Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
ikowik
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:52 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by ikowik »

bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 9:25 am
dkturner wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 9:15 am
bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:54 am
etf_investor1 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:01 am Will probably looked to combine with Blackrock to create a complete monopoly in the index business. Both firms now offer low cost investment for investors. All about scale and synergies. :greedy
Vangrock!

nah, doesn't sound right.
Blackvan?
well...maybe...keep trying!! :happy
Blackguard?
Nice trust-inducing name
User avatar
HanSolo
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:18 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:18 am I would hope this mentality would be something he absorbed while working at BlackRock, but given his lawyer/consulting/M&A background I would doubt it. He may not have understood the benefits of a large tech budget, since M&A folk typically succeed by cutting budgets.
I hope "benefits" means something other than making outsourcing contractor executives rich (which seems to be the main benefit of the Buckley-era billion-dollar IT budget... or so it was alleged).
Strategic Macro Senior (top 1%, 2019 Bogleheads Contest)
User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 14535
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Stinky »

ikowik wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:32 am
bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 9:25 am
dkturner wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 9:15 am
bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:54 am
Vangrock!

nah, doesn't sound right.
Blackvan?
well...maybe...keep trying!! :happy
Blackguard?
Nice trust-inducing name
Boglerock!

Take the company back to its roots.
Retired life insurance company financial executive who sincerely believes that ”It’s a GREAT day to be alive!”
Clarky
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 7:10 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Clarky »

bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:23 am
rjbraun wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:12 am
beyou wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 11:22 pm This guy started out as an M&A attorney, and headed “corporate strategy” at BlackRock earlier. He will be focused on what parts of Vanguard should be spun off and new purchases.

I worked for a fund manager that brought in an M&A guy as CEO. He spent all his effort buying small asset managers, and people in ops and tech spent all their time integrating niche new teams/strategies and ignored long standing improvements because that was not his focus nor background to understand.

This guy will NOT further fixing ops and tech.
But there will be more ETFs, more acquisitions, more outsourcing (as was done with 401k admin).
If what you say is true, it seems that not only will the new CEO NOT further fix ops and tech, his M&A focus will likely only exacerbate things.

If we accept that Vanguard's IT is not 'best in class' relying on that same group / infrastructure to smoothly and efficiently integrate legacy systems with those of newly acquired companies would seem to be alarming and potentially disastrous.

I don't think for one second Vanguard's Board will allow VG's current issues to continue any longer.
The word is out about VG's customer service, website and app issues.
There have been and probably will be more articles about these issues.
I don't think for one second any CEO wants to be the head of a company with all these issues.
As Warren Buffett once put it: lose money and I'll be patient; lose customers and I'll be relentless.
This is not the exact quote, but you get the idea.
The new guy will probably want answers from those who are responsible for each segment.
Just my 2cents worth.
I agree with this.

But not often mentioned is that the website and especially at least the iPhone and iPad apps have improved markedly in functionality in recent months. I expect/hope that will accelerate now, though.
bondsr4me
Posts: 2491
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by bondsr4me »

Clarky wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:11 pm
bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:23 am
rjbraun wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:12 am
beyou wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 11:22 pm This guy started out as an M&A attorney, and headed “corporate strategy” at BlackRock earlier. He will be focused on what parts of Vanguard should be spun off and new purchases.

I worked for a fund manager that brought in an M&A guy as CEO. He spent all his effort buying small asset managers, and people in ops and tech spent all their time integrating niche new teams/strategies and ignored long standing improvements because that was not his focus nor background to understand.

This guy will NOT further fixing ops and tech.
But there will be more ETFs, more acquisitions, more outsourcing (as was done with 401k admin).
If what you say is true, it seems that not only will the new CEO NOT further fix ops and tech, his M&A focus will likely only exacerbate things.

If we accept that Vanguard's IT is not 'best in class' relying on that same group / infrastructure to smoothly and efficiently integrate legacy systems with those of newly acquired companies would seem to be alarming and potentially disastrous.

I don't think for one second Vanguard's Board will allow VG's current issues to continue any longer.
The word is out about VG's customer service, website and app issues.
There have been and probably will be more articles about these issues.
I don't think for one second any CEO wants to be the head of a company with all these issues.
As Warren Buffett once put it: lose money and I'll be patient; lose customers and I'll be relentless.
This is not the exact quote, but you get the idea.
The new guy will probably want answers from those who are responsible for each segment.
Just my 2cents worth.
I agree with this.

But not often mentioned is that the website and especially at least the iPhone and iPad apps have improved markedly in functionality in recent months. I expect/hope that will accelerate now, though.

Yes, I do agree with your assessment of the iPhone and iPad.
I am hoping it will continue.
User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 14535
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Stinky »

Clarky wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:11 pm But not often mentioned is that the website and especially at least the iPhone and iPad apps have improved markedly in functionality in recent months. I expect/hope that will accelerate now, though.
I agree.

The iPhone app now does most all of the (simple) things i want to do - buy, sell, check balances, transfer to my bank, etc.

