[Vanguard partners with Infosys for Defined Contribution recordkeeping]

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m@ver1ck
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by m@ver1ck »

Duplicate entry.
Last edited by m@ver1ck on Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
m@ver1ck
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by m@ver1ck »

Well, FWIW, if you own vtiax you also own infosys stock.

As an American citizen of Indian origin, I’m not sure what to make of this.

Did I take the job of an American? Maybe. But I’m now a manger and we’ve been trying to hire people for jobs at my FAANG company - and we pay an insane amount of money for top talent - no matter where they’re from.

Oh - and I came to this FAANG company after my previous employer outsourced my job to Accenture and wanted me to manage the resources in India over phone.

We would truly love to hire more Americans to get some more diversity at our workplace - but it’s 90% Russians, Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, East Europeans, some Australians (white and Chinese), South Africans (white). Even the ‘white’ American looking folks turn out to be Canadians. :-) unfortunately very few Hispanics and black Americans.- but we’re trying to fix that. Thats tech.


In my team in particular - I have 12 here in US and 6 in China. Of the 12 in the US, 3 are American born. One is of middle easter and Swedish descent, another is part Thai and another is African American. I’ve also got three born in Mexico, three from India and three from China. Approx.
I lose count. :-)

Marketing, finance etc I don’t know what the make up
looks like.

I feel the American education system has failed us? Or maybe I’m just being pessimistic and a racist. We just hire too talent wherever from around the world - and from the US.

I can only work hard and ensure my kids have skills that can’t be as easily outsourced. I tell them they’re competing with kids growing up in India and China who don’t have video games and Netflix - and are studying hard instead - some with barely working electricity at home.

Can’t begrudge them if they’ve worked hard and are talented. They’re just trying to earn a good living as are everyone else.

If everything gets outsourced, all that will remain in the US is the 1% and the ‘service’ industry serving the 1%. But how many restaurants and waiters will the 1% need? Or will it be the service Industry just serving people who serve the 1%?

But yeah - I Infosys is likely to screw things up
- most IT projects fail anyway. :-)
Last edited by m@ver1ck on Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
palanzo
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by palanzo »

From another thread and relevant.

viewtopic.php?p=5371053#p5371200
m@ver1ck
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by m@ver1ck »

About that thread - when I first came to the US in 2000, I was making 55K a year since I was working for an exploitative ‘consulting’ company. I switched jobs within 6 months of landing in the US and then made 100K a year. In Austin, TX. Unfortunately that job sucked too and had to move to New Jersey in 2001 where I then made only 90K as starting salary. No idea whether that was less or more than my American peers. I did make 10K more than my French Canadian friend.

The company that paid me $100K in TX charged IBM $400/hr for my work. :oops:
The CEO was a scam artist. :-)
RocketShipTech
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by RocketShipTech »

AerialWombat wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:34 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:40 pm Me, I love globalization.

A DD has worked for three foreign corporations, currently working for one now.

Americans aren't competing against just each other today. They are competing against the world. It is all about what the skill set is worth.

Vanguard is a business. It isn't blind to these type cost savings opportunities, nor should they be.

I'm signing off to watch some TV. On my Samsung TV. I remember the Curtis Mathis
TV ads, something like this, Curtis Mathis, the most expensive TVs in America, and darn well worth it. I don't see those ads anymore.

Broken Man 1999
+1

This entire thread is such a stereotypical American reaction that it’s almost comical.

We live in a global economy, folks. Get used to it.
It’s more accurate to say that we live in a customer-centric economy. If customers value things like American jobs and are willing to move money where their mouth is, that’s what they’ll get. If they only care about that last basis point in expense ratio, well that’s what they’ll get too.

What I find comical is the defeatist responses on this thread. “Yes this sucks but what are you going to do?” It’s one thing to fight mindless globalization and lose. It’s another to surrender without so much as a wombat’s squeal.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by pcsrini »

RocketShipTech wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:37 am
AerialWombat wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:34 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:40 pm Me, I love globalization.

A DD has worked for three foreign corporations, currently working for one now.

Americans aren't competing against just each other today. They are competing against the world. It is all about what the skill set is worth.

Vanguard is a business. It isn't blind to these type cost savings opportunities, nor should they be.

I'm signing off to watch some TV. On my Samsung TV. I remember the Curtis Mathis
TV ads, something like this, Curtis Mathis, the most expensive TVs in America, and darn well worth it. I don't see those ads anymore.

Broken Man 1999
+1

This entire thread is such a stereotypical American reaction that it’s almost comical.

