Plus, Legg Mason's new A shares, Neuberger Berman sale, and more.
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Vanguard is planning to add a new small-cap international index fund to its lineup. The Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index Fund will track the index listed in its title, which follows more than 3,300 stocks in 47 countries. Estimated expenses for the retail share class are 0.60% and will require a minimum investment of $3,000. ETF shares are also available at a cost of 0.38%. This will be Vanguard's first small-cap international index fund. It is expected to launch in early 2009.
Legg Mason Adds A Shares
Investors will soon have a way to avoid the high fees of several of the Legg Mason Primary funds. The firm is planning to introduce cheaper A shares into its Primary Shares fund lineup in February 2009 (Legg Mason Partners funds already offer A shares). Exact expense ratios are not finalized, but the new share class should provide a cost break for funds like Legg Mason International Equity
Neuberger Berman Buys Itself
After months of speculation, the future of Neuberger Berman (the asset-management arm of Lehman Brothers) has finally been decided. A group of senior executives and portfolio managers will acquire a majority interest in the firm, with the deal expected to close in early 2009. The transition should not directly affect fund shareholders, as the fund family's lineup and investment approaches are not expected to change. Management's stake in the firm should give them incentive to stick around for the long haul.
The transaction comes on the heels of several failed deals, including one involving Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Hellman & Friedman, LLC.
More Manager Mayhem
PIMCO has said goodbye to municipal-bond fund manager Mark McCray. Several of his funds have tanked this year, notably PIMCO Municipal Bond
DWS has also shaken up the management teams at several lackluster funds. Robert Janis is out as lead manager of DWS Small Cap Growth
Tara Kenney, Stephen Russell, and Rainer Vermehren have replaced Terrence Gray at the middling DWS Latin America Equity