The goals of Vanguard’s Government Relations Office

Vanguard’s Government Relations Office is busy working on Capitol Hill, representing the interests of our clients. What are the main goals of the Government Relations Office?

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Talli Sperry: Jerry, let’s have you kick off our discussion by answering the first question of the evening. This one comes from Tudor in Washington, D.C., who asks, “What are the main goals of Vanguard’s Government Relations team?”

Jerry Golden: I think the main goal for us here in Washington for Vanguard and our role on behalf of investors, and on behalf of all investors, is to make sure we are on the ground, interfacing with policymakers who are going to make determinations that will have both short- and long-term impacts on investors.

What we try to do is identify public policy threats, identify public policy opportunities, and work with leaders and subject matter experts throughout Vanguard as an organization to make sure we have shaped public policy solutions that can meet the needs and goals of families who are trying to do their best to save for long-term objectives.

There’s an old quip by Barney Frank, a former congressman from Dodd-Frank fame, who once said, “You’re either at the table or you’re on the menu,” when it comes to items in Washington. And, I think, ultimately, Vanguard made a decision some time ago that the voices of investors deserve to be at the table. And if there were going to be important determinations made from a public policy standpoint that impact investors, there needs to be their voice there from the start. Instead of coming in later to try to correct something, we can be there on the front end to answer the call, to bea resource for policymakers here in Washington.

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