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Vanguard to Expand Private Equity Access

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What You Need to Know

  • The expanded access will first be available to eligible self-directed Vanguard clients.
  • It is expected to be available to eligible advised clients of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services in “the near future.”
  • Qualified individual investors and accredited investors will be eligible for the private equity offering.

Vanguard is expanding its private equity offering to include qualified individual accounts this summer. The offering, which was initiated in 2020, has been limited to institutional investors.

The expanded access will first be available to eligible self-directed Vanguard clients and subsequently to eligible clients of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services in “the near future,” according to the Vanguard press release.

Only qualified purchasers and accredited investors are eligible. Qualified purchasers include individuals or family-owned businesses that own $5 million or more in investments, excluding primary residence or business property, or an individual or entity with at least $25 million in private capital.

Accredited investors include individuals with a minimum net worth of $1 million, or more than $200,000 in annual income and financial professionals with Series 7, 65 or 82 licenses in good standing.

In announcing the news, Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley said in a statement, “Private equity has the potential to improve long-term investment outcomes of a broadly diversified portfolio. Over time we will expand access to this asset class, which has traditionally been reserved for the wealthiest investors, to the many qualified investors at Vanguard.”

“Our extensive private equity research suggests that investors who can access high-quality, broadly diversified strategies with top private equity managers can potentially realize significant financial benefits over long time horizons,” added Matt Benchener, managing director of Vanguard Retail Investor Group.

Like its previous private equity funds for institutional investors, Vanguard’s expanded offering latest is a partnership with HarbourVest,  an independent, global private markets investment specialist that offers strategies through primary partnerships,  secondary transactions, and direct co-investments.

As of March 31, Vanguard had $7.5 trillion in global assets, while HarbourVest had more than $76 billion in assets under management.

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