Remembering Bill, Co-Founder and Visionary
Mellon celebrates the life and legacy of Bill Fouse with deep admiration and gratitude.
Mellon’s co-founder William L. Fouse died on October 17, 2019. Born in 1928 and retired in 2014, he gave the world ideas that created a new investment strategy—indexing. Relentless in his research and convinced there was a better way than the prevailing stock pickers of his time, Fouse pioneered new theories of asset management that created practical applications for Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT).
Among his many accomplishments, his groundbreaking application of MPT led to the world’s first index fund, which was established in 1971. Before Bill, there was no way to just buy an index; investors aimed to beat it. As proof of his enduring legacy, indexed assets under management now exceed $14 trillion globally. When Fouse was pioneering the idea, no assets were invested passively. The path was not only uncharted; it was non-existent.
“Bill was a visionary and a leader,” shares Tom Loeb, a close colleague of 45 years. “He was passionate about pursuing a revolutionary way to invest, but he also had a wonderful sense of humor. He was part Renaissance man and part financial scientist; it was a pleasure to be his professional partner and friend.”
Bill was an industry giant who was content to revolutionize investment management away from the glare of the spotlight. In 1983, Bill co-founded Mellon Capital Management with Tom Loeb. Today, the firm is known as Mellon, part of BNY Mellon Investment Management, and has more than $521 billion in assets under management, as of September 30, 2019. With $320 billion of those assets in indexing, Mellon is a leading global provider of passive investment strategies.
Mellon CEO Des Mac Intyre states, “We join Bill’s friends and loved ones in mourning Bill’s passing while commemorating all he has given to the industry and Mellon. His remarkable ideas live on, and we celebrate his legacy with our deep admiration and gratitude.”
At 82, Bill received the 2010 Matthew R. McArthur Award for outstanding contributions to the profession of investment management consulting and was recognized in Pension & Investments as one of the “Men of the Century,” a group of 10 individuals who changed the face of investing.
Stephanie Pierce, CEO of the ETF and Index business at BNY Mellon Investment Management, reflects, “We will continue to look to Bill for inspiration and remain dedicated to pioneering innovative investment solutions for our clients.”