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Vanguard reopens dividend growth fund: News Scan

Vanguard plans to expand its application of blockchain in early 2018.

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Vanguard reopens dividend growth fund
Vanguard announced the reopening of the $36.6 billion Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) to all investors, effective immediately.

Vanguard closed the fund to most new accounts in July 2016, seeking to protect the interests of existing shareholders by reducing cash flow after a period of rapid growth, according to the firm. Cash flow has subsequently subsided and market conditions have changed since the fund's closing.

"After careful analysis of the fund's current cash flows and asset level, and following consultation with the fund's advisor, we're confident that there is ample capacity to reopen the fund," said Matthew Brancato, head of Vanguard's portfolio review department.

Vanguard also announced plans to broaden access for sophisticated investors to two actively managed alternative investment funds, the Vanguard Alternative Strategies Fund (VASFX) and Vanguard Market Neutral Fund (VMNFX).

Sprott to acquire Tocqueville gold strategies
Sprott and Tocqueville Asset Management have entered into a definitive agreement regarding the sale of Tocqueville's gold strategy asset management business to Sprott Asset Management, according to the firm.

The Tocqueville gold investment team, composed of senior portfolio manager John Hathaway and portfolio managers Douglas Groh and Ryan McIntyre, will join Sprott Asset Management on closing.

Based on current asset levels, the transaction will potentially add $1.9 billion to Sprott's AUM, the firm said.

RESEARCH
Can organizational culture drive fund performance?
Asset managers are more likely than other sectors to say employees regularly go above and beyond the requirements of their jobs, 69% versus 59%, respectively, according to a study. As much as 18% of employees in the industry are also more likely to be highly engaged, outpacing other sectors, according to findings from Oxford Economics and Grant Thornton.

Asset management employees are less likely than others to say their organization's goals for culture include team mentality and collaboration, 46% versus 56%, respectively, or personal accountability for work, 41% compared with 52%.

Nearly 70% of asset management executives say their culture facilitates innovation, compared with 59% of all other industry executives, the study found. Also, 56% of asset management employees are more likely to say they are fulfilled by their career compared to other industries, at 47%.

Record assets in global ETFs and ETPs
Global ETFs and ETPs gathered net inflows of $60.2 billion in July, bringing the year-to-date net inflows to a combined $269.7 billion, according to a report from ETFGI, an independent research and consultancy firm covering trends in ETFs and ETPs.

Assets invested in the global ETF and ETP industry have increased by 1.7%, from $5.6 trillion at the end of June to $5.7 trillion, setting a record, according to ETFGI's July 2019 Global ETF and ETP industry landscape insights report.

PRODUCTS
BP Capital launches renewable energy ETF
The index is composed of two distinct constituent groups. The first constitutes 75% of the total index weight, and consists of companies with meaningful revenue from renewable energy production or participation in businesses that rely on renewable energy, such as green transportation.

The second group constitutes 25% of the total index weight and includes companies that are leaders in meeting their primary energy requirements from renewables.

Renewable energy revenue and renewable energy usage are determined by data from Sustainalytics, a provider of global ESG research and ratings.

Northern Trust announces performance reporting tool
Northern Trust launched an analytics tool aimed at providing institutional investors with insights tracking, and analyzing risk and performance across their portfolios.

The enhancement introduces Performance RADAR, a proprietary reporting tool providing users with performance data, attribution, contributions and ex-post risk results online across individual and aggregated portfolios.

Northern Trust is leveraging new technologies to deliver more efficient processing and content integration alongside enhanced visualization capabilities. The introduction of persona-based set up enables speed of implementation while delivering the most relevant information to each user.

Kennedy Capital unveils ESG small- and mid-cap fund
Kennedy Capital Management released a small- and mid-cap mutual fund in accordance with ESG principles, the firm announced. The strategy focuses on companies that have an environmental or societal advantage to effectively compete in the market.

At 84 basis points, the average expense ratio is over 40 basis points pricier than what investors paid on average last year.
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"We believe the small- and mid-cap investment universe offers compelling opportunities for ESG-oriented investors, and our investment team is well-positioned to help clients capitalize on the unique characteristics of this portion of the equity market," said Donald Cobin, CEO of Kennedy Capital.

Loomis Sayles grows insurance capabilities
USFC announced the firm has added its suite of ETFs to FundVestETF, BNY Mellon Pershing's no-transaction-fee ETF platform.

"We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Pershing and are excited to participate in FundVest ETF," said USFC CEO John Love. "Investors are always looking for ways to differentiate their portfolios and now can include alternatives in their mix while accessing Pershing's no-transaction-fee environment."

VanEck, SolidX announce ETF-like bitcoin product
VanEck Securities and SolidX Management, firms that have together petitioned the SEC for more than a year to approve an ETF that tracks bitcoin, announced a new product it says will use Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933 as a workaround to do just that, according to Bloomberg News.

The fund, if approved, would be the first bitcoin product for institutions that features the same creation-and-redemption process found in traditional ETFs, the firm said.

"We are in the midst of a sea change for institutions, for the bitcoin ecosystem and for how market participants define an ETF," said Daniel H. Gallancy, CEO of SolidX.

ARRIVALS
American Century hires 3 portfolio managers
American Century Investments announced the addition of three senior portfolio managers from Dimensional Fund Advisors to support Avantis Investors, the firm's newly launched suite of tax-efficient, low-cost investments slated to launch later this year, according to the firm.

Daniel Ong is among three new portfolio managers at American Century Investments.

Former Dimensional portfolio manager and Vice President Ted Randall, former senior portfolio manager and Vice President Mitchell Firestein and former senior portfolio manager Daniel Ong bring a combined 45 years of investment management experience to their new roles.

"I worked with them all for over a decade and know they have critical skills that will help us bring reliable, cost-effective and well-diversified investment solutions to our clients. This is an exciting time, and I'm pleased to welcome them to the team," says the firm's Chief Investment Officer Eduardo Repetto.

The new strategies managed by the trio are available in both ETF and mutual fund wrappers, and are expected to rely on a proprietary investment approach based on market prices, the firm said.

British asset manager JOHCM appoints CEO of U.S. business
J O Hambro Capital Management, a U.K.-headquartered active asset management company with offices in London, Boston, New York and Singapore, has appointed former State Street EVP and chief growth officer Nick Good to CEO of its U.S. business, according to the firm.

Good, previously responsible for setting overall business strategy and leading corporate development at State Street, will now lead JOHCM's business in the U.S. from the firm's Boston office.

"Nick's leadership and achievements with global asset managers made him the prime candidate to lead our U.S. business," said Emilio Gonzalez, CEO of Pendal Group, JOHCM's parent company. "He has built and grown successful businesses, has deep knowledge of the market and a track record of delivering results."

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