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Vanguard founder passes away

Vanguard founder passes away

John Clifton Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group and pioneer of index-led investment, has died at the age of 89. 

The company announced his death yesterday evening (January 16).

Mr Bogle, known as Jack, set up Vanguard in 1975, launching the world’s first equity index tracking fund a year later. 

Initially the fund was not a commercial success but choosing to market directly to the public – rather than through brokers – soon paid off.

Now known as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, it has grown to be one of the industry’s largest, with more than $441bn (£343bn) in assets.

Its sister fund, the Vanguard Institutional Index Fund, has $221.5bn (£172bn) of assets with index funds making up more than 70 per cent of Vanguard’s $4.9trn (£3.8trn) in assets under management. 

Its client assets make the company the second largest fund management group in the world.

Vanguard chief executive officer Tim Buckley said in a statement: "Jack Bogle made an impact on not only the entire investment industry, but more importantly, on the lives of countless individuals saving for their futures or their children’s futures.

"He was a tremendously intelligent, driven, and talented visionary whose ideas completely changed the way we invest."

Today, index-led exchange-traded funds and products have some $4.8trn (£3.7trn) in assets around the world, according to research monitor ETFGI.

At the end of December 2018, there were 7,657 ETFs and ETPs from 401 providers listed on 71 exchanges in 57 countries.

In January 1996, Mr. Bogle had appointed John Brennan, who had joined the company in 1982 as his assistant, to lead the company as he underwent heart surgery.

Three years later, Mr Bogle left the company’s board of directors and created the Bogle Financial Markets Resource Center, a Vanguard-supported venture.

Mr Bogle, often called the "father of indexing", died in his home town of Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania.