Vanguard Crew Share Memories of Founder, Jack Bogle
If you have ever wandered the halls of Vanguard, it is likely you have a Jack Bogle story. Vanguard crew members have proudly shared personal experiences involving the company Founder, celebrating the remarkable man who helped shape the investment landscape that exists today. Through their reflections, it is evident that Vanguard crew will continue to honor his legacy for years to come.
“Jack Bogle was the kindest, most thoughtful person I ever met. As a veteran, I recall days back in the 90’s, Jack would show up unannounced in our area and just give a speech. You could be having the worse day ever and after hearing Jack speak, you felt like you could conquer the world. Mr. Bogle’s empathy and true positive spirit, along with his wit, made crew feel like they were a part of his own family. RIP Mr. Bogle and thank you for all that you did for me and the crew.”
– Carol S.
“I’m lucky to have had a few great memories with Mr. Bogle, especially in the last few years in my role on the Retail social media team. He was always so humble and open when we worked with him. Reading through social media posts this week from fans around the world has been so heartwarming. I’m torn between my top two memories: discussing a musical in the Morgan Galley while waiting for a sandwich, or asking him to pose with this sign while discussing hashtags and how much people love him on the Internet.”
– Tamara S.
“After I’d been here a few years, I decided I wanted to meet Mr. Bogle, so I e-mailed him directly to ask. He e-mailed me back pretty quickly and said, “Sure, let’s do it.” He met with me one-on-one for about a half an hour, and then he and a couple of my fellow crew members all went to lunch together in the Galley. He was a rock star in the financial world with a rock star schedule, but still made himself accessible to anyone who asked. Godspeed, good sir. You changed my life, and the world.”
– Chuck R.
“Jack Bogle was a true inspiration to all in the investing world, but especially to those that knew him and worked for this company. I will fondly remember seeing him in the galley, receiving his books, and having him sign each and every one. I’ll cherish a photo I was able to take of the two of us in his office for a book signing a few years ago. RIP Mr. Bogle. May the legacy you leave behind continue to make you proud.”
– Lari H.
“I met Mr. Bogle in my first few months at Vanguard. Like many others, it was a quick conversation in the Galley back in 1998. I would have been thrilled with a quick nod, but he took the time to speak with me, asked what I did, and he shared a quick story about his Princeton thesis and the importance of what we do. I left with the feeling that I had the most important job in the world and it helped cement early on that Vanguard was the place for me. I had a number of other interactions with him over the years and while I expected him to slow down, he would constantly surprise me with his energetic voice, sharp mind and engaging stories. But it was his idealism that had the most impact on me. A man that could have lived in an exclusive social strata and with significant wealth was very comfortable engaging with anyone and focused his professional life on making financial security attainable for the masses. Even one person can make a difference – Very inspirational! Thank you for so many life lessons and rest easy, sir – we’ll take it from here.”
7 New Year’s resolutions from Vanguard leaders for 2019
We asked 7 leaders from all across Vanguard, “What is your career-related New Year’s resolution?” Here’s what they had to say:
1. Christina Selby, Principal in Finance:
Spend time each week reading to increase my understanding of the asset management industry and the markets. There is so much change going on in today’s world and I want to make sure I carve out time to focus on my personal learning this year.
2. Steve Holman, Principal in Institutional Sales:
In the new year, I’m going to make a concerted effort to spend more time with front-line crew in their interactions with advisors and clients. I am still relatively new to my role as Head of Vanguard Retirement Plan Access (VRPA), so investing the time with our clients will not only force me to deepen my knowledge of our products and services, but it will also allow me to gain valuable first-hand insight about how we can serve clients better.
3. Jodi Miller, Principal in Retail:
Increase my investment acumen. Specifically, being new to Vanguard, I want to learn more about our investment and advice methodology as a firm and how we build funds for our clients.
4. Joe Davis, Chief Economist and Principal in Investment Management:
Read even more daily than I do (from 2 hours/day to 3 hours/day). Finish my Python course I am taking online. Complete 20 read books in 2019.
5. Kevin Jestice, Principal in Information Technology & Security:
My career New Year’s resolution is to schedule more unscheduled time. Sounds funny, but my most productive and creative times come from talking to members of our team, drawing on white boards, and spontaneous interactions. I intend to free up more time in my days for those types of interactions by scheduling free time.
