VALLEY FORGE, PA (December 3, 2020)—Vanguard today 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 dedicated service, Jim Norris, head of Vanguard’s International business, will retire at the end of the year.
As part of this long-planned transition, Mr. McIsaac has partnered with Mr. 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. Mr. 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 U.S. retirement business from 2012 to 2015 and has served as a member of Vanguard’s 12-person senior management team since 2012,” said Vanguard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Buckley.
For the past 12 years, Mr. 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-U.S. assets under management of $460 billion, making Vanguard one of the largest asset management firms outside the U.S. 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,” said Mr. Buckley. “Jim has been the consummate Vanguard leader and was the perfect person to bring Vanguard’s mission outside the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Retail Investor Group, which represents nearly one-third of the firm’s assets under management.
Ms. Risi and Mr. Benchener are proven leaders with strong track records for delivering on behalf of Vanguard clients. During her tenure in the Retail Investor Group, Ms. Risi led development of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services®, which provides Vanguard clients with ongoing asset management and investment advice. Mr. 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.
Mr. McIsaac, Ms. Risi, and Mr. 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 Mr. 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,” said Mr. Buckley.
Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of October 31, 2020, Vanguard managed $6.3 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers more than 420 funds to its more than 30 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.
James M. Norris is managing director of Vanguard’s International business. Mr. Norris joined Vanguard in 1987. He has served as a principal in the Advice, Brokerage & Retirement Services group, and before that, he led Vanguard Institutional Retirement Plan Services. Mr. Norris also held leadership positions in Statistics and Research, Corporate Communications, Marketing, and Strategic Planning. In addition, he served for many years as assistant to Vanguard’s founder, John C. Bogle. In 1993, Mr. Norris wrote The Vanguard Retirement Investing Guide. Since 2008, he has served on Vanguard’s senior management team reporting to Vanguard’s CEO. Mr. Norris is chairman of the board for Saint Joseph’s University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chris D. McIsaac is managing director of Vanguard’s Planning and Development Group. He joined Vanguard in 1997 as a business analyst and has had many roles at Vanguard, including head of Institutional Investor Services and head of the Business Development Group. From 2012 to 2015, he led the Vanguard Institutional Investor Group before assuming his role as head of Planning and Development. Mr. McIsaac is the executive co-sponsor of Vanguard’s Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success and has been a member of the senior management team since 2012. He holds a B.S. from Saint Joseph's University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Karin A. Risi is managing director of Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group, which serves individual clients. Ms. Risi joined Vanguard in 1997. She first served as an analyst in both the Portfolio Review and Corporate Strategy units. She later held leadership roles in Vanguard’s Institutional Asset Management and Retail High Net Worth businesses before leading the design and launch of Personal Advisor Services®, which provides clients with comprehensive financial planning and investment advice. As managing director, Ms. Risi oversees the business strategy, client experience, operations, and advisory service for Vanguard’s eight million U.S. individual investors. She led Retail through a large-scale business transformation focused on revamping the digital client experience and driving the continued success of the firm’s advice platform. Ms. Risi earned a B.S in finance and an M.B.A. from Villanova University. Outside of Vanguard, she serves as a board trustee for Vanguard Charitable, a national donor-advised fund sponsor. She’s an Investment Committee member at the Barnes Foundation and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Villanova University’s School of Business. Ms. Risi is the former board chair and current business advisor to Unite for HER, a nonprofit supporting the needs of breast and ovarian cancer patients.
Matt Benchener is a Vanguard principal and is responsible for the company's Retail Client Services and Operations organization, which delivers end-to-end service and execution for Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group. Through combined front- and back-office servicing, Client Services and Operations provides contact center support, transaction processing, issue resolution, and digital solutions to help millions of investors achieve investment success. Mr. Benchener joined the firm in 2008, and has served in a variety of senior leadership roles including as Vanguard’s Retail chief marketing officer, and in the firm’s Institutional Division and Corporate Strategy department. Mr. Benchener earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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