It is a lot better than in recent past times.
Retired life insurance company financial executive who sincerely believes that ”It’s a GREAT day to be alive!”
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:36 am
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:18 am I would hope this mentality would be something he absorbed while working at BlackRock, but given his lawyer/consulting/M&A background I would doubt it. He may not have understood the benefits of a large tech budget, since M&A folk typically succeed by cutting budgets.
I hope "benefits" means something other than making outsourcing contractor executives rich (which seems to be the main benefit of the Buckley-era billion-dollar IT budget... or so it was alleged).
Well without a budget there is little one can improve.
With a budget you can try, but you can also mess it up of course.
From my direct interaction with Vanguard IT staff during my career, my main interactions were with people who seemed purely governed by how auditors and project managers think. The people making decisions did not seem to have the hands on understanding of needs to be met. OTOH my interaction with Fidelity staff and my own experience at BlackRock and other firms this was rarely the case. People spent money but got something for their money accomplished. So I share your concern about Vanguard, and see no reason a new CEO with an M&A background will fix this.
AlwaysLearningMore
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:29 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by AlwaysLearningMore »

mikejuss wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:16 am
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:10 am
mikejuss wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:04 am
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:59 am
mikejuss wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:50 am

So...what's your point?
You asked about if it's fair to compare tools and that their product needs are different.
They do have overlap in products and in those areas the tools are NOT the same, and BlackRock has a superior product.
Like many choices in life, sometimes we realize you don't get something for nothing, and sometimes you think you are getting something for nothing (same product at lower ER, but is it really the same product quality - if you can't understand the different then it appears not, but this difference is behind the scenes).

You had also asserted that one manages index funds and the other active, but both firms do both jobs on a large scale in both cases.
Both firms are well known for both. But they don't have the same tools when they do the same job.
You say that BlackRock has investment tools that are far superior than those at Vanguard--how you know this is unclear--but that you still invest at Vanguard. Why? Or do those tools not really matter when we look at rates of return?
Those tools are irrelevant for index investing but useful for active, particularly fixed income and derivatives trading.
Well, as I have no interest in active fixed-income or derivatives products, I guess it makes sense that I view this debate as a tempest in a teapot.
Good point! 👍
Retirement is best when you have a lot to live on, and a lot to live for. * None of what I post is investment advice.* | FIRE'd July 2023
User avatar
HanSolo
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:18 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:38 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:36 am
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:18 am ... He may not have understood the benefits of a large tech budget, ...
I hope "benefits" means something other than making outsourcing contractor executives rich (which seems to be the main benefit of the Buckley-era billion-dollar IT budget... or so it was alleged).
Well without a budget there is little one can improve.
With a budget you can try, but you can also mess it up of course.
From my direct interaction with Vanguard IT staff during my career, my main interactions were with people who seemed purely governed by how auditors and project managers think. The people making decisions did not seem to have the hands on understanding of needs to be met. ...
I'll just say I think Vanguard website IT was more competent prior to the "large fonts / massive white space" agenda, as the new look is absurd and has provided no known benefits (other than the enrichment of outsourcing contractors).
Clarky wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:11 pm ... the website ... improved markedly in functionality in recent months.
I don't mean to derail the thread, but could you give an example of a recent website improvement, and/or a link to another thread that describes the improvement(s)?
Strategic Macro Senior (top 1%, 2019 Bogleheads Contest)
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:47 pm I'll just say I think Vanguard website IT was more competent prior to the "large fonts / massive white space" agenda, as the new look is absurd and has provided no known benefits (other than the enrichment of outsourcing contractors).
UI is a matter of opinion, not fact.
Some find it useful just as is, myself included.

As far as enriching outside contractors, what evidence do you have of this assertion ? And even if they do use outside contractors, so does almost every IT dept at every large company. What does this have to do with anything. There are useful and useless contractors. Some of the best IT people I have worked with in this industry were contractors.
User avatar
HanSolo
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:18 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:07 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:47 pm I'll just say I think Vanguard website IT was more competent prior to the "large fonts / massive white space" agenda, as the new look is absurd and has provided no known benefits (other than the enrichment of outsourcing contractors).
UI is a matter of opinion, not fact.
Some find it useful just as is, myself included.
Yes, but no more useful than what they had previously. So money was spent to put a new UI on the same functionality.
As far as enriching outside contractors, what evidence do you have of this assertion ? And even if they do use outside contractors, so does almost every IT dept at every large company. What does this have to do with anything. There are useful and useless contractors. Some of the best IT people I have worked with in this industry were contractors.
I didn't say I have evidence, I only said that it was alleged. I agree that contractors can be useful, but hiring contractors while mismanaging them is less useful. More info here:

viewtopic.php?p=7747912#p7747912

Regarding "What does this have to do with anything", I'm hoping for things to get better in comparison to what happened under Buckley (as discussed at the above link)... at the risk of being a naive optimist, again.
Strategic Macro Senior (top 1%, 2019 Bogleheads Contest)
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:21 pm
Yes, but no more useful than what they had previously. So money was spent to put a new UI on the same functionality.
They just added the ability to reinvest dividends into a Vanguard open end fund instead of the settlement fund.
This is NOT something I had at my etrade brokerage account in the past, nor in Vanguard brokerage platform until very recently.

