For now, just an FYI - I received the following Vanguard reply to my enquiry about changes to VDADX's benchmark index
Vanguard has recently selected a new benchmark provider for Vanguard
Dividend Appreciation Index Fund Admiral Shares (VDADX).
VDADX will change its index to the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index (S&P
DJI) from the Nasdaq US Dividend Achievers Select Index. The changes will
take effect in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
As part of Vanguard’s ongoing due diligence, we regularly analyze all our
products to ensure that they are delivering on their investment objectives
and giving investors the best chance for investment success. Recently, this
process has highlighted the solid design of the funds, along with some
opportunities for benchmark refinements.
Vanguard has a longstanding partnership with S&P DJI, and employed S&P DJI
benchmarks for 22 index or index-oriented offerings with $1.18 trillion in
assets under management as of March 31, 2020. S&P DJI is a leading provider
of benchmarks and investable indexes designed to help track market
performance, evaluate portfolios, and develop investment strategies.
S&P Dow Jones Indices is a market leader in dividend index strategies, with
more than $91.7 billion in assets under management tracking its dividend
indexes as of March 31, 2021. We believe that S&P DJI’s approach to
dividend growth indexes closely aligns with our view, and that they are
well positioned to administer the indexes for VDADX moving forward.
While we feel that S&P DJI is the optimal partner for VDADX moving forward,
we continue to maintain a significant relationship with Nasdaq, Inc., as a
valuable partner across business lines, including the registration of 24
ETFs encompassing $319.9 billion in assets under management on the Nasdaq
exchange as of March 31, 2021.