Investment Product and Service Launches

Dimensional announces new Investment Solutions Group; Vanguard reopens fund and broadens access to others; DoubleLine Capital adds R shares to five mutual funds; and more.

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

Dimensional Announces New Investment Solutions Group

Dimensional is creating an Investment Solutions Group within its Investment team and promoting its co-heads of Research. Marlena Lee will serve as head of Investment Solutions, and Savina Rizova will become the sole head of Research. Lee and Rizova both hold PhDs from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

The Investment Solutions Group will include employees who have been part of the firm’s Portfolio Solutions team as well as additional colleagues from across the Investment team and Global Client Group. The changes have been taken into effect starting on August 1.

“With the creation of this team, our clients will be able to draw on specialized expertise from Portfolio Management, Trading, Research, and now Investment Solutions to help address a wide range of investment-related topics,” says Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer Gerard O’Reilly. “Marlena and Savina have proven themselves as strong leaders. We look forward to providing clients with additional value and sharing our research and insights more broadly.” 

Vanguard Reopens Fund and Broadens Access to Others

Vanguard has announced the reopening of the $36.6 billion Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) to all investors, effective immediately. 

Vanguard closed the fund to most new accounts in July 2016, seeking to protect the interests of existing shareholders by reducing cash flow after a period of rapid growth. Cash flow has subsequently subsided and market conditions have changed since the fund’s closing. 

“After careful analysis of the fund’s current cash flows and asset level, and following consultation with the fund’s adviser, we’re confident that there is ample capacity to reopen the fund,” says Matthew Brancato, head of Vanguard’s Portfolio Review Department, who noted that the reopening should not be construed by investors as a “buy signal” for the fund or dividend stocks in general. 

Introduced in May 1992, the actively managed Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund is designed to provide investors with some income while offering exposure to dividend-focused companies across all industries. Reopening the fund will have no impact on its investment objectives, strategies, and policies, says Vanguard, and Wellington Management Company LLP remains the fund’s investment adviser.

Vanguard also announced plans to broaden access for sophisticated investors to two actively managed alternative investment funds, Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund (VASFX) and Vanguard Market Neutral Fund (VMNFX). The minimum initial investment requirement for retail investors for both funds will be reduced from $250,000 to $50,000, which is the same as the newly launched Vanguard Commodity Strategy Fund (VCMDX). Vanguard’s three alternative investment funds, managed by the firm’s Quantitative Equity Group, will share a standard minimum.

Concurrently, Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund will be opened to financial advisers, institutional investors, and Vanguard Flagship and Vanguard Personal Advisor Services clients. The fund is currently available only to institutional investors enrolled in Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services and as an underlying holding of Vanguard Managed Payout Fund. These changes will go into effect in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Franklin Templeton Reduces Fees for Three LibertyShares ETFs

Franklin Templeton has announced fee reductions for three Franklin LibertyShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available to U.S. investors.

Management fee reductions will be made to Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Equity ETF (FLQL) and Franklin LibertyQ Emerging Markets ETF (FLQE). In addition, the fee waiver for Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF (FLIA) will be reduced. All reductions are effective as of August 1.

Each fund expense ratio dropped 0.10%. The net expense ratio for Franklin LibertyQ U.S. Equity ETF was at 0.25%, and as of August 1, is now 0.15%; while the Franklin Liberty International Aggregate Bond ETF was once set at 0.35% and is now 0.25%; and the Franklin LibertyQ Emerging Markets ETF is currently 0.45%, but used to be 0.55%.

DoubeLine Capital Adds R Shares to Five Mutual Funds

The DoubleLine Funds Trust, the open-end mutual fund family advised by DoubleLine Capital LP and related companies, has launched R6 class shares for five of its funds, available to certain 401(k) and other employee retirement plans.

R shares are a retirement share class offered via employer-sponsored benefit plans such as 401(k) plans. DoubleLine’s R6 shares do not have a sales load.

According to the firm, the five mutual funds and their R6-share ticker symbols are DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DDTRX), the DoubleLine Core Fixed Income Fund (DDCFX), the DoubleLine Low Duration Bond Fund (DDLDX), the DoubleLine Flexible Income Fund (DFFLX) and the DoubleLine Shiller Enhanced CAPE Fund (DDCPX). These funds are also available in institutional (I) and retail (N) share classes, says DoubleLine Capital.