Walter L. Morgan

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Walter L. Morgan
BornJuly 23, 1898
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
DiedSeptember 2, 1998
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma materPrinceton University
Known forCreator of the first balanced mutual fund in the U.S.;
Founder of Wellington Management Company
Spouse(s)Helen Morgan

Walter L. Morgan (July 23, 1898 - September 2, 1998) was the founder of the Wellington Fund, the first balanced mutual fund in the United States. Morgan was also the founder of the Wellington Management Company. Morgan was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and is an alumnus of Princeton University. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1]


Wellington timeline. Source:Bloomberg

After graduation from Princeton University, Morgan was employed as an accountant, becoming the youngest CPA in Pennsylvania. Realizing that clients were in need of investment counsel, Morgan founded a balanced mutual fund, called the Industrial and Power Securities Company. Initially, Morgan raised investment funds from family and friends.[2] The fund made investments in cash, bonds, preferred stock, and common stock, and did not use leverage. The balanced allocation allowed the fund to survive the 1929 stock market collapse and the ensuing depression.[3] In 1935 Morgan changed the name of the fund to Wellington Fund. He headed the fund for 42 years before retiring in 1970.[4]

Morgan building, Vanguard, Valley Forge Pa.

In 1951, Morgan hired John Bogle to the Wellington Management Company. Morgan transferred management of the company to Bogle in 1965 by naming him executive vice president. Under Bogle, the firm increased its fund offerings, adding the Wellington Equity Fund (now the Windsor Fund after a 1963 name change).

In 1966 Bogle merged the company with the Boston based investment counseling firm of Thorndike, Doran, Paine and Lewis, managers of the Ivest Fund. The firm continued to add fund offerings. A corporate dispute led to Bogle being fired from the firm on January 23, 1974. Bogle went on to create the Vanguard Group, with Wellington Management Company retained as investment manager of the ten funds then under management.[5][6]

In July 1998, Vanguard named its main building in Valley Forge, Pa. for Mr. Morgan as part of a celebration of his 100th birthday.[7]


  1. Walter L. Morgan, Mutual Fund Pioneer and Founder Of Vanguard/Wellington Fund, Dies, PRNewsire, Retrieved 13 April, 2016.
  2. "Wellington Fund Founder Dies". Journal of Accountancy. November 1, 1998. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  3. John Bogle. "Reflections on Wellington Fund's 75th Birthday" (PDF).
  4. Milt Freudenheim (September 4, 1998). "W. L. Morgan, Finance Pioneer, Dies at 100". Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  5. "John Bogle". American National Business Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  6. Slater, Robert (October 1, 1996). John Bogle and the Vanguard Experiment. McGraw-Hill. pp. 28–39. ISBN 978-0786305599.
  7. Milt Freudenheim (September 4, 1998). "W. L. Morgan, Finance Pioneer, Dies at 100". Retrieved April 13, 2016.

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Further reading