Wellington Fund Founder Dies
Walter L. Morgan, a CPA who created one of the oldest mutual funds still in existence, died a month after his 100th birthday. Morgan spent his entire adult life in the financial community, becoming the youngest CPA in Pennsylvania shortly after his graduation from Princeton in 1920. Early in his career, he prepared tax returns for high-income individuals and expanded his practice to include investment advice. Before the crash of 1929, Morgan raised $100,000 from relatives and businesspeople in his home state of Pennsylvania and put together what he felt would be a stable financial portfolio, called the Industrial and Power Securities Co. In 1935 he renamed it the Wellington Fund after the Duke of Wellington, the British general who defeated Napoleon. Today, the fund has $23 billion in assets.
In 1951, Morgan hired John C. Bogle, who became his heir at the company and is now a member of the Independence Standards Board. Bogle founded the Vanguard Group of mutual funds, which includes the Wellington Fund. Morgan maintained offices at Vanguard even after his 1970 retirement and went to work twice a week until 1997.
In a recent interview, Morgan reflected on his first job in public accounting at a salary of $28 a week. When I asked for a raise, my boss told me he wasnt particularly smitten with my work. Seventy years ago, he realized there was a career path other than partnership.