We live in a global economy, folks. Get used to it.
It’s more accurate to say that we live in a customer-centric economy. If customers value things like American jobs and are willing to move money where their mouth is, that’s what they’ll get. If they only care about that last basis point in expense ratio, well that’s what they’ll get too.
The globalization argument is powerful and interesting as it has resulted in a better quality of life. But imagine if we allowed for H-1B’s for other professionals: doctors, lawyers, finance professionals etc. The reason why the AMA and other professional organizations tightly control the numbers of professionals is to maintain quality, manage supply and demand, and as a result keep wages high. These same arguments can also apply to software professionals. Left to publicly traded companies, executives and investors will always demand cheaper costs. Organizations like the AMA should be commended for keeping quality high, and not allowing the Kaiser’s, Aetna’s etc from sponsoring H-1B’s and then training them for the job.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by sean.mcgrath »

whodidntante wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:02 pm I have been to an Infosys facility in India. It was terrifying.
I'm curious: what bothered you most at the facility?
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by sean.mcgrath »

Helo80 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:50 pm 100%. I'm curious if anybody on this forum can defend Vanguard's actions, as this is 100% taking I presume to be solid American jobs and sending them to India.
In the last thirty years, Asia has seen the largest rise out of poverty in the history of the world. I have been traveling there for decades (I'm on my second ten year visa for China), and the change has been absolutely stunning:
Estimates released in 2015 indicate that extreme income poverty in the Asia-Pacific region declined from close to 1.7 billion people in 1990 to approximately 569 million in 2012. Thus, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in the region declined from 53 to 14 per cent.
At the same time, the US has had a booming economy, tremendous wealth creation, and for most of the period very low unemployment. I wonder how anyone can "defend" caring only about Americans, to be honest....

The economic transitions are often very difficult at the individual level. Personally, I would prefer a stronger role for government here than most Americans would advocate. But that's a choice for Americans, and you can't really blame India.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

pcsrini wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:52 am
RocketShipTech wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:37 am
AerialWombat wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:34 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:40 pm Me, I love globalization.

A DD has worked for three foreign corporations, currently working for one now.

Americans aren't competing against just each other today. They are competing against the world. It is all about what the skill set is worth.

Vanguard is a business. It isn't blind to these type cost savings opportunities, nor should they be.

I'm signing off to watch some TV. On my Samsung TV. I remember the Curtis Mathis
TV ads, something like this, Curtis Mathis, the most expensive TVs in America, and darn well worth it. I don't see those ads anymore.

Broken Man 1999
+1

This entire thread is such a stereotypical American reaction that it’s almost comical.

We live in a global economy, folks. Get used to it.
It’s more accurate to say that we live in a customer-centric economy. If customers value things like American jobs and are willing to move money where their mouth is, that’s what they’ll get. If they only care about that last basis point in expense ratio, well that’s what they’ll get too.
The globalization argument is powerful and interesting as it has resulted in a better quality of life. But imagine if we allowed for H-1B’s for other professionals: doctors, lawyers, finance professionals etc. The reason why the AMA and other professional organizations tightly control the numbers of professionals is to maintain quality, manage supply and demand, and as a result keep wages high. These same arguments can also apply to software professionals. Left to publicly traded companies, executives and investors will always demand cheaper costs. Organizations like the AMA should be commended for keeping quality high, and not allowing the Kaiser’s, Aetna’s etc from sponsoring H-1B’s and then training them for the job.
I'm very happy my immigrant doctor made it here. Quality medical education isn't a monopoly of the US, by a long shot.

Broken Man
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
Chicken Little
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Chicken Little »

I feel bad for the employees, but this was inevitable.

There are 7.8 billion people on the planet, and 330 million in US. We are transitioning more towards a truly global workforce every day. I suspect that this will only be accelerated by the pandemic.

If you charted every country by average income, what would you expect to happen to relative salaries in the US over the next few decades?

Just hope I hit the finish line before my number is up.

Good luck, everybody.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by SmileyFace »

Your headline is dead wrong.
The 1300 employees are all being offered jobs at Infosys.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Elysium »

AerialWombat wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:34 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:40 pm Me, I love globalization.

A DD has worked for three foreign corporations, currently working for one now.

Americans aren't competing against just each other today. They are competing against the world. It is all about what the skill set is worth.

Vanguard is a business. It isn't blind to these type cost savings opportunities, nor should they be.

I'm signing off to watch some TV. On my Samsung TV. I remember the Curtis Mathis
TV ads, something like this, Curtis Mathis, the most expensive TVs in America, and darn well worth it. I don't see those ads anymore.

Broken Man 1999
+1

This entire thread is such a stereotypical American reaction that it’s almost comical.

We live in a global economy, folks. Get used to it.
Right. Folks are tripping over each other trying to bash Vanguard based on their own deep bias driven knee jerk responses. At the same time I must note that the more seasoned and responsible among us have not reacted in the same fashion and taking the rational approach of giving it time to see the outcome.