I will say some of the changes are not for the better, but they have allowed us to continue to access old pages if you bookmark them.
So we get the best of both worlds, some of the old site and lots that is new.
I find Portfolio Watch has a better interface now but same old data problems as before.
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:21 pm I didn't say I have evidence, I only said that it was alleged. I agree that contractors can be useful, but hiring contractors while mismanaging them is less useful. More info here:

viewtopic.php?p=7747912#p7747912

Regarding "What does this have to do with anything", I'm hoping for things to get better in comparison to what happened under Buckley (as discussed at the above link)... at the risk of being a naive optimist, again.
I have posted many times before, Vanguard IT is bureaucratic, so I agree with the comments on the other thread you linked.
While I didn't work for Vanguard, I worked at a sub advisor and at peer firms where I collaborated with Vanguard IT at times.
I do think they are one of those firms that hire body shop contractors.
Their own employees are not that much better as they are paid far worse than at most of their competitors, which prevents hiring better staff outside. So if you wont hire top people, how can you run projects well, how can you hire & manage good contractors ? All that said they are not wasting so much $ because Vanguard has a fraction of the number of employees compared to Fidelity. No surprise progress is glacial, but it is the quality of their staff AND contractors that also limits quality of what they do. Quantity is restricted by overall budget and staffing levels and quality is restricted by how they staff, contractor or employee. They get ENOUGH done to keep costs low and as long as my records are accurate, I can live with that tradeoff. If they start to make mistakes on transactions (trades, dividends, balances etc) then this is the reason to exit.

Former CEO and new CEO both haven no background in tech. Was not the focus before and will not be the focus now.
But as long as they do an adequate job at low cost, I can't make a case to give up. I have not been wowed by much at etrade nor Fidelity when using their websites either. There are differences but not enough to justify moving my accounts. Accuracy of tax forms, and monthly statements is what I care about.
marcopolo
Posts: 8720
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:22 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by marcopolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:55 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:21 pm
Yes, but no more useful than what they had previously. So money was spent to put a new UI on the same functionality.
They just added the ability to reinvest dividends into a Vanguard open end fund instead of the settlement fund.
This is NOT something I had at my etrade brokerage account in the past, nor in Vanguard brokerage platform until very recently.

I will say some of the changes are not for the better, but they have allowed us to continue to access old pages if you bookmark them.
So we get the best of both worlds, some of the old site and lots that is new.
I find Portfolio Watch has a better interface now but same old data problems as before.
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:21 pm I didn't say I have evidence, I only said that it was alleged. I agree that contractors can be useful, but hiring contractors while mismanaging them is less useful. More info here:

viewtopic.php?p=7747912#p7747912

Regarding "What does this have to do with anything", I'm hoping for things to get better in comparison to what happened under Buckley (as discussed at the above link)... at the risk of being a naive optimist, again.
I have posted many times before, Vanguard IT is bureaucratic, so I agree with the comments on the other thread you linked.
While I didn't work for Vanguard, I worked at a sub advisor and at peer firms where I collaborated with Vanguard IT at times.
I do think they are one of those firms that hire body shop contractors.
Their own employees are not that much better as they are paid far worse than at most of their competitors, which prevents hiring better staff outside. So if you wont hire top people, how can you run projects well, how can you hire & manage good contractors ? All that said they are not wasting so much $ because Vanguard has a fraction of the number of employees compared to Fidelity. No surprise progress is glacial, but it is the quality of their staff AND contractors that also limits quality of what they do. Quantity is restricted by overall budget and staffing levels and quality is restricted by how they staff, contractor or employee. They get ENOUGH done to keep costs low and as long as my records are accurate, I can live with that tradeoff. If they start to make mistakes on transactions (trades, dividends, balances etc) then this is the reason to exit.

Former CEO and new CEO both haven no background in tech. Was not the focus before and will not be the focus now.
But as long as they do an adequate job at low cost, I can't make a case to give up. I have not been wowed by much at etrade nor Fidelity when using their websites either. There are differences but not enough to justify moving my accounts. Accuracy of tax forms, and monthly statements is what I care about.
Well, Fidelity did have this feature you are touting for it seems at least a decade or more...
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
AlwaysLearningMore
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:29 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by AlwaysLearningMore »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:07 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:47 pm I'll just say I think Vanguard website IT was more competent prior to the "large fonts / massive white space" agenda, as the new look is absurd and has provided no known benefits (other than the enrichment of outsourcing contractors).
UI is a matter of opinion, not fact.
Some find it useful just as is, myself included.

As far as enriching outside contractors, what evidence do you have of this assertion ? And even if they do use outside contractors, so does almost every IT dept at every large company. What does this have to do with anything. There are useful and useless contractors. Some of the best IT people I have worked with in this industry were contractors.
Couldn't agree more about IT contractors.

A nephew (one of those young smart whipper snappers who took an early shine to all things computers and programming) works as a consultant for businesses of all sorts and sizes who require expertise in the lane offered by the company for whom he works. He has certification in cybersecurity as well, and the demand for those types of skills is also huge. Makes darn good money.

