Vanguard Windsor Manager to Step Down

February 3, 2004 ( - The lead portfolio manager of the popular value-oriented Vanguard Windsor Fund will retire at the end of June, the Vanguard Group announced.

Charles Freeman, 60, is a senior vice president and partner of Wellington Management Co., which provides investment advisory services for about 70% of the Windsor Fund’s net assets, Reuters reported. The well-known Freeman had led the fund’s management team since 1996 and has been on the Wellington advisory team for the Windsor Fund for 35 years. The fund dates back to 1958.

Freeman has also been portfolio manager of the $412 million Vanguard Capital Value Fund since its inception in 2001.

Vanguard said stepping in for Freeman will be David Fassnacht, who will now lead the team that assumes responsibility for Wellington Management’s portion of the Windsor Fund and for the Capital Value Fund. Fassnacht, 37, is a Wellington senior vice president and partner and was named assistant portfolio manager of Windsor in 2001. Fassnacht’s team for the Windsor and Capital Value funds will include James Averill, James Mordy and David Palmer.

Vanguard said the Windsor Fund will retain its contrarian bias in favor of stocks often shunned by other institutional investors by seeking out shares it believes are undervalued relative to their earnings, dividends and book values.

“We have outperformed the market and our value fund peer groups by a wide margin, and have added considerable bench strength to the team,” said Freeman.

The remaining 30% of the Windsor Fund’s portfolio is managed by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Paul Herbert, mutual fund analyst at research firm Morningstar Inc., said the Windsor Fund gained 10.7% per year annualized from 1996 to 2003 under Freeman’s management, compared to 8.8% for its large cap value peer group over the same period.