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Transamerica launches smart beta investment options powered by BlackRock’s iShares ETFs

BALTIMORE, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Transamerica announced three new variable annuity investment options with underlying portfolios that invest across a series of BlackRock’s iShares smart beta exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Transamerica is offering these new options as part of a commitment to provide a full array of investment solutions for financial advisors and investors.

Smart beta investment strategies track non-traditional and fundamentally constructed indexes. They differ from their conventional market capitalization weighted counterparts through compositions and weightings based on unique investment factors such as value, quality, momentum and size. Smart beta strategies aim to take advantage of systematic biases or inefficiencies in the market in an effort to help investors reduce risk, generate income or enhance returns.

“We are excited to be offering these variable annuity investment options emphasizing smart beta ETFs as underlying holdings,” said Tom Wald, Transamerica Asset Management’s chief investment officer. “These are new solutions that present the opportunity to have an interest in equity portfolios possessing a high degree of investment rationale.”

“We’ve worked closely with Transamerica to incorporate our smart beta ETFs into their variable annuity lineup. As insurers continue to seek new investment options, we’re committed to delivering next generation solutions that make a real difference to their customers,” said Raman Suri, head of iShares Insurance at BlackRock.

The new underlying investment options — TA BlackRock Equity Smart Beta 100, TA BlackRock Smart Beta 75, and TA BlackRock Smart Beta 50 — are now available in Transamerica’s variable annuities investment lineups. Each of the three underlying investment options emphasizes different weightings of BlackRock’s iShares smart beta ETFs, including, among others, iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (USMV), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility ETF (EEMV) and iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL).

All three underlying investment options will be sub-advised by BlackRock Investment Management, LLC, a leader in asset management, risk management and advisory services worldwide. Transamerica Asset Management, Inc. is the investment manager.

About Transamerica
With a history that dates back over 100 years, Transamerica is recognized as a leading provider of life insurance, savings, retirement and investment solutions throughout the U.S. Transamerica works to Transform Tomorrow® for millions of customers, helping them take the necessary steps to achieve a lifetime of financial security. Transamerica’s corporate headquarters is located in Baltimore, Maryland, with other major corporate operations based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Transamerica is a member of the Aegon group of companies. For more information, please visit

About Transamerica Variable Annuities
Annuities are issued in all states except New York by Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and in New York by Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, Harrison, New York. Variable annuities are distributed by Transamerica Capital, Inc.

About iShares
iShares is a global leader in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with more than a decade of expertise and commitment to individual and institutional investors of all sizes. With over 700 funds globally across multiple asset classes and strategies and more than $1 trillion in assets under management as of December 31, 2015, iShares helps clients around the world build the core of their portfolios, meet specific investment goals and implement market views. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock, trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm, based on $4.645 trillion in AUM as of 12/31/15.

For more information on a variable annuity, please go to for a free variable annuity and fund prospectus. You should consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of an investment carefully before investing. Read them carefully before you invest.

Smart beta strategies seek to capture broad, consistent drivers of return and to out-perform traditional index strategies. These strategies may not work as intended.  Asset allocation, an investing strategy of dividing money among many types of investments, can help investors manage risk but cannot guarantee a profit or guard against loss. The portfolios invest their assets in various underlying ETFs, and their ability to achieve their investment objectives depends largely on the performance of the underlying ETFs in which they invest. There can be no assurance that the investment objectives of any underlying ETFs will be achieved. The portfolios are indirectly subject to all of the risks associated with an investment in the underlying ETFs, including those surrounding market volatility and investments in small- and mid-cap companies and foreign securities. Variable annuities are long-term, tax-deferred vehicles designed for retirement purposes and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal.

Media inquiries
Greg Tucker
Phone: 443-475-3017

Julie Quinlan
Phone: 213-742-5134

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SOURCE Transamerica

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