The fact is that Vanguard IT has suffered for a long time, behind rivals, they need to upgrade their platform in order to not just keep up with rivals, but for customer satisfaction in the long run. I would give them 2 years to see results, if the Tech improves within that time then I think it is a move in the right direction, but if things remain same but for overall lower operating cost then I would think it wasn't worth it for us as customers.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by bondsr4me »

Will Vanguard still be "The House That Jack Built"?

I can't help but wonder what Jack would have to say about this if he were still with us.

Just makes me wonder.

I do feel bad for the VG employees who are going to lose their jobs.
I just wonder about the "crew" morale at VG now.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Helo80 »

pcsrini wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:43 pm The important point a lot of companies that drink the outsourcing kool-aid miss is that the quality of engineers they hire from India are not going to be comparatively productive to engineers trained in the US. Even if they build the loss of productivity into their models, it still often falls short. India's universities vary greatly in quality - at the high end, there are absolutely world class institutions. The engineers from the top end schools are hired by the FAAMNG (facebook, amazon, apple, microsoft, netflix, google) and other real product companies.The engineers who end up at outsourcers like Infosys with their main focus being sustaining engineering are generally towards the bottom end of the spectrum.
I've read this and seen this first-hand (as well I as I can) time and again. Some Indian Universities are nothing more than diploma mills producing students at ITT Tech (and like) standards or less. Other Indian Universities are producing UC Berkeley, MIT, etc. caliber students. The examples non-tech BHs cite as c-suite execs at FAANG --- regardless of what country they were educated in, you know the caliber of talent they represent.

Also, in America, we all should be able to agree that not all universities are created the same.
pcsrini wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:43 pm And then they have a lot of turnover because the better engineers even at these outsourcing companies are quick to leave to product companies working on the newest tech and products. The constant turnover means lack of continuity, accountability and as a result quality issues as the new hires are coming up to speed (learning on the job). The numbers look fantastic from a C-Suite perspective (2 to 1, or 3 to 1 is often quoted), but the "follow the sun" model puts a ton of burden on engineers who have to work with outsourcers, and often a lot is lost in translation resulting in customer pain.

From a number's perspective, it's great. Short term profit margins and cost savings will be realized. However, Vanguard hasn't been able to scale its growth all that well, and should they continue to see more money and new customers join ---- things could get far worse.

Then again, some of you all may use Vanguard strictly through the mail and writing checks. In that case, their service should continue without hiccups from your perspective.
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beyou
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by beyou »

palanzo wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:35 am
beyou wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:24 am I work for a subadvisor of Vanguard funds.
We did something similar and then reversed it.
Over promise and under delivery by outsourcing partner.
Many years ago Merrill did same, outsource then reverted.

Quality simply wont be the same, keep that in mind if you have a Vanguard 401k. And assume they will negotiate more such deals for more services.

I am going to see how the etrade Morgan Stanley buyout goes. Etrade has had excellent service and both firms seem more committed to quality and keeping jobs in the US. Might move to Etrade.
Yes but E*Trade has a really terrible website. Arcane best describes it.
Well that is a matter of opinion, and many here complain about the bad service and website at Vanguard, others say both are fine.
As long as a website is responsive, easy to find most if not all activities needed, I actually can't stand when companies "re-design" just
for the sake of a fresh look. I get used to the design and that alone makes it efficient. I have no problem using Vanguard nor Etrade sites,
though they are very different looking, just used to them and they work fine for me. I don't keep much at Etrade and they keep offering to pay me to move more there, but I do use their site often enough to know their site is actually more reliable than Vanguard.

To the folks at Vanguard, your 401k platform was why I started investing with Vanguard, I had no choice, my employer selected it for me.
My satisfaction led to opening additional accts on my own (taxable, IRA, family members). Decline in services can easily reverse that decision.
I am also a long time Citibank customer and former employee. They moved much of their call center to India. Well I wont call off hours anymore because the quality of the support in India (at Citi) is horrible. They have little training, waste your time jumping through hoops and never resolving anything. Not to say Vanguard can't do it better, but if not, serious problem. I started reducing my usage of Citi over time, first getting another checking acct that I now keep much more $ than Citi. Then getting other credit cards where I do most of my spending. At least Citi will give more competent support during local business hours, but as I can't call 24 hrs, that is a reduction in service. The Citi website does not work very well, don't care how it looks, but it fails often. Can't stand using it now. When they see how little I keep there now and how few credit card transactions I make now...they really should connect the dots. Cutting corners in service -> reduced customer usage of services if not complete account elimination (sometimes closing accts is painful, but leaving them open and unused is easier).
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by LadyGeek »

The thread is derailed on the impact of outsourcing in general. To keep the discussion focused, please focus how this change impacts Vanguard directly.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Helo80 »

1. Go to Discover.com right now (Discover Credit Card website)
2. For years now, they've had the gal with the 30 degree head tilt and "100% US Based Customer Service" on their front page.

