Vanguard announced late yesterday that it has appointed former BlackRock executive Salim Ramji as its new CEO and a member of the board. Ramji becomes the first outsider to run Vanguard in its 50-year history. He will succeed current CEO Tim Buckley on July 8, according to a company press release. 

Ramji's expertise in building BlackRock's ETF business clearly made a candidate to run the giant, shareholder-owned, asset management complex. In February, Buckley announced his plans to retire. 

As the Vanguard release states, Ramji has more than 25 years of experience in investments, capital markets and wealth management, including a decade as a senior executive at BlackRock Inc., leaving in January 2024. Most recently, he served as global head of iShares and index investing.

Ramji also was involved the implementation of a voting choice platform, which seeks to democratizes client access to the proxy voting process. Among the challenges Ramji will face include managing the giant investment complex's entry into the financial advice business. Vanguard is one of the nation's largest employers of CFP licensees. It also operates a huge robo-advisor operation and 401(k) platform.

"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," Ramji said in a prepared statement. "My focus will be to mobilize Vanguard to meet the moment while staying true to that core purpose – remaining the trusted firm that takes a stand for all investors."

Together with Mr. Ramji's appointment, Vanguard also announced that Greg Davis, president and chief investment officer, will be appointed to Vanguard's board and have expanded responsibility for regulatory and government affairs.

"Salim is a highly accomplished leader in the world of index investing, but importantly, also someone who shares Vanguard's passion for serving clients," Davis said in the release. "I look forward to working together with Salim as we continue innovating and improving our capabilities while remaining focused on lowering the cost and complexity of investing for our tens of millions of investors worldwide."