Economic Researcher, Vanguard
Employment Opportunities for PhD Candidates at Vanguard
Vanguard, one of the world's largest asset management firms, offers employment opportunities for PhD candidates in economics and finance in a number of specialty areas. This document provides an overview of Vanguard's program for interested candidates as well as for faculty advisers.
Research at Vanguard: Vanguard is seeking PhD candidates in the following areas:
Quantitative Equity Group (Financial economics)
Vanguard's Quantitative Equity Group researches, designs, develops, and implements quantitative models, tools and techniques intended to identify and exploit potential alpha sources across several traditional and alternative investment classes. Our investment management processes incorporate strong emphasis on quantitative evaluation, monitoring and control of investment risks. We seek candidates with a background in financial economics and specific expertise in asset pricing, corporate finance, international finance, risk management, market microstructure, derivatives, and/or empirical financial economics.
Investment Strategy Group (Macroeconomics)
The economics team formulates Vanguard's global economic and capital markets outlook and forecasts. The team also provides support to our senior portfolio managers in our fixed income group through economic analyses and forecasting models. We seek candidates with expertise in empirical macroeconomics, time-series econometrics, estimated DSGE models, Bayesian methods, macro-finance yield curve models, and related disciplines.
Investment Strategy Group (Lifecycle savings, retirement security)
Vanguard serves a large number of individual investors, in the U.S. and abroad, whose investment objectives include the financing of old-age retirement security and other goals across the lifecycle. We seek candidates with interests in lifecycle savings and retirement security, including lifecycle modeling, tax-efficient investing, optimal portfolio choice, post-retirement decision-making, and related disciplines.
Center for Investor Research (Applied behavioral economics, household finance)
Through our retail investor and defined contribution pensions businesses, Vanguard has access to extensive longitudinal datasets on individual behavior. These datasets include administrative records as well as a rapidly growing store of data on web and mobile electronic interactions. Vanguard is also expanding its experimental decision-making work in the digital domain. We seek candidates with interests in applied behavioral economics, household finance, and experimental economics.
Established in 1975, Vanguard is unique among asset management firms in that it is owned by its clients, not by a separate group of shareholders. Our client-centric culture is expressed in the Vanguard "core purpose":
To take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success.
Vanguard is the largest mutual fund company in the U.S., and one of the largest asset managers in the world. Today, Vanguard manages more than US$4.6 trillion in global assets for more than 20 million individual and institutional investors, offering low-cost index and actively managed mutual funds as well as a growing array of ETFs. Our business operations are located principally in the U.S., although our presence is expanding rapidly in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. There are more than 15,000 Vanguard "crewmembers" who serve clients from 17 office locations worldwide. Vanguard aspires to be both the best place to invest and the best place to work. We foster a culture with a strong ethical foundation-with a focus on "doing the right thing" for clients. We attract employees who embrace this mindset. We also strive to attract employees who seek to develop a long-term career at Vanguard.
Working as a Researcher at Vanguard
Day to day, the work of a researcher at Vanguard is centered on current research projects, including collaboration with members of their immediate workgroup as well as with others across the organization. Depending on the role, researchers are also called upon to speak either externally with clients, the media, industry groups, or policymakers, or internally with fellow crewmembers. Researchers may also serve as subject matter experts to business leaders and to business project teams throughout the organization. We value research expertise, as well as the ability to speak cogently and clearly about one's area of specialization and interest.
Proprietary research v. academic collaboration.
Much of the research work undertaken at Vanguard is proprietary in nature. Vanguard research is either applied to the development of proprietary investment strategies or published and disseminated to a range of external parties, which may include, depending on the topic, individual investors, institutional clients, the consulting community, the media and policymakers. It is our goal to deepen the quality of insights conveyed to the marketplace through our proprietary research.
At the same time, there are also opportunities for research professionals to pursue collaborations with academic partners in their area of professional interest. Vanguard encourages its professional staff to establish a national or global reputation in their field of expertise. While not a job requirement, external research collaborations can help advance this objective.
In the U.S., PhD-level roles are located at Vanguard's corporate headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. (There are also occasional opportunities in our offices in Melbourne, Australia, and in London, United Kingdom.) Malvern is located in Chester County, approximately 25 miles west of the city of Philadelphia. The area is known for its high quality of life and its cultural amenities. There is also easy access by rail or car to Philadelphia and to cities and resorts on the U.S. Eastern seaboard, including New York and Washington.
Depending on specific role, a researcher's responsibilities may include occasional domestic or international travel.
Back to top