Vanguard gets regulatory nod to offer UK financial advice

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - U.S. asset manager Vanguard has been given permission by the British regulator to offer financial advice to retail investors, it told financial adviser clients in an email seen by Reuters.

Such a move by Vanguard, best known for its low-cost index-tracking funds that have already disrupted the asset management industry, would provide a major challenge to the army of financial advisers that currently promote its funds.

Head of Europe Sean Hagerty, who has overseen strong growth in regional assets under management, said efforts to launch a direct-to-consumer advice service were at an early stage and it was not currently working towards a specific date to do so.

“The provision of advice will never be one size fits all, and it’s important that investors are able to access advice in a manner that suits their particular preferences,” Hagerty said.

“Whichever path they choose, investors should have access to advice that is robust, low-cost and that puts their interests first. We look forward to continue working with advisers that are looking to do the same.”

The news was previously reported by the Financial Times newspaper. (Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Alex Richardson)