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Vanguard Investments Australia Chairman Jeremy Duffield to retire

Vanguard | 03 November 2010


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Vanguard Investments Australia announced today that its chairman and founding managing director, Mr Jeremy Duffield, will be retiring at the end of the year.

Mr Duffield, who recently passed his 30-year service milestone with Vanguard, says he is leaving at a time when the Australian business is well-positioned for strong growth and has a strong local management team in place under Managing Director John James.

Following 16 years working for Vanguard in the US, Mr Duffield returned to Australia in 1996 to establish Vanguard Investments Australia, offering Vanguard’s low-cost index funds to Australian investors for the first time. He oversaw the growth of Vanguard’s business in Australia from a one-man startup to a funds management business employing more than 200 people and managing more than $A80 billion on behalf of Vanguard’s institutional, adviser and individual clients.

“It has been a privilege to be part of Vanguard’s growth over the past 30 years,” Mr Duffield said. “When I joined Vanguard in 1980 in the US it had around $US 2 billion under management and was the 12th largest fund management company.

“Today it manages $US 1.7 trillion worldwide and is now the largest mutual fund manager in the US. This is an incredible achievement and a tribute to staying true to the mission of delivering great value to clients at the lowest possible cost.”

Mr Duffield noted that Australia was Vanguard’s first non-US venture, yet today the firm serves clients in Europe, the UK, Asia and the Americas.

“In many ways I had three careers at Vanguard. The first in the early developmental stages at Vanguard in the US; the second in helping start up and build the Australian business and most recently I have enjoyed the challenge of working in Vanguard’s broader international business,” he said.

“It is the right time to move on with another phase of my life, but I am leaving confident that the Australian business is in great hands. There are some exciting growth opportunities ahead as a result of the proposed regulatory changes to our superannuation and financial planning industries.”

Vanguard CEO William McNabb paid tribute to the many contributions that Mr Duffield has made throughout his long career at Vanguard both in the US and Australia.

“Jeremy has been a true pioneer during his three decades at Vanguard, making a tremendous and lasting impact that will benefit investors for years to come. He was an architect of our retail strategy in the US in Vanguard’s early days, the trailblazer of our international efforts with the establishment of our Australian operations, and the foundation-builder for our further expansion to new areas around the globe.”

Mr McNabb, who worked with Mr Duffield for 24 years, also praised his leadership and vision.

“As a leader, Jeremy had a keen foresight about changes in the financial industry and challenged all of us to ensure that we were thinking beyond the current state to how we could best serve clients in the future. It has been a pleasure working with Jeremy and we thank him for all of his contributions.”

Mr Duffield joined Vanguard in 1980 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia, where he served in economic research. His first role at the firm was as assistant to Vanguard President and founder John C. Bogle. He was subsequently named head of Vanguard Planning and Development, before returning to Australia to establish Vanguard’s operations.

Mr Duffield is currently a director of Plum Financial Services, Ltd and a member of the Australia Financial Centre Task Force. He previously served on the Investment and Financial Services Association Limited (IFSA) as deputy chairman, on the Federal Government's Financial Sector Advisory Council (FSAC), and on the Advisory Board of the Financial Literacy Foundation.