If US based employees mean nothing, why would they advertise this?
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by SmileyFace »

This thread starts with a headline that is 100% false and just degrades from there. There is so much bad misinformation and speculation in this thread I don't know where to start so I am giving up ...
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Helo80 »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:03 am The thread is derailed on the impact of outsourcing in general. To keep the discussion focused, please focus how this change impacts Vanguard directly.

Since BHs has the annual BogleHead conference, I think Vanguard employees and important figures there are invited to speak. (I could be dead wrong, I don't really follow the conferences).

How can we, as Vanguard members/owners, make our voices heard?

Right now, I've read a few times that one advantage Vanguard has over Fidelity and Schwab is that Vanguard is member owned. What can we as members/owners do?

(Note: we may need some guidance here from admin/staff. Don't expect us to instantly know the Vanguard corporate structure. To be fair, I don't know if y'all know it either, but we all need guidance and to pool our brains.)
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by beyou »

There are many here that invest with Vanguard and seem bought into the halo effect of our dear departed Mr. Bogle as a reason
to stick with Vanguard despite inconsistent service, despite other firms matching their low fees, despite faulty technology.
This is another step towards elimination of all the Mr Bogle stood for and the halo.
It doesn't sound right, and it's not right, and it will lead to worse outcomes for customers.

The only argument to do this is "all our competitors do it" and yeah, well all Jack's competitors charged upfront loads,
large annual ER and no index funds. So the days are gone where they will do better and do good.

For everyone's sake, I hope this goes smoothly and Infosys does a great job for Vanguard.
But I have first hand experience with this type of outsourcing in the same industry and it's not easy to get it right, and takes
quite a while to go from good to bad and good again. There is no guarantee about the outcome, but if one is happy with the current state
(and I was happy with Vanguard services mostly) why risk the good->bad->good again cycle that often comes from putting all your long time employees into this position of looking for a new job while training people half way around the world. Why put customers through speaking to people half way around the world who are working in the middle of the night, using a fake name, speaking a barely recognizable version of the same language, and have distracting noise in the background from a crowded call center ?

Fidelity zero funds starting to look better. Fidelity moved lots of their work nearshore around the US, and much of that
commutable distances from their older high cost offices in Boston, enabling them to retain experienced staff while lowering real estate costs.
So all those posters who say services and tech is better at Fido, you get what you pay for.

Etrade free trading of Vanguard funds (get the low cost funds without their bad service). I have only spoken to reps in the US.
Their new parent Morgan Stanley, actually reached out to me to recruit me (IT job) and part of the selling pitch was "we're committed
to your area and not moving these jobs". I realize anything can change, but some companies recognize that quality for employees leads to quality for customers. The never ending push for lowest cost (by us consumers) has led to this outcome. I really worry about my kids and their generation. I would tell them NEVER buy a house, keep your luggage packed and be ready to move anywhere on a moments notice. No way to live, and if so, how does that impact customers ?

I know this is a primarily pro-Vanguard site, but I am for the first time every very concerned about the future of Vanguard.
If the service level declines, no doubt I'll move my accounts, they have no loyalty to their employees and if that leads to bad outcomes for
consumers, then they have no loyalty to you. Why show them loyalty ? Wait and see but I have seen this play before.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by beyou »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:03 am The thread is derailed on the impact of outsourcing in general. To keep the discussion focused, please focus how this change impacts Vanguard directly.
Discussing other alternatives to moving away from Vanguard seems relevant.
If this change results in poor service, the question is are there better alternatives ?
Maybe not, but worth knowing/considering.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by galawdawg »

bondsr4me wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:51 am Will Vanguard still be "The House That Jack Built"?
IMHO, Vanguard hasn't been "the house that Jack built" for many years. That's why I moved our entire portfolio out last year after thirty years with Vanguard.

For those who sing Vanguard's praises (I used to be one) and note that Vanguard is "client-owned" and not publicly traded, note that Vanguard is NOT a non-profit company. In fact, Vanguard rakes in huge profits. Ask yourself where those profits end up. Have they gone to improve the IT infrastructure? Customer service improvements, such as evening and weekend hours? More services for customers/clients? Passed along to client-owners in the form of lower fees than Fidelity and Schwab? Vanguard won't say.

The Vanguard of the last ten years has cut services and monetized those it has allowed to remain, failed to make needed IT improvements, allowed customer service to deteriorate, turned a deaf ear to concerns and complaints from some of their HNW clients, increased advertising expenses and increased profit sharing and compensation for upper-level management and executives. While Vanguard cries out for transparency in executive compensation by the firms its funds invests in, Vanguard itself won't disclose that information even to its "client-owners". In short, Vanguard is not the magnanimous investment firm looking out only for you that some make it out to be.

