Best large fixed income manager was among many accolades that Vanguard won at the latest annual Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards.
Financial management

Vanguard wins Lipper award as fixed income manager

5 minute read
May 13, 2021
Financial management
Company news
Vanguard news

Vanguard was honored this year with 23 Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards, including Best Large Fixed Income Company for delivering superior firmwide performance.  

“This award is recognition of our strengths as both an index and an active manager,” said John Hollyer, global head of fixed income.

Vanguard has been actively managing bonds for nearly four decades. Our investment process leverages many diversifying strategies to generate return and focus on the most repeatable and reliable strategies. Combine that with our structural advantages and it’s hard to beat.

Inherent advantages

Vanguard is the only investor-owned firm (investors own the funds that own Vanguard) in the industry and the largest manager of bond mutual funds,* giving it economies of scale and a low-cost advantage when it comes to portfolio management.

“Because of our low cost, we can be flexible in the risks we take,” Hollyer said. “We can take risk off the table or judiciously take on risks when we feel it’s merited. Other firms are under pressure to take on more risk to justify their higher costs.”

“And because we’re client owned, our focus is always on delivering value to our clients, not to a third party.”

Collective expertise, not ‘star’ managers

Portfolio managers may have the final decision in their respective funds, but they are working collectively with others—up, down, and across teams. They take into account macroeconomic outlooks, as well as analysis on sectors and securities.

The credit, rates, and sector teams also compare notes to assess where the best value lies. Vanguard does not rely on any one “star” manager, who might have inherent biases that lead to an outsized bet on a sector or a hunch, and the focus is on diversified sources of alpha.

Learn more about our fixed income approach

Vanguard International Growth Fund, the perennial winner

In addition to fixed income overall, 13 Vanguard funds across asset classes were recognized—with one fund in particular earning special distinction.

Refinitiv Lipper’s global head of research noted that Vanguard International Growth Fund won its category four years in a row. A repeat winner for three-year performance in the international large-cap growth category, the fund also won this time for five- and ten-year performance.

Here is the full list of Vanguard winners and the time periods for which they won:

Vanguard Group, Inc., for Fixed Income Large Fund Company

Taxable fixed income funds

  • Vanguard Short-Term Federal Fund Admiral™ Shares, 3 and 5 years
  • Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Fund Admiral™ Shares, 10 years
  • Vanguard Long-Term Investment-Grade Fund Admiral™ Shares, 10 years
  • Vanguard Emerging Markets Bond Fund Investor Shares, 3 years
  • Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund Institutional Shares, 10 years
  • Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Fund Institutional Plus Shares, 3 and 5 years

Municipal fixed income funds

  • Vanguard California Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral™ Shares, 3, 5, and 10 years
  • Vanguard Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Fund Investor Shares, 3 and 5 years
  • Vanguard New Jersey Long-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral™ Shares, 5 and 10 years

Balanced funds

  • Vanguard Wellesley Income Fund Admiral™ Shares, 10 years

Equity funds

  • Vanguard International Growth Fund Admiral™ Shares, 3, 5, and 10 years
  • Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation Index Fund Admiral™ Shares, 3 years.
  • Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund Institutional Shares, 10 years
  • Vanguard Mid-Cap Value Index Fund Investor Shares, 10 years

Refinitiv Lipper’s fund awards are based on their “consistent return” measure using historical risk-adjusted returns relative to peers over three, five, and ten years. Group awards are for three-year periods. Group awards are divided between large and small companies based on the company’s number of funds in each asset class and assets under management. Click here for more detailed information on their methodology.

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*Source: Morningstar data as of December 31, 2020.