Folio Introduces Portfolio Unitization Solution
Folio Institutional and unitZXchange have introduced a next-generation portfolio unitization service designed to provide customized model portfolios to retirement plan sponsors and participants. The companies' unitization solution is expected to drive adoption of exchange-traded funds and mixed-model portfolios by retirement plans, since the product allows any model portfolio-consisting of any mix of securities (funds, ETFs and/or individual stocks)-to be unitized.

Many retirement plans are limited in their choice of plan offerings because of record-keeping restrictions that require each investment in the plan to have a net asset value (NAV). This frequently limits many plan offerings to the trading of mutual funds. The Folio/unitZXchange relationship is designed to provide a unitization solution that offers NAV-style investments that are both cost-efficient and accessible to record keepers and retirement plans of all sizes.

Through the unitization service, unitZXchange creates a single unit value for model portfolios custodied on the Folio Institutional platform. As a result, retirement plan participants are provided information through existing systems that provide unit value reporting.

"Because the model portfolios can now be reported with a unit value, it's very easy for the record keeper to trade them through their normal daily valuation process," says Alan Smith, vice president of retirement services, Folio Institutional.

Goldman Sachs Offers Rising Dividend Fund
Goldman Sachs Asset Management has broadened its mutual fund platform with the addition of Goldman Sachs Rising Dividend Growth Fund.

The investment objective of the fund is to seek long-term growth of capital and current income by investing in companies that pay consistent and increasing dividends. To do this, the fund employs a proprietary "10/10 test" designed to identify companies that pay dividends at an increasing rate that averages approximately 10% per year over a 10-year trailing period.

Connors Group Unveils Machine Advisor
The Connors Group, headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., has launched The Machine Advisor, a Web-based investment decision and marketing support software designed to provide absolute returns in any market environment. The Machine Advisor provides financial advisors with a systematic approach to active investing, portfolio management and risk management.

Financial advisors are able to share portfolio information with clients, visually demonstrate the differences in customized portfolios relative to a benchmark buy-and-hold strategy, deliver individualized advice and use multiple strategies in a single portfolio to optimize diversification.

iShares Expands Dividend ETF Offerings
iShares has two new dividend equity exchange-traded funds that address the need for investment income, with access to dividend-paying companies in emerging markets and Asia/Pacific developed markets. Listed on the NYSE Arca, the funds are the iShares Emerging Markets Dividend Index Fund and the iShares Asia/Pacific Dividend 30 Index Fund. The launch of these funds expands the existing suite of iShares dividend ETFs with the goal of delivering a global tool kit of equity income solutions.

"Emerging markets and the developed markets in the Asia/Pacific region are expected to lead global economic growth and offer an attractive opportunity for investment income in the near term," says Darek Wojnar, head of U.S. iShares product development and management at BlackRock.