Vanguard's Buckley to Retire After Six Years as CEO

Vanguard's Buckley to Retire After Six Years as CEO

Successor not named; investment chief Davis takes on added role as president.

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Finance Reporter
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

Buckley headshotVanguard Group, the No. 2 U.S. ETF issuer, said that Chief Executive Officer Tim Buckley will retire from the company after six years in the role and 33 years at the asset manager.

Vanguard in a statement offered no specific reason for the departure of Buckley, 55, who joined Malvern, Pa.-based Vanguard in 1991 as legendary founder John Bogle's research assistant and will leave by the end of the year. The company said a selection process for a successor is ongoing, and that Chief Investment Officer Greg Davis will take on an expanded role as president. 

"It’s time for others now," Buckley wrote on his LinkedIn page.

Vanguard has grown to become an asset management behemoth under Buckley. With more than $2.4 trillion in 86 ETFs, it's second only to BlackRock Inc.'s iShares. Under his leadership, the firm's client base climbed to more than 50 million investors worldwide and assets surged by more than 80% to over $9 trillion across the firm’s asset management business.

"Buckley's had one of the best runs of any asset manager CEO ever," Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted, adding that the departure was "kind of a shocker."

He wrote that under Buckley's leadership, Vanguard assets grew by $4 trillion, about one-third of all ETF flows. Balchunas, who wrote a book on Bogle's leadership at Vanguard, also wrote that Buckley's departure was likely not linked to the company's decision to decline to offer spot bitcoin ETFs to its customers.

International Expansion

In addition, Buckley oversaw Vanguard’s international expansion into Europe, Australia, Canada, and Latin America.

"Vanguard went through a period of unprecedented innovation, growth, and transformation, building high-value-added services and businesses and expanding our advice offers," during Buckley's tenure, lead independent director Mark Loughridge said in the statement. 

Buckley not only helped Vanguard accumulate assets, but he kept products affordable for investors with the average ETF expense ratio one of the lowest in the industry at 0.09%. By continuing to roll out low cost, broad products, Vanguard has pushed rivals State Street Global Advisors and BlackRock to lower fees as well. 

According to etf.com, Vanguard’s flagship Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VOO), which has garnered $412 billion in assets since its launch in 2010, is its largest fund. 

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at etf.com covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts etf.com webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.