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Vanguard STAR Funds, et al.; Notice of Application

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Start Preamble September 28, 2007.


Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).


Notice of an application under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Act”) for an exemption from rule 12d1-2(a) under the Act.

Summary of Application:

Applicants request an order to permit funds of funds relying on rule 12d1-2 under the Act to invest in certain financial instruments.


Vanguard STAR funds, Vanguard Chester Funds, Vanguard Trustees' Equity Fund, Vanguard Variable Insurance Funds (collectively, the “Trusts”), The Vanguard Group, Inc. (“VGI”) and Vanguard Marketing Corporation (“VMC”).

Filing Dates:

The application was filed on August 10, 2007, and amended on September 24 and 28, 2007.

Hearing or Notification of Hearing:

An order granting the application will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on October 23, 2007, and should be accompanied by proof of service on applicants, in the form of an affidavit or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.


Secretary, Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090; Applicants, c/o Nathan M. Will, The Vanguard Group, Inc., P.O. Box 2600, Valley Forge, PA 19482.

Start Further Info


Donna Tumminio, Law Clerk, at (202) 551-6826, or Michael W. Mundt, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Office of Investment Company Regulation).

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained for a fee at the Commission's Public Reference Branch, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-0104 (telephone (202) 551-8090).

Applicants' Representations

1. The Trusts are Delaware statutory trusts and are registered under the Act as open-end management investment companies. The Trusts offer separate series (“Funds”) that may invest in other registered investment companies in reliance on section 12(d)(1)(G) of the Act and rule 12d1-2 under the Act (“Underlying Funds”). Applicants propose that the Funds be permitted to invest in futures contracts, options on futures contracts, swap agreements, derivatives, and other financial instruments that may not be securities within the meaning of section 2(a)(36) of the Act (“Other Investments”), in addition to Underlying Funds.[1]

2. VGI is a Pennsylvania corporation that is wholly and jointly owned by certain registered investment companies. VGI is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and as a transfer agent under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). VGI provides each of the Funds with corporate management, administrative, transfer agency, and, in some cases, investment advisory services. VMC is a registered broker-dealer under the Exchange Act and is a wholly owned subsidiary of VGI. VMC provides all distribution and marketing services for the Funds.

Applicants' Legal Analysis

1. Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act provides that no registered investment company (“acquiring company”) may acquire securities of another investment company (“acquired company”) if such securities represent more than 3% of the acquired company's outstanding voting stock or more than 5% of the acquiring company's total assets, or if such securities, together with the securities of other investment companies, represent more than 10% of the acquiring company's total assets. Section 12(d)(1)(B) of the Act provides that no registered open-end investment company may sell its securities to another investment company if the sale will cause the acquiring company to own more than 3% of the acquired company's voting stock, or cause more than 10% of the acquired company's voting stock to be owned by investment companies.

2. Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the Act provides that section 12(d)(1) will not apply to securities of an acquired company purchased by an acquiring company if: (i) The acquiring company and acquired company are part of the Start Printed Page 56814same group of investment companies; (ii) the acquiring company holds only securities of acquired companies that are part of the same group of investment companies, government securities, and short-term paper; (iii) the aggregate sales loads and distribution-related fees of the acquiring company and the acquired company are not excessive under rules adopted pursuant to section 22(b) or section 22(c) of the Act by a securities association registered under section 15A of the Exchange Act or by the Commission; and (iv) the acquired company has a policy that prohibits it from acquiring securities of registered open-end management investment companies or registered unit investment trusts in reliance on section 12(d)(1)(F) or (G) of the Act.

3. Rule 12d1-2 under the Act permits a registered open-end investment company or a registered unit investment trust that relies on section 12(d)(1)(G) of the Act to acquire, in addition to securities issued by another registered investment company in the same group of investment companies, government securities, and short-term paper: (1) Securities issued by an investment company that is not in the same group of investment companies, when the acquisition is in reliance on section 12(d)(1)(A) or 12(d)(1)(F) of the Act; (2) securities (other than securities issued by an investment company); and (3) securities issued by a money market fund, when the investment is in reliance on rule 12d1-1 under the Act. For the purposes of rule 12d1-2, “securities” means any security as defined in section 2(a)(36) of the Act.

4. Section 6(c) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction from any provisions of the Act, or from any rule under the Act, if such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policies and provisions of the Act.

5. Applicants state that the proposed arrangement would comply with the provisions of rule 12d1-2 under the Act, but for the fact that the Funds may invest a portion of their assets in Other Investments. Applicants request an order under section 6(c) of the Act for an exemption from rule 12d1-2(a) to allow the Funds to invest in Other Investments. Applicants assert that permitting the Funds to invest in Other Investments as described in the application would not raise any of the concerns that the requirements of section 12(d)(1) were designed to address.

Applicants' Conditions

Applicants agree that the order granting the requested relief will be subject to the following conditions:

1. Prior to approving any investment advisory agreement under section 15 of the Act, the board of trustees of the appropriate Fund, including a majority of the trustees who are not “interested persons,” as defined in section 2(a)(19) of the Act, will find that the advisory fees, if any, charged under the agreement are based on services provided that are in addition to, rather than duplicative of, services provided pursuant to any Underlying Fund's advisory agreement. Such finding, and the basis upon which the finding is made, will be recorded fully in the minute books of the appropriate Fund.

2. Applicants will comply with all provisions of rule 12d1-2 under the Act, except for paragraph (a)(2), to the extent that it restricts any Fund from investing in Other Investments as described in the application.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Supplemental Information


1.  Other Investments do not include shares of any registered investment companies that are not part of the “same group of investment companies,” as defined in section 12(d)(1)(G)(ii) of the Act, as the Trusts. Applicants request that the relief also apply to any future Fund, whether organized as an investment company or as a series thereof, which is advised by VGI or any entity controlling, controlled by or under common control with VGI and which is part of the same group of investment companies as the Funds.

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[FR Doc. E7-19639 Filed 10-3-07; 8:45 am]