- Index fund behemoth Vanguard Group has held talks with private equity firms, WSJ reported.
- A move into private equity funds would be a stark shift for the company known for low-cost ETFs and mutual funds.
Vanguard Group, the index fund behemoth, is considering private equity offerings and has held meetings with several firms, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The Malvern, Pa.-money manager that rose to fame by offering broad, low-cost stock-and-bond market funds, hasn't made a final decision on whether to offer access to private equity-related products, which could carry higher fees, the Journal said, citing sources. It said Vanguard has had "exploratory" talks with Boston's HarbourVest Partners, London-based Pantheon and at least one other firm over the past year.
"We continually evaluate a range of products and services, but have no immediate plans to offer a private equity fund," a Vanguard spokeswoman said in a statement.
The firm had about $5.2 trillion in assets as of the end of January.
Such a move would come as asset managers are facing increasing pressure to lower fees on their public-market funds. A report published by J.P. Morgan Chase last month said that fees on exchange-traded funds offered by large firms like Vanguard and Blackrock have dropped by 40% the past eight years.