Wilshire Funds Management to Oversee Liquid Alternatives Portfolio for Cetera's Broker Dealer Network

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Building on the rapid growth of its advisor-facing asset management business, Wilshire Funds Management, the global investment management business unit of Wilshire Associates Incorporated ("Wilshire®"), a diversified global financial services firm, has been hired by Cetera Financial Group, one of the nation's largest privately-held, independent broker-dealer and investment adviser firms, to manage a diversified liquid alternatives model portfolio on its proprietary mutual fund and ETF platform.

Soon to be available to 6,500 advisors across the network of broker dealers, Cetera's proprietary mutual fund/Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) advisory platform gives advisors and their clients access to institutional investment services, advice and active portfolio rebalancing.

"Wilshire Funds Management continues to make significant inroads into the wealth management space by leveraging our institutional experience and scale to provide outsourced research and asset allocation solutions to a growing roster of clients that includes leading national and regional broker dealers, RIA's, wealth management boutiques and family offices," stated Victor Zhang, president, Wilshire Funds Management. "We are delighted to have been selected by Cetera to offer our diversified liquid alternatives model portfolio across their growing network of broker dealers. Having worked with Cetera and so many of their financial advisors over the past year, we have a great deal of respect and admiration for the work they do, and we understand their desire to increasingly incorporate institutional caliber solutions into their client portfolios," he added.

"There is high demand from advisors to use alternative funds in client portfolios, but education is incredibly important when using these types of products," said Kian Rafia, Cetera's vice president of investment products. "Wilshire's Diversified Alternatives Portfolio provides the right mix of these complex vehicles for our IARs, and combines it with the education necessary to help advisors understand the products."

"The growing importance of liquid alternative investment strategies has raised the stakes on effective due diligence and portfolio construction for advisors," noted Jason Schwarz, head of Wilshire Fund Management's Advisor Solutions initiative. "By providing a turnkey, managed model portfolio of liquid alternative strategies, we are essentially addressing the three major questions we are often asked by advisors: how much should I allocate to the various asset categories, like long/short versus global macro? How do I identify high quality, institutional caliber managers? And, when and how often should I make changes to the portfolio?

"Success in the liquid alternatives space requires more than just investment expertise," Schwarz said. "Education, guidance, and implementation advice is critical in helping advisors understand how best to incorporate alternatives into their clients' portfolios. With a dedicated team of wholesalers, relationship managers and product specialists, Wilshire's Advisor Solutions team is well equipped to provide meaningful support to our clients and their IARs," he added.

About Wilshire Associates

Wilshire Associates, a leading global, independent investment consulting services firm, provides investment services, analytics solutions and customized investment products to plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries. Its business units include, Wilshire Analytics, Wilshire Consulting, Wilshire Funds Management and Wilshire Private Markets.

The firm was founded in 1972, providing revolutionary technology and acting as an early innovator in the application of investment analytics and research to investment managers in the institutional marketplace. Wilshire also is credited with helping to develop the field of quantitative investment analysis that uses mathematical tools to analyze market risks. All other business units evolved from Wilshire's strong analytics foundation. Wilshire developed the Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM and became an early innovator in creating the industry's integrated asset/liability analysis/simulation models as well as the industry's practical models in risk budgeting through beta and active risk analysis. Wilshire has grown to a firm of more than 300 employees serving the investment needs of institutional clients around the world.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Wilshire provides services to clients in more than 20 countries representing more than 500 organizations with assets totaling approximately US $7 trillion.* With ten offices on four continents, Wilshire Associates and its affiliates are dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality counsel, products and services. Wilshire® is a registered service mark of Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM is a service mark of Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Please visit http://www.wilshire.com/.

*Assets are as of December 31, 2011, based on published data in the December 24, 2012 issue of Pensions and Investments.

CONTACT: Kim Shepherd 773-252-9986 (O) 312-623-5123 (C) kshepherd.ext@wilshire.comSource:Wilshire Associates Incorporated