I sure hope Vanguard is hiring consultants of his caliber!
Retirement is best when you have a lot to live on, and a lot to live for. * None of what I post is investment advice.* | FIRE'd July 2023
User avatar
HanSolo
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:18 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:55 pm They just added the ability to reinvest dividends into a Vanguard open end fund instead of the settlement fund.
So Buckley/Vanguard/we paid for a complete website overhaul in order to add a feature here or there. Cool! I guess.
AlwaysLearningMore wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 2:11 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:07 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:47 pm I'll just say I think Vanguard website IT was more competent prior to the "large fonts / massive white space" agenda, as the new look is absurd and has provided no known benefits (other than the enrichment of outsourcing contractors).
UI is a matter of opinion, not fact.
Some find it useful just as is, myself included.

As far as enriching outside contractors, what evidence do you have of this assertion ? And even if they do use outside contractors, so does almost every IT dept at every large company. What does this have to do with anything. There are useful and useless contractors. Some of the best IT people I have worked with in this industry were contractors.
Couldn't agree more about IT contractors.

A nephew (one of those young smart whipper snappers who took an early shine to all things computers and programming) works as a consultant for businesses of all sorts and sizes who require expertise in the lane offered by the company for whom he works. He has certification in cybersecurity as well, and the demand for those types of skills is also huge. Makes darn good money.

I sure hope Vanguard is hiring consultants of his caliber!
I hope so too. But an ex-Vanguard employee at the link I cited said something else happened during the Buckley era.
Strategic Macro Senior (top 1%, 2019 Bogleheads Contest)
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

Tycoon wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:19 am Given shareholders "own" Vanguard, will his compensation package be available for scrutiny?
We obviously don't have any say in the matter.

We also don't have any understanding of this transition beyond the vague fluff reported in general media. The posts here are generally in the category of speculation.

The word "shareholder" or "owner" (as in their front page "At Vanguard you're more than just an investor, you're an owner") doesn't give us any power or transparency. So what good is it for?

I wonder what the Vanguard's current leadership privately thinks of us "owners"?
Last edited by pennsylvania211 on Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 6817
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by BolderBoy »

ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:23 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 1:55 pm They just added the ability to reinvest dividends into a Vanguard open end fund instead of the settlement fund.
So Buckley/Vanguard/we paid for a complete website overhaul in order to add a feature here or there. Cool! I guess.
Many here complain that nothing new is added, I was pointing out they are still adding features, though slowly IMO.

That said, being a software developer myself, and having built an early website like Vanguard's (for another fund manager long ago), one of the issues all large firms face is how to deal with legacy technology. Any firm that is an early adopter or makes poor choices in tech tools and architecture, at some point has to decide to stop adding new features on top of legacy technology. They have to rewrite what they have and then go from there. This is among the most common debates in all companies that have been around a long time like Vanguard. One of the "advantages" a firm like Robinhood has, is they are new and have the luxury of no legacy systems. Even etrade, which was a bleeding edge tech firm over 2 decades ago, is now likely starting to have to consider "should we start over again" with some of their technology. Vanguard has been around far longer than etrade even. Anyone who looks at the Fidelity site can see it looks old and clunky, certainly not how you would design a site today. At some point they will have to bite the bullet. It is a hard decision because it does cost a fortune to rebuild as you say, but the alternative is to keep repairing that old car instead of buying the new car. How long to keep a car is much discussed on this site, well how long to keep legacy technology is a far more complicated and expensive decision and there is no clear answer when it's time to trade in the old horse and buggy. The problem is with tech, it stops all progress during the transition while management is reluctant to invest in the legacy tech.

I don't know details of Vanguard's website infrastructure but I am willing to bet they hit both some limitations as to scale, challenging them with all the new clients added over last few years. I also bet they are using some development tools that may no longer be as well supported by the IT industry, either tools no longer well supported, or tools where it's hard to find trained developers who can or want to work on their new development projects. At some point one has to modernize and sometimes it means yes, start over again. This usually also results in the front end looking different, but that is likely NOT all they changed, likely much behind the scenes that you can't see.