This outsourcing, along with the outsourcing of its mail operations, is another way Vanguard seeks to increase profits. Mark my words, those who still hold their investments at Vanguard won't see any significant improvements as a result of the cost-savings, nor will any significant portion of those cost savings be passed along to the "client-owners". Perhaps I'll be proven wrong, if so, I'll eat crow.

Great funds, not so great brokerage and management. Reasonable minds may disagree! :happy
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Helo80 »

Nate79 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:20 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:35 pm
Bama12 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:33 pm I thought we owned the place. :)
Indeed. Where are all those Bogleheads who like to wax eloquently about Vanguard's governance model in which they say that the investors are the owners? How many of the investor-owners would have voted for this business decision.
That Vanguard investors are "owners" of Vanguard is one of the silliest themes that gets thrown around here.

People need to take their business elsewhere. There are many reasons to not hold your money at Vanguard, this can just be one more.

I am definitely starting to appreciate the pearls of wisdom shown by your comments and others on this board that Vanguard may not be the paragon many here paint it out to be.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by LadyGeek »

I'd like to point out that we follow the man, not the company.

There are many alternatives to invest according to Jack Bogle's approach without Vanguard. However, cost is a significant consideration, so choose your alternatives carefully. Or, stay with Vanguard.

For example, US investors can choose from 9 investment management companies to build a simple Three-fund portfolio (Other than Vanguard, Boglehead-style).

For non-US investors: Simple non-US portfolios (a few examples use Vanguard)

For Canadian investors: Simple index portfolios - finiki, the Canadian financial wiki (a few examples use Vanguard)
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by nisiprius »

I'm not happy about this, both because of my general feelings about outsourcing and because it contributes to a general impression I am getting of "turmoil at Vanguard." And concerns that the turmoil may indicate business problems of some kind.

Some other examples of that turmoil include switching their already outsourced mailing operation from Monroe, Wisconsin to El Paso, Texas; apparent discontinuation of their relationship with Income Solutions as way for Vanguard to provide the "good" kind of income annuity; dropping their variable annuities and handing over existing contracts to Transamerica (I think that's what they are doing); disruption and loss of features and functionality in transitioning traditional mutual fund accounts to the "new platform."

Less indicative and maybe unrelated: ending the Managed Payout feature of the Managed Payout fund (it's whole reason for existence!); recent proliferation of "for-those-who-like-this-sort-of-thing-this-is-the-sort-of-thing-they-will-like" products, like new truly-actively-managed bond funds, the creation of a gaggle of trendy factor ETFs, the introduction of a commodity futures fund, etc.

None of these things is all that troublesome in isolation, but taken together it does not sound to me as if Vanguard is a happy place. [Analogy to recent news events removed by admin LadyGeek]
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Helo80 »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:48 am I'd like to point out that we follow the man, not the company.
Ok, you got me there.
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nisiprius
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by nisiprius »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:48 amI'd like to point out that we follow the man, not the company.
+1
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Question: Will this affect Vanguard ETFs in any way? I've already left Vanguard due to their total incompetence answering my one, simple question. But I still hold VEA and VTI outside of the Vanguard system.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by brianH »

beyou wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:20 am There are many here that invest with Vanguard and seem bought into the halo effect of our dear departed Mr. Bogle as a reason
to stick with Vanguard despite inconsistent service, despite other firms matching their low fees, despite faulty technology.
This is another step towards elimination of all the Mr Bogle stood for and the halo.
It doesn't sound right, and it's not right, and it will lead to worse outcomes for customers.
This pretty much sums up my thoughts.

As a software engineer, I'm well aware of the whats, whys, and hows going on here, and I'm not inconsistent: I don't like when any US-based company does it. I understand that it is difficult to find service-based companies that don't, or wouldn't, do the same thing to save a few bucks, just like it's very difficult to find a manufactured product that is truly, 100% made (materials and labor) in the US.

However, it just feels, or rather, felt, different with Vanguard. The original principles of Jack and his company opened up the investing world to many with honesty and transparency. This forum's name honors the man and his approach. The man is no longer with us, and moves like this indicate to me that those original principles are likely gone as well.

If I'm just concerned with the lowest ERs, there are other options now. I might as well join the "race to the bottom at all costs" and go buy some FZROX and a US flag made in China.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by bondsr4me »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:48 am I'd like to point out that we follow the man, not the company.

Agree 100%.
I just wish he was still here to talk about this and the many other issues at Vanguard.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Silk McCue »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:04 am Question: Will this affect Vanguard ETFs in any way? I've already left Vanguard due to their total incompetence answering my one, simple question. But I still hold VEA and VTI outside of the Vanguard system.
How in the world could it? The answer is no.

