Vanguard Group, the Malvern-based mutual fund giant, has boosted its Partnershp Plan payouts to senior managers and other veteran employees by around 10%, says Dan Wiener, publisher of the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors newsletter, citing Vanguard's own CrewNet internal newsletter
Added to last year's $106.18 base, I'm told the credits this year are set at would put this year's credits at $116.81.
According to Wiener, Vanguard's "top dogs," led by chief executive William McNabb, collect "90%" of their compensation from the plan, though lower-ranking workers are capped at 30%. For Vanguard executives, this means their income went up faster than the broad market indices last year.
How does Vanguard justify bosses getting bigger pay increases than investors realized in capital gains? The company doesn't just reward stock and bond market movement -- it gives points for sales boosts and cost-cutting.
By Wiener's calculations, "Since Vanguard founder Jack Bogle created the plan in 1984, dividends from the plan have compounded at a 14.0% annualized rate, which is a fair bit higher than the 10.2% annualized return from Vanguard’s flagship 500 Index fund. ... It pays better to be a Vanguard executive ... than it does to invest in an index fund."
Wiener refers the curious to "the updated version of Lewis Braham's book, The House that Bogle Built, which goes into some detail on the (Partnership Plan) and some of the more controversial aspects of how 'profits' at this 'non-profit' are calculated."