Vanguard Canada unveils low-cost actively managed mutual funds

Vanguard Canada’s Atul Tiwari

On the heels of its three asset allocation ETFs that shook up Canada’s investment industry in February, Vanguard Investments Canada Inc. today announced it will be providing four new low-cost actively managed mutual funds to the Canadian market.

The four new mutual funds are its first actively managed products for the domestic market: until now, it has been providing 36 exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with more than C$16 billion in assets. Vanguard says Canadians hold more than C $28 billion in Vanguard investments if you include both its Canadian products and its funds trading on US stock exchanges.

All four of the new active mutual funds are globally diversified: Vanguard says its management fees are about half that of the mutual fund industry average in Canada. (According to the Investment Funds Institute of Canada here, the average total cost of ownership of mutual funds for clients using advice-based distribution channels in Canada at the end of 2016 was 1.96% when taxes are excluded.)

IFIC has said these costs continue to fall and there’s little doubt Vanguard’s entry will accelerate the trend, and not a moment too soon, given last Thursday’s disappointing proposals from the Canadian Securities Administrators. (See the Hub’s roundup here or my Motley Fool Canada blog here).

In a press release distributed at 8 am Monday, Vanguard said the four new funds “feature global investment strategies from some of Vanguard’s longest-tenured sub-advisors” and complement its broad-based lineup of ETFs.

Vanguard Canada managing director Atul Tiwari (pictured) said “Vanguard has a deep 40-year history of active management expertise and we are excited to extend that to mutual fund investors in Canada, at a low cost … These mutual funds reflect our philosophy as an organization with a disciplined long-term approach and world-class investment managers that have worked with Vanguard for decades.”

Despite the fact The Vanguard Group Inc. pioneered index funds and low-cost passively managed investing (with more than US$5 trillion under management), it is also one of the world’s largest active managers, with US$1.2 trillion in global actively managed assets. The key contributing factors to successful active management are low costs, talent and patience, said Tim Huver, Vanguard Canada’s head of product.

Pricing varies with investment performance

Vanguard says it will use a unique pricing structure in the Canadian marketplace that aligns the interests of the sub-advisors with the funds’ investors. The maximum management fee for each mutual fund will be 0.50% and the management fee will vary up or down, up to that maximum amount, based on the investment performance of each fund.


Mutual Fund Maximum Management Fee First Year Management Fee
Vanguard Global Balanced Fund


0.50% 0.38%
Vanguard Global Dividend Fund


0.50% 0.34%
Vanguard Windsor U.S. Value Fund 0.50% 0.35%
Vanguard International Growth Fund 0.50% 0.40%


The first year management fee shown above is effective from June 25, 2018 to June 30, 2019. The funds will be available to financial advisors through Series F units and institutional investors through Series I units.

Canadian investors currently hold $1.5 trillion in mutual funds, according to Tiwari. “Vanguard has a long track record of lowering investment costs in the areas in which we operate, so we see providing greater choice and lower costs to a broader group of investors as very positive.”

More on the four actively managed global mutual funds

Vanguard Global Balanced Fund seeks to provide long-term capital growth together with some current income by investing primarily in a combination of equity and fixed income securities of issuers located anywhere in the world. This fund will be sub-advised by Wellington Management Canada ULC (and Wellington Management Company LLP, as a sub-advisor to Wellington Management Canada ULC).

Vanguard Global Dividend Fund seeks to provide an above-average level of current income together with long-term capital growth by investing primarily in dividend-paying equity securities of companies located anywhere around the world. This fund is also sub-advised by Wellington.

Vanguard Windsor U.S. Value Fund invests primarily in large- and mid-capitalization companies located in the United States whose stocks are considered to be undervalued. This fund will be sub-advised by Wellington Management Canada ULC and Pzena Investment Management LLC.

Vanguard International Growth Fund invests primarily in the stocks of companies located outside Canada and the United States. This fund will be sub-advised by Baillie Gifford Overseas Limited and Schroder Investment Management North America Inc.



One thought on “Vanguard Canada unveils low-cost actively managed mutual funds

  1. I ask yet again why aren’t our regulatory oversight vetting the contracts that investors sign before they can even access accounts, regardless of the business model, in order to invest
    Td has two clauses for its discount brokerage clients that are way out of line with industry codes of conduct and are blatantly abusive. But oversight including osc keep ignoring this.
    The terms are non compliant with oscs own statutes……but osc the defender of retail and market integrity simply shrugs and goes back to sleep.
    Too bad so many important to retail compliance issues are left off those check lists.

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