VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Nov. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Vanguard announced that, based on preliminary voting results at today's shareholder meeting, Vanguard fund shareholders elected a board of trustees for all U.S. funds and approved several investment policy changes.
Among the trustees elected are new board members Guardian Life CEO Deanna Mulligan, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Sarah Bloom Raskin, and Vanguard President Tim Buckley. Nine other trustees were re-elected to the boards of the funds: Vanguard Chairman and CEO Bill McNabb; Lead Independent Trustee Mark Loughridge; Emerson U. Fullwood, Amy Gutmann, JoAnn Heffernan Heisen, F. Joseph Loughrey, Scott C. Malpass, André F. Perold, and Peter F. Volanakis.
"Vanguard's shareholders will continue to be well-served by a diverse and deeply experienced board of trustees," said Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb. "I'm also pleased to announce that our funds' shareholders have approved several policy changes that will enable us to manage the funds more efficiently and effectively, potentially leading to lower costs and better investment returns."
- Shareholders approved a change to the investment objective for Vanguard REIT Index Fund and Vanguard Variable Insurance Fund-REIT Index Portfolio, which will result in a change in the benchmark to align the funds with the updated Global Industry Classification Standard methodology. The new benchmark is the MSCI US Investable Market Real Estate 25/50 Index, which includes real estate management and development companies in addition to real estate investment trusts (REITs), offering broader exposure to the real estate market. Shareholders also approved a proposal to reclassify the Vanguard REIT Index Fund from "diversified" to "nondiversified" as defined by securities laws.
- Shareholders of the Vanguard Institutional Total Stock Market Index Fund and the Vanguard Institutional Index Fund adopted the Funds' Service Agreement under which all other publicly offered Vanguard U.S. mutual funds operate. Vanguard will provide investment advisory, administrative, and distribution services based on the Funds' Service Agreement's internalized management structure and based on Vanguard's cost of operations. As a result, the expense ratio of the Institutional share class of the Institutional Total Stock Market Index and Institutional Index Funds is expected to be reduced to 0.035% from 0.04%. In addition, minimum initial investment requirements will be reduced for certain funds' share classes in order to align with other Vanguard funds.
- Shareholders of 179 funds approved a proposal that would enable the funds to retain Vanguard subsidiaries as investment advisors without future shareholder approval once the funds receive necessary approvals from the SEC. Shareholders of 132 funds also approved a proposal that gives the funds the ability to retain external firms as investment advisors without future shareholder approval. With shareholder approval of these two advisor-related proposals, nearly all Vanguard funds can operate under "manager of managers" structures that are widely used in the mutual fund industry. These structures will enable a fund to retain an advisor in an efficient and cost-effective manner, to diversify the fund's management team, or ensure management continuity in the event of a contingency.
- Proposal 7, a shareholder proposal which would have placed investment limitations on several funds, was not approved by any of the funds.
"This proxy campaign was the largest ever in the mutual fund industry and we're very grateful to all the Vanguard shareholders who voted," said Mr. McNabb.
Vanguard is one of the world's largest investment management companies. As of October 31, 2017, Vanguard managed $4.8 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers 376 funds to its more than 20 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.
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