Most people find change difficult. I get it, yet for me it is this weird mix of discomfort and pure excitement to join a new team and take on a new challenge. Transitions can be both uncomfortable personally and challenging for your new stakeholders. Nonetheless, I have found that transitions offer the greatest opportunities and moments to reflect, learn, and grow. As I am transitioning into my new position, I couldn’t be more fired up to lead our institutional business during this exciting time for our clients.
Back to my retirement plan roots
Coming in from the head of human resources role at Vanguard, I’ve had the opportunity to be very close to our defined contribution business. As plan sponsor of Vanguard’s own 401(k) plan, I experienced what it’s like to be a Vanguard institutional client.
I do feel like I’ve hit the jackpot being able to come back to my roots to work with retirement plan sponsors and their participants. I started my career in Australia, when retirement savings became compulsory in the early 1990s. I spent a number of years before joining Vanguard at the largest retirement plan provider in Australia, MLC Limited, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank. While there, I was in charge of their full-service business from 2000–2004 and had a wonderful period of seeing participant and plan sponsor success. (Participants are called members in Australia.) Since that time, the majority of my career has been in the business-to-business world of financial services in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Australia before becoming the managing director of Vanguard Human Resources in 2016.
Beginning a new partnership
I’m not just starting a new position, I also have the opportunity to nurture our new partnership with Infosys. I can say this from a global perspective, the work we’re doing with Infosys is truly a game-changer for both our recordkeeping clients and the industry. With the first fully cloud-native recordkeeping technology platform, we will unleash the full potential of defined contribution plans and give millions of investors a path to a more secure retirement future. With our new platform, we will take advantage of emerging technologies and deliver innovative solutions at a pace never before seen in recordkeeping.
With the partnership, Vanguard remains solely accountable for delivering the highest-quality solutions and industry-leading service. We are forever passionate about helping our clients improve investment outcomes. As a client, you will quickly feel the benefits of having two industry leaders dedicated to your plan.
Vanguard is a leader in both innovation and technology. We are uniting Vanguard’s expertise in investment management, plan design, and participant behavior with Infosys’s know-how in human-centered design, digital innovation, and technical execution.
Our clients are excited
This is great for our clients, including individual plan participants, and underscores our investment in and commitment to our recordkeeping business. Within one week of the announcement, we spoke with more than 450 clients and consultants. I’m happy to report that plan sponsor and consultant sentiment is very positive about the investment we are making to be a leader in this space. That’s a great start considering that the transformation is just beginning.
“I believe this is going to be groundbreaking,” said one client.
“I’m excited about the upcoming digital transformation and Vanguard’s move to the cloud,” another client shared. “Thoroughly addressing both the backend systems and frontend experiences will give Vanguard the footing needed to grow and scale while better serving customers.”
In addition, one of our largest plan sponsors said, “I like the direction Vanguard is taking. You’re revitalizing the way you do business. We have made similar decisions and investments in our business and industry and have not looked back.”
Transitioning into the future of retirement
As always, it is our mission, “to take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success.” Pursuing our mission takes the conviction of an industry leader and the boldness of a segment disruptor. I’m proud to say that we never shy away from disruption when it’s in service to our clients. Looking ahead, we believe we can make a difference in the retirement futures of millions of investors.
Of course, recordkeeping is only one part of Vanguard’s institutional offer. In the coming months, I will bring you updates about our world-class investment products, trusted advice and guidance services, visionary thought leadership, and reimagined participant experience for defined contribution and defined benefits clients, endowments, and foundations.
Vanguard has the track record to show that we are dedicated to doing the right thing for our investors, and perhaps most critically, our investors trust us to steward their assets as if they were our own. We’re just getting started, but have growing momentum and a laser focus on the many opportunities anchored in innovation, change, and the evolution of our offer. I’m really looking forward to what comes next.
- All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.