Joseph P. Brennan has been named Vanguard's global chief risk officer, a newly created position at the $5.1 trillion investment firm, Vanguard said Wednesday.

In his new position, Brennan, 49, will oversee the firm's current enterprise risk management, enterprise security, and investment risk management. He will also be a member of senior management.

"We believe centralizing our risk management functions under a single senior leader will benefit both our clients and Vanguard. Joe's vast and varied investment management and leadership experience both in the U.S. and abroad make him the ideal candidate to integrate and enhance our capable and strong global risk management teams," said Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley in a news release.

Brennan, currently head of Vanguard's Equity Index Group, which oversees $3.1 trillion in 319 mutual funds and ETFs, will be succeeded by C. Rodney Comegys, principal and head of the Risk Management Group within Vanguard Investment Management Group.

Brennan joined Vanguard in 1991 and worked as an analyst and trader in Vanguard's Fixed Income Group. He then moved to Vanguard's Portfolio Review Department, primarily responsible for investment manager search and oversight, eventually leading the group for five years. In 2009, he was named chief investment officer of the Asia Pacific region and served on the senior leadership team of Vanguard Australia. In 2013, he assumed responsibility for Vanguard's Equity Index Group.

Brennan earned a B.A. in economics from Fairfield University and an M.S. in finance from Drexel University. He is a CFA charter-holder and is a member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.

Comegys, 49, was head of investments, Asia Pacific, and head of Equity Index Group, Asia Pacific. His prior roles include leading Vanguard's Index Analysis and ETF Trading teams, and heading the Global Broker Relations team. Before joining Vanguard in 1999, he was a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer, earned a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.