Vanguard Announces New CEO, Civil Society Organizations Respond

In response to the news that Vanguard has selected Salim Ramji as its next CEO, members of the Vanguard S.O.S. campaign, which consists of civil society organizations focused on climate risk and responsible investing, released the following statements: 

“For the first time in its history, Vanguard is choosing an outsider to take the reins, and we are hopeful this indicates a willingness for the company to change course. With this leadership transition, Vanguard has an opportunity to move from climate laggard to climate leader. We urge incoming CEO Salim Ramji to remain consistent with his support for sustainable investment practices by fully addressing climate-related financial risks and meeting the moment presented by the ongoing energy transition.” – Nancy Treviño, Asset Manager-Campaign Manager of Stop the Money Pipeline. 

“Vanguard has repeatedly shown disregard for responsible climate risk management across its investments and stewardship practices. Vanguard continues to provide new capital for fossil fuel expansion and other drivers of the climate crisis, and has failed to use its enormous shareholder power to encourage portfolio companies to mitigate the systemic risks that will hurt its clients’ portfolios. Millions of people entrust their life savings to Vanguard and expect it will act in their best long-term interests. Vanguard’s new CEO has the opportunity to turn a new page and provide the climate leadership that its clients deserve and the world urgently needs.” – Ben Cushing, Fossil-Free Finance Campaign Director, Sierra Club

“Under Tim Buckley’s leadership, Vanguard has caved to right wing politicians and failed to adequately address the material risks of climate change – thus putting Vanguard clients’ investments at risk. This change in leadership offers an opportunity to steer the company in a new direction: one that puts responsible business over politics, puts long term financial security over short-term fossil fuel profit, and helps ensure a liveable planet for all of our futures.”  – Lina Blount, Director of Strategy and Partnerships of the Earth Quaker Action Team

Vanguard S.O.S. first launched in 2022 in order to push Vanguard away from climate catastrophe and toward sustainable investing. The network includes civil society organizations, social movements, and financial experts. 

Vanguard is the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels, with $268 billion in exposure, including $93 billion in coal alone, as per the most recent data available. Vanguard has provided billions of dollars in new bond purchases for companies developing some of the biggest, most destructive fossil fuel expansion projects in the U.S. and beyond.

Since the campaign’s launch, Vanguard has continued to lag behind even its slowest-moving industry peers, including BlackRock, State Street, and Fidelity. 

Earlier this year, the Vanguard S.O.S. network criticized the company for taking “marching orders” from climate denying politicians. Vanguard famously withdrew from the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative amid right-wing political pressure. However, Vanguard’s acquiescence to right-wing politicians does not seem to have played off in the long run, as the company remains in the political crosshairs, and was recently subpoenaed by Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan. 

Meanwhile, Vanguard’s own clients have demanded meaningful climate action, and even raised concerns about a breach of fiduciary duty.   

About Vanguard S.O.S.

Vanguard S.O.S. is an international campaign pushing Vanguard to chart a new course away from climate catastrophe and toward truly sustainable and responsible investing. The network is made up of civil society organizations, social movements, and financial experts working together to secure a climate-safe future for everyone.

Contact: TJ Helmstetter on behalf of Vanguard S.O.S.,