Vanguard Group made organizational changes recently in an attempt to please current investors, and to help attract new clients. The moves were made in lockstep with the recent popularity of its exchange traded funds for fee-based advisors, according to a report.
“We’re late to the game,” Martha King, managing director of Vanguard’s Financial Advisors Services division, said. “But we’ve never offered commission-based products, so there wasn’t much reason to actively be selling to advisors.” [What is an ETF? – Indexing]
Vanguard, which manages $1.75 trillion in assets, is doubling the number of sales representatives who work with financial intermediaries to 220, up from 100, reports Jason Kephart for Investment News. Furthermore, Vanguard is strategically placing these reps in offices all over the United States instead of only in their central office in Scottsdale, Arizona, or the headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. [Behind Vangaurd’s ETF Success]
The investment provider is diligent about the fees based upon the assets it manages, rather than the classic way of collecting commissions for every transaction. Currently, Vanguard is the third largest ETF provider and had assets rise 20% in about 64 ETFs it manages. Over the same time period, BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors saw assets rise about 8% and 6.7%, respectively, reports Kephart. [ETF Price Wars – Round 2]
Vanguard has always had a loyal advisor base due to their direct purchase from the provider, however, the focus was never on these clients until recently. A unit for advisors wasn’t formed until 2002, and the unit itself was in the institutional services arm up until last year. [ETFs Vs. Active Managers]
Advisors oversee about $250 billion in assets of the provider’s $1.75 trillion total. This is up from $85 billion in 2002, when the unit was first forged.
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.