The logo for the Vanguard Group is shown on correspondence in Zelienople, Pa.
Keith Srakocic | AP
Vanguard, the non-profit financial giant that single-handedly revolutionized the investment management world, reportedly wants to join the private equity party train. Is this another market that it intends to overhaul by passively managing and micro-pricing index fund offerings to the masses, or is Vanguard worried about missing a possibly overheated market that its clients find sexier than public equity?
Vanguard has watched as its primary market for publicly traded US companies has shrunk from a high of 7,500 at the end of 1995 to around 4,400 at year-end 2018. Although the total public market value has grown considerably through appreciation during this period, the private equity industry has raised $1.6 trillion in funds over the past ten years, with $166.4 billion alone in 2018, according to Pitchbook data.
Huge piles of cash in growth-hungry public corporations as well as private…