The mysterious shortfall in women chief investment officers

05 / 06 / 2019
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by Charles Skorina | Comments are closed

In this issue

  • Is the female CIO deficit widening?
  • Skorina in New York City next week
  • Seeking investment director for NYC foundation position

On the road again

I’ll be in New York next week attending and speaking at conferences.  It‘s a short visit, but  please give me a call if you’d like to schedule a meet.

The mysterious shortfall in women chief investment officers

In our last newsletter we looked at the number of women CIOs at big endowments*.  Among 109 North American endowments over $1 billion we identified 20 (including one female director of investments and one CFO who liaises with their OCIO providers).

That’s just eighteen percent – less than one out of five.

For this issue we also took a look at the mid-sized schools (in the $500 million-to $1 billion bracket), to see if the situation is any better.

Unfortunately, that’s a no.  We found 10 females among 85 schools.  That’s just 12 percent – a significantly lower representation that among the bigger schools.

Here they are, ranked by AUM.

Women chief investment officers at US endowments between

$500 million and $1 billion dollars AUM

AUM

Rnk

Women CIOs

Source: Charles Skorina & Co.

Institution

$500 to $1bn

Start Date

Prior Employment

FY18

Edn

Funds ($000s)

1

Dinneen, Anne

Hamilton College 

May 2015

Barclays Global

T. Weisel, BofA

964,170

2

Deshler, Kelsey

Carleton College 

Mar 2018

Blackrock

Credit Sui, GMAM

878,494

3

Browne, Kathleen

Denison University 

Aug

2017

Wellesley Coll Alcatel-Lucent

836,357

4

Muir, Jennifer

U South Carolina Fdns

Aug

2017

SC State Gov Providence Hosp. Deliotte Touche

809,937

5

Ulozas, Catherine

Drexel University 

Feb

2010

ING

AZ State pension

London Life Re

779,762

6

Lavine, Tammy,

Mgr Inv

Florida State U Fdn 

Apr

1998

City of Tallahassee

681,370

7

Wyatt, Katharine H.

Loyola U of Chicago 

Dec

2018

Abbott Labs

Leavitt Cap

643,806

8

Archer, Erin, Treasurer

DePaul University

 Dec 2015

Arqaam Cap

HSBC, GS

593,407

9

Emery, Janice

American U in Cairo

Sep

2014

City of New York

NYC Employee Ret.

537,875

10

Peterfeso, Carol

U of St. Thomas

Oct

1988

Norwest Bank

518,710

 

Twelve percent in this group is not quite as bad as it sounds.  That’s because mid-size endowments are less likely to have dedicated in-house investment staff – either men or women.

Many prefer to outsource, or to use a committee-and-consultant model without an internal investment office.

But it’s still not a great number.

Although we haven’t done an exact count, we should note that females are well represented among professional slots at the major OCIO firms and consultants.  These are good jobs, and often a gateway to CIO jobs (although they usually don’t pay as well).

This may somewhat mitigate the overall situation for women jobseekers.

Charting the trend

That’s the static picture, but the trend is even more important.

Is that gap worsening, or about the same over recent years?

Unfortunately, it seems to be widening.

Looking at recent turnover, 9 departing female CIOs have been replaced by men; while only 3 were replaced by other women.

Just one departing male was succeeded by a female.

These turnovers are detailed in the next chart.

Recent turnover among female Chief Investment Officers at

large North American endowments (AUM >$500 million)

2013-2019

Departing

CIO

Source: Charles Skorina & Co.

 

University

 

Prior Employment

Replacement

CIO

Prior Employment

 

Start Date

 

Women CIOs replaced by men

Sally Staley

Case West Reserve U 2002-2017

PWC

State of Wisconsin

Tim R. Milanich

National City Bank

Oct2018

2007-pres

Amy K. Marsh

U Pittsburgh

1999-2018

Mellon

AT&T

Greg Schuler

BJC HealthCare

Jun2018

Karen L. Sisson Treasurer

Pomona College

2008-pres

City of LA

CAO, Dep. Mayor

David Wallace

World Vision

May2018

2012-pres

Mary Cahill

Emory

2001-2017

Xerox

     “Srini” Pulavarti

UCLA, Spider Mgmt

Apr2018

Kimberly G. Walker

Wash U, St. Louis

2006-2016

Qwest AM

Gen Motors AM

Scott Wilson

Grinnell College

Sep2017

Kathryn J. Crecelius

Johns Hopkins

2005-2016

Brown Bros H.

