Advisor Software Includes Investment Advice
Advisor Software, based in Lafayette, Calif., recently acquired Advisor Partners LLC so that it can offer an unusual investment strategy that includes software-modeling capabilities, says Neal Ringquist, president and COO of Advisor Software.
Advisor Software, which provides institutional quality analysis for broker-dealers, banks, online brokerages and others, now offers active investment management through Advisor Partners.

A growing number of firms are becoming capable of providing both software platforms and asset management. Advisor Partners' specialty is to provide customized, tax-managed and index-based equity options using the modeling capabilities of a software firm.
"Advisor Partners has separately managed accounts designed to replicate the performance of S&P but with active tax loss harvesting. The return may be the same as S&P, but our clients will not pay the associated taxes because we will actively manage the assets from a tax standpoint," Ringquist explains. "Our acquisition of Advisor Partners now lets us generate that strategy for the clients."

Advisor Partners' service is particularly useful for advisors who are raising their minimum account size but also want to maintain smaller legacy accounts. The new platform will enable advisors to create an asset allocation plan, but then stop the modeling program at that level and use his or her discretion in selecting the actual investments based on the client's needs, Ringquist says.

CUSO Debuts Active/Passive Portfolio
CUSO Financial Services L.P., a San Diego-based provider of customized investment and insurance solutions for credit unions, is launching Active/Passive Portfolios on the CUSO Asset Management platform.

The new portfolio offered by the broker/dealer and registered investment advisor will be managed by FundQuest and provides managed account solutions, technology-based productivity tools, investment due diligence, back office operations and reporting services to more than 180 financial firms and their advisors. Advisors can select from 14 different portfolio categories.

Vanguard Announces Active Equity Fund
Vanguard, Valley Forge, Pa., is introducing its first actively managed equity fund to invest primarily in small- to mid-capitalization U.S. value stocks. It is the first time since the launch of Vanguard PRIMECAP Core Fund that Vanguard has introduced a new fundamentally managed equity fund.

The Vanguard Explorer Value Fund is designed to round out the Vanguard low-cost index funds and ETFs. The new fund will be value-oriented, and will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in companies at attractive valuation levels.

AQR Offers Managed Futures Fund
AQR Capital Management LLC, Greenwich, Conn., is launching the AQR Managed Futures Strategy Fund, a no-load fund available to both retail and institutional investors.

Managed futures are among those mainstream asset classes considered alternative investments and encompass investments in commodities, equity indices, currencies and government bonds. AQR Managed Futures Strategy Fund will target a volatility level that is expected to range between the historic volatility levels of global fixed-income indices and broad-based global equity indices.

Pax Launches Socially Responsible Fund
Pax World Management LLC, Portsmouth, N.H., is joining with Morningstar Associates to create and manage a series of asset allocation funds specifically designed for investment advisors seeking socially responsible, green or sustainable investments.

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