None of this will be understood by the new CEO, who likely had little to do with this other than cost issues in his prior career.
The old CEO at least ran IT for a while and likely was appraised of the tradeoffs of starting over vs continuing to build on top of legacy tech.
He probably didn't really understand it, but it appears he and/or his successors approved it was time to start over. I just hope the new CEO doesn't slow down the investment and instead ramps it up, but with the caveat that people deliver or they are fired. They need to shake up the top and middle management at Vanguard, we'll see if that happens. I ran many such projects in my career, but unfortunately for Vanguard I am now retired ! Can't help them :-)
User avatar
HanSolo
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:18 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:00 pm The old CEO at least ran IT for a while and likely was appraised of the tradeoffs of starting over vs continuing to build on top of legacy tech.
He probably didn't really understand it, but it appears he and/or his successors approved it was time to start over. I just hope the new CEO doesn't slow down the investment and instead ramps it up, ...
OK. Then I just hope "ramps it up" doesn't mean "even larger fonts" and "even more white space".
Strategic Macro Senior (top 1%, 2019 Bogleheads Contest)
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:07 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:00 pm The old CEO at least ran IT for a while and likely was appraised of the tradeoffs of starting over vs continuing to build on top of legacy tech.
He probably didn't really understand it, but it appears he and/or his successors approved it was time to start over. I just hope the new CEO doesn't slow down the investment and instead ramps it up, ...
OK. Then I just hope "ramps it up" doesn't mean "even larger fonts" and "even more white space".
In my 40 years in the industry I have NEVER seen a project at any of the asset management firms I worked for, where anyone ever suggested "let's revamp just what clients see and make the fonts bigger". Any such re-design is part of a larger effort behind the scenes you don't see. Some firms do a better job in tech than others, and I don't think Vanguard is close to the best, but nobody does what you speculate about. It just isn't economical to do so. It's more like "while the car is in the shop to replace the engine, might as well re-paint the body and bang out some dents too". People don't like to pay for a new engine and receive the car back with a rusty scratched body.
User avatar
HanSolo
Posts: 2656
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:18 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:17 pm People don't like to pay for a new engine and receive the car back with a rusty scratched body.
Nor do they want their car back looking like the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Just sayin'.
Strategic Macro Senior (top 1%, 2019 Bogleheads Contest)
User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 6817
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by BolderBoy »

pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
You are offering up non sequiturs.

The bottom line is as I stated. If you don't feel you are getting what you pay for, leave.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 26646
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by ruralavalon »

jebmke wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:43 am
vfinx wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 10:40 am Vanguard is now hammering my email with requests to try their digital advisor. 17 duplicate emails and counting. Must be the new strategy.
I get none. Many years ago I asked them to flag my account to not send emails or call me -- so far, for the most part they have kept to that.
I don't get any Vanguard marketing emails at all. Why don't they want me to use their digital advisor???

My main concern about the new CEO from BlackRock is that BlackRock does not service the individual retail investor. Their business is largely with employer plans (like the Thrift Savings Plan,TSP) and brokers.

So will there be no fix for customer service problems? He seems to have no background in customer service for the individual retail investor.I

I personally have almost no need for customer service, I haven't called Vanguard about anything for a couple of years.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link: Bogleheads® investment philosophy
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:20 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:17 pm People don't like to pay for a new engine and receive the car back with a rusty scratched body.
Nor do they want their car back looking like the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Just sayin'.
You are picky for a guy who hangs out with a Wookie.
exodusing
Posts: 2386
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:32 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by exodusing »

pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:20 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
You are offering up non sequiturs.

The bottom line is as I stated. If you don't feel you are getting what you pay for, leave.
You're mixing up terms "customer" and "owner"
exodusing
Posts: 2386
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:32 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by exodusing »

pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
Northern Flicker
Posts: 15571
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Northern Flicker »

beyou wrote: BlackRock was founded by former highly paid investment bankers who were used to receiving and paying large bonuses.
The culture is one of work hard and be well paid. Vanguard is more a culture of process and cost containment.
Historically there was little recruiting between the two firms due to Vanguard's not being willing to pay what other asset managers pay...
And more to the point, Vanguard customers have generally not been interested in products with higher ERs to cover those big bonuses.
bondsr4me
Posts: 2491
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by bondsr4me »

Northern Flicker wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:38 pm
beyou wrote: BlackRock was founded by former highly paid investment bankers who were used to receiving and paying large bonuses.
The culture is one of work hard and be well paid. Vanguard is more a culture of process and cost containment.
Historically there was little recruiting between the two firms due to Vanguard's not being willing to pay what other asset managers pay...
And more to the point, Vanguard customers have generally not been interested in products with higher ERs to cover those big bonuses.
:sharebeer
AlwaysLearningMore
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:29 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by AlwaysLearningMore »

pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
ee_guy wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 10:48 pmIn this announcement, new members of the Board of Director were announced. Is there a way to find their compensation? Compensation for board members are available in proxy statements for publicly traded companies. Shareholders also get an opportunity to vote for board members. But I suspect not for Vanguard. Being more transparent would add some meaning to ownership.
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Let’s say we all woke up tomorrow morning to find that the Vanguard CEO pay is set at $15 million annually. How would you then proceed to use that information?
Last edited by AlwaysLearningMore on Wed May 15, 2024 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Retirement is best when you have a lot to live on, and a lot to live for. * None of what I post is investment advice.* | FIRE'd July 2023
Gaston
Posts: 1297
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:12 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Gaston »

Interesting topic. In public companies, bringing in an external CEO often signals that the Board wants change. In Vanguard’s case, this might mean a greater and faster reshaping of the company to meet the Board’s vision of the future (whatever that might be).

