Vanguard's head of equities steps down as new CIO steps in

Buckley replaces Sauter but equity hole opens with departure of Bhagat

By Jason Kephart

Jan 3, 2013 @ 12:01 pm (Updated 12:34 pm) EST

mutual funds, etfs, equities, fixed income, sauter, vanguard
Gus Sauter, the now-retired Vanguard CIO. Bloomberg

The start of the New Year marked the official passing of the chief investment officer's torch at The Vanguard Group Inc. and left the firm with a hole at the top of its equity investment division.

Tim Buckley has assumed the role of chief investment officer following the retirement of Gus Sauter, which went into effect Dec. 31. Mr. Sauter had served as chief investment officer since the position was created in 2003.

Mr. Buckley now oversees the firm's equity and fixed-income divisions, which have a combined $1.5 trillion in assets under management.

One of his first tasks will be to find a new head of the equity division, which oversees all equity index funds, exchange-traded funds, actively managed funds and alternative strategies. That's because Sandip Bhagat, who had run the division since January 2009, resigned to pursue other opportunities, spokeswoman Katie Henderson said.

The resignation was disclosed in the same Securities and Exchange Commission filing, made public Thursday, that covered the appointment of Mr. Buckley as chief investment officer. Ms. Henderson said the firm would announce a replacement for Mr. Bhagat soon but offered no specific timetable.

Assets in Vanguard's equity funds more than doubled under Mr. Bhagat to $733.9 billion, from $352 billion at the start the start of his tenure, according to Lipper Inc.

Last year, the firm's equity funds, mutual funds and ETFs combined had more than $72 billion of inflows through November and helped propel Vanguard to a single-year record for net inflows, according to Morningstar Inc. Overall through Nov. 30, the firm took in approximately $130 billion, topping the previous record of $129 billion by J.P. Morgan Funds in 2008.