Brooke Jones, Bryn Mawr College’s first Chief Investment Officer
8yrs at Carnegie Corp, 3yr Stanford MC, Fulbright Scholar, MBA Stanford, BS, U Penn WhartonRead More »
African-American investment professionals. . . better late than never!
Last week Columbia University announced that Ms. Kim Y. Lew, chief investment officer and thirteen-year veteran of the Carnegie Corporation, will join Columbia’s $10.9 billion Investment Management Company as CEO on November 2nd.
She won’t have far to move. Her new office is located about eight blocks south and three blocks east of her present location in mid-town Manhattan.
This hire is a big deal and the search committee — Columbia University’s board of directors, President Lee C. Bollinger, and EVP of finance Anne Sullivan — shattered several glass ceilings when they welcomed Ms. Lew on board.
Gender is a formidable barrier for females in finance. On our latest list of the top one hundred endowment chief investment officers pre-Ms. Lew, there are only sixteen women.
[This is pre-Kim Lew and Brooke Jones, both moves announced last week. Ms. Jones was Kim Lew’s investment director and will move to Bryn Mawr College as CIO next month. Dekia Scott, 19 years at Southern Company, was promoted to CIO in June]
Fortunately, Columbia’s search committee was more interested in talent and ability than race, gender, or religion when they selected Ms. Lew.
[Our full interview with Ms. Lew is just below]
We see a lot of boilerplate in the nonprofit world about how “we don’t discriminate.”
But, truth be told, if you are a woman, or more pointedly, an African-American woman in asset management, you face gale-force headwinds as you scale the institutional precipice.
How bad is it?
For over thirty years we have followed the careers of several thousand investment heads at Wall Street investment and money center banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and nonprofits.
Within our global database we have about six-hundred-fifty chief investment officers at endowments, foundations, hospitals, public pensions, associations, and charities. . . yet we can find only fifteen African-American CIOs among them, a minuscule two percent, of which, with the recent promotions of Ms. Jones, and Scott, seven are female.
The dismal reality is that an African-American woman working in institutional investment management has a better chance of storming her way across the Korean DMZ than becoming a chief investment officer at a major American endowment or foundation.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICERS
AT US TAX-EXEMPT INSTITUTIONS
Kim Y. Lew, CEO (Oct 2020), Columbia U Investment Mgmt. Co.
Brooke Jones, CIO (Oct 2020), Bryn Mawr College
Charmel Maynard, CIO/Treasurer, U of Miami, FL
Frank Bello, CIO Howard U
Robert “Danny” Flanigan Jr., CIO/Treasurer, Spelman College
Joseph Boateng, CIO, Casey Family Programs
Rukaiyah Adams, CIO, Meyer Memorial Trust
Nickol Hackett, CIO, Joyce Foundation
Bola Olusanya, CIO, The Nature Conservancy
Dekia M. Scott, CIO, Southern Company
Bryan Lewis, CIO, US Steel
Mansco Perry III, ExecDir/CIO, MN State Board of Investments
Angela Miller-May, CIO, Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund
Cheryl Alston, CIO, Employees Retirement Fund City of Dallas
Alex Done, CIO, Bureau of Asset Management, NYC retirement system
Source: Charles Skorina & Company
[Our apologies if we have missed anyone. Please email me if you’re not on the list]
Kelli Washington, managing director of investments at the Cleveland Clinic, wrote an excellent op-ed piece for ai-CIO magazine about what it’s like to be an African-American woman in finance.
And Vicki Fuller, former CIO at the New York Commons, was kind enough to share her views on being female and African-American on Wall Street and at the Commons in our interview two years ago.
We should mention that Columbia is not the only eminent New York institution to give women and minorities a fair shot.
The honorable Thomas P. DiNapoli, state comptroller, has led the charge for years, promoting Raudline Etienne, then Vicki Fuller, and now Anastasia Titarchuk to the top investment position at the $207bn New York Commons.
But, as we see from the data, these are rare exceptions.
When I interview women in the investment industry and ask how they first became interested in investment finance, it’s almost always because early on they had a role model.
Someone in the family or a family friend, someone they met in high school or college who worked in finance and took the time to explain what they did and why they liked the job.
Let’s hope the entire investment community will follow Columbia’s example and hire, develop, and promote more role models like the intrepid band of women (and men) cited in this piece.
Ms. Kim Y. Lew, a Bronx StoryRead More »