As the industry’s only mutually owned investment company, Vanguard takes seriously its responsibility to represent the interests of the more than 20 million people who invest in Vanguard funds. As more investors have flocked to Vanguard and especially to the index funds pioneered by its founder, the late John C. Bogle, we have grown only more steadfast in our sense of responsibility for our clients and our safeguarding of their interests.
In this commentary, we look at the history of corporate governance, the vast improvements in it over the past few decades, and opportunities for further improving governance and investment stewardship.
We also seek to reframe the conversation about sustainable investing. When a Vanguard
fund—particularly an index fund—invests in a company, we expect that the fund may
hold shares of that company conceivably forever. The way a board governs a company—
including its oversight of material environmental and social risks—should be aligned to
create sustainable value long into the future.
Finally, we differentiate Vanguard’s role as a provider of both index and actively managed
funds by exploring the different approaches that index and active managers may take to