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Friday, December 04, 2020

New Retail and Planning Chiefs Rise At Vanguard

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Tim Buckley is making several key leadership changes at Vanguard [profile] this month as a senior leader prepares to exit the Low-Cost Leviathan.

Karin Ann Risi
Managing Director, Retail Investor Group
Yesterday Buckley, chairman and CEO of Vanguard, confirmed that this month Karin Risi (nee Tafaro), head of the firm's U.S. retail investor group, is taking over as head of planning and development, while Matt Benchener, head of retail client services and operations, is succeeding Risi as head of the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based asset manager's U.S. retail investor group. Meanwhile, Risi is succeeding Chris McIsaac, who in turn is succeeding Jim Norris as head of international business. Norris is expected to retire at the end of the year.

As head of planning and development, Risi will oversee: communications; community efforts; enterprise strategy; global investment product development and oversight; and marketing. And Benchener will oversee Vanguard's retail investor business, which accounts for nearly one-third of its $6.3 trillion in AUM (as of October 31).

Buckley puts the changes in the context of the Vanguard team's belief "in the value of developing well-rounded leaders." He lauds McIsaac as "another top-notch global leader" while praising Norris as "the consummate Vanguard leader [who] was the perfect person to bring Vanguard's mission outside the U.S."

Risi, an alumna twice over of Villanova University, has spent more than 23 years at Vanguard. She joined in 1997 as an analyst after serving in a similar role at Sunoco. Over her years at Vanguard, she has worked in corporate strategy, investment advisor services, institutional asset management, and high net worth and ultra high net worth services. Then she led development of Vanguard's giant cyborg advisor offering, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, before rising to managing director and taking over the retail investor group in 2015.

Benchener, an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and of Johns Hopkins University, has spent more than a dozen years at Vanguard. He joined in 2008, fresh out of college, in Vanguard's Acceleration Into Management (AIM) program. Since then, he worked in retail business technology, corporate strategy, and implementation services (for defined contribution plans). He rose to CMO of the retail business in 2015, and in 2016 he became the unit's head of client services and operations.

McIsaac, an alumnus of Harvard Business School and of Saint Joseph's University, first joined Vanguard in 1997, like Risi. McIsaac, too, started as an analyst before serving in a variety of leadership roles, including: head of the business development group (starting in 2003), head of institutional investor services (starting in 2008), head of product (starting in 2009), head of the institutional investor group (starting in 2012), and head of planning and development (starting in 2015). In 2017, he added oversight of innovation and strategy.

Norris led Vanguard's institutional investor group before taking over Vanguard International in 2008. He is an alumnus of UPenn's Wharton and of Saint Joseph's University. 

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