'Crypto-friendly' Indian-American Salim Ramji named CEO of Vanguard

His appointment is expected to bring a more cryptocurrency-friendly perspective to the company, signaling potential shifts in Vanguard's strategies.

Salim Ramji will replace Tim Buckley at the helm on July 8. / Vanguard company website

Indian-American financial services executive Salim Ramji has been appointed chief executive officer of investment management firm Vanguard, the company confirmed in a statement on its website. Ramji will replace Tim Buckley at the helm on July 8. 

"The Board welcomes Salim to the leadership team and looks forward to working closely with him as we strengthen and expand our mission and purpose, driven by serving the interests of individual investors. Vanguard’s distinctive structure and culture have helped tens of millions of our investor-owners plan for their future and families," said Mark Loughridge, lead independent director at Vanguard.

Loughridge said Ramji's experience makes him the ideal candidate to drive the company's future projected growth.

"We have significant opportunities for growth ahead, including how technology and the client experience can drive solutions and extend the benefits of wealth management to more investors,” he added. “Salim is an exceptional leader who is aligned with Vanguard’s mission-driven culture, making him the ideal candidate. Vanguard has an important future, and we believe he is the best person for the job.”

Ramji, who was raised in Canada by Tanzanian immigrants of Indian origin, was earlier Global Head of iShares & Index Investing at BlackRock Inc, a position he left in January 2024 according to the company's website. On Mar.1, BlackRock's physical bitcoin exchange-traded fund became the first ETF to hit the $10 billion milestone.

“It’s an honor to join Vanguard, an institution I have long admired and respected. I am drawn to Vanguard because of the firm’s clarity and consistency of purpose and am very excited to get to work and partner with the outstanding leadership team to lead the company into the future," Ramji said on his appointment.

In January 2024, Vanguard's CEO and chairman Buckley had refused to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) saying "something like bitcoin is just too volatile and not a store of value."

Ramji's appointment is projected to bring a more pro-Bitcoin, cryptocurrency-friendly and blockchain technology perspective to Vanguard.

"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. 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,” Ramji was quoted as saying on Vanguard's website.

A year ago, Ramji appeared on the Jon Schultz Podcast show where he spoke about his childhood dreams of becoming a professional ice hockey player.

“I grew up in Canada, and like every good Canadian, I grew up wanting to be a professional hockey player," Ramji said in the interview, adding that his parents, however, were adamant that he completes college and taught him the importance of financial security.