6. Lisha Davis, Head of the Innovation Studio:
Go completely paperless and create more teambuilding time.
7. Manuel Calero, Principal in Retail:
I love to read books that can help me be a better leader. Some of my favorites are Thinking: Fast and Slow, Factfulness, and The Captain Class. I often recommend books I think offer relevant and practical ideas for improvement, but I think I can do more than just recommend the book. For the new year, I am committing to hosting one lunch per month where I facilitate a hands-on activity that introduces a concept I read about in a way that makes it easy to apply to our day-to-day responsibilities.
4 Hacks for Your Best Social Brand Ever
In this step by step series on creating your brand, you’ll learn how to get started, glean tips from branding experts, and discover what really hooks an audience.
Creating a diverse and inclusive environment was once a passion of mine. Now it’s a burning fire. Having worked on many different teams, in different industries, and in different continents during my professional career, I have witnessed the incredible results that can be achieved by teams who embrace the unique perspectives and experiences of each team member. And I’ve often been asked to share my experience and what I have learnt about inclusion along the way.
When it comes to building an inclusive team, we all have a part to play. Whether you’re new to the team, welcoming someone else who’s new, or simply striving to create a more inclusive environment within your current team, I hope sharing my insights may make it a bit easier.
If I’m changing locations or teams, I take some time to assimilate to my new environment. It’s helpful to observe local customs and team practices—things that seem as simple as personal greetings, fashion choices, or meeting “norms” may be quite different from one situation to the next. For a change as big as moving to a new city or country, I also make sure to learn about local sports, cuisines, hobbies, and events; and I look to my new team to help me get up to speed.
When I was put in charge of Vanguard UK/Europe in 2015, I chose a local football team (soccer in the U.S.) to get passionate about. I put time into picking a team that matched my personal values, and then I wove the team’s results, history, and culture into the local story when talking about Vanguard’s strategy for building a growing business. It was a fun way to connect with my new colleagues, helping them understand both my character and the vision for the business.
I gave the example of using a sports team to communicate with my colleagues, but that metaphor may not resonate with everyone. Knowing that, I also try to connect with each of them on an individual level. I treat every meeting and person I interact with as the most important interaction I will have that day, irrespective of location, hierarchy, race, gender, or department. This is a personal value that drives me to ensure we all get a fair shot. By sharing our diverse experiences, we can feel safe questioning the status quo and empowering each other to be a unique part of the team.
I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to understand an individual and what makes them tick. I am always amazed at how hearing a person’s story and learning what drives them can completely change the type of relationship you have at a more personal level. When you know the hurdles that have been overcome to be where the person is today, you far better appreciate their capabilities to maximize their impact and help a team get a little better every day.
Look back to move forward
As a forward-looking person, I feel most energized envisioning what could be. But creating an inclusive environment also means understanding what came before you. I have learnt that I must consciously ask questions to understand the history of what, why, and how the team operates before seeking to influence. Taking the time to do my homework shows respect for what the team has already achieved and better allows an outsider like me to give informed input as we look to the future.
When I first worked in the U.S. with Vanguard in 2008, I was struck by how many times I wanted to comment (and critique) what our key intermediary clients were doing compared to what I had seen be successful elsewhere. I realized that instead, I needed to ask why. There was so much context and history worth absorbing to help frame my contribution to the conversation. Today I am super conscious of a new member to a group, asking questions to better understand their background while sharing team history to help them understand where we’ve come from and where we’re headed. I’ve found this exchange of information to bring the best out of the diverse experiences and personalities in the room.
Dare to be different
Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give is to remain true to yourself. You bring valuable new ideas and experiences to the table. Share them with your team as you immerse yourself in your new environment. Although it can be intimidating to join a new team, this change is most often exactly what the group needs. Just do it at the right pace.
My most recent transition led me not only to another country, but also to an unfamiliar role. When I first started as Chief Human Resource Officer, I had big shoes to fill. I constantly asked myself what my predecessor would do in certain situations or how she would lead the team. Finally, I woke up one day and realized I’m not in the role to do it exactly the way she did. I had to remind myself that I was chosen to lead HR because of who I am, what I bring to the organization, and how I can personally deliver on Vanguard’s mission. I challenge you to adopt the same mindset.
