News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Dimensional Fund Advisors makes unprecedented slash of fees across all its mutual funds and declines to rule out DFA ETFs muscling into the crowded market

The $579-billion Texas-based factor investor responds to apparent DFA RIA allocations to ETFs and rampant fee compression across the board.

Author By Lisa Shidler December 26, 2019 at 10:10 PM
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Former BlackRock global COO Lisa Dallmer has joined Dimensional Fund Advisors as its COO

Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy

December 27, 2019 — 5:48 AM
The writing is on the wall - the day of reckoning is here for product providers. The next 3 years will see a dramatic change in the both the product and platform landscape. It won't be a positive experience for most. DFA is re-positioning their deck chairs hoping their on a Carnival cruise, not the Titanic. Too little, too late? The bigger problem is that both products and platforms are now commoditized - partially due to a central bank regime that has played to beta being a more important driver to returns than alpha over the past decade, partially due to an unwillingness or inability to look beyond what were the gravy days of asset management from the '90s through roughly 2013. I suspect one need look no further than the brick and mortar retail industry to get a sense for how this plays out. In order to survive (and perhaps thrive) astute asset management firms should be looking at where the puck is going, not where it's been . Products and platforms have played out...what's next?
Jeff Spears

Jeff Spears

December 27, 2019 — 8:20 PM
DFA helps RIAs check many boxes now. Lower fees, asset class performance, training and holding period controls. I like the taste of the new DFA Kool-Aid.

Related Moves

DFA undergoes a sea change -- literally -- with a fancy yacht soirée, cigars and champagne as it attempts to sail away from its mutual fund image into the world of ETFs

Having just about staunched net outflows with its embrace of ETFs, DFA is embarking on a cultural shift as it tries to figure out how to sell more, even though it's less unique than it used to be.

March 13, 2024 at 1:46 AM

Dimensional Fund Advisors, long the flagship of factor investing, struggles to chart a course as a nimble rival and big foot competitors cut into its market--and exploit its slow move to ETFs

Vanguard, BlackRock and Avantis rattle a complacent Dimensional Fund Advisors with fee cuts and ETF roll outs based on 'smart beta.'

August 9, 2022 at 1:57 AM

After adding an ex-iShares product chief to call the shots and -- oye -- lowering fees, Dimensional Fund Advisors humbly and belatedly charges into ETFs and should score $5 billion in two years, an analyst says

DFA nabbed Nicole Hunter's BlackRock ETF playbook and committed to ETF-level fees to show the industry it plans to play to win assets -- even if some come from within.

November 12, 2020 at 4:43 AM

Avantis Investors rakes in another top-tier PIMCO talent who can do a very un-asset managerial task --talk to RIAs directly

Ex-DFA co-CEO Eduardo Repetto gets Hozef Arif to fill another key seat at the 60-person suite in Little Tokyo (LA) after he checks all the boxes

July 25, 2020 at 1:20 AM

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