Vanguard Names Europe Head on Heels of CEO Move

Vanguard's senior leadership moves continue a month after CEO Tim Buckley announced he was leaving the company he led for six years.

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Reviewed by: Ron Day
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Edited by: Kent Thune

Vanguard has appointed a new head of its European business, barely five weeks after the company's chief executive officer Tim Buckley announced his retirement.

The world's second-biggest exchange-traded fund issuer named Jon Cleborne as head of Europe. He replaces Sean Hagerty, who will be relocating back to Vanguard’s U.S. headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Cleborne currently leads Vanguard’s personal investor service in the U.S., and will assume the European role in June.

Reporting to Chris McIsaac, managing director and head of Vanguard’s international division, Cleborne will be responsible for heading up the $360 billion business.

Buckley's departure after six years leading Vanguard, which manages more than $2 trillion in nearly 90 ETFs, raised questions among investors about the future of the behemoth founded by John Bogle.

Cleborne joined the business in 2003 and has held various senior leadership roles including global head of portfolio review, where he was responsible for overseeing the firm’s global fund range, investment manager selection for its active funds and product development.

Hagerty has helped grow the firm’s business across European markets including Germany, Italy and Switzerland since 2016.

Vanguard said his role will be disclosed at a later date.

UK Advisors Use Vanguard Funds

According to Vanguard, 80% of independent financial advisers in the U.K. use Vanguard funds, while the company serves more than 550,000 U.K. investors on its Personal Investor Service platform.

The group closed its direct-to-consumer platform in Germany less than two years after launching due to not reaching sufficient scale.

Vanguard’s ETF range hit €100 billion assets under management in Europe last October, following a bumper year for the platform.

The group recorded another strong quarter in Q1 with inflows of $6 billion, making it the fourth-largest issuer in Europe with an 11.6% share of the market.

McIsaac commented: “A 20-year Vanguard veteran, Jon’s wealth of experience and global perspective will be instrumental to our focus on serving financial intermediaries and individual investors at a time of significant momentum for Vanguard in Europe.

“In 2023, clients entrusted us with $26 billion in net cash flow, marking a record year for the business. It is a testament to Sean's strong leadership that our offer is resonating, and we are helping many more people achieve their investment goals.”

Hagerty added: “Leading our European business has been a tremendous privilege. We have worked hard to earn the trust of our clients and demonstrate that investing does not need to be costly or complicated.”

See also: Vanguard's Buckley to Retire After Six Years as CEO 

This article first appeared in etf.com's sister publication ETF Stream, Europe's leading source for ETF news and analysis.

Theo Andrew joined ETF Stream as a senior reporter in September 2021. He has over four years of investment writing experience spanning pensions and retail investments, most recently at Citywire, where he was a senior reporter covering environmental, social and governance investing.