Vanguard made several key appointments across its investment management division, including portfolio manager changes, as part of what it said were “ongoing efforts to build and expand the capabilities of its global team of more than 500 portfolio managers, analysts, and traders.”
The changes were made across Vanguard’s Fixed Income Group and Quantitative Equity Group, which, together with Vanguard’s Equity Index Group, oversee more than $5.2 trillion, or 89% of Vanguard’s total assets under management, it said.
Sara Devereux joined the fixed income group company from Goldman Sachs as principal and global head of rates, succeeding Ron Reardon, who retired after 18 years with Vanguard. Jeffrey Johnson is relocating to Malvern, Pennsylvania as co-head of Bond Indexing – Americas, after leading Vanguard’s Asia-Pacific Fixed Income Group in Melbourne, Australia, and Nathan Will has assumed the role of head of municipal credit research.
Vanguard also announced portfolio manager changes to its active taxable fixed income fund lineup: Arvind Narayanan moves to Vanguard’s investment-grade credit portfolios to oversee the credit sleeves of Vanguard Core Bond Fund and Vanguard Global Credit Fund; Mauro Favini moves tothe Vanguard Emerging Market Bond Fund; and Gemma Wright-Casparius will focus on the short-, intermediate-, and long-term Treasury funds and the Inflation Protected Securities Fund, while relinquishing her Core Bond Fund portfolio management responsibilities.
In the Quantitative Equity Group, Sharon Hill was named senior portfolio manager, head of Alpha Equity – Global & Income.
Hennessy Rebalances Cornerstone Mid Cap 30
Hennessy Funds has completed the annual rebalance of its 16-year-old Hennessy Cornerstone Mid Cap 30 Fund and kept just three companies’ stocks this time, Ryan Kelley, portfolio manager, said at a recent press briefing.
The “keepers” were Corte Madera, California-based home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware (RH), Jacksonville, Florida-based transportation logistics services company Landstar System (LSTR) and Chicago insurance company Old Republic International (ORI), he noted.
The strategy for the fund remains the same, said Kelley, explaining: “It is a concentrated portfolio in which we invest just into 30 names, and those 30 names are all mid-cap names.” Like all the four funds that follow the Cornerstone strategy, Mid Cap 30 takes a “fundamental quantitative” approach, removing all emotional investing and focusing on what’s “worked over a long period of time,” while being transparent to investors, he said.
Three sectors are key components of the mid-cap fund: financials, information technology and consumer discretionary. Although the financials sector “lagged” the overall market in 2018, it’s made a strong comeback in 2019, with stocks up about 28% year to date, said Kelley, noting the fund includes six stocks in that sector this year (four of them insurance firms), up from just two in 2018.
Hennessy also boosted the number of IT stocks, to six this year from three last year and none in 2017, as enterprise spending drives the sector, he noted.
The largest sector exposure of the fund is again in consumer discretionary, accounting for 10 stocks, much of them focused around housing because of strength in that market. “We’re in the second-largest expansion period for homebuilding in history,” said Kelley noting the support of low interest rates in new home purchases and increased home prices.
Cornerstone Mid Cap 30 has “returned about 10% per year since inception,” said Kelley. All the stocks in the portfolio are U.S.-based and combine “value, earnings growth and momentum together to give [investors] a good portfolio of companies,” said Kelley. Hennessy Funds has $5 billion in assets under management and nearly 250,000 shareholders across the U.S., according to the company.
Envestnet MoneyGuide Releases Four More Blocks
Envestnet MoneyGuide expanded its MyBlocks financial wellness ecosystem further, adding four new “blocks” of information: Financial Concerns, Financial Goals, Retirement Concerns and Retirement Expectations.
Financial Concerns enables clients to “self-diagnose concerns such as overspending,” losing a job or buying a home, Envestnet said. Each concern is rated on a scale of concern from low to high, which can form the basis of a discussion between advisors and clients to “identify new strategies that will give clients peace of mind to ease concerns and meet goals,” it said.