My big thing is, fostering inclusion is ultimately about unleashing the team to achieve their best. The less each individual worries about proving their own contribution, the more a team feels empowered to step up in such a change. That is what the best leaders and high performing individuals do, they make teams better. While it may seem a harsh reality, it is not about you as an individual. It is about the team as a whole achieving great results for clients.
Creating an inclusive team environment may seem daunting—it’s a commitment I must renew each and every day. But by working and continuously improving together, we can bring out the best in everyone.
-John James, Managing Director of Global Human Resources (CHRO) at Vanguard
“Do the Right Thing.” It’s a family motto. When I was growing up, my father used many opportunities to instill those words in my being. I have a vivid memory from when I was about eight years old of my mother running across traffic on route 80 back to the tollbooth because the worker gave her a nickel too much change. ‘Honesty at all costs’ was all she knew. At a young age, integrity and reputation were everything, and my moral compass was set. So as I began my professional career and was looking for a long-term ‘home’, not only did I find that Vanguard’s culture and values aligned with my own, but “Do the Right Thing” is actually a message that can be found and heard here often.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a Financial Planner. Many kids want to be doctors, teachers, athletes, or singers. Thanks to my grandparents, I was exposed to the world of finance at a very young age, and I wanted to couple that with my innate desire to help people. The cherry on top: The idea of being a Financial Planner seemed fun. And, if I was going to spend a large portion of my life doing something, I better enjoy it, and it certainly can’t feel like ‘work’.
When you look into the core of your being, what is your calling? What kind of impact do you want to make? What are you going to have the most fun doing? Well, if you made it this far in my blog entry, chances are you’re interested in a Financial Planning career at Vanguard. And as you’ll read below, if your desires align with mine, this might be the place for you too.
Stop Selling, Start Helping
At Vanguard, prospective clients I speak with are connected with me either because they asked to speak to an Advisor, or a potential need was identified in a conversation they had with a representative. That means there’s no cold-calling involved. So, from the beginning of the discussion, the goal is to determine whether the client’s needs align with our managed advice offer. Some call this soft consultative sales, I call it helpingsomeone who needs help.
Advice I Truly Believe In
Since I don’t have a crystal ball that tells me the future, I’m not trying to time or beat the market. Rather, my focus is on developing an investment portfolio that is appropriate for the client based on their goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, and other variables through a consistent advice methodology. This allows me to be fully confident in the advice I’m providing, knowing I have only the client’s best interests in mind.
Do You Love People?
I absolutely love people, which is a primary reason why my wife and I have five kids! Vanguard’s consistent advice methodology allows me to spend time getting to know my clients better, understand what is important to them, and look for ways to bring additional value over the course of the relationship. This is where I have the most fun. I yearn to know what they’re passionate about and what worries them. I want to celebrate the fun life events with them, and mourn with them during the difficult ones. I want to think of my clients over the weekend because something I saw or heard reminded me of who they are. Becoming part of their lives is the goal, and for no motive other than I simply care about people.
So, how about you? What are you looking for?
If you’re like me (you want to do the right thing and have fun doing it) then this place called Vanguard just might be for you.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, learn about our careers in advice at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Like everyone before me, my story with working for Vanguard starts with an interview. What makes my story a bit different, is that I didn’t get the job… or even a callback for the next two jobs I applied for. But six years after that first interview, and a lot of great experience at companies completely removed from the investment world, I was ready to give it a go once again. This time, I finally got the job as one of Vanguard’s Sales Consultants!
My experience in sales
In the past, I’ve done sales at companies ranging from an internet startup to an ocean freight shipping company. No matter what job I had though, one thing remained consistent: I loved talking to everyone I could about saving for retirement because I know not enough people are taking the steps necessary to save for the future. Even after building a career elsewhere, this is what made me want to try Vanguard again and again, and it is what fuels my passion for helping people accomplish this goal each and every day.
So what does a Sales Consultant do here at Vanguard? I help people decide if Vanguard is the best place for their investing success. This manifests itself in many ways, ranging from basic conversations like “tell me more about Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services” to more complex strategies on how to move different account types without major tax implications. I’ll typically speak to about 10-15 potential or existing clients per day, with conversations ranging from 20-30 minutes. The rest of the day is following up with clients I’m already working with.
I love being a salesman, but the industry rightfully has a bad association with the term “sales” – mainly due to high commissions and fees that clients don’t always know about. Vanguard couldn’t be further from this because we structure the job as straight salary with no commission. In the sales world, no commission is a bit jarring because that is typically what motivates salespeople to excel. Instead, at Vanguard, that motivation to “sell” comes from a firm (and data-proven) belief that Vanguard is the best place for the vast majority of investors.
