Vanguard has announced several senior leadership changes. Chris McIsaac, currently head of Vanguard’s Planning and Development Division, has been named head of Vanguard’s International business. After 33 years of service, Jim Norris, head of Vanguard’s International business, will retire at the end of the year.As part of this long-planned transition, McIsaac has partnered with Norris over the past year on the firm’s international strategy, including sharpening the firm’s focus on individual investors and the intermediaries who serve them, and developing Vanguard’s global suite of mutual funds, ETFs, and advisory services. McIsaac will relocate to Vanguard’s European headquarters in London during the month of December.
“Jim is handing over the reins to another top-notch global leader. Chris is a 23-year Vanguard veteran and comes into the role with a strong perspective on the needs of our clients in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe from his current role overseeing global product development, enterprise strategy, and marketing. Chris ran Vanguard’s US retirement business from 2012 to 2015 and has served as a member of Vanguard’s 12-person senior management team since 2012,” says Vanguard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Buckley.
For the past 12 years, Norris has led Vanguard’s global expansion in an effort to help everyday investors reach their financial goals. Vanguard now has 15 offices across the globe, with total ex-US assets under management of USD460 billion, making Vanguard one of the largest asset management firms outside the US. This success illustrates how Vanguard’s message of simplicity, low costs, and client focus is resonating with investors worldwide.
“We are grateful for Jim’s 33 years of service to, and leadership of, Vanguard,” says Buckley. “Jim has been the consummate Vanguard leader and was the perfect person to bring Vanguard’s mission outside the US. His strategic vision, appreciation for local client needs, and entrepreneurial drive have assisted investors worldwide in having the best chance for investment success.”
Karin Risi, currently head of Vanguard’s US Retail Investor Group, will assume responsibility for Vanguard Planning and Development—leading Vanguard’s global investment product development and oversight, enterprise strategy, marketing, communications, and community efforts. Matt Benchener, currently head of Retail Client Services and Operations, will join Vanguard’s Senior Staff as head of its US Retail Investor Group, which represents nearly one-third of the firm’s assets under management.
Risi and Benchener are proven leaders with strong track records for delivering on behalf of Vanguard clients. During her tenure in the Retail Investor Group, Risi led development of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, which provides Vanguard clients with ongoing asset management and investment advice. Benchener currently leads a team of more than 2,800 Vanguard crew members who provide client-service support, transaction processing, and digital solutions for individual investors.
McIsaac, Risi, and Benchener will assume their new roles over the course of December as part of the firm’s long-term succession plan, approved by Vanguard’s board of directors. They will report to Buckley.
These changes reflect Vanguard’s focus on executive development, succession planning, and leadership continuity. In its 45-year operating history, Vanguard has had only four chief executive officers—all long-tenured Vanguard leaders—and frequently promotes leaders at all levels from within its own ranks.
“We strongly believe in the value of developing well-rounded leaders. These changes will afford Chris, Karin, and Matt an opportunity to build upon their past successes and continue to deliver value for clients in their new roles,” says Buckley.