both through securitization markets as well as in whole loan form.

About Aura:

Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms.

Currently available in nearly 1,200 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190321005196/en/

CONTACT: Scott Gerber

scott@vrge.us

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TECHNOLOGY DATA MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FINANCE

SOURCE: Aura

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 03/21/2019 06:00 AM/DISC: 03/21/2019 06:00 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190321005196/en

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Bank of America Makes $100 Million Capital Commitment to Support Women Entrepreneurs With …

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bank of America is doubling its investment in the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, committing $100 …

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bank of America is doubling its investment in the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, committing $100 million in capital to connect women small business owners to affordable loans. Since the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program launched five years ago, more than 2,500 women entrepreneurs have received $46 million in loans through community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to help them grow and refine their businesses.

“We recognize that women entrepreneurs help fuel economic growth in communities across the U.S., and that access to capital remains a key challenge,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Bank of America. “Partnering with the Tory Burch Foundation to advance women in small business is one way we invest in the future of local economies.”

Launched in 2014, the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program is a partnership between Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation that aims to increase the number and size of businesses owned and led by women. Only 1 in 23 loan dollars is distributed to women-owned businesses in the United States. The program connects women business owners to affordable loans that are administered through local CDFIs, which provide capital and financial services to underserved markets and populations, including women entrepreneurs. Bank of America is the largest investor in CDFIs, with more than $1.5 billion in investments to 255 CDFI partners across the U.S.

“We know women pay back loans at higher rates than men, but because of cultural bias, they are denied critical capital to grow their businesses,” says Tory Burch, founder of the Tory Burch Foundation. “Over the past five years, the Capital Program has allowed us to reach women businesses owners at scale, and we’re looking forward to doubling that investment.”

Through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, business owners such as Mia Parton, who founded Aeparmia Engineering, a minority woman- and LGBTQ-owned professional civil engineering firm, are able to grow strategically. Parton leveraged the funds provided through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program for working capital to design and manage infrastructure projects, such as water distribution and wastewater collection systems that help advance and protect communities.

The program operates in 17 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. CDFIs participating in the capital program offer a 2 percent interest rate reduction on loans for qualifying borrowers. CDFI partners work with women representing a range of industries, including accounting, hospitality, home improvement, fashion, and child care.

Through partnerships like the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, Bank of America has helped more than 11,000 women entrepreneurs through mentoring, training and access to capital. The company has a long-standing history of supporting women within the company, making the financial lives of women clients and customers better and advancing economic empowerment of women in communities around the world. The bank’s investments to advance women entrepreneurs are part of its approach to responsible growth and an example of how the company deploys capital to advance economic and social progress.

For more information on the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/toryburchfoundation or www.ToryBurchFoundation.org.

Tory Burch Foundation

The Tory Burch Foundation advances women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the United States by providing access to capital, education and digital resources: The Fellows Program has provided over $600,000 in grants to help women grow their businesses; the Tory Burch Capital Program, powered by Bank of America has distributed more than $46 million in loans to more than 2,500 women entrepreneurs; more than 200 women have completed an in-depth business education course through the Tory Burch Foundation cohort of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Education Program; and the Foundation’s website, www.ToryBurchFoundation.org, is a go-to destination for women entrepreneurs. The Foundation’s global initiative #EmbraceAmbition launched in March 2017, encouraging women everywhere to own their power, their drive and their dreams. Each month, the Foundation provides online tools and digital education to more than 270,000 women, and more than 10,000 women have created their business plans on ToryBurchFoundation.org.

Follow the Tory Burch Foundation on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with #EmbraceAmbition.

Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom. Click here to register for news email alerts.

www.bankofamerica.com

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Tory Burch Foundation Raises $100 Million From Bank of America

The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, which was launched in 2014 in partnership with Bank of America, strives to increase the number and …

Bank of America is doubling down on the Tory Burch Foundation.

The bank is committing $100 million to the charitable organization to extend affordable loans to small businesses owned by women.

