Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1998

Vanguard Group, Inc. (1998), The

by Andre F. Perold

Abstract

Since the beginning of 1997, Vanguard's assets under management have increased more than 60% from $240 billion to almost $400 billion, making it second in market share only to Fidelity. Vanguard views this success as another vindication of its low-cost strategy of no-load funds, small expense ratios, candid client communication, high-quality service, and predictable performance. But the organization also is mindful of the unprecedented changes occurring in the financial services industry. Financial institutions have been rapidly consolidating, with firms such as Citigroup, UBS, and Merrill Lynch each now holding customer and other assets in excess of a trillion dollars. And technology-especially the Internet-is dramatically altering the creation, pricing, and delivery of financial services. Vanguard has to carefully consider its future, and faces key decisions such as expanding its range of products and offering asset management services in other countries.

Keywords: Asset Management; Cost Management; Investment Funds; Product; Service Operations; Performance Expectations; Competition; Consolidation; Expansion; Internet; Financial Services Industry;

Citation:

Perold, Andre F. "Vanguard Group, Inc. (1998), The." Harvard Business School Case 299-002, September 1998.