Bank Boston, MIT

Jason T. Perlioni

Pritzker Group

Jun2017

Janet A. Handley

Texas A & M

2001-2016

Shell Oil Co.

Ben Wall

AIG, Ernst & Young

Dec2016

2008-pres

Marie N. Berggren

UC Regents

2002-2013

Bank One

1st Chicago

Jagdeep S. Bachher

Alberta Invest Mgmt

Apr2014

Kristin Gilbertson

U Pennsylvania

2004-2012

Stanford Mgmt Co

The World Bank

Peter Ammon

Yale Invest Office

Jul2013

Women CIOs replaced by women

Adele Gorrilla

Denison

2008-2016

Okabena Invest Goldman Sachs

Kathleen Browne

Wellesley College

May2017

Pamela Peedin

Dartmouth

2011-2017

Boston Univ

Cambridge Assoc.

Alice Ruth

Willett/Bloomberg

Apr2017

Tina Surh

New York University

2005-2014

Princeton Edn

Bain & Co

Kathleen E. Jacobs

NY Presbyterian Hosp

Aug2015

Male CIO replaced by a woman

Michael Reist

 Phillips Acad. Andover 2009-2017

Hackley School

Bear, Stearns

Glantz, Kirsten Landers

General Motors AM

Jul2017

 

This does not bode well for the many ambitious female money managers competing for that brass ring.

The puzzle

Frankly, we don’t understand it.

Keep in mind that we’re talking about politically-correct academia.  Their board members are publicly and prominently committed to hiring and promoting women.  Charges that they are favoring male candidates over equally-qualified women seem facially implausible.

We’ve looked at various factors, hoping to uncover an explanation.

Could it be performance?  Not likely!

As we show in our latest five-year endowment performance study, women CIOs are nailing it.  Paula Volent has been outperforming the revered David Swensen (her mentor).

Colette Chilton, Alice Ruth, Sandra Robertson (at Oxford) and many others are among the top multi-asset institutional managers in the world and they are making their schools lots of money.

Perhaps there are other factors?  For example, only 18% of all CFAs and only about 36% of all MBAs are women in recent years.  Successful CIO applicants typically have those credentials, so that could be a factor.

Still, that does not fully explain the clogged pipeline because, at the director level, there are many qualified female investment managers ready.

As noted, I’ll be in New York next week attending and speaking at conferences and hoping to get some feedback on this conundrum from both male and female professionals.

To be continued…

*We should mention Sandra Robertson the CEO/CIO at Oxford’s $4.3 billion endowment, largest university endowment in the U.K.  Oxford’s first and only CIO, she has earned an impressive ten percent annualized return from 2007 to FY Dec 31, 2017.  But, she prefers to stay under the radar and let her performance do the talking, so we did not include her in our north American performance survey.

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Large operating foundation seeking a Director of Investments for NYC office

This position reports to the Chief Investment Officer and provides senior level investment support for a highly diversified portfolio of investments across public and private markets.

We’re looking for someone with deep experience with (if we had to choose) a slight bias towards public markets.

The Director will be involved in all aspects of endowment management, including identifying, evaluating, recommending, and monitoring external investment managers.  

The Director should be a thoughtful and independent thinker who is open to new investment ideas and strategies and willing to critically examine conventional investment theory and trends.

Excellent compensation for the right individual.

Contact: skorina@charlesskorina.com

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The Skorina Letter

Each issue explores how the world’s most accomplished asset managers think and invest.  Original content includes profiles and interviews with industry veterans and research on compensation and investment performance.

Our insights and commentary come from our clients – board members, CEOs, chief investment officers – and the global investment community within which we work as executive search professionals.

Institutional investors operate at the crossroads of capital, talent, and ideas, shepherding over seventy trillion dollars in global assets.  It’s a constantly evolving spectacle and The Skorina Letter gives readers a ringside seat.

Prