CIO Values: Paul Heller, CIO At Vanguard Group

Stay current and connected, advises the CIO Heller.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

October 19, 2007

3 Min Read

Career Track

Paul HellerCIO Vanguard Group

How long at current company: 23 years

The career accomplishment you're most proud of: After 23 years at Vanguard, I've been able to combine a love of the business with a passion for technology, and ultimately be afforded the opportunity to lead IT at Vanguard with an awesome team and great business partners.

Most important career influencer: Bob DiStefano was the CIO at Vanguard for many years and my boss for almost four years in the late 1990s. Bob passed away of a heart attack just over six years ago, but I still think of him daily. He was an extraordinary leader, mentor, and friend.

How I measure IT effectiveness: We measure IT effectiveness on three levels: the project itself (NPV, ROI, a business case), at the portfolio level (examining investment spending across the firm along key dimensions), and finally the effect an initiative will have on our key success criteria such as top quartile long-term fund performance, industry-leading service, and low costs.


The next big thing for my business will be ... leveraging technology to provide products and services that matter to key emerging demographics (i.e., the "boomers"), including the shift from accumulation to preservation and distribution of financial assets.

Best piece of advice for future CIOs: Stay current and connected. IT evolves fast. Not only is it important to keep up with technology developments, it's critical to stay genuinely connected to your business partners and to help them envision and realize technology's possibilities.

On The Job

IT annual budget: More than $500 million

Size of IT team: 2,900

Three top initiatives for current year:

• We're always seeking improvements to, our primary interface with our shareholders. We're pursuing a host of Web 2.0 enhancements to further simplify, personalize, and humanize the Vanguard experience across our business lines.• We continue to invest heavily in our defined contribution and defined benefit platforms to ensure that we have the highest value offer in the industry.• This year we'll significantly enhance the trading platforms used by our Quantitative Equity and Fixed Income teams.


Colleges/degrees: Tufts University, BS in engineering and economics; Harvard Business School, Advanced Management Program

Favorite leisure activities: Sailing, reading, and sending e-mails to my team.

If I weren't a CIO, I would be ... a business head at Vanguard (I hope!)


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