Perhaps interesting times lie ahead.
Last edited by Gaston on Wed May 15, 2024 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“My opinions are just that - opinions.”
Clarky
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2023 7:10 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Clarky »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:47 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:38 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:36 am
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 11:18 am ... He may not have understood the benefits of a large tech budget, ...
I hope "benefits" means something other than making outsourcing contractor executives rich (which seems to be the main benefit of the Buckley-era billion-dollar IT budget... or so it was alleged).
Well without a budget there is little one can improve.
With a budget you can try, but you can also mess it up of course.
From my direct interaction with Vanguard IT staff during my career, my main interactions were with people who seemed purely governed by how auditors and project managers think. The people making decisions did not seem to have the hands on understanding of needs to be met. ...
I'll just say I think Vanguard website IT was more competent prior to the "large fonts / massive white space" agenda, as the new look is absurd and has provided no known benefits (other than the enrichment of outsourcing contractors).
Clarky wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:11 pm ... the website ... improved markedly in functionality in recent months.
I don't mean to derail the thread, but could you give an example of a recent website improvement, and/or a link to another thread that describes the improvement(s)?
Why? Is there any chance of changing your mind?
I have more productive things to do with the breaths I have left on this planet.
billaster
Posts: 3182
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2022 2:21 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by billaster »

exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:39 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
And how would one use this information, say, at Fidelity? Oh, wait -- Fidelity doesn't publish executive compensation either.
Makefile
Posts: 2694
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:03 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Makefile »

HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:07 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:00 pm The old CEO at least ran IT for a while and likely was appraised of the tradeoffs of starting over vs continuing to build on top of legacy tech.
He probably didn't really understand it, but it appears he and/or his successors approved it was time to start over. I just hope the new CEO doesn't slow down the investment and instead ramps it up, ...
OK. Then I just hope "ramps it up" doesn't mean "even larger fonts" and "even more white space".
The issue is a majority of web traffic (and probably an even larger percentage of visits from would-be Vanguard customers--20-something HENRYs High Income, Not Rich Yet) is from mobile devices with an iPhone-sized screen. The new pages adapt their layout to fit such a screen ("responsive") while the old interface did not. Of course, Vanguard could have kept the desktop site going rather than just serving the mobile site to desktop users, but they didn't, thus we get a blown-up mobile site.
User avatar
anagram
Posts: 2090
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2023 1:03 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by anagram »

Makefile wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:36 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:07 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:00 pm The old CEO at least ran IT for a while and likely was appraised of the tradeoffs of starting over vs continuing to build on top of legacy tech.
He probably didn't really understand it, but it appears he and/or his successors approved it was time to start over. I just hope the new CEO doesn't slow down the investment and instead ramps it up, ...
OK. Then I just hope "ramps it up" doesn't mean "even larger fonts" and "even more white space".
The issue is a majority of web traffic (and probably an even larger percentage of visits from would-be Vanguard customers--20-something HENRYs High Income, Not Rich Yet) is from mobile devices with an iPhone-sized screen. The new pages adapt their layout to fit such a screen ("responsive") while the old interface did not. Of course, Vanguard could have kept the desktop site going rather than just serving the mobile site to desktop users, but they didn't, thus we get a blown-up mobile site.
The desktop interface and the iPhone app interface look completely different. Where is the responsive design? I do not believe the mobile site is being served to desktop users.

Thus the reams of white space and 96pt fonts have nothing to do with responsive design.

Also, do we have web traffic data that shows the majority of web traffic to Vanguard is coming from mobile devices? Whether 20 something or overall? The app is so bad that I have my doubts.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 52741
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by nisiprius »

My perception is that Vanguard is slowly band-aiding the worst problems with UI, with lower functionality of the "new platform," and possibly (?) with customer service. It's proceeding at a snail's pace, and the implementation is clumsy (visible mixtures of old and new UI, for example). I don't think that will change dramatically one way or another under Ramji.

I see there's some new stuff in Barron's (free registration required): New Vanguard CEO Tells Barron’s He Will Lead With ‘the Zeal of a Convert’
“There is something that deeply resonates with me about Vanguard’s purpose,” he says. “It’s not just in books or speeches from the late founder of the firm. It’s in the work, the ideas, and the initiatives by the entire crew working there today. As an outsider, I’m going to approach their mission with the zeal of a convert.”

He declined to go into detail about what changes he may make, noting that he doesn’t officially assume the job until July. But he did reveal a key early commitment: He won’t reverse Vanguard’s decision not to launch a Bitcoin ETF.

“I think it’s important for firms to have consistency in terms of what they stand for and the products and services they offer,” he says. “I have heard [CIO] Greg Davis’ explanation and I think it is entirely consistent with Vanguard’s investment philosophy. It is a logical and consistent point of view.”
In other words, he said exactly nothing, because incoming CEOs almost always say something like this. By using the word "crew" he was obviously trying to signal that. It was all very "normal."

I don't think he left BlackRock because he opposed creation of a spot bitcoin ETF, and I don't think he was recruited by Vanguard to bring one to Vanguard. It's about other stuff, but I can't guess what.
Last edited by nisiprius on Wed May 15, 2024 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:45 pm
Northern Flicker wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:38 pm
beyou wrote: BlackRock was founded by former highly paid investment bankers who were used to receiving and paying large bonuses.
The culture is one of work hard and be well paid. Vanguard is more a culture of process and cost containment.
Historically there was little recruiting between the two firms due to Vanguard's not being willing to pay what other asset managers pay...
And more to the point, Vanguard customers have generally not been interested in products with higher ERs to cover those big bonuses.
:sharebeer
Conversely people with extensive experience at both tech and asset management do not want to help Vanguard fix their tech nor serve their customers.
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Location: If you can make it there

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by beyou »

M&A does not make for happy customers.

https://www.morningstar.com/news/market ... nline-home


Good thing an M&A guy was hired.
billaster
Posts: 3182
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2022 2:21 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by billaster »

I like the large fonts. Makes my balance look bigger.
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:39 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:51 pm
This quest by many to learn how much employees at Vanguard are paid is really getting old.

