Investment management firm Vanguard has said that Robert Auwaerter is planning to retire as principal and head of its fixed income group after 32 years with the firm.

Vanguard’s fixed income group manages nearly US$750 billion invested in 70 taxable and tax-exempt bonds, taxable and tax-exempt money market, and stable value funds.

The group oversees about US$450 billion in actively managed funds and approximately US$300 billion in bond index and exchange-traded funds.

Auwaerter, who plans to step down in March 2014, is responsible for the portfolio management, strategy, credit research, trading, and planning functions for the fixed income group, which comprises 120 investment professionals and support staff.

Gregory Davis, who currently serves as chief investment officer of the Asia Pacific region and director of Vanguard Investments Australia, will become the new head of the Vanguard’s fixed income group, replacing Auwaerter.

Davis is primarily focused on Vanguard’s investment management strategy and implementation, the continued development and refinement of Vanguard’s investment processes, and an expanding range of new products and tailored investment solutions for Australian and international clients.

Bill McNabb, CEO of Vanguard, said: "Auwaerter has been the backbone of our fixed income group for more than three decades. He helped to start our fixed income management function and was instrumental in building it into the world-class operation that it is today."

Tim Buckley, chief investment officer of Vanguard, said: "Davis brings experience, skill, and strong leadership competencies to his new position. And Davis, of course, will also benefit from our deep team of investment managers and analysts, our well-established investment process, and funds with clear investment objectives and risk parameters."