Vanguard set to appoint ex-BlackRock ETF chief as next CEO: WSJ

Vanguard set to appoint ex-BlackRock ETF chief as next CEO: WSJ


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Salim Ramji, former head of BlackRock’s exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index investing, is set to take the helm at Vanguard Group as chief executive officer starting July 8, according to a Tuesday report from WSJ.

As noted, Ramji will succeed Tim Buckley, who announced his departure in February after over 30 years with Vanguard. The former BlackRock executive had spent over 10 years at the world’s leading asset management firm and played a key role in its spot Bitcoin ETF journey.

Unlike Ramji, Buckley’s tenure at Vanguard was marked by a firm stance against Bitcoin ETFs. Briefly after the debut of spot Bitcoin funds in the US, Vanguard announced the removal of its Bitcoin futures ETF product from its trading brokerage platform.

Vanguard’s decision not to offer spot Bitcoin ETFs is rooted in its belief that Bitcoin is more of a speculation than an investment, and the firm does not see an appropriate role for crypto in long-term investment portfolios.

Despite facing criticism and boycott calls, Vanguard remains resolute in its traditional investment philosophy, prioritizing long-term stability over short-term gains.

With the latest appointment, there is speculation about potential shifts in Vanguard’s stance on crypto assets. Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart, however, believes the firm is unlikely to tap into Bitcoin ETFs anytime soon.

Still think it’s unlikely that this means vanguard launches a #Bitcoin ETF (at least near term). But I think Salim could reverse Vanguard’s stance on not allowing their clients to buy spot Bitcoin ETFs on their brokerage platform 👀

— James Seyffart (@JSeyff) May 14, 2024

The move also marks the first time in Vanguard’s history that an outsider has been appointed CEO. Traditionally, the company has filled senior positions from within its ranks. This break from tradition suggests a possible change in strategy, indicating that Vanguard might be looking to outsiders to bring fresh perspectives.

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