Vanguard Hires Former BlackRock iShares Exec Salim Ramji as CEO

BlackRock’s former global head of iShares and index investments, Salim Ramji, is joining Vanguard as its new CEO and board of directors from July 8.

In an announcement, Vanguard said Ramji will take over from the current CEO Tim Buckley, who announced he would retire and step down from the firm in February this year.

Ramji departed from his position at BlackRock in January 2024 where he was responsible for managing the majority of the firm’s client assets and overseeing the iShares platform. He joined BlackRock over a decade ago and under his tenure, the asset management firm launched the first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund for retail investors.

Vanguard is the second largest asset management firm after BlackRock.

BlackRock’s Spot Bitcoin ETF ‘IBIT’


Commenting on Ramji’s appointment, Bloomberg Intelligence senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said the former BlackRock executive oversaw the filing and logistics of the IBIT ETF and he is known to have an interest in the digital assets space. Vanguard on the other hand is anti-crypto.

Before joining BlackRock Ramji held the position of senior partner at McKinsey and was responsible for the firm’s asset and wealth management practice. Ramji started his career as a lawyer at Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong.

“He [Ramji] cares about advancing the interests of individual investors, has a strong fiduciary ethos, and thinks strategically about solutions,” said Buckley, in a press release.  “Salim understands our organization’s deep sense of purpose and commitment to put clients first, which is a hallmark of Vanguard’s leadership team and culture,” added Buckley.

“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,” said Ramji.

Vanguard’s Anti Crypto Stance 


In January, Vanguard said it had no immediate plans to add spot Bitcoin ETF to its platforms despite the introduction of such ETFs generating headlines and buzz in the industry.

“Given the current state of crypto as an asset class, Vanguard does not have plans to launch its own bitcoin ETF or any crypto-related products. When deciding what investment products to offer, we consider a range of factors, including whether we believe they have enduring investment merit and meet our client’s needs,” wrote Janel Jackson, Vanguard’s head of ETF Capital Markets and Broker and Index Relations in a note.

“While the discussion about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, has increased recently, we do not currently believe that there is an appropriate role for them to play in long-term portfolios,” adds Jackson.

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