William McNabb III will add the title of chairman to his current post as Vanguard’s president and CEO, on January 1. McNabb has been CEO since August, 2008. He succeeds John J. Brennan, who was CEO from January 1996 to August 2008. Brennan has been chairman at Vanguard since January 1998 when he succeeded John Bogle, who had been chairman of Vanguard from the time he founded the firm on May 1, 1975. Bogle is a very strong voice in the financial services industry, actively challenging the industry to sharply reduce fund-ownership costs to investors.

McNabb has been with Vanguard since June 1986. During his tenure, he ran the company’s retail as well as institutional operations. McNabb is a member of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Bill has done an extraordinary job leading Vanguard during this tumultuous period, and the Board of Directors and I have full confidence in his ability to steer Vanguard’s future course,” Brennan said in the firm’s December 10 announcement.

Based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Vanguard has 1.3 trillion in assets in the U.S., and offers 160 funds. Well-known as a low-cost provider of index mutual funds, the company has added exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and actively-managed funds to its offerings. In addition, Vanguard has enhanced its fund mix with more fixed-income, international and emerging markets funds. Vanguard has 12,500 employees and offices on three continents.

Comments? Please send them to kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com. Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.