September 4, 2016 |
Can we have too much of a good thing? Index funds are guided not by the wizardly stock-pickers of old but by number crunchers who buy lists of representative securities and hold them, rise or fall. They have cut costs and boosted profits for large and small investors. But U.S. and European professors scrutinizing the impact of the Big Three index-fund purveyors - BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group, and State Street Corp. - say they see, in the triumph of indexing, not just a cheap way for investors to squeeze profits but also threats to capitalism as we know it. Index funds and managers of index "strategies" now control 34 percent of global stocks by value, up from 25 percent just five years ago, writes Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, in a report last month for Sanford C. Bernstein, New York.
May 17, 2016 |
Don't you wish someone would do this for you? California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Los Angeles Democrat who is backed by labor unions, says he sympathizes with the little guy fighting unfair systems. "When a whistle-blower comes forward, they are usually doing a very good job for society," Gatto told me. But that's not how he felt last winter, when Gatto read an online commentary about how Vanguard Group, the Malvern-based private company that runs the nation's largest and fastest-growing mutual fund operation, might owe "billions" in unpaid income taxes.
May 5, 2016 |
A few thousand Vanguard investment customers thought they had made some extra bucks on Monday. But it turned out to be a software glitch: Vanguard account holders who were checking their balances on Apple iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches - in short, anyone using an operating system on an Apple device - briefly experienced inflated values. "A few thousand out of our 20 million clients" were affected, according to Vanguard spokeswoman Katie Hirt. Hirt said 16 percent of customers who visit the company's website Vanguard.com do so through an Apple device and application.
March 31, 2016 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a "friend of the court" motion arguing that David Danon, the former Vanguard Group tax lawyer who says he was fired for complaining about billions of dollars of federal and state income-tax underpayments by the Malvern-based mutual-fund giant, is entitled to whistleblower protection under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010....
January 18, 2016 |
An IT employee at Vanguard Group, Rebecca Snow asked for a month off in 2013 to care for her dying mother in hospice and her ailing father. Not long after her leave, Snow was fired from her computer systems job, despite 13 years of raises and excellent reviews. Colleagues who took a family leave routinely suffered bad reviews, pay cuts, and firings, Snow alleged in a suit she later filed. Her manager Wanda Kirschbaum urged Snow to take the leave, and was also later fired. "I felt bad because I was the one who encouraged" Snow to take the leave, Kirschbaum said in a deposition for Snow's suit, "because they held it against her. " In November, Snow settled her suit, filed in Charlotte, N.C., where Vanguard has an office, and agreed not to discuss it. Her case is the latest in a string of 20 suits against the $3.4 trillion investment giant, which is based in Malvern.
November 25, 2015 |
Mutual-fund giant Vanguard Group will pay several million dollars in back taxes to Texas, marking the first payout linked to a whistle-blower's contention that the company has underpaid its income taxes. The Texas comptroller of public accounts found a payment "deficiency" from 2010 to 2014 when it audited Vanguard's payments of the 1 percent corporate franchise tax, state records show. Texas last month also agreed to pay $117,000 to David Danon, a former Vanguard tax attorney, for his role in helping bring the violations to light.
January 6, 2015 |
Vanguard Group , the Malvern-based investment giant, has filed what it hopes will be its final reply to the 2013 whistle-blower lawsuit filed by David Danon , a former tax lawyer for the company. Danon, who resides in Chester County, says Vanguard underpaid its federal and state income taxes by more than $1 billion by arranging for its mutual funds to underpay for Vanguard Group management services, thus reducing the group's income and its tax liability in defiance of federal rules.
November 23, 2014 |
David Danon tried to warn Vanguard Group it was illegally underpaying its income taxes while he was a tax lawyer for the company from 2008 to 2013 and was punished in return, according to an affidavit filed in his whistleblower lawsuit last week. Danon, of Wayne, contends that after trying to "silence" him, Vanguard fired him "in retaliation for my persistent vocal questioning. " He said he sued only after Vanguard officials refused to act on what he termed "clear violations of law. " Danon said Vanguard, based in Malvern and holding $3 trillion in assets, was "intentionally engaged in unlawful conduct," in court papers meant to answer Vanguard's efforts to discredit him and stop his complaint from advancing in New York Superior Court.
November 10, 2014 |
Vanguard Group has grown so large, it can throw its weight around in any boardroom in America. "We own about 5 percent of every publicly traded [U.S.] company," sometimes more, chief executive F. William McNabb told a conference at the University of Delaware's John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance on Oct. 30. McNabb said he has had to educate corporate managers who think Vanguard's funds of stocks, copied from indexes such as the S&P 500, are mere "passive" investors.
November 2, 2014 |
Vanguard Group , the Malvern mutual fund giant, wants a New York court to throw out a tax-fraud lawsuit that challenges the company's legal structure. It alleges that David Danon , the ex-Vanguard lawyer who filed the complaint, violated basic rules of corporate lawyer behavior by accusing his former bosses. Vanguard's memo, made public after New York Supreme Court Justice Joan A. Madden declined Vanguard's requests to keep case documents secret, argues that Danon "grossly betrayed" the $3 trillion-asset company, violated confidentiality requirements, and broke state legal ethics rules when he "stole hundreds of privileged and confidential documents" related to Vanguard tax practices.