Why We're Admired

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies is an awards program designed to recognize the contributions and impact all Arizona employers bring to our great state. Now in its 9th year, Arizona’s Most Admired Companies program has quickly gained credibility as the most prestigious awards program in the state.

Leadership Excellence

Vanguard’s Leadership Standard creates one common, consistent, and transparent set of expectations for leaders at all levels throughout the company. It includes the following core competencies: developing people, relationship management, leadership impact, business results, conceptual thinking, and business acumen.

These competencies are fully transparent to crew (Vanguard employees), and help to define critical skills for Vanguard leaders while also providing specific outcomes and behavioral examples for each core competency. It is the basis for evaluating leaders, providing feedback, coaching, and serves as a roadmap for aspiring leaders. Articulating our expectations through the Leadership Standard creates a common understanding and perpetuates a strong leadership culture.

We are committed to the leadership development of crew, and one available program in particular aims to make lessons actionable and convenient. Whisper Courses are quick informal experiments for leaders aimed at forming habits. Leaders receive learning experiments through email that prompt a specific action designed to enable leader behaviors. Examples of these behaviors include – identifying unique development or coaching opportunities, engaging in coaching discussions, collecting performance feedback, and overseeing time management to increase team accessibility. The courses range from one quick actionable event, to a recurring cadence that spans multiple weeks. These are designed to help leaders identify and take advantage of real opportunities that occur in the moment.

Social Responsibility

As one of the world’s largest investment management companies, Vanguard is committed to serving our clients, our crew, and our communities. It’s our responsibility to give back where we can, help to strengthen the local communities where we live and work, and continue to invest in the future of our surroundings. In fact, Vanguard created a team dedicated to bringing together the resources — time, talent, and treasure — that we draw upon to make a greater difference in the lives of others.

The Community Stewardship team is tasked with overseeing more than $15 million in annual corporate and crew giving to support the communities where Vanguard crew live and work. They also help to organize ways for Vanguard crew to give back in their local communities.

The Community Stewardship Team manages Vanguard’s Strong Start for Kids Program, which was created to give children the opportunity to grow, thrive, and learn, with a focus on improving kindergarten readiness for children growing up in poverty. The program provides high-impact family support to pregnant mothers and parents/caregivers of young children, supports efforts to expand, improve, and preserve the number of high-quality early learning opportunities in center-based and home-based child care settings, and promotes early literacy and reading programs. The Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program awarded two grants (totaling $375,000) to Arizona’s Southwest Human Development. The “Healthy Families” grant will help ensure at-risk families with newborns receive the support they need, while the “Reach Out And Read” grant will help promote early literacy in pediatric offices by using books as developmental tools during well-child visits.

In addition, many crew serve as volunteer leaders within the community.

Customer Opinion

We have a client-centric focus that underlies everything we do (our clients are, after all, our owners), and it is reflected in their loyalty to Vanguard and our products. Vanguard’s redemption ratios (a measure of how many dollars are redeemed from our funds versus invested into our funds) continue to be significantly lower than the industry average — meaning that we are attracting long-term, buy-and-hold investors. We believe that the main reason for this loyalty can be attributed to our consistent investment performance and low investment costs for our investors, as well as our crew members’ focus and dedication to quality service for our clients. That’s a compelling corporate culture that makes Vanguard an employer of choice.

We monitor client satisfaction internally using a concept known as Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is based on the answer to one simple, or ultimate, question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend this firm to a friend or colleague?” Vanguard continually has best in class scores across all industries. Vanguard crew have also embraced the NPS methodology in department-level metrics. By tracking this client loyalty metric, Vanguard can ensure that we remain focused on providing exemplary service to clients.

The results of a study completed by J.D. Power indicate, “Vanguard Ranks Highest in Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction.” We also regularly receive letters from longtime clients that thank our crew members for great customer service.


Earlier this year, crew in our Information Technology & Security (IT&S) and Retail Investor Group (RIG) divisions partnered together for the inaugural Vanguard Discovery Challenge with the mission of transforming the way crew from both businesses think, act, and partner to improve the client experience and to drive our business into the future. Over a three-week submission period, crew were invited to share an innovative idea using technology to meet a client business need. Crew submitted 121 ideas, and later cast their votes for their favorite creative solutions. Over 5,000 votes were cast, and while there were many great ideas submitted, only 5 proceeded to the final Discovery Challenge Day event. Here, an advisory board of leaders with tallied votes helped select the top 5 ideas. After five fantastic presentations and much deliberation, a winner was selected. The Discovery Challenge provides a unique platform to propel creative ideas from our client-facing crew directly to the leaders who are dedicated to implementing innovative solutions that yield creative improvements.

The format aims to be a collaborative means for our crew to connect ideas to teams or projects that could potentially turn into realized business solutions and improvements. The collaborative approach strongly resonates with our crew. Emily, who works in our Scottsdale office, shared, “Earlier this year, I participated in the Discovery Challenge focusing on technological innovations and my team stood out for having participation across three different offices. An important aspect of innovation is being able to think outside of the box, and having a team made from different regions imparts some diversity in idea generation that we may not have discovered had we all come from the same place.” McKenna, also in Arizona, shared, “The Discovery Challenge allowed me to collaborate and ideate with a cross-site team of people. It was a tangible way of applying Vanguard’s vision. Together we took a look at our day- to – day work and processes, and asked, “Where do we have an opportunity to improve? To better align with our business goal of putting clients first?”