How I give back
Now that I’ve been at Vanguard for about a year, the most exciting development has been the ability to get involved with giving back to our community. At Vanguard, giving back is in our DNA, with over half of our crew volunteering their time at some point throughout the year. For me, I knew early on that I wanted to be a part of equipping young people for financial success. We all know how important it is to start saving young, but who is actually teaching kids these crucial lessons? That is why getting involved with Vanguard’s My Classroom Economy was such an easy choice to make!
My Classroom Economy provides free material that enables any educator to teach their students financially responsible principles that will benefit them for their entire lives. What if you could go back in time and better understand the implications of that student loan you took out? What if you started saving for your retirement with your first paycheck rather than being part of the 40 million households who have no retirement savings at all? With the month of April being national Financial Literacy Month, I think of the work that this team is doing and become giddy thinking about the hundreds of thousands of students forever impacted by this program.
Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t get the initial jobs I applied for, because if it were not for the experiences I had outside of Vanguard, I wouldn’t be nearly as passionate as I am about what we do here every day.
Helping the next generation with financial literacy is one way Vanguard crew connect with our communities. Learn more about how Vanguard helps communities have the best chance for success. And if you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
I’ve always been drawn to the concept of Skills-based Volunteering (SBV). It’s a simple notion: find an area or skill in which you excel and support someone who needs help with that skillset. It’s a win-win for both parties.
When I joined Vanguard, the question for me was not whether or not I wanted to volunteer, but rather where I could have the most impact. Specifically, I remember the announcement that Vanguard would be kicking off a community garden and crew members with “green thumbs” could put their talents to good use. Unfortunately for me, if you ever saw or experienced my gardening skills, you would see why our community garden team has not been knocking down my door. Okay, the community garden was out, which was probably best for all involved. So what skills could I put to good use…besides my lacking horticultural talents?
Finding the right opportunity for me
This question made me reflect a bit on my learning experiences since joining Vanguard in 2012, with the hope of narrowing down the appropriate skill to leverage before jumping head first into the Skills-based Volunteering “deep end.” To be honest, this was a tricky exercise for me. I have been very fortunate to have had a number of diverse learning experiences over the past seven years: participating in Vanguard’s rotational leadership development program, going back to graduate school for an MBA, and teaching business courses as an adjunct faculty member at a local community college. As valuable as these experiences have been for my development, I wouldn’t necessarily say they set me up to be a specialist in traditional SBV fields (IT, Legal, Finance, etc.). What they have impressed on me is the value and importance of being a lifelong learner. I paused after this reflection period, a bit frustrated that I hadn’t gotten any closer to locking in which skill to leverage when volunteering…or so I thought.
I had lunch with a mentor of mine later that week and shared my SBV conundrum. As a good mentor does, she responded with some sound questioning. I expressed to her that I had hoped to leverage the skills I’ve developed at Vanguard to help give back in a meaningful manner. She shared with me an opportunity to help lower-income families file their taxes in a program called VITA at Vanguard. As someone with an undergraduate degree in biology, I initially balked at the recommendation, thinking I had no business helping anyone with his or her taxes. She chuckled a bit, then shared that Vanguard leads an onsite training to help you prepare for the IRS designation and certification for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Like so many times in the past, Vanguard provided me with an opportunity to learn a new skill and put it to good use. I was sold and decided to sign up for the first available training.
More than just taxes
The tax season flew by and I left with a renewed sense of why I wanted to leverage SBV in the first place. This opportunity provided countless memorable interactions, like a single parent telling me they used the refund money to save for their two daughters’ college educations, or a family of four that used their refund to pay a medical bill. It was a humbling experience in which I selfishly felt like I took more away than the families I worked with.
It was a truly rewarding experience and one I will not soon forget. For me, it was a great reminder of the importance of being open minded to learning new skills and being a lifelong learner. You never know where you’ll be able put those talents to good use.
Sharing our expertise with others is one way Vanguard crew connect with our communities. Learn more about how Vanguard helps communities have the best chance for success. And if you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
March 2nd is Employee Appreciation Day – an unofficial holiday to thank employees for their hard work and efforts throughout the year. It just happens to coincide with tax season – one of the busiest, most hectic times of the year for financial institutions. Call volumes spike, timelines tighten, and issues get more urgent. While crew do a lot to prepare to meet client’s needs, many acknowledge that they couldn’t do it alone. Below are just a few of the stories of crew stepping in to help a fellow crew member – and a client.
Jennifer P.: After working a 10 hour day, my colleague, Nik S., stayed even later to help me with a client’s complex retirement request. We partnered together to resolve the situation and get the client exactly what they needed. Nik never complained, he just focused on the goal of helping the client. I can’t thank him enough.
Julaine B.: I just hung up the phone with Ryan and he ended the call with, “Thank you for all that you do.” The sincerity in his voice made me pause and reflect for a minute. In spite of the stress, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to provide assistance to my fellow crew member. These small words of appreciation can make a difference in your workday.
Bridget O.: Thank you Mary K. for providing exceptional operations leadership helping all of us in Flagship smoothly navigate the first week of the year despite weather contingencies. You made it look easy.
Annsley R.: A BIG shout out to Ardy A. and Tara C. for their excellent customer service today that resulted in high praise from our client. He stated, “Tara and Ardy are worth their weight in gold and are wonderful representatives!” Thank you both for your amazing partnership and creating a best in class experience for our clients.
Karen L.: A client told her story to me of her experience with both Melissa C. and Christopher T., “these two employees gave me the best service I’ve had in years! I needed help with a bond fund and they both guided me with our family’s investments. It’s a challenging time and I learned a great deal!” Melissa and Chris, thank you for delivering excellence!
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
This January, the American Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month and recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood and platelet donors. Crew member Pete K. shares his story:
Like many of you, my first time donating blood was when a friend asked me to participate in a blood drive. It was easy and painless, and I remember leaving feeling like I’d made some small contribution to the community.
In the years since I’ve become more sensitive to the challenges faced by the Red Cross and other blood collection agencies. The critical need for blood products (whole blood, plasma, platelets) is satisfied by the relatively few who are willing to help through regular donations. The Red Cross reports that while almost 40% of the U.S. population are eligible to donate, less than 10% of that population actually do each year. Contrast that with the fact that every day 36,000 units of red blood cells and 7,000 units of platelets are needed in the U.S., and you have a pretty dire situation. Initially, the main driver for my donations was simply that it’s the right thing to do. But, soon it turned personal.
Why it’s so important to me
My wife, Tammie, went through a particularly tough battle with breast cancer and that struggle really made us appreciate the volunteers that donate blood products. Tammie underwent extensive and intense chemotherapy and radiation treatment – both of which can damage cells in your bone marrow, and are used to manufacture blood and platelets. The effects of these treatments are cumulative, and she became progressively weaker as her regimen progressed. Low blood count leaves patients vulnerable to a variety of infections and even bleeding, so blood donations are critical for recovery. Chances are you have a loved one, or know of someone, with a similar story. I’m happy to say that now, my wife is two years clear of any reoccurrence.
In addition to donating blood, I also donate platelets. I had friends that were doing it, and read that these type of donations are often specifically matched to an individual cancer patient. It felt like an even greater opportunity to help someone in need. Donating platelets is a fairly involved process, and more time consuming, so I typically only manage 4 or 5 of those per year. In between, I participate in blood drives at my church and Vanguard. Can you believe that in 2017, Vanguard crew donated 2,000 pints of blood? Pretty amazing!
Paying it forward
I think the reality is that many of us at some point in our lives will have a similar need, whether due to illness, accident, or scheduled surgery, so I look at donating as “paying it forward” in advance. Vanguard has a culture of crew giving back through community service programs, Volunteer Time Off days, and charitable giving (which includes generous employer matching), all centered on our commitment to what we call the “3 C’s”: clients, crew & community.
I’m grateful to work at a place where my values align with my company’s culture. My wife is pretty grateful too.
With the arrival of the new year, Vanguard welcomed a new CEO. Tim Buckley succeeds Bill McNabb (who remains chairman) as Vanguard’s chief executive—only the fourth in the company’s 42-year history. Mr. Buckley has spent his entire 26-year career at Vanguard; he has led the company’s information technology function and its individual investor business and, more recently, served as chief investment officer and president.
In this Q&A, Mr. Buckley reflects on his early years at Vanguard and talks about what’s ahead for the company and the asset management industry amid demographic shifts, innovation, and potential regulatory changes.
