People Moves

New Vanguard Leadership Takes The Helm

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 16 May 2024

New Vanguard Leadership Takes The Helm

The new CEO will be taking up the role at a firm that has been a pioneer in the world of index funds.          

Vanguard, the US asset management titan with $8.6 trillion in assets, has named former BlackRock senior figure, Salim Ramji (pictured) as the new CEO, effective 8 July. Ramji is taking the helm from Tim Buckley who, as previously announced, will be retiring and stepping down as CEO and chairman.

Ramji has more than 25 years’ experience in investments, capital markets and wealth management, including a decade as a senior leader at BlackRock - he left in January 2024. Most recently, Ramji was global head of iShares and index investing (iShares is the exchange-traded fund arm of BlackRock).

Separately, Vanguard that said Greg Davis, president and chief investment officer, will be appointed to join Vanguard’s board of directors – he will take expanded responsibility for regulatory and government affairs.

The move from BlackRock would seem a natural progression, given that the firm is, like Vanguard, one of the world’s largest players in “passive” investing. Vanguard was a pioneer in the development of index funds, based on the idea that in broadly efficient markets, trying to earn “Alpha” by stock-picking is ultimately hard to repeat if markets revert to long-term average levels. At times, the sheer market size of Vanguard and BlackRock have seen them draw fire from politicians and commentators about the allegedly malign effects of such scale.

Prior to the iShares job, Ramji, who was the head of US wealth advisor, began his BlackRock career as the global head of corporate strategy. Before joining BlackRock, he was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company in charge of the firm’s asset and wealth management practice. He started his career as a lawyer at Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong.

Upon the effective date of Ramji’s appointment as CEO, Buckley will step down from his posts. Mark Loughridge, Vanguard’s lead independent director, will be appointed non-executive chairman.

John Murphy, president and chief financial officer of The Coca-Cola Company, will be appointed to the board of directors of Vanguard effective 1 June 2024.

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