“We recognize that women entrepreneurs help fuel economic growth in communities across the U.S., and that access to capital remains a key challenge,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of environmental, social and governance at Bank of America. “Partnering with the Tory Burch Foundation to advance women in small business is one way we invest in the future of local economies.”

The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, which was launched in 2014 in partnership with Bank of America, strives to increase the number and size of businesses owned and led by women.

Just $1 out of every $23 loaned in the U.S. goes to women-owned businesses.

“We know women pay back loans at higher rates than men, but because of cultural bias, they are denied critical capital to grow their businesses,” said designer Tory Burch, founder of the foundation. “Over the past five years, the capital program has allowed us to reach women business owners at scale, and we’re looking forward to doubling that investment.”

The program helps connect female entrepreneurs with affordable loans administered through local CDFIs, which provide financial services to underserved populations. The CDFIs in the capital program give loans at 2 percent interest to qualifying borrowers.

Bank of America has more than $1.5 billion in investments to 255 CDFI partners across the U.S., making it the largest player in the space.

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INSIKT Changes Name to Aura

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 12, 2019–INSIKT, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to …

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 12, 2019–INSIKT, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to hard-working families, today announced that it has changed its name to Aura to expand its focus on creating greater financial health, independence and economic stability for millions in America.

“Today, I am excited to share that INSIKT has undergone an extraordinary transformation that starts with a bold new name,” said James Gutierrez, CEO and Founder of Aura. “Aura, like your credit score, may seem invisible, but it matters a lot. Today, we commit to making the seemingly invisible role of credit, approachable, visible, clear, transparent, easy to understand and fair for all. Most financial institutions see borrowers as a number, a risk, a reflection of the past. This says nothing about a borrowers’ potential and where they can go. The difference for us — we see their Aura, not just their credit score. We see them, their potential, and their dreams.”

Since its launch in 2014, INSIKT has provided more than $390 million in affordable, credit-building loans to 320,000 borrowers at over 1,200 partner locations using technology that enables local businesses to administer credit applications.

Now, Aura will build on this success by adding a new consumer product experience that will further empower borrowers and put them on the road to financial security. Recognizing that most of its customers do not know what their credit score is or how much they should save on each paycheck, Aura will provide its borrowers with free credit scores, a summary of what’s in their credit report, and a personalized budget, including expenses, DTI and tips for savings.

Additionally, Aura is launching a new customer loyalty program, known as “Aura Hearts” that offers benefits to borrowers who pay on time such as larger future loans, lower rates, and faster pre-approvals.

“We have worked to ensure Aura makes managing debt a launch-point for personal independence,” said Gutierrez. “We want everyone to see and understand their financial history, reduce fear around personal finance in the communities we serve, and increase borrowers’ ability to navigate the financial system. Aura is here to make sure that borrowers have a true partner on their financial journey.”

Aura’s new website is located at www.myaura.com.

About Aura:

Aura is a technology-powered, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small, affordable loans to working families in America. Aura’s mission is to build financially healthy low-income communities by providing empowering financial services to America’s 66-million underbanked and unbanked. Aura has pioneered a cloud-based lending technology that enables trusted local businesses to submit credit applications for centralized review and approval by its proprietary scoring algorithms.

Currently available in nearly 1,200 locations across California, Texas, Illinois and Arizona, Aura has provided hundreds of thousands of credit-building, responsible loans to low-income households since launching in 2014. Aura was founded in 2012 by James Gutierrez, Kevin Kang, and Randy Wong. All three founders helped create and scale Oportun, a CDFI and one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Most Genius Companies in 2018.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190212005204/en/

Scott Gerber | 408.202.4255 |scott@vrge.us

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: OTHER CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY DATA MANAGEMENT INTERNET SOFTWARE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BANKING FINANCE CONSUMER

SOURCE: Aura

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 02/12/2019 06:00 AM/DISC: 02/12/2019 06:01 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190212005204/en

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