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Business News/ Companies / People/  Who is Salim Ramji, Vanguard's new CEO — All you need to know about the former BlackRock executive replacing Tim Buckley
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Who is Salim Ramji, Vanguard's new CEO — All you need to know about the former BlackRock executive replacing Tim Buckley

Salim Ramji, a former BlackRock executive, has been appointed as Vanguard Group's new CEO and board member. Ramji was considered a potential successor to CEO Larry Fink at BlackRock before his departure in January this year.

File photo of the Vanguard logo displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York City. (Reuters / Brendan McDermid)Premium
File photo of the Vanguard logo displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York City. (Reuters / Brendan McDermid)

Vanguard Group on May 14 announced that former BlackRock executive Salim Ramji, has been appointed as its new CEO and board member, Reuters reported.

“The current investor landscape is changing, and that presents opportunities for Vanguard to further its mission of giving people the best chance for investment success, which is more relevant today than at any time in the firm’s five-decade history," Ramji said in the statement, as per Bloomberg.

Ramji's appointment will take effect from July 8.

“My focus will be mobilizing Vanguard to meet the moment while staying true to that core purpose — remaining the trusted firm that takes a stand for all investors," he added.

Who is Ramji?

Known for his career at BlackRock, Ramji joined the company as global head of corporate strategy in 2014. He left the US' largest asset manager in January 2024.

At BlackRock, Ramji was also a member of the Global Executive Committee and the Global Head of iShares and Index Investments. According to a Reuters report, he oversaw two-thirds of the firm's assets and growth. According to Bloomberg, Ramji was considered a potential successor to CEO Larry Fink at BlackRock before his departure.

"His contributions led to expanded investment access for tens of millions of investors, a more central role for ETFs in retirement and wealth portfolios, and a more efficient bond market with ETFs as an enabling technology. At BlackRock, he led the implementation of a voting choice platform, which democratizes client access to the proxy voting process," Vanguard said.

According to Barron's report, Ramji almost turned down the BlackRock job. He wrote on LinkedIn that Fink invited him to join the firm and "change the way the whole industry operates for the better."

Prior to that, he was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company till January 2014, it added. Ramji spent 16 years at McKinsey, focusing on asset and wealth management, as per a Morningstar report. From 1994 to 1998, he worked as a lawyer at Clifford Chance, as stated in his profile.

Tim Buckey's successor

Ramji will take over from Tim Buckley, whose resignation as chairman and CEO was announced in February this year. Vanguard said it would search for his successor, as Buckley would retire by year-end. Notably, Ramji will be the firm's first external leader.

Buckley has been with Vanguard for over 30 years and has served as CEO since 2018. Under his leadership, the company's assets under management increased by 80 per cent to $9 trillion.

Notably, Ramji and Buckley have worked together on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute, the industry’s lobbying group, Barron's report added.

About Vanguard

Vanguard, established nearly 50 years ago by the late Jack Bogle, managed approximately $9.3 trillion as of the end of March, as per Bloomberg.

BlackRock, which manages $10.5 trillion in assets, directly competes with Vanguard in the rapidly expanding ETF market. In the US, they hold the top two spots in fund management and form the 'Big Three' along with State Street Global Advisors.

John Bogle, Vanguard’s CEO from 1975 (its founding year) until 1995, popularised the idea that a fund indexed to the broad stock market could be successful, affordable, and accessible to the general public, a Bloomberg report said. The success of the index fund resulted in reduced fees across the industry, transforming modern investing. He passed away in 2019 at the age of 89.

In recent years, Vanguard has sought to expand beyond its core index funds into financial advisory services to attract new clients and drive growth. Internationally, Vanguard aims to spread its low-cost investing approach by offering index funds and ETFs in new countries. However, it has withdrawn from some markets, notably scaling back its business in China, Bloomberg reported.

(With inputs from Reuters and Bloomberg)

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Published: 15 May 2024, 10:48 AM IST
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