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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Vanguard To Launch New Equity Fund

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Vanguard said Wednesday it plans to roll out a new equity fund that will pursue small-cap U.S. stocks.

At the same time, the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based firm announced changes in the portfolio management lineup for its equity funds.

In a news release, the fund giant said it expects the Vanguard Strategic Small-Cap Equity Fund to be available to investors in the second quarter.

The fund, currently in registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, will be the second most actively managed stock fund advised in its entirety by Vanguard’s quantitative equity group, which manages over $400 billion in index and quantitative equity assets.

The Vanguard Strategic Small-Cap Equity Fund will carry an expense ratio of 4 basis points, or about a quarter of the average expense ratio of 1.71 basis points for small-cap equity funds, according to figures from Lipper.

In the same statement, Vanguard said Chartwell Investment Partners will join Provident Investment Counsel in managing the Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth Fund. Mark Cunneen and Edward Antoian will act as co- portfolio managers for Chartwell’s portion of the $620 million fund.

Meanwhile, Donald Kilbride, vice president of Wellington Management Company, will take over portfolio management duties previously assumed by Minerva Butler at the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund, which has some $980 million in assets.

James Troyer, a principal in Vanguard’s quantitative equity group, will serve as the new manager of the $5.6 billion Vanguard Strategic Equity Fund. He replaces Joel Dickson, who has stepped up to direct the quantitative equity management and research team, a spokeswoman for the firm said.

With Dickson’s promotion, Troyer and Jim Stetler, another principal at the quantitative equity group, are expected to assume portfolio management of all funds in the group, the spokeswoman said.  

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