Gerry O’Reilly wasn’t fazed by Brexit.
Bloomberg News reports that on the Friday morning after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, the manager of the world’s biggest mutual fund was on the trading floor in Malvern, Pa., watching numbers flickering on the four screens in front of him. Stocks were down 8% in Europe and 3% in the U.S. O’Reilly didn’t appear stressed. “For what we do, it’s not a huge deal,” he says.
That’s because O’Reilly’s job at Vanguard Group is to embrace the market, not avoid volatility. Every trading day, he makes sure the $450bn Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund matches the performance of its 3,600-stock benchmark. That means owning stocks whether they’re plunging, surging, or unchanged.
O’Reilly manages a lot of money. In addition to running the biggest mutual fund, he oversees the third-largest exchange-traded fund and 16 other funds. Total assets for which he’s responsible: $800bn.
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