iShares Launches International Sector Funds
iShares, a global provider of exchange-traded funds, is launching five new MSCI international sector funds to expand its international financial and materials sector offerings, an underserved area of the market drawing strong investor demand, according to Michael Latham, co-CEO of iShares at BlackRock.

The iShares MSCI ACWI ex-US Financials Sector Index Fund will offer investors exposure to developed and emerging market countries and will offer the only GICs-based financial sector classification that also includes emerging markets exposure.
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Financials Sector Index Fund will offer emerging market exposure to banks, diversified financial companies, insurance companies and real estate companies.

The iShares MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund will expand iShares' European offerings, and the iShares MSCI Far East Financials Sector Index Fund will offer investors exposure to financial sectors in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Materials Sector Index Fund will give investors an entry into the materials sector of emerging markets such as Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

The funds are designed for individuals, financial professionals and institutions.

Commonwealth Releases Managed Account Program
Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Mass., is releasing enhancements to its fee-based asset management program for separately managed accounts, including a new unified managed account option.

Commonwealth will offer clients access to separately managed account features, including additional managers, simplified rebalancing, all-inclusive pricing and an illustrative proposal system. The new unified managed account option will also offer mass-affluent clients a single account strategy using professional money management.

The advisor-directed unified managed account allows advisors to actively participate in the portfolio construction process while offering the potential tax efficiencies associated with separately managed accounts.

SunAmerica Introduces Living Benefits
SunAmerica Retirement Markets, Los Angeles, is launching two new variable annuity benefits that allow investors to withdraw income now or later with more flexibility.

The SunAmerica Income Plus 6% benefit will offer 6% withdrawals at age 45. The SunAmerica Income Builder 8% benefit will offer an 8% guaranteed growth of future income for up to 12 years.

The options were added because of the income challenges investors are facing. Both features can provide an income floor equal to 200% of first-year premiums if no withdrawals are taken during the first 12 years. If withdrawals are required, investors will have the flexibility to start and stop them at any time without forfeiting future income credits or lifetime income protection.