You’ve spent your whole career at Vanguard. What are some of your earliest memories?
My first job was as an assistant to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle. It was 1991 and I was fresh out of college. I had the opportunity to work with him on his first book—researching, editing, and proofing the manuscript.
It seems archaic now, but we did everything by hand back then. There was no Morningstar software that enabled you to run data queries. I spent grueling hours thumbing through thousands of documents, entering return numbers into Excel, and running regressions to figure out how to predict outperformance.
The results of that analysis are as true today as 26 years ago. Few managers are able to outperform their benchmarks over longer time frames, and the best predictor is cost. The lower the cost, the more likely a brilliant manager might outperform. Intellectual firepower alone wasn’t enough back then, and it isn’t today.
You’ve held a variety of positions at Vanguard. What did you learn from those roles that prepared you for becoming CEO?
From our IT leaders, I learned how to separate hype from reality and truly leverage technology for our investors. The crew in our individual investor division taught me the essential elements of client service and how to create promoters. Finally, our investment professionals demonstrated to me that the low-cost, low-risk Vanguard approach to investing could be scaled across the globe.
Vanguard is approaching $5 trillion in assets under management. How do you plan to manage that growth?
Part of the Vanguard culture is an awareness that cash flow isn’t a goal—it’s an outcome of doing the right thing for our clients. Every dollar that comes into our firm is a vote of confidence from our clients that we’ll continue to do right by them. It’s an awesome and humbling responsibility.
So yes, growth has been tremendous, but overall, Vanguard has done a very good job managing it responsibly. Given our mutual structure, we must ensure that growth benefits our existing clients. Size allows us to fund new services for clients, share economies of scale, et cetera. If growth doesn’t benefit our existing base of clients, we’ll take action as we have in the past by closing funds.
Will Vanguard be able to continue lowering costs? What else does it need to do to remain competitive?
For Vanguard to be successful, our clients must have the best chance of investment success. There are many keys to a client’s achieving that success. Keeping costs low is one of them, so we will continue to drive costs lower. Saving more, sticking to a diversified plan, and being tax-efficient are some of the others. We have made and will continue to make investments in advice, behavioral coaching, and education to ensure that clients follow these best practices.
Where do you see Vanguard’s individual investor business headed over the next decade in terms of changing technologies and services?
When I first entered the asset management business, the majority of clients interacted with their advisors face to face. There might have been some do-it-yourselfers or some decisions that were made over the phone. But for the most part, clients would sit across the table from an advisor and discuss their financial goals.
That’s obviously changed. Those face-to-face meetings can now take place by videoconference. Some investors are comfortable with a retirement plan accessed on their smartphone and generated by an algorithm. In many ways, clients are engaged now more than ever—it’s just that the interactions aren’t happening in a physical office.
But what hasn’t changed is the actual advice. Clients still crave information about how to plan for retirement or other life goals. They’re just getting that advice in a different manner.
Our individual investor business has done an excellent job adapting to this changing environment. We are heavily investing in technology and constantly improving how we interact and communicate with our clients. I think we have a huge opening there to combine our service, products, technology, and culture to improve client experiences. Vanguard Personal Advisor Services® is the latest example of doing just that.
Speaking of investing in technology, we’ve seen a lot of headlines about cybersecurity. How does Vanguard approach this issue?
Cybersecurity is at the top of my list. Safeguarding our clients’ assets and personal information is something we take very seriously, and we know that it’s top of mind for clients, too. Not many financial services companies went into business thinking they would have to defend against hostile foreign intelligence services or organized crime. But that’s essentially what’s happened, and not just in the financial services industry, of course.
The attackers are very serious about what they do, and they’re at it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They’re sophisticated and well-funded. So is Vanguard. We invest in people and technology to protect client assets and privacy. Protecting our clients’ data is our single largest investment every year. We have a cybersecurity operations center that works 24/7 to investigate and respond to threats, and that uses National Security Agency-level tools.
Finally, let’s talk about your life outside the office. You were board chair of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Could you talk about that experience, especially in the context of the emphasis we at Vanguard place on giving back to the community?
Children’s Hospital—CHOP—is a phenomenal organization. It is a Philadelphia institution that has been around for more than 150 years. It’s regularly ranked the best children’s hospital in the country. And it is responsible for countless medical breakthroughs.
