Funds with an independent chairman at the helm of the board don’t necessarily have lower fees or better performance, fund consultants Geoffrey Bobroff and Thomas Mack tell The Wall Street Journal, in a letter to the editor refuting recent criticism from Vanguard founder John Bogle.

Bobroff and Mack said they came to their conclusion through an independent study, commissioned by Fidelity Investments. The study looked at all retail-oriented fund complexes with $10 billion or more in assets, determining fund complexes with independent chairman through SEC filings.

The study found, in fact, that funds with independent chairman have delivered sub-par performance to those overseen by a chairman from management, and the fees of funds with independent chairmen are not necessarily lower but range widely, from competitive to high. Noting that Bogle criticized their study’s methodology, the consultants said they "stand by" their study’s design, "which was developed before the data was analyzed and kept sharply focused on the question at hand: Whether independent chair funds have provided better performance or lower expenses than management chair funds."

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