Calvert Unveils Responsible Index Funds
Bethesda, Md.-based Calvert Investments, a broker-dealer and RIA focusing on responsible investing, has launched a suite of responsible indexes and related index funds that will track them.

“Investors want to access companies that are global leaders in environment, social and governance factors and that are capable of producing competitive returns,” said Calvert CEO John Streur. “An index strategy provides a truly cost-efficient way to do that.”

The new products are based on Calvert’s responsible investing expertise and include three distinct U.S. large-cap indexes based on style: the Calvert U.S. Large Cap Growth Responsible Index, the Calvert U.S. Large Cap Core Responsible Index and the Calvert U.S. Large Cap Value Responsible Index.

The existing Calvert Social Index Fund has become the Calvert U.S. Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund. It and two additional index funds, for growth and value investors, are each based on their respective new indexes.

Calvert has partnered with indexing leader S-Network Global Indexes Inc. to manage the benchmark universes.

FTSE Russell Launches New Value and Growth Indexes
Seattle-based FTSE Russell has introduced a new series of eight indexes designed as a more concentrated and targeted measure of growth and value stocks.

The Russell Pure Style Index Series covers the Russell Top 200, Russell Midcap, Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 Pure Growth and Value Indexes.
The methodology includes only stocks classified as pure growth or pure value and does not include stocks that exhibit both characteristics.

The stocks are weighted by the Russell style score instead of by market capitalization, complementing the original Russell Growth and Value Indexes.
Invesco PowerShares, based in Downers Grove, Ill., has already licensed the indexes as the bases for a new set of ETFs.

CUSO Financial Services Releases Secure Profiling Tool
San Diego-based CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial announced a new online profiling tool, BuildMyProfile, for use by advisors and their clients.

The tool allows collection and integration of information into advisory firms’ client and account management systems.

An advisor can use the tool to send a profile questionnaire to a client via a secure link. The client then fills out and closes the form as requested and content is immediately available to the advisor (and secure) without needing to be e-mailed or faxed back.

Any information filled into the forms automatically populates the advisor’s client contact record and is made available in the account management system.

Professional Employer Organization Platform Targeted For Hedge Funds
White Plains, N.Y.-based Assured SKCG is launching a new Professional Employer Organization Platform for the hedge fund industry.

In partnership with CIGNA Health Plans, Assured SKCG is offering a platform designed to allow small and emerging hedge fund firms to outsource time-consuming human resource, payroll and employee benefit management tasks while addressing the compliance requirements of the complex Affordable Care Act regulations.

Assured SKCG created the new PEO platform to allow hedge fund firms at every asset level to address ACA compliance requirements while providing their employees with valuable benefit packages and a high-touch level of service.

Franklin Templeton Adds Income-Focused Retirement Funds
San Mateo, Calif.-based Franklin Templeton Investments announced the launch of the Franklin Retirement Payout Fund series, designed to help defined contribution participants transition from savings to spending in retirement.

The Franklin Retirement Payout Fund series—with maturity dates ranging from 2017 through 2021—is designed for participants nearing or in retirement and seeking a straightforward payout schedule. These funds and their payout schedules can be matched against a client’s expenses as the client moves from accumulation to withdrawal.

The Franklin Retirement Payout Fund series seeks income by investing in fixed-income securities, including government and corporate debt, asset-backed securities and municipal bonds. Each fund may invest a portion of its assets in U.S. dollar-denominated foreign securities.

SEI Investments Introduces Work-Flow Program
Oaks, Pa.-based SEI Investments Company has introduced a comprehensive work-flow program that streamlines client interactions, sales, marketing and practice management.

SEI ProcessWise contains 48 step-by-step work-flow processes across multiple business functions and can be integrated into a firm’s relationship management system, providing staff members with automatic notifications to complete assigned tasks.

The program is launching at a time advisors face complex client relationships and when ongoing consolidation makes it more important for firms to create standardized processes.

SEI ProcessWise includes three months of training designed to ensure that advisors adopt the automated work-flows into their daily routines.