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Vanguard sets an April 1 sell-by-date for some RIA clients to downgrade service or pay $300 upcharge, part of a concerning 'MBA-ization,' analyst says

The $7.2 trillion Malvern, Pa, money manager grew its RIA to a staggering $300 billion in eight years, but it's ready to crack down on investors who get premium service with pedestrian investment balances.

Author Lisa Shidler November 22, 2023 at 1:14 AM
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Jeff DeMaso: I see it as another sign of the "MBA-ization" of Vanguard.
Brooke Southall and Keith Girard contributed to the editing of this article.

Alois Pirker


Will Trout



November 23, 2023 — 9:48 AM
I have been a vanguard client for over 30 years. Customer service has been steadily declining to the point I am considering moving my portfolio. Even the automated voice response system is archaic, at best. I’ve called to place a fixed income trade and was on hold for over 20 minutes- I finally hung up. Although you may call a different number it’s the same voice response system and unable to reach the correct unit. Very frustrating . If they want to increase margins, at least invest in state of the art voice response system (advising your wait time and option for call back) Very disappointing!!


December 14, 2023 — 5:30 AM
I also have been a Vanguard client for over 30 years. Ever since Tim Buckley took charge customer service has become progressively worse to the point of being almost useless. What is striking is the cost of all this incompetence - I spend an hour on the phone with Vanguard and get nothing done. Their web site evolves but there appears to be no way for Vanguard clients to give input to the people designing the website / business processes. CSR's often aren't even aware of how the web site user interface works for a given client. Things that are simple to do at Fidelity (like specifically identifying lots of noncovered mutual fund shares to gift to a charity) are impossible to do at Vanguard in a predictable way. I will probably move my taxable equity assets to Fidelity because of this issue alone. Finally all the good will that Vanguard built up over the years with it's client base has been rapidly dissipated - at this point I do not trust Vanguard any more. The only thing Vanguard has going for it is low expense ratios and many other outfits can match those. I don't think Vanguard cares about its clients any more.

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