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Vanguard CEO to retire but firm unlikely to change anti-crypto stance

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Vanguard CEO to retire but firm unlikely to change anti-crypto stance

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Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley announced he will retire at the end of the year, but his departure is unlikely to shift the firm’s stance toward Bitcoin and crypto products.

The company is seeking replacements from both internal and external candidates. It has also promoted its Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Greg Davis, to the position of President.

Vanguard recently attracted attention over its decision to not support spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Buckley expressed the firm’s stance in October 2023, stating in a CNBC interview at the time that he does not believe crypto has any intrinsic value.

Vanguard and its CEO have long been a critic of crypto and Bitcoin. Buckley made similar statements to CNBC in 2018, at which time he said that Vanguard would never offer a Bitcoin fund.

Anti-Bitcoin stance extends across Vanguard

Though Buckley expressed those views, it seems that the company’s attitude toward spot Bitcoin ETFs and related products is unlikely to change alongside its leadership as the sentiment is upheld by other executives in the firm.

Two of the firm’s executives — — Janel Jackson, Global Head of ETF Capital Markets and Broker and Index Relations, and Andrew Kadjeski, Head of Brokerage & Investments — explained the firm’s reasoning in a Jan. 24 note to investors

Jackson wrote that Vanguard sees crypto as “more of a speculation than an investment” because it lacks maturity as an asset class and has no economic value or cash flow. She also warned that crypto can “create havoc within a portfolio.”

Meanwhile, Kadjeski said that Bitcoin’s volatility makes crypto trading tempting to investors, but Vanguard’s strategy is to focus on long-term investments and savings.

The executives also revealed that Vanguard has no plans to launch its own Bitcoin ETF or to offer existing crypto-related products on its brokerage.

Vanguard’s CIO and soon-to-be President, Greg Davis, has been less negative about the industry in the past and called blockchain “quite compelling” in 2022. He also revealed that the investment firm uses blockchain technology to receive certain index data.

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