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Top US Fund Manager Vanguard to Shut China Office, Quit Ant JV

The planned exit contrasts with recent expansions in China by its US rivals BlackRock and Fidelity

The logo for Vanguard is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Vanguard, with $7.1 trillion in assets under management globally, is moving to close its Shanghai office. Photo: Reuters


US fund giant Vanguard Group is shutting its main China office and exiting from a joint venture with Ant Group, five sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The moves will end Vanguard’s six-year presence in the world’s second largest economy.

This complete exit from China’s 27 trillion yuan ($3.92 trillion) funds market will come about two years after the firm indicated it would slow down growth plans for its fund management unit. The decision was a U-turn from Vanguard’s previous expansionary ambitions for China.


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Vanguard, with $7.1 trillion in assets under management globally, is moving to close its Shanghai office and lay off the staff there, according to two of the sources.

The US firm has notified the Shanghai local government, one of the sources said. The Shanghai government did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The planned exit contrasts with expansions in China by US rivals BlackRock and Fidelity in recent years. In addition, the bank asset management arms of JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley each received approval to take full ownership of their existing China operations earlier this year.


Exit from Ant JV

The world’s second-largest asset manager also plans to exit its fund advisory joint venture with Ant Group.

Ant has been notified about the planned withdrawal and is considering acquiring Vanguard’s 49% stake, the sources said, declining to be named because the conversations were private.

China’s Ant said the JV and the fund advisory service “are operating as usual”, while Vanguard did not reply immediately to a request for comment.

The Vanguard-Ant JV said in a company statement that it had 3 million investors as of January 2022. Its fund portfolio services rely heavily on automation.

Vanguard’s decision comes at a time of rising tensions between China and the US, and amid global fears of a decoupling between the world’s two biggest economies.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


Also read:

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Beijing Ready to Let Foreign Financial Firms List in China

China to Target High-Risk Institutions, Reduce System Threats

Goldman Sachs Lifts China GDP Growth Forecast to 6%

Blackrock Shelves China Bond ETF – FT


Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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