Vanguard Names Former BlackRock Exec As CEO

Vanguard Names Former BlackRock Exec As CEO

Salim Ramji, a former BlackRock executive, was named as the new chief executive of Vanguard. Since he is bitcoin friendly, his appointment has led to a great deal of speculation.

Earlier this year, Ramji oversaw the approval and launch of BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The speculation

Industry pundits are now wondering if his appointment to Vanguard may see the company’s stance on Bitcoin change.

Vanguard has been opposed to Bitcoin and there is even speculation that Ramji might push for a late filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

However, James Seyffart, a Bloomberg ETF analyst, took to X to disagree. He stated that it was unlikely that Ramji would be able to drive Vanguard into launching its own spot Bitcoin ETF product.

However, the analyst did say that there was a possibility of the new CEO reversing the firm’s position on Bitcoin.

It is possible that Vanguard might relent and allow its clients to use its brokerage platform to buy spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Eric Balchunas, a fellow Bloomberg analyst, also had a similar opinion. He also noted that Ramji had taken a favorable stance towards blockchain technology and blockchain previously.

He said that the door was now more open for a lot of things.


Balchunas also added that Vanguard’s decision had come as a ‘semi-shock’. It is because it is the first time that the company has chosen an outsider to be its CEO.

Ramji will take his position from July 8th. He is replacing Tim Buckley as Vanguard’s CEO, who has criticized Bitcoin for a long time.

Since late February, Vanguard has been searching for a new boss, after Buckley disclosed his plans to retire.

BlackRock had launched its iShares Bitcoin Trust on January 11th, 2024, like other spot Bitcoin ETFs. Four days later, Ramji announced that he was leaving the firm.

He said that he was looking for a new entrepreneurial, or leadership opportunity. He was one of the members of BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee.

He also served as the Global Head of iShares and Index Investments at BlackRock.

Vanguard’s position

In January, Vanguard had decided to not offer the newly-launched spot Bitcoin ETF products on its brokerage platform.

This prompted some of the long-time customers of the asset management firm to threaten to close their accounts.

The decision had come at a time when the platform was offering the ‘Inverse Jim Cramer’ ETF. The company did not change its mind about offering a spot Bitcoin product.

It asserted that Bitcoin is not in line with the investment philosophy of Vanguard. According to Vanguard, the said products do not align with its focus.

Its platform offers access to asset classes, such as bonds, equities and cash. They are regarded as essential components of a long-term and well-balanced investment portfolio.

Whether Ramji will be successful in changing this perspective remains to be seen.