HomeCryptoBTC turning point? Vanguard appoints pro-Bitcoin manager as boss

BTC turning point? Vanguard appoints pro-Bitcoin manager as boss


Surprising news from US financial giant Vanguard: the second largest asset manager in the world appointed the Bitcoin-friendly Salim Ramji as the new CEO. Ramji oversaw the approval and launch of BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF before leaving Vanguard’s main rival in January. Particularly explosive: It is the first time that the financial service provider has appointed an outsider as managing director. The news is making waves in the crypto community because it could indicate a change in direction. To date, Vanguard has taken a clear anti-Bitcoin stance, in contrast to competition from BlackRock or Fidelity.

BlackRock, Vanguard and Fidelity are the three largest asset managers in the world I Source: SFWI

Vanguard had in January for indignation because the company strictly denied its customers access to Bitcoin ETF trading. Other large US financial institutions such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs were similarly skeptical about BTC, but left the investment decision to their customers. Tim Buckley, who will run Vanguard until the end of the year, warned despite criticism However, he repeatedly spoke out against Bitcoin and advised against including it in a diversified retirement portfolio. In his opinion, the crypto reserve currency is a mere speculation object with no intrinsic value.

Is Vanguard now jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon?

His successor Salim Ramji has not yet commented on a possible BTC strategy change at his new employer. In July 2023 he declared himself as BlackRock manager opposite Bloomberg TV: “The technology underlying Bitcoin and blockchain is something we are incredibly excited about.” It is considered quite unlikely that Vanguard will enter the Bitcoin ETF competition directly with its new CEO. It seems more realistic that customers will be granted access to the existing BTC index funds in the medium to long term. Various ETF experts such as Eric Balchunas are therefore cautiously optimistic.

What is clear is that Vanguard is missing out on a great deal. The Bitcoin ETFs of rivals BlackRock and Fidelity have already invested $15.5 and $8.2 billion respectively within four months flowed. However, due to the influence of Vanguard founder John Bogle, a BTC turnaround is unlikely to be an easy undertaking for Ramji. Two years before his death warned the 86-year-old Bogle said in the fall of 2017 that he would avoid Bitcoin “like the plague.” This can be forgiven given his age, especially since he has created something great with the index fund. But today’s management team should not cling desperately to the company patriarch’s statement. Otherwise, Vanguard will shoot itself out of existence. The election of the new CEO at least sent a positive signal.

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