In the first five minutes of talking with Martha King you know one thing about her without a doubt: she truly loves her job.
She'll tell you her commitment to Vanguard over the course of her career is a strong reflection of that.
King thanks her brother-in-law for convincing her to pass up a job offer from a local software company to interview and then accept a job at Vanguard instead, at the age of 22.
"And the rest is history," she says. Her 30th anniversary with the investment company is July 1.
Among her professional accomplishments is completing the Advanced Management Program at Wharton.
For the last 13 years, King has been focused on growing Vanguard's financial advisory division, which now has more than $1 trillion in AUM.
"We were one of the last investment companies to call on advisors to distribute products," she says, alluding to the company's roots as a retail-only company. That expansion to include an advisory division gave King a platform to help build the firm's marketing, operations and distribution strategies for that division from the ground up.
She's proud of how far the division has come since the mutual fund giant launched its first ETF 13 years ago. Valley Forge, Pa.-based Vanguard now has 67 ETFs available to investors.
But while King spends a lot of her time analyzing, talking and thinking about new products, she also devotes time to thinking about products to avoid and studying existing ones to make sure they function as they should.
King says a number of mutual fund and ETF providers are trying to make their mark on the industry by making niche products -- a practice she says Vanguard has considered and decided it never will offer them.
Like a number of her peers, King actively supports efforts to develop and broaden the participation of women in the industry as a board member of Women in ETFs.