SEC plans to approve Vanguard request to list actively managed ETFs

(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday said it planned to approve an application that would let Vanguard Group, the world’s second largest asset manager, offer exchange-traded versions of its actively managed mutual funds.

Vanguard’s move was seen by analysts as a potential game-changer for the U.S. actively managed funds industry that would increase competition and push down costs.

A spokeswoman for Vanguard, which first approached the SEC regarding listing actively managed funds in 2014, declined to comment.

Many active fund managers have been hesitant to launch ETF versions of their active funds fearing a requirement to disclose their portfolio holdings on a daily basis may reveal their investment strategies to potential copycat investors.

The SEC said in the filing it would require Vanguard to disclose on its website the identities and quantities of the portfolio positions that would form the basis for the fund’s calculation of net asset value at the end of the day.

The approval could still be reversed subject to a final hearing and does not oblige Vanguard – which already offers actively managed ETFs in Ireland and Canada – to proceed with a listing.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru and Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; writing by Michelle Price; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Andrew Hay