How Vanguard CEO Mortimer J. Buckley Made His Millions

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Jul. 14 2021, Published 1:48 p.m. ET

Mortimer "Tim" Buckley was appointed as the CEO and chairman of Vanguard four years ago. He took on the CEO role at the beginning of 2018. Buckley took over the head office of the mutual fund company from previous CEO Bill McNabb.

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Buckley joined The Vanguard Group in 1991. Initially, he served as an assistant to its founder John C. Bogle. He also moved up the ranks and took on the roles of Chief Information Officer and later the head of the Retail Investment Group as well as the Chief Investment Officer. What does Buckley earn as the top executive in one of the top banking and investment firms?

Who owns Vanguard?

Vanguard is technically owned by its customers. As the company states, the fund shareholders own the funds, which in turn own Vanguard.

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mortimer j buckley vanguard
Source: Vanguard Facebook

Vanguard is known for its index funds, an investment product made popular by Bogle enabling investors to own a preset basket of stocks to mimic a certain index. Two of Vanguard’s top index funds are the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) and the Vanguard Growth Index Fund ETF (VUG).

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Vanguard CEO history

Buckley is the fourth Vanguard chief executive since it was founded in 1975. The firm’s original founder, John C. Bogle, believed strongly in the concept that a mutual fund company shouldn't have outside owners. To that end, he started Vanguard as a client-owned mutual fund company in which the shareholders own the funds and the funds own Vanguard.

Buckley was unanimously approved by the board of The Vanguard Group in 2017 to assume the CEO position of the company in January 2018. He inherited a company that had tripled its assets under Bill McNabb’s leadership and was overseeing $4.4 trillion.

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At the time of his CEO appointment, Buckley said, “I love that everyone is following us. We are here to change the way people invest and we are taking that beyond the borders of any one country,” according to the Charlotte Observer.

Buckley, as CEO, has faced a challenge due to lots of competition within the investing market. Competitors like BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, Edward Jones, and TIAA have tightened the market, sometimes undercutting Vanguard on costs.

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Tim Buckley and the Vanguard CIO
Source: Vanguard Facebook

Nancy Koehn, a Harvard Business School professor, said at the time of Buckley’s CEO appointment that even the strongest companies were facing pressure. “It’s a much more transactional world. It’s more about ‘show me the money’ than it is about emotional values like loyalty and trust," according to the Charlotte Observer.

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Mortimer J. Buckley education and career

Buckley’s education includes an economics degree from Harvard College as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School. The roles he has taken on at Vanguard include:

  • Chief Information Officer from 2001–2006

  • Head of Retail Investor Group from 2006–2012

  • Chief Investment Officer from 2013–2018

Mortimer J. Buckley net worth

According to Comparably, the top executive at Vanguard earns $700,000 annually, which implies that $700,000 is Buckley’s salary. This would put Buckley’s net worth into the millions, considering he has been the CEO for three and a half years and held senior executive positions for many years prior to that role.

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