Why does anyone care what those folks are paid? If you are getting what you consider "value for what YOU are paying" then Vanguard employee compensation is meaningless. When you feel you are paying too much and getting too little, vote with your feet. Fido and Schwab stand waiting.
Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
In the United States at least:
1. Board elects CEO
2. Shareholders have right to elect board
3. Shareholders (comprising more than 3% of a company's stock) can put their nominees for board seats on the annual proxy ballots sent to all shareholders.
4. Shareholders vote on by-laws, the number of members of the board and the sale of company assets and can add restrictions on the types of business engaged in by a corporation.
5. Shareholders have right to submit proposal by proxy vote
6. Shareholders have right to sue company, board members and executive officers for breach of duty among other reasons.

So for example (hypothetically), if Vanguard's new CEO tries to move away from low cost index fund model in favor of active management, then collectively the shareholders can do something about it beyond just walking away. Companies are owned by owners, the managers do not have the right to use it as personal enrichment schemes.

In any good system, we should have not only have checks and balances and but exercise them periodically. It would be crazy to hold the world view that we must trust blindly (or walk) and wait for a disaster to happen before we carefully consider checks and balances. Would that not be reckless?
10 Shareholder Rights You May Not Know You Have
https://www.morningstar.com/stocks/your ... hareholder
LongRoad
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by LongRoad »

billaster wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:35 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:39 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm

Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
And how would one use this information, say, at Fidelity? Oh, wait -- Fidelity doesn't publish executive compensation either.
To be fair, Fidelity doesn’t claim that you’re an owner of Fidelity by virtue of owning shares of one of their mutual funds.
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

billaster wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:35 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:39 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm

Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
And how would one use this information, say, at Fidelity? Oh, wait -- Fidelity doesn't publish executive compensation either.
Forgetting one thing. You are not Fidelity's owner/shareholder. That would be the Johnson family and others. The Johnson family knows. In fact, they not only know but vote. Currently Abigail Johnson is running the company as its CEO.

Also I don't understand what's the reason for such strong reluctance to hold Vanguard leadership (employees) to account?
1. Is it deference to Jack Bogle? He is dead and not running the show. Other people are.
2. Is it deference to the company itself? If you really care about a company then shouldn't you want the company to be around and healthy for a long period of time (hopefully going beyond any of our lifetimes), which requires non-employees including shareholders/owners to be vigilant and make sure it stays on track (and call it out if/when it's employees fall short of that goal)? How does blind following of Vanguard's employees help ensure the long term well being of the company?
Last edited by pennsylvania211 on Wed May 15, 2024 8:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
anagram
Posts: 2090
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2023 1:03 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by anagram »

beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:03 pm
bondsr4me wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:45 pm
Northern Flicker wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:38 pm
beyou wrote: BlackRock was founded by former highly paid investment bankers who were used to receiving and paying large bonuses.
The culture is one of work hard and be well paid. Vanguard is more a culture of process and cost containment.
Historically there was little recruiting between the two firms due to Vanguard's not being willing to pay what other asset managers pay...
And more to the point, Vanguard customers have generally not been interested in products with higher ERs to cover those big bonuses.
:sharebeer
Conversely people with extensive experience at both tech and asset management do not want to help Vanguard fix their tech nor serve their customers.
I value the experience and insights you bring to BH.

If Vanguard is using an off the shelf back end, and I think you have said this is the case, building a front end with a good UI/UX is not rocket science. Looking at an example from financial services, I would argue that the Ally banking site is really well done. Easy to navigate, easy to get things done and it just looks nice, which I agree is subjective. I do not have access to their investing website. Yes, a brokerage site is more complicated, but if Ally can do it for banking, it is not rocket science to do the same for a brokerage site.

The Vanguard dashboard, I would argue is quite well done. But then if you click somewhere you go into the world of large bold fonts, white space, old website pages (why, oh why), pages that do not remember your settings etc. Likewise the Cash Plus page is quite well done.

It looks like they employed 20 different UI/UX designers, none of whom talked to each other. I saw a reference to Buckley spending a billion a year on tech. I have no idea where he spent that money but I would say this was money badly spent. People argue for lower costs but there is also such a thing as spending money foolishly.

I hope things improve under the new CEO but I am not hopeful.
exodusing
Posts: 2386
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:32 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by exodusing »

pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:11 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:39 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 3:54 pm

Is that an argument for "blind deference to leadership or walk"?

