Vanguard Names Bitcoin-Friendly Ex-BlackRock Exec as CEO

Vanguard appoints Salim Ramji, known for his favorable stance on Bitcoin, as the new CEO, sparking speculation about the firm’s future Bitcoin ETF policies.
Vanguard Names Bitcoin-Friendly Ex-BlackRock Exec as CEO

Key Takeaways

  • Vanguard names a Bitcoin-friendly ex-BlackRock executive, as CEO.
  • Industry analysts speculate Ramji might reverse Vanguard’s stance on Bitcoin ETFs.
  • Vanguard’s appointment of an outsider as CEO is unprecedented in the firm’s history.

Vanguard has appointed Salim Ramji, a former BlackRock executive with a positive outlook on Bitcoin, as its new CEO.

Ramji played a significant role in the approval and launch of BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF earlier this year.

His appointment on May 14 has led to industry speculation about potential shifts in Vanguard’s long-standing opposition to Bitcoin and the possibility of the firm filing for a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Bloomberg analyst doubts

Despite these speculations, Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart expressed doubt that Ramji could push Vanguard to launch its own spot Bitcoin ETF.

However, Seyffart suggested that Ramji might be able to reverse Vanguard’s stance on not allowing clients to buy spot Bitcoin ETFs on its brokerage platform.

Fellow Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas echoed this sentiment, noting Ramji’s past positive comments about Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Ramji will replace Tim Buckley, a vocal Bitcoin critic, starting July 8.

Vanguard had been searching for a new CEO since Buckley announced his retirement plans in late February.

Ramji departed from BlackRock on January 15, seeking new leadership opportunities after helping to launch the iShares Bitcoin Trust on January 11.

Outside as CEO a first

Vanguard’s decision to appoint an outsider as CEO is a first for the firm.

Some long-time customers threatened to close their accounts earlier this year when Vanguard decided against offering spot Bitcoin ETFs on its brokerage platform, emphasizing that Bitcoin did not align with its investment philosophy.

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