OCIO update: new firms, more AUM

by charles | Comments are closed


We added HighGround Advisors, Pivotal Advisors, Principal Global Advisors, and Harpswell Capital Advisors to our OCIO Spring 2022 Directory. Outsourced AUM now totals $3.74 trillion, a new record. You will find our full report here and updated directory below.

Principal Global Advisors, a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group, acquired the OCIO assets of Wells Fargo and some of the staff.  AUM totals $29.7bn under full discretion.

HighGround Advisors, founded in 1930 to manage the Baptist Congregation pension and endowment assets, now serves over four-hundred nonprofit organizations with total AUM of $2.5bn and $1.5bn under full discretion.

Harpswell Capital Advisors founded by Jack Moore, manages $455 million in discretionary assets.

Pivotal Advisors and Ms. Tiffany McGhee, African-American founder and CIO, currently manage about $400 million with full discretion.

This now means we have two African-American owned OCIO firms in our directory of one-hundred-five outsourcing managers.

Disciplina, founded by Matthew Wright, president and CIO (former Vanderbilt CIO) is our second African-American owned OCIO firm.

That works out to less than two percent, consistent with the handful of African-American stalwarts we found in our reference database of nonprofit chief investment officers and highlighted two years ago.




Kim Y. Lew, CEO, Columbia University IMC

Brooke Jones, CIO, Bryn Mawr College

Charmel Maynard, CIO & Treasurer, University of Miami

Frank Bello, CIO Howard University

Robert “Danny” Flanigan Jr. (1949-2021) CIO & Treasurer, Spelman College.



Joseph Boateng, CIO, Casey Family Programs

Rukaiyah Adams, CIO, Meyer Memorial Trust (depart 8/31/22)

Nickol Hackett, CIO, Joyce Foundation

Bola Olusanya, CIO, The Nature Conservancy


Corporate Pensions

Dekia M. Scott, CIO, Southern Company

Bryan Lewis, CIO, US Steel


Public Pensions

Mansco Perry III, ExecDir/CIO, Minnesota SBI (retire 10-31-22)

Angela Miller-May, CIO, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund

Cheryl Alston, CIO, Employees Retirement Fund City of Dallas

Alex Done, CIO, Bureau of AM, NYC retirement system, (left 12-31-21)

Edward “Ted” Wright, CIO, Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds (CRPTF)


Source: Charles Skorina & Company

Since our report, minority progress has stalled.

Danny Flanigan joined Spelman College in Atlanta in 1970 and became CIO in 2019. He passed away on March 17, 2021.

Alex Done, CIO at the Bureau of Asset Management New York City retirement system, left BAM officially on December 31st, 2021.

Mansco Perry III, executive director and CIO at the Minnesota State Board of Investments retires on October 31th this year. All the best Mansco, we’ll miss you.

And Ms. Rukaiyah Adams the long-serving CIO at the Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland, Oregon departs on August 31st 2022.

(If there are any African-American CIO additions since this last review, please let us know who you are so we can update our next report.)

(download Company Directory as PDF)

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Pioneers take the arrows, settlers take the land – Anonymous

Our latest Outsourced Chief Investment Officer report features a list of 107 OCIO firms, each with updated contact information and AUM numbers.  It’s the most comprehensive and accurate available.

For the nine months ending December 31st, 2021, the managers on our list added $472 billion (a 14.4% gain) in AUM, totaling a record $3.74 trillion dollars in discretionary outsourced assets.

But after years of steady growth, it’s apparent there’s a shakeout underway.

As we noted in our February 2021 OCIO update, discretionary asset managers without products to sell are notoriously hard to scale.  Brilliant, original strategies lose their potency when they are widely copycatted. Or, a strategy works in one season, in one kind of market, but not in another.

That’s why so many OCIOs and RIAs now have private equity partners or reside within much larger financial or consulting organizations.

As Jon Hirtle, executive chairman of OCIO provider Hirtle Callaghan, remarked to Alicia McElhaney in a recent Institutional Investor article, “In business school, they teach you there’s a group of pioneers. If it works, there’s a flurry of copycat activity. And then there’s a shakeout and a consolidation.”

From our vantagepoint, it looks like the industry is entering the consolidation phase.

Wealth management M&A activity reached an all-time high in 2021, with an announced 307 transactions according to Echelon Partners’ 2021 RIA M&A Deal Report.

Over the last sixteen months, CapTrust acquired Ellwood Associates, iM Global Partners bought Litman Gregory, New Providence joined The Colony Group, Focus Financial bought CornerStone, and US Bank swallowed PFM – five firms on our last OCIO list.

And from what we hear there is plenty of dry powder and amenable prospects waiting in the wings.

Barron’s reported last November that “KKR is taking a stake in Beacon Pointe Advisors, the largest female-led RIA, in a deal that values the acquisitive firm at over $1 billion.”  This after KKR invested in and then exited from Focus Financial, another RIA and OCIO aggregator.

Given this merger merry-go-round, we took our cue from Institutional Investor and spoke with Mr. Hirtle, “a pioneer in the outsourced chief investment officer business,” as Ms. McElhaney put it.

What did he think about the buy-out mania? Is the independent OCIO model still viable? And if so, how does one keep the “barbarians” at bay?

We include our conversation with Mr. Hirtle below.

What about the elephant?

Our data suggests that demand for outsourced investment services will continue to grow at a healthy rate, but that new entrants face formidable odds.

Why?  Because there’s an elephant in the room.  Concentration.  A handful of managers control the bulk of the money.  

Just eight providers – Aon, Blackrock, Goldman Sachs, Mercer, Russell, SEI, State Street, and Willis Towers Watson – manage well over half the OCIO assets, $2.073 trillion of the $3.74 trillion AUM.

That’s fifty-five percent of the outsourced pie.  And they kept a tight hold on their market share in our latest reporting period, securing forty-five percent or $211 billion of the $472 billion gain.

Big Eight ranked by AUM

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