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Vanguard Ushers in New Era with Salim Ramji as CEO

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Lauren Miller

May 14, 2024 - 22:51 pm

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Salim Ramji Takes the Helm as Vanguard's New CEO

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., May 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/

In a significant shift of leadership that marks the start of a new chapter for the financial giant, Vanguard announced today the appointment of Salim Ramji as the company's newest Chief Executive Officer. Ramji, a seasoned financial services executive with a robust 25-year track record, is set to join the firm's Board of Directors as part of his new role, effective from July 8, 2024. He will be succeeding Tim Buckley, who had previously announced his intention to retire and relinquish his positions as Chairman and CEO.

A Storied Career in Financial Services

Ramji's career is distinguished by significant accomplishments and service in several leading roles. His tenure at the financial powerhouse BlackRock Inc., culminated in January 2024, is highlighted by his position as Global Head of iShares & Index Investing, where he managed a majority of the firm’s client assets. Under his leadership, the iShares platform underwent a transformation, evolving to offer a wider array of innovative, low-cost products to a global investor base. Ramji's contributions have been instrumental in broadening investment accessibility to millions of investors, bolstering ETFs’ position in retirement and wealth portfolios, and enhancing bond market efficiency by integrating ETF technology.

Before scaling the summits of iShares leadership, Ramji spearheaded U.S. Wealth Advisory efforts and initiated his BlackRock journey as Global Head of Corporate Strategy. His pre-BlackRock career included significant achievements as a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he led the firm's Wealth and Asset Management practice. Salim Ramji commenced his career in the legal domain at Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong, laying a strong foundation for his future endeavors.

Vanguard's Board Enthusiastic About Future Prospects

The appointment of Ramji has been met with open arms by the Board, as articulated by Mark Loughridge, Vanguard's Lead Independent Director. "Salim stands poised to infuse new vigor into our leadership team, and we are eager to collaborate with him in our commitment to serve individual investors better," Loughridge remarked. Vanguard's unique culture and structure have been pivotal in helping millions to secure their future and family's well-being. Loughridge sees vast opportunities for growth, particularly in terms of technological advancements and enhancing client experiences, which will further the wealth management cause. He regards Ramji as the embodiment of an exemplary leader whose philosophy resonates with the mission-driven ethos of Vanguard, making him the quintessential choice to steer the firm towards a promising horizon.

Ramji's Commitment to Vanguard's Mission

Upon accepting his new assignment at Vanguard, Salim Ramji expressed his deep admiration and respect for the firm. "The privilege of joining Vanguard is profound, and I am enthusiastic about contributing to its long-established purpose," he noted. Ramji is inspired by Vanguard's clear and unwavering dedication to its mission. He anticipates an exciting period ahead as he joins forces with Vanguard's exceptional leadership team to propel the company into a new era. With the investor landscape undergoing transformation, opportunities are ripe for Vanguard to reinforce its mission to offer people the best chance for investment success—a vision he considers more pertinent now than ever in Vanguard's history. Ramji's commitment is to ensure Vanguard remains true to its core purpose, cementing its status as the trusted advocate for all investors.

Buckley's Praise for Ramji's Fiduciary Ethos

Tim Buckley, during his tenure, had the opportunity to collaborate with Ramji through the Investment Company Institute's Executive Committee. "Salim is deeply rooted in advancing individual investor interests, carries a strong fiduciary principle, and has strategic acumen for crafting solutions," Buckley stated. He has confidence that Ramji embraces Vanguard's profound sense of purpose and unwavering dedication to prioritize clients—a trait that defines Vanguard's leadership and cultural fabric.

Additional Strategic Leadership Changes

Accompanying Ramji’s CEO induction, Vanguard disclosed Greg Davis' imminent appointment to the company's Board of Directors, with a consequent increase in his responsibility overseeing regulatory and governmental affairs. Davis, the current President and Chief Investment Officer, shared, "Salim’s expertise in index investing is substantial and his client-centric passion aligns perfectly with Vanguard's." Davis looks forward to a synergistic working relationship with Ramji as they endeavor to continuously innovate and enhance their offerings, all the while focusing on reducing investment cost and complexity for their global client base.

When the transition to CEO becomes official, Buckley will step down from his dual role as Chairman and CEO. In a subsequent move, Mark Loughridge will ascend to the position of nonexecutive Chairman.

Vanguard's Board Welcomes New Insight and Experience

Furthermore, a distinguished addition to Vanguard's Board of Directors comes in the form of John Murphy, currently recognized as the President and Chief Financial Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. Scheduled to join the Board on June 1, 2024, Murphy carries with him a vast 40-year business and financial leadership expertise. He has been a stalwart at The Coca-Cola Company for over 35 years, serving in various capacities that include overseeing the company’s financial strategies and operations across Asia Pacific and parts of Latin America. Murphy's tenure as CFO since 2019 and promotion to president in 2022 further underscore his vast experience and strategic insight.

Loughridge provided further insight into the Board appointments, "The Board is confident that the addition of John and Greg will immensely benefit Vanguard. We anticipate their contribution in championing investor interest and in preserving Vanguard's culture of stewardship."

Salim Ramji's Professional Journey

Before his engagement with Vanguard, Ramji has left a mark on BlackRock's history, notably as a pivotal member of their Global Executive Committee and as the Global Head of iShares and Index Investments. In this capacity, he curated strategies for two-thirds of the firm's sizable assets. A significant portion of his role also entailed overseeing BlackRock's U.S. Wealth Advisory business, with a focus on forging solid relationships within the wealth management sector. Ramji combined forces of iShares and active teams, with a noble mission of constructing improved portfolios and introducing novel portfolio technologies to advisors. He joined BlackRock in 2014, where he got his start as the Global Head of Corporate Strategy.

His prior commitments at McKinsey & Company as Senior Partner saw him lead their Asset & Wealth Management practice domains. Ramji’s professional journey began in the legal field with an initial practice at Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong.

Mr. Ramji's academic background is as robust as his professional one, holding a bachelor's degree in economics and politics from the University of Toronto, an MA in law from Cambridge University, and the distinction of being a CFA charterholder. His philanthropic involvement includes serving as a trustee for the New York-based child-care agency Graham Windham and participating in the International Leadership Council for the University of Toronto.

Vanguard's Investor-Focused Ethos

Vanguard has stood as a paragon of the investment management industry since its inception in 1975. It has held steadfast in offering a comprehensive suite of investments, financial advice, and retirement services to countless investors across the globe. This service is administered directly, via workplace plans, and through financial intermediaries. With its avant-garde, investor-owned structure, Vanguard continues to fervently represent its investors' interests. The investors who own the Vanguard funds naturally own Vanguard as well, a testimony to the company’s commitment to fairness and the investing success of its clientele.

For further information about Vanguard and its services, those interested are encouraged to visit vanguard.com.

Vanguard's steadfast commitment to investor-focused strategies marks a new era of commitment and innovation under the guidance of newly appointed CEO Salim Ramji. With the collective expertise and vision of the board and incoming leadership, the company is well-positioned to continue to champion the cause of investors and maintain its distinctive culture of stewardship well into the future.

SOURCE: Vanguard