by Tom Field

Tim Buckley

Mar 01, 20022 mins

It’s not the way he would have wanted the job.

Tim Buckley was named head of IT at The Vanguard Group last fall after the sudden death of Robert DiStefano, who’d spent 17 years managing IT for the Malvern, Pa.-based mutual fund company.

But now that Buckley is in this role, he sees it as his opportunity to build on?and add his own stamp to?DiStefano’s legacy. Toward that end, he’s focused on two immediate tasks: integrating Vanguard’s phone and Web client service systems to consolidate services and eliminate some legacy applications; and launching a new public website for clients. “Having come from the frontline customer centers where I spoke with clients, I know what great service is, and I know what [services] the clients are asking for,” Buckley says.

A Harvard MBA who came up through the business side of Vanguard, Buckley wants to expand the company’s solid business and IT partnership. He has assigned some of his senior IT staff to work within the business units. And when he embarks on new projects, he now enlists direct participation from top business leaders.

Although only 32, Buckley has held several management positions since joining Vanguard in 1991, including two years as head of the company’s Web services division. While acknowledging a steep IT learning curve, he feels his business background gives him an advantageous perspective. “The danger in technology is to lose touch with reality and focus solely on the solution,” Buckley says. “We’ve got to make sure we always come up with the business need before the solution.”