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Rating:Vanguard Drops AllianceBernstein in Favor of Two Sub-advisors Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, October 07, 2010

Vanguard Drops AllianceBernstein in Favor of Two Sub-advisors

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Vanguard has dropped AllianceBernstein as a sub-advisor for its U.S. Growth Fund and replaced it with Delaware Investments and Wellington Management [SEC filing]. The appointment of the two is aimed at helping the fund "regain some of its past luster," Vanguard officials said.

Delaware and Wellington join William Blair & Company in running the $3.7 billion fund. The three firms each manage one-third of the fund.

AllianceBernstein, which had served as sub-advisor since 2001, managed two-thirds of the fund.

"We are confident that the new advisors, which are two of the oldest and most respected firms in the industry, will help the U.S. Growth Fund regain some of its past luster," said Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb in a press release on Thursday.

This marks the first Vanguard sub-advisory mandate for Delaware. For its part, Wellington manages $175 billion across 19 Vanguard mutual funds.

Meanwhile, James Golan and Tracy McCormick have joined PM John Jostrane in managing William Blair's portion of the fund. Jostrane will leave the team in December to focus on his other portfolio management duties at William Blair.
Company Press Release

VANGUARD TAPS SEASONED ADVISORS, WELLINGTON™ MANAGEMENT AND DELAWARE INVESTMENTS, TO OVERSEE U.S. GROWTH FUND

VALLEY FORGE, PA, OCTOBER 7, 2010—Vanguard has appointed Wellington Management Company, LLP and Delaware Investments as investment advisors to Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund to replace AllianceBernstein L.P., which had managed approximately two-thirds of the $3.7 billion fund and had served as an advisor since 2001.

In Wellington Management and Delaware Investments, Vanguard obtains the services of two long-tenured advisory firms with stable, experienced teams of investment managers and analysts. Each advisory firm will manage approximately one-third of the U.S. Growth Fund. The remaining one-third of the fund will continue to be managed by William Blair & Company, L.L.C.

Wellington Management traces its roots back to 1928 when Walter L. Morgan established one of the first balanced mutual funds, which today is the $51 billion Vanguard Wellington™ Fund. Wellington Management serves as an investment advisor to more than 1,800 institutions and employs more than 400 investment professionals around the world. Wellington Management now advises approximately $175 billion across 19 Vanguard mutual funds among its nearly $550 billion in assets under management.

The predecessor company of Delaware Investments was founded in 1929 and introduced its first mutual fund in 1938. With more than 100 investment professionals, the firm now serves more than 500 institutional clients and manages $135 billion in assets. Delaware Investments is a member of the Macquarie Group, a global asset management firm with approximately $300 billion in assets under management. The U.S. Growth Fund represents the first Vanguard mandate for Delaware Investments.

"We are confident that the new advisors, which are two of the oldest and most respected firms in the industry, will help the U.S. Growth Fund regain some of its past luster," said Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb, who noted that for the ten-year period ended December 31, 1998, the fund was a top-quartile performer. (Source: Lipper, Inc.). "We thank AllianceBernstein for its nine years of service in a period that proved to be a very challenging environment for growth stocks."

Mr. McNabb pointed out that 17 of Vanguard's 22 actively managed equity funds outperformed their respective benchmarks for the ten-year period ended June 30, 2010 (Source: Derived from Lipper Inc. data). Over the same period, the U.S. Growth Fund was one of five Vanguard funds to underperform their respective benchmarks and was in the bottom-quartile of the Lipper Large-Cap Growth Fund universe. A contributing factor to the long-term records of Vanguard funds is the company’s rigorous and disciplined process for selecting and monitoring fund advisors. Vanguard partners with 29 external firms—from large, prominent global asset managers to small, specialty boutique firms—that bring a particular expertise as a sole manager of a fund or as part of a complementary combination of advisors.

Wellington Management's Growth team will adhere to a fundamental approach and seeks to identify large-capitalization companies that offer sustainable growth potential at reasonable valuations. Wellington Management's portion of the fund will typically be composed of 50–80 stocks and will feature capitalization characteristics similar to those of the Russell 1000® Growth Index, the benchmark for U.S. Growth Fund.

In its management of the fund, Delaware Investments will follow a fundamental, bottom-up approach to identify large-cap companies with high growth potential. The strategy is marked by low portfolio turnover and a high concentration in holdings (approximately 25-35 stocks).

Additions to William Blair Team

Two investment professionals have joined current portfolio manager John F. Jostrand in overseeing the portion of U.S. Growth Fund advised by William Blair & Company:
• James Golan, CFA, principal, has worked in investment management since 1988 and has been with William Blair since 2000.
• Tracy McCormick, principal, has worked in investment management since 1979 and joined William Blair in 2003.
Mr. Jostrand, CFA, a principal at William Blair, has served as a portfolio manager of U.S. Growth Fund since April 2004. He will move off the team in December 2010 to focus exclusively on his other portfolio management responsibilities at William Blair.

The William Blair team will continue to utilize an investment process that relies on thorough, in-depth fundamental analysis to select high-quality stocks with sustainable, above-average growth prospects.

About Vanguard
Vanguard, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is one of the world’s largest investment management companies and a leading provider of companysponsored retirement plan services. Vanguard manages nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. mutual fund assets. Vanguard offers more than 170 funds to U.S. investors and more than 60 additional funds in non-U.S. markets.

Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund ranked 10 out of 45 funds for the ten-year period ended December 31, 1998, based on annualized returns in Lipper Inc.'s Large- Cap Growth Fund category. Only funds with a minimum ten-year history were included in the comparison (source: Lipper Inc.). Results will vary for other time periods.

Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund ranked 572 out of 826 funds for the one-year period ended June 30, 2010, based on annualized returns in Lipper Inc.'s Large-Cap Growth Fund category. Only funds with a minimum one-year history were included in the comparison (source: Lipper Inc.). Results will vary for other time periods.

Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund ranked 405 out of 598 funds for the five-year period ended June 30, 2010, based on annualized returns in Lipper Inc.'s Large-Cap Growth Fund category. Only funds with a minimum five--year history were included in the comparison (source: Lipper Inc.). Results will vary for other time periods.

Vanguard U.S. Growth Fund ranked 306 out of 325 funds for the ten-year period ended June 30, 2010, based on annualized returns in Lipper Inc.'s Large-Cap Growth Fund category. Only funds with a minimum ten-year history were included in the comparison (source: Lipper Inc.). Results will vary for other time periods. Note that the competitive performance data shown represent past performance, which is not a guarantee of future results, and that all investments are subject to risks. For the most recent performance, visit our website at www.vanguard.com/performance. Mutual funds are subject to risks, including possible loss of principal.

For more information, visit vanguard.com, or call 800-662-7447 to obtain a fund prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information about a fund are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing. All asset figures are as of September 30, 2010, unless otherwise noted. CFA® is a trademark owned by CFA Institute. Delaware Investments is the marketing name for Delaware Management Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.
 

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