This week, we speak with Charlie Ellis, Chair of the Yale Endowment, Vanguard Board member, and founder of Greenwich Associates. In addition to that CV, Ellis is is the author of 19 books, including the investment classic Winning the Loser’s Game. His most recent book is Inside Vanguard: Leadership Secrets From the Company That Continues to Rewrite the Rules of the Investing Business.
We discuss his perspective as an insider on the history and development of how the Vanguard Group. He tells how Jack Bogle pivoted from active fund management and sales to indexes, which according to his contract, he was not allowed to “sell” (they could only be bought).
Ellis recalls that “Bogle was a force of nature” who created and honed the firm’s philosophy and culture of strong ethics. But Ellis also points out that most of the firm’s growth took place after Bogle stepped down as CEO.
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