Why is transparency desired at any institution, public or private?
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
In the United States at least:
1. Board elects CEO
2. Shareholders have right to elect board
3. Shareholders (comprising more than 3% of a company's stock) can put their nominees for board seats on the annual proxy ballots sent to all shareholders.
4. Shareholders vote on by-laws, the number of members of the board and the sale of company assets and can add restrictions on the types of business engaged in by a corporation.
5. Shareholders have right to submit proposal by proxy vote
6. Shareholders have right to sue company, board members and executive officers for breach of duty among other reasons.

So for example (hypothetically), if Vanguard's new CEO tries to move away from low cost index fund model in favor of active management, then collectively the shareholders can do something about it beyond just walking away. Companies are owned by owners, the managers do not have the right to use it as personal enrichment schemes.

In any good system, we should have not only have checks and balances and but exercise them periodically. It would be crazy to hold the world view that we must trust blindly (or walk) and wait for a disaster to happen before we carefully consider checks and balances. Would that not be reckless?
10 Shareholder Rights You May Not Know You Have
https://www.morningstar.com/stocks/your ... hareholder
You have not yet answered the question - what would you do with the information.

Let's try this - are you a shareholder of Vanguard - the management company that employs the CEO?
User avatar
pennsylvania211
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by pennsylvania211 »

exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:46 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:11 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:39 pm
pennsylvania211 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:43 pm
exodusing wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:27 pm
What would you do with the information?
Same thing that a shareholder does with any company. Which is to look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation.
Exactly how would you "look out for shareholders' best interests in any given situation."?

Retail shareholders tend not to do anything with comp information, either in terms of voting or buying/selling, presuming they even read the relevant disclosure.
In the United States at least:
1. Board elects CEO
2. Shareholders have right to elect board
3. Shareholders (comprising more than 3% of a company's stock) can put their nominees for board seats on the annual proxy ballots sent to all shareholders.
4. Shareholders vote on by-laws, the number of members of the board and the sale of company assets and can add restrictions on the types of business engaged in by a corporation.
5. Shareholders have right to submit proposal by proxy vote
6. Shareholders have right to sue company, board members and executive officers for breach of duty among other reasons.

So for example (hypothetically), if Vanguard's new CEO tries to move away from low cost index fund model in favor of active management, then collectively the shareholders can do something about it beyond just walking away. Companies are owned by owners, the managers do not have the right to use it as personal enrichment schemes.

In any good system, we should have not only have checks and balances and but exercise them periodically. It would be crazy to hold the world view that we must trust blindly (or walk) and wait for a disaster to happen before we carefully consider checks and balances. Would that not be reckless?
10 Shareholder Rights You May Not Know You Have
https://www.morningstar.com/stocks/your ... hareholder
You have not yet answered the question - what would you do with the information.

Let's try this - are you a shareholder of Vanguard - the management company that employs the CEO?
I thought I was already clear with list of things shareholders can do to hold their company to account.

But sure. If I as a shareholder didn't like where the company was going (let's say, hypothetically, the board decides to offer new CEO a ridiculous annual comp - just one example but there could be many other reasons), and there are enough shareholders who share that view, then we'd organize a vote for our nominees to the board who will control implement a roll back in that pay. It would take some time to get there, as nothing is instantaneous. But if sufficient percentage of shareholders can reach an agreement, chances are good that it can happen.

As it stands right now, we don't even know how much the CEO gets paid let alone debate it amongst ourselves. It operates so opaquely from it's owners/shareholders. I guess blind faith is some form of holy devotion, but you can't argue that faith serves company's or shareholders' best interests. It may serve the employees' (including CEO's) best interest but that's another matter.
User avatar
Random Musings
Posts: 6909
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Random Musings »

It's too early and a lot of conjecture is just being tossed around. Once changes start coming to fruition, then we will start getting a taste of the direction the new CEO/Board wants.

However, I'm pretty sure a crypto ETF is off limits; for at least a few years.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ
Northern Flicker
Posts: 15571
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by Northern Flicker »

Makefile wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:36 pm
HanSolo wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:07 pm
beyou wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:00 pm The old CEO at least ran IT for a while and likely was appraised of the tradeoffs of starting over vs continuing to build on top of legacy tech.
He probably didn't really understand it, but it appears he and/or his successors approved it was time to start over. I just hope the new CEO doesn't slow down the investment and instead ramps it up, ...
OK. Then I just hope "ramps it up" doesn't mean "even larger fonts" and "even more white space".
The issue is a majority of web traffic (and probably an even larger percentage of visits from would-be Vanguard customers--20-something HENRYs High Income, Not Rich Yet) is from mobile devices with an iPhone-sized screen. The new pages adapt their layout to fit such a screen ("responsive") while the old interface did not. Of course, Vanguard could have kept the desktop site going rather than just serving the mobile site to desktop users, but they didn't, thus we get a blown-up mobile site.
Lookup the average yield to maturity of any total bond market index fund. On what site(s) did you find it?

With what site can you get the YTD total return for most mutual funds and ETFs (across all providers) up to the previous day's close, without a paid subscription?
sycamore
Posts: 6567
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Re: Vanguard Preparing to Tap Former BlackRock Executive as CEO

Post by sycamore »

billaster wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:06 pm I like the large fonts. Makes my balance look bigger.
Ba dum tss!
Locked