Investment Product and Service Launches

Vanguard adds Sprucegrove to oversee value fund; Bloomberg incorporates MSCI's ESG ratings; and PFM introduces Stable Value Diverse Manager strategy. 

Vanguard Adds Sprucegrove to Oversee Value Fund

Vanguard announced Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd. will be added to the firm’s roster of active management expertise.

Effective as of October 12, Sprucegrove will join Lazard Asset Management LLC and ARGA Investment Management LP in overseeing the $9.8 billion Vanguard International Value Fund. Sprucegrove will manage the 35% of the fund previously overseen by Edinburgh Partners Limited. 

“Vanguard has decades of experience in selecting and partnering with active managers. We continuously search for world-class investment talent that brings a particular expertise and experience to specific mandates,” says Kaitlyn Caughlin, head of Vanguard Portfolio Review Department. “We welcome Sprucegrove as a valuable addition to our talented roster of investment management partners.” 

Sprucegrove is a Toronto-based boutique asset manager with $13.8 billion in assets under management. Founded in 1993, the employee-owned firm maintains an investment philosophy focused on constructing portfolios of quality companies at attractive valuations. Arjun Kumar, CFA, and Shirley Woo, CFA, will co-manage Sprucegrove’s portion of the fund.

As a result of Vanguard’s performance-based fee arrangements, the fund’s expense ratio is expected to increase 1 basis point (bps) to 0.38%.

Bloomberg Incorporates MSCI’s ESG Ratings

Bloomberg has announced that MSCI’s ESG Ratings are now available via the Bloomberg Terminal. Bloomberg Terminal users can access this MSCI data and use it alongside Bloomberg’s broader functionality across the terminal, complementing Bloomberg’s existing environmental, social and governance (ESG) data sets. 

With MSCI ESG Ratings, investors can measure a company’s resilience to long-term, financially relevant ESG risks. By using a rules-based methodology to identify industry leaders and laggards, MSCI rates companies on a “AAA to CCC” scale, according to their exposure to ESG risks and how well they manage those risks relative to peers. 

Investors can supplement their current research processes by incorporating MSCI’s ESG Ratings into their existing ecosystem of Bloomberg equity, fixed income and portfolio analysis tools. 

“With the shifting regulatory landscape and the demand for long-term sustainable returns, investors need the full picture of ESG data available to make informed decisions,” says Patricia Torres, global head of sustainable finance solutions at Bloomberg. “That is why Bloomberg is expanding our ESG data coverage to include third party data from providers like MSCI. We want our clients to have transparent and quality data that gives them a comprehensive view into the ESG landscape.”

“With over 40 years of experience, MSCI has been at the forefront of providing data, research and other tools to help enable ESG integration across the entire investment process,” says Eric Moen, head of ESG Products for MSCI ESG Research. “We are excited to offer sophisticated environmental, social and governance analysis through the Bloomberg Terminal to help investors gain the transparency they need to analyze and make better investment decisions.”

PFM Introduces Stable Value Diverse Manager Strategy

PFM has launched its Stable Value Diverse Manager (SVDM) strategy. 

This solution represents an important development given renewed efforts across the country to both emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and to promote minority- and women-owned businesses which, historically, have had limited opportunities in asset management.

PFM’s SVDM strategy is a turn-key multi-manager diversity solution offered to the defined contribution (DC) and stable value markets. While stable value has provided principal protection to DC plan participants for more than 35 years, it has not traditionally implemented solutions featuring diverse firms, except in rare situations, when directed by a plan sponsor. When implemented, it has tended to be in conjunction with a small number of large firms, rather than part of a broader strategy to bring emerging firms into the market.

The majority of the SVDM assets, targeted between 60% and 70%, will be managed by certified minority/women-owned business enterprises, while PFM will manage the remaining funds.

PFM has partnered with Garcia Hamilton & Associates L.P. and Xponance Inc. to implement a short-to-intermediate fixed income strategy that can be wrapped by one or more issuers. PFM will act as the manager responsible for the strategy, which may encompass either a client’s entire stable value fund or a sleeve within the fund. This strategy is currently available as a separately managed account solution.