Add Vanguard Group to the list of money managers redoubling their efforts in the suddenly popular defined benefit space. Last month, in a surprise announcement, CEO Jack Brennan said he would pass the reins of the $1.5 trillion-
in-assets money manager to William McNabb, head of the institutional and international businesses, sometime in the next 12 months. McNabb, a 22-year veteran of the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, firm, built its defined benefit business to $58.3 billion under management for about 500 small plans. The pace of growth is accelerating: Assets rose 8 percent in the last three months of 2007 alone as plan sponsors responded to recent changes in accounting rules that make the plans more challenging to manage. Despite the fact that the DB market is not growing that quickly, if at all, many of our clients with DC plans are turning to us to help them manage their DB plans, says McNabb, who became a board director on March 1.