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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vanguard Plugs and Plays With Advisory Mandates

News summary by MFWire's editors

Vanguard is switching up the advisory teams of five of its funds. M&G Investment Management is getting a bigger mandate; it has been added to the advisory team of the Vanguard International Growth Fund and the Vanguard Variable Insurance Fund (VVIF)–International Portfolio.

Meanwhile, Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. has been replaced by the Vanguard Quantitative Equity Group on the portions of the Vanguard U.S. Value Fund, the VVIF–Small Company Growth Portfolio and the Vanguard Explorer Fund that it previously managed.


Company Press Release

Vanguard has announced changes to the investment advisory teams of several stock funds, as follows:

* M&G Investment Management Limited (M&G) has been added to the advisory team of the $18.3 billion Vanguard® International Growth Fund and the $1.9 billion Vanguard Variable Insurance Fund (VVIF)–International Portfolio. M&G joins advisory firms Schroder Investment Management North America Inc. and Baillie Gifford Overseas Ltd. in managing the funds.

* Vanguard Quantitative Equity Group has begun managing the portions of the $975 million Vanguard U.S. Value Fund and the $695 million VVIF–Small Company Growth Portfolio previously managed by Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC (GMO). Vanguard has also assumed primary responsibility for the assets previously managed by GMO for the $10.5 billion Vanguard Explorer™ Fund.

M&G utilizes a long-term, bottom-up investment approach that focuses on identifying underappreciated, quality companies that may deliver high returns and that demonstrate potential for growth. Vanguard expects that M&G’s approach will complement the processes employed by Schroder and Baillie Gifford and further diversify the portfolios. Schroder has served as investment advisor for the Vanguard International Growth Fund since its inception in 1981; Baillie Gifford joined the fund’s management team in 2003. Both firms have advised the VVIF–International Portfolio since its introduction in 2003.

“Vanguard has enjoyed a nearly 25-year association with M&G, which has managed Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund since its inception. We’re pleased to broaden this relationship to include two additional Vanguard portfolios,” said Vanguard Chairman and CEO John J. Brennan.

Greg Aldridge and Graham French serve as portfolio managers for M&G’s portions of Vanguard® International Growth Fund and VVIF–International Portfolio. Mr. French, who also serves as portfolio manager for Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund, together with Mr. Aldridge, bring more than 30 years of portfolio management experience to the funds.

In replacing GMO, Vanguard’s Quantitative Equity Group joins AXA Rosenberg Investment Management LLC as a co-advisor for Vanguard U.S. Value Fund. Vanguard’s internal equity management team, which now oversees approximately one-third of the fund, employs a quantitative investment approach to select stocks from the Russell 3000 Value Index that it deems attractive. Vanguard has utilized a similar value-oriented quantitative process in managing Vanguard Windsor™ II Fund since assuming an advisory role for that fund in 1991.

Vanguard, which has served as an advisor to Vanguard Explorer Fund since 1997, has expanded its portfolio management role by assuming responsibility for most of the GMO portfolio, with the remainder allocated to the other advisors of the fund. In managing VVIF–Small Company Growth Portfolio, Vanguard will share advisory responsibilities with Granahan Investment Management.

Vanguard Quantitative Equity Group oversees more than $550 billion in indexed assets and $25 billion in active quantitative equity fund assets. In addition to overseeing 60 index-oriented funds and annuity portfolios, the group serves as the sole investment advisor to six actively managed Vanguard funds (Vanguard Strategic Equity Fund, Vanguard Strategic Small-Cap Equity Fund, and four structured-equity funds) and manages portions of seven other Vanguard stock funds.

“Vanguard brings a vast amount of experience and expertise to its quantitative mandates and the funds’ Boards of Trustees are highly confident in the group’s ability to complement the strategies of the existing advisors and produce competitive long-term returns,” said Mr. Brennan. “GMO has provided advisory services to Vanguard funds since 2000 and, on behalf of our shareholders, we thank them for their efforts.”

Vanguard, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is one of the world’s largest investment management companies and a leading provider of company-sponsored retirement plan services. Vanguard manages nearly $1.25 trillion in U.S. mutual fund assets, including more than $350 billion in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Vanguard offers more than 150 funds to U.S. investors and more than 50 additional funds in foreign markets.
 

Edited by: Erin Kello


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