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25.05.2024 Today’s Inspiration from the Wall Street Journal: Vanguard’s New CEO Salim Ramji

25.05.2024 Today’s Inspiration from the Wall Street Journal: Vanguard’s New CEO Salim Ramji
Dear Students,
Like many of the executives profiled here to date, Salim Ramji, the first outsider to run $9T asset manager Vanguard, came from humble beginnings. While working summers at his father’s British Columbia grocery store, Ramji came to appreciate the value of education, despite the fact that his Tanzanian parents did not attend college. It helped, though, that his mother made sure to put money in the equivalent of a 401-K every month.
Yet, Ramji was, and is, a determined individual, who left previous senior-level roles at Blackrock and McKinsey to join the market leader in US funds, starting as a Board member and CEO at Vanguard on July 8. Despite a childhood dream to be a professional hockey player, he eventually built a strong academic foundation, through earning a BA in Economics and Politics at the University of Toronto and later an MA in Law from Cambridge University, as well as a CFA.
What else has driven Ramji’s success to date? His early years as a championship debater provide some clues. For those of you who may have ever competed in or watched a debate, it’s evident that Ramji has clearly mastered an array of important Western power skills, including:
  • Listening
  • Communication (most likely not only verbal, but written, as well)
  • Ability to concisely convey one’s meaning
  • Ability to be direct
  • Skill in delivering feedback (as noted in the article below)
  • Creativity
  • Analytical skills
  • Curiosity/inquisitiveness
  • Competency in thinking quickly on one’s feet
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Influencing skills
  • Ability to persuade
…and others
To provide an aspirational snapshot for ambitious international students like you, a single quote about Ramji (in the Financial Times) says it all: “Former colleagues praised him as a great communicator with a strong vision.”
And which one of you would not want to be described like this some day?
The first outsider to run Vanguard needs to win over the Bogleheads. Colleagues say he can.
Enjoy your long weekend!