John C. “Jack” Bogle is firmly against mandates when it comes to everything, from setting a single retirement age to requiring that employers set up retirement savings plans to creating a retirement income adequacy target.
As an active 85-year-old employee of Vanguard Group Inc., Valley Forge, Pa., which he founded in 1974, Mr. Bogle said he is living proof that generalizations don't work when it comes to retirement.
Speaking June 23 at Pensions & Investments' Investment Innovation & the Global Future of Retirement conference in New York, Mr. Bogle — in a conversation with Barbara G. Novick, BlackRock Inc.'s New York-based vice chair and chair of the firm's government relations steering committee — stressed that he is not retired and doesn't know when he might retire.
While he has eschewed day-to-day operational oversight of the $2.6 trillion mutual fund manager, the former Vanguard CEO said he's “in the office every day, cranking out ideas about making the financial system better” and more dedicated to the interests of shareholders.
One idea is to encourage institutional investors and money managers like Vanguard and BlackRock to be prepared to vote for minority shareholder proposals, especially regarding executive compensation.
BlackRock and Vanguard between them own about “10% of corporate America,” Mr. Bogle said. “Executive compensation in the U.S. is out of control,” he said, and “we can do better than 5% to 10%” levels of support on shareholder proposals that deal with more rational executive compensation.