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Vanguard to Close Its Wellington Fund to Some Investors

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Vanguard Group Inc., the world’s biggest mutual-fund company, said two funds including the $68 billion Vanguard Wellington Fund won’t open new accounts for financial advisers and institutional investors.

The Wellington fund and the $39 billion Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund will remain open to new retail clients and to deposits from all existing customers, the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based company said today in a statement. Vanguard plans to open an emerging markets government bond index fund and exchange-traded version by the end of June.

“Our commitment is to protect the interests of the funds’ current shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer Bill McNabb said in the statement.

Assets at the Wellington Fund, Vanguard’s biggest that’s actively run, rose 17 percent in the year ended Jan. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fund returned 11 percent in the past year, beating 90 percent of competing funds. The Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund grew 15 percent in the year ended Jan. 31. It returned 4.3 percent in the past year, trailing 57 percent of rivals.

The new index fund and ETF will track the Barclays USD Emerging Markets Government RIC Capped Index, which includes about 540 government, agency and local authority bonds from 155 issuers, the company said. The largest holdings in the index, by country, are from Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

Vanguard is the third-biggest provider of ETFs in the U.S. Its ETFs are offered as share classes of index mutual funds.

Asset managers sometimes close funds to new investors after large deposits, which can make it difficult to invest money effectively.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Condon in Boston at ccondon4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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