When you meet the people who are on the front lines of giving hope to terribly sick kids, not only from our area but across the country and around the world—well, it is hard not to be in awe of them. They have a noble mission to give children back their youth. They are a mission-driven organization, just like Vanguard. Similar to the crew at Vanguard, the CHOP doctors and nurses dedicate themselves to making other peoples’ lives better. It was easy to give back at CHOP, and the parallels with Vanguard run deep.
Crew share fond memories of Bill McNabb as he moves on from CEO
After more than three decades of distinguished service, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill McNabb will step down as CEO at the end of 2017. Bill will be succeeded by President Tim Buckley, but will remain chairman of the board of directors.
Crew were invited to share their thoughts on Bill’s leadership, expertise, accomplishments, and impact over the years. Crew turned out in force to offer stories, pictures, and well wishes for Bill. We’ve captured just a few of the many, many comments below.
Congratulations Bill. It’s been a remarkable 31 years.
“Bill, thank you for the impact you have made on our company, our crew, and our industry. A special thank you for the tremendous priority you placed on community outreach and support. Not only do you leave Vanguard a better place from your leadership, but you leave our communities we serve a better place as well. The community focus you have embedded in Vanguard’s culture will have a permanent impact on generations to come. I hope you enjoy this transition, and never stop making a difference in the lives of those you meet.”
“Bill, congratulations. Your leadership has set a tone that will carry beyond your tenure, to the careers of people who are proud to call themselves crew; to living our mission that drives us all to “give all investors…the best chance for investment success”; and to living by all ‘three C’s’ through service to clients, crew, and community. Thank you for challenging us to live and work as our best selves – it truly makes the Vanguard story our story, and investors all over the world will live a better life as a result.”
“Thank you Bill for everything you have done for our clients, crew and community and making Vanguard the best place to work for me. You have been an inspiration to all of us and we are going to miss you.”
“I’ve always been grateful to work for a company like Vanguard that not only has an important mission, but that carries out that mission with the highest ethical standards. Thanks Bill for having continued to set that tone here. It’s great to be able to take pride in the work one does every day.”
“Hey Bill, looking at this photo brings a smile to my face. It was my debut as a member of senior staff. Lots of highlights Bill, here is my top 5 Bill list:
1 Client focus- building out international businesses, and your energy on serving clients globally. 2 Global mindset- no matter the setting, the culture, the country, you blend in and always adapt to how people want to be treated. 3 Positivity- the glass is always half full, and it is such a pick-up to be in your presence when we all need that little bit of positivity. 4 Fitness- in mind, body and spirit you are always learning, reading, training, and that is such an inspiration to all of us. 5 Music- you and I both have similar taste in music, and our night out at the concert shows the coolness of William McNabb.
My wife Anne is a fan of yours, and my daughter Lyla always asks me about the boss big Bill. It means so much, how you know and have connected with the James family. You have had a huge impact on me, Bill, and I still remember the call in London to accept your offer to join your team – a career highlight. Expect my call for the next concert we can go to.”
“To know even one life has breathed more easily because you have lived, that is to have succeeded” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thank you Bill for all your time, effort and commitment to helping so many crew, clients and members of the community breathe more easily!”
“I met Bill at a “Breakfast with Bill” event he hosted for recent college graduates in 2010 after completing my Master’s degree. A few of the things Bill said about the importance of advanced education for crew and how essential teams are for Vanguard still resonate with me today.”
“Thank you Bill for all you have done (and continue to do) for this company, our crew, and the community. Your authentic leadership, passion for our people and our business, and focus on values are hard to match – though you’ve inspired many of us, including me, to try! Enjoy this transition!”
“Thank you, Bill, for being an incredible leader and a great role model. I’ll never forget when we ended up traveling together from a meeting in Fort Worth to Omaha back in the fall of 2008, and our plane was delayed due to massive thunderstorms. We landed in Nebraska well past midnight, and you still made the car drop me off at my hotel first. (Never mind that we both got bumped from our respective hotels since it was so late!) That small act of kindness, with nary a hint of ego, inspired me to be the best possible travel companion I could be to the dozens of crewmembers I’ve traveled with over my career. I’m sure you did it without thinking twice, and to me, it spoke volumes about your character. Best of luck in the future, and I’ll close by using something that didn’t even exist when you started as CEO – a hashtag – to say #thanksBill.”