Cheers
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by nanameg »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:04 am Question: Will this affect Vanguard ETFs in any way? I've already left Vanguard due to their total incompetence answering my one, simple question. But I still hold VEA and VTI outside of the Vanguard system.
Can i ask what that one simple question was? I looked at back at some of your posts and I don’t see what the question was that you had for vanguard.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by bondsr4me »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:48 am I'd like to point out that we follow the man, not the company.

There are many alternatives to invest according to Jack Bogle's approach without Vanguard. However, cost is a significant consideration, so choose your alternatives carefully. Or, stay with Vanguard.

For example, US investors can choose from 9 investment management companies to build a simple Three-fund portfolio (Other than Vanguard, Boglehead-style).

For non-US investors: Simple non-US portfolios (a few examples use Vanguard)

For Canadian investors: Simple index portfolios - finiki, the Canadian financial wiki (a few examples use Vanguard)
Thanks for not shutting this discussion down....lots of good posting going on.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by whodidntante »

sean.mcgrath wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:07 am
whodidntante wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:02 pm I have been to an Infosys facility in India. It was terrifying.
I'm curious: what bothered you most at the facility?
Size and scope blows out anything I have seen in the USA. They are not messing around. I get similar feelings when I go to China. I don't know if Asia will clear their significant hurdles but this could be the century of Asia. Go look and judge it yourself if you get the chance.

I've also worked directly with people in India and China for about a decade. What I've seen with my own eyes and my own experience doesn't match the narrative that some Americans have told me, this thread included.
nestorius
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by nestorius »

RocketShipTech wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:52 pm
whodidntante wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:48 pm ...
Also, are you going to liquidate all Vanguard funds, or does your discontent only extend so far as to leave Vanguard as your broker?
I can't think of a single Vanguard fund that doesn't have an equivalent (or better) replacement elsewhere.

And that includes Wellesley.
How about VTWAX/VT? I can't seem to find anything similar in Fido. Does Schwab have an equivalent?
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by tibbitts »

I'm amused at all the outrage over this, after years of Bogleheads constantly griping about Vanguard IT. So Vanguard finally listens to Bogleheads and this is the response they get. Yes, I'm sure Bogleheads would prefer Vanguard poach the most brilliant FAANG software engineers and have them resolve all its IT problems, while of course reducing expense ratios at the same time.

Personally I think Vanguard IT is okay as-is, and would prefer the employees be able to keep their Vanguard jobs, even if if meant a .005% increase in my expenses. But I don't pretend that's the typical Boglehead opinion.

Regarding all the talk about Fidelity and others... do we even know what outsourcing or other arrangements these other companies may have?
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ClevrChico
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by ClevrChico »

From the article:

Participant phone calls will be serviced by both Vanguard and Infosys.

:shock: Vanguard is either hurting so bad or cheap they can't even afford to pay full time employees to answer the phones. (And engineer their systems.) I guess it's Vanguard's turn to make the same mistake many other large companies have.

Having experienced this myself, it's not good for anyone but Infosys. A former position of mine was replaced with eight offshore "engineers". The time zone difference alone turns what would be an hour task into weeks/months. Turnover and skillset is another negative.

John Bogle cited income inequality as a major risk to investors in one of his last interviews, and now Vanguard is perpetuating it. Sadly, this will be life changing for employees impacted.

Shame on you, Vanguard.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Flymore
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Flymore »

Many many years ago my CPA "older" brother explained to me that, "IT is overhead to be eliminated.". I explained that Information Technology was a key corporate resource. This discussion went on for some time, our wives heads swiveling back and forth like at a tennis match. Pointless to continue, I shut up.

  Some years later I worked for a consulting firm who placed me at BP. BP had outsourced it's entire IT staff. While there I worked with people from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, China etc. After some years BP decided to bring IT back in-house because they felt they lost control of a key corporate asset. BP merged (bought) another company who had an in-house IT staff. Problem solved.

  I left for another opportunity.

  Some years later while working in-house for a company there was a change in management. I was instructed to expect to be available 24hrsX7daysaweekX365days per year and take calls while on vacation. Many quit, I retired. Then they laid-off a bunch and outsourced to a company from India(not this one). After some months there were "problems" that they took to the outsourcing company who responded that they would fix for additional costs. So they threw out that outsourcing company and are hiring "special" IT people.

Advice to Vanguard, buckle up your results may vary.

For the rest of us grab some popcorn. Costs may go up here in the longer term - not down.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by lgs88 »

Come on over to Fidelity. The water is warm. Same funds, better management. They’re terrific on the phones, and every time I’ve called I’ve gotten somebody here in the States. Free and fast outgoing and incoming wires, HSA with a debit card, general ease of use... I can’t complain.
merely an interested amateur
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

There are those who have been shocked, afraid, and angry for ANY change made at Vanguard.

Thankfully the company executives have moved on to keep Vanguard a viable company.

I have great respect for Mr. Bogle. He hit a home run via index funds. But, he whiffed by his refusal to accept the gift of rolling out ETFs. But, a batting average of .500 is pretty darn good. But, even starting out late, spotting others a lead, look at where Vanguard is with ETFs AUM. And consider the genius behind Vanguard Index ETFs as a class of the mutual fund. And, honestly, Mr. Bogle hasn't been an employee for 20 or so years.

Given Vanguard's AUM, it certainly appears the changes, new product offererings, etc. made by the leaders of Vanguard have been the right thing to do.

Had Vanguard stuck exactly to "The Original House that Jack Built" Vanguard would be slowly circling the toilet bowl. And, does anyone honestly believe Mr Bogle would have allowed his pride and joy to suffer such a fate? No way!
Instead, Vanguard is a juggernaut in their line of business.

Like any company, Vanguard has plenty of warts, but FWIW, millions have accepted Vanguard's warts, started/continued using Vanguard. My household is a current three generation Vanguard client. If my father was alive it would be four generations. And, Mr Bogle wasn't there when I started using Vanguard.

I do business with my head, not my heart. Though, my heart is not bothering me anyway with this change. Millions have had this happen to them, and millions will in the future. Our economy is always changing, and when one door is closed, another (maybe two or three) door(s) will open. If I were one of the Vanguard employees affected, I would do the best job I could, and look at updating my skillset to be better prepared for what the future might hold for me. I would give the same advice to any worker.

Broken Man 1999
Last edited by Broken Man 1999 on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by retiringwhen »

nisiprius wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:52 am I'm not happy about this, both because of my general feelings about outsourcing and because it contributes to a general impression I am getting of "turmoil at Vanguard." And concerns that the turmoil may indicate business problems of some kind.

Some other examples of that turmoil include switching their already outsourced mailing operation from Monroe, Wisconsin to El Paso, Texas; apparent discontinuation of their relationship with Income Solutions as way for Vanguard to provide the "good" kind of income annuity; dropping their variable annuities and handing over existing contracts to Transamerica (I think that's what they are doing); disruption and loss of features and functionality in transitioning traditional mutual fund accounts to the "new platform."

Less indicative and maybe unrelated: ending the Managed Payout feature of the Managed Payout fund (it's whole reason for existence!); recent proliferation of "for-those-who-like-this-sort-of-thing-this-is-the-sort-of-thing-they-will-like" products, like new truly-actively-managed bond funds, the creation of a gaggle of trendy factor ETFs, the introduction of a commodity futures fund, etc.

None of these things is all that troublesome in isolation, but taken together it does not sound to me as if Vanguard is a happy place. However, so far, I don't think anybody has talked about toppling the statue of John C. Bogle.
Looking past the outsourcing numbers, the more concerning fact is that this action suggests that Vanguard no longer considers 401(k)s as a core, strategic business (yikes, I have 7 figures sitting in a Vanguard 401K).

A general truth is that vibrant organizations do not outsource strategic assets. Only ones that have costs to be wrung out with little upside for "quality".

Therefore, I wholly agree with your concern. This is evidence in a long string of events that makes me wonder what the leadership is moving towards. I am not sure what Vanguard is anymore.

I am more and more starting to think it is time to convert to ETFs, start heading out to a more service oriented broker.... I have been dabbling at Fidelity and quickly coming to the conclusion that they are really actually functionally customer-oriented in a way that I never see from Vanguard. Sadly, I have been indoctrinated by the Vanguard website for decades and find all other sites annoying because the don't think like Vanguard... I guess that makes me a bit fossilized. Heck I can't even imagine dropping using Quicken either.

One thing is clear though, Vanguard is still the premier asset manager for Index funds and low-cost active funds. I seriously doubt one needs to be concerned about their funds themselves. Sure, there are competitors, but there is no reason to abandon Vanguard funds. And since ETFs are free to trade just about anywhere, it makes sense to use them quite liberally.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by mtmingus »

I have seen companies sacrifice quality for costs, eventually incurring more costs.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by yohac »

Although they obviously don't advertise it, Fidelity is also a client of Infosys. Major companies will not pay more to retain employees out of some sense of loyalty. Those days are long gone. If it can be outsourced, it will. And if the outsourcing backfires, the jobs come back. Either way, it's all about the bucks.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by JackoC »

AerialWombat wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:34 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:40 pm Me, I love globalization.
A DD has worked for three foreign corporations, currently working for one now.
Americans aren't competing against just each other today. They are competing against the world. It is all about what the skill set is worth.
Vanguard is a business. It isn't blind to these type cost savings opportunities, nor should they be.
I'm signing off to watch some TV. On my Samsung TV. I remember the Curtis Mathis
TV ads, something like this, Curtis Mathis, the most expensive TVs in America, and darn well worth it. I don't see those ads anymore.
This entire thread is such a stereotypical American reaction that it’s almost comical.
We live in a global economy, folks. Get used to it.
I'd say it's more comical than the stereotypical internet/cable TV treatment. Because the usual set piece debate occurs in a context of ignorance of the position of shareholders in US companies in recent decades, or even the claim their interests are being ridden over roughshod by managers along with those of workers and local communities. Here it's on a forum where everyone should know how exceptionally well shareholders in US companies have fared compared to world ex-US company shareholders in recent decades. A forum where 'US stocks are greatest' is a standard thread.

One might debate whether 'outsourcing' per se is a big reason for US stock out performance, but broadening to workforce disruptive tech, globalization and shareholder value primacy generally it's too obvious to debate. What magical force has been levitating US stocks compared to world ex-US if the demonstrably greater propensity of US companies on average to adopt (or invent) workforce disrupting technologies, take advantage of international labor cost arbitrages and refuse to subordinate shareholder interest to worker or local community interest is actually weighing down their stock values?

This 'problem' and its 'solution', assuming it is a problem on net and assuming there's a non-counterproductive countermeasure, are in the realm of collective action, aka politics, which can't be directly debated here. But it's demonstrated by comical proposals like dumping Vanguard and using for example Fidelity to hold your S&P 500 to 'get away from outsourcing' that it's not rationally addressable on an individual basis.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by retiringwhen »

I did a bit of reading on the Infosys Site.

Here are two links to the overall organization that provides the DC Plan support services:

Infosys McCamish: https://www.infosysbpm.com/mccamish/sol ... etirement/
Infosys BPM (the overall outsourcing outfit): https://www.infosysbpm.com/offerings/functions/

My quick read supports an earlier thought that this is another step in unbundling Vanguard. They are step by step unbundling just about any part of their business that is not Asset/Funds Management. I imagine that the their core Retail Brokerage is next.

This is a slightly different vehicle, but same result as their dropping 403(b) administration and annuities.

Bottom line from the press release and the McCamish site is that you can expect that Vanguard's current IT infrastructure for 401K administration to be retired and migrated to the Infosys platform.

In theory this could be an improvement, but I suspect it will be a very bumpy road and further reduce any perceived value someone has to aggregate assets at Vanguard. For example, today the 401K site just barely exists in coordination with the retail brokerage site, I can't imagine that getting better as a result of this announcement.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Index Fan »

The 'race to the bottom' is embraced by Vanguard.
Last edited by Index Fan on Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by bluecollar »

LazyNihilist wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:17 pm While the 1300 employees are not laid off, they are moved to Infosys. This should lead to lower overall expenses for Vanguard, which in turn means more money in the pocket of Vanguard Investors. I see this as a win for Vanguard customers.

In time the jobs will be out sourced to H-1B's.
In time those jobs will be out sourced to India (or other lower income countries).
In time those jobs will be automated.

Each step of the way, we as customers of Vanguard keep winning. :moneybag
Until it’s your job that is outsourced....
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by tibbitts »

Isn't it a little ironic that Bogleheads are concerned about Vanguard outsourcing these functions (call center, IT, whatever), while it was Bogle who essentially pioneered outsourcing fund management itself - arguably the most core function of an investment company?
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by Normchad »

The reaction to this is fascinating. I’m solidly in the camp of “I just don’t care “.

Vanguard has done more for the average investor than anybody on earth. For the 25 years I’ve been dealing with them, they have always done right by me.

No other company I deal with has treated me this well, or provided this much value. And honestly, they all work globally in some way.

So there is no way I’m ditching Vanguard over this.
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nisiprius
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Re: Vanguard laying off 1300 employees as part of outsourcing deal with Infosys

Post by nisiprius »

My specific reaction to this as a customer depends on something I don't know yet: the quality of service provided by Infosys.

I suspect that most of us have interacted with customer service agents in India without know it. Many are trained or have trained themselves in accent reduction, and nowadays the quality of the phone connection can be so good--and the quality of domestic phone calls so bad--call quality isn't a giveaway.

I have also personally gotten excellent customer service from Amazon from people who did have heavy accents over VOIP-bubbly connections.

On the other hand, I am very suspicious of outsourcing because in my limited experience the outsourcer is often swindling the client, by telling them what they want to hear--just hand it all over to us and quit worrying--and fail to deliver the promised service (and often jack up prices so that even the promised cost savings don't materialize). This often happens when distant or newly-installed upper management doesn't really understand the nature of the job or the actual things that the in-house people are doing. Outsourcing is not a good thing for the people who get laid off, and it is usually not good for the customers, either.

We've seen this in reverse. Vanguard Brokerage Services improved noticeably when Vanguard took it on themselves instead of it being a private-badged Pershing service.
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