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Rating:The Low-Cost Leviathan Brings PE to Retail Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Low-Cost Leviathan Brings PE to Retail

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The world's largest mutual fund firm, known for its low-index funds and ETFs, is doubling down on a partnership in the generally-not-so-low-cost private equity space, bringing PE investing to retail investors.

Mortimer J. "Tim" Buckley
President, CEO
This morning, Tim Buckley, CEO of Vanguard [profile], and Matt Benchener, managing director of Vanguard's retail investor group, confirm that the Low-Cost Leviathan is expanding its partnership with HarbourVest. The expanded PE access will start with direct retail clients who are qualified purchasers and accredited investors (i.e. people who are wealthy and/or high income) but later expand to clients of Vanguard's giant cyborg (i.e. human and roboadvisor) offering, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services.

Today's move follows Vanguard's reentry in the PE space in 2020 via an initial HarbourVest partnership focused on institutional clients: endowments, foundations, and pensions. Before that, Vanguard also briefly entered the PE space via a different partnership in 2001.

Now Buckley notes PE's "potential to improve long-term investment outcomes of a broadly diversified portfolio."

"Over time we will expand access to this asset class, which has traditionally been reserved for the wealthiest investors, to the many qualified investors at Vanguard," Buckley states.

John Toomey, managing director of HarbourVest Partners, lauds "Vanguard's scale and deep client relationships."

"HarbourVest has long supported democratizing private markets, and we are pleased to enter into this next phase with Vanguard by broadening access to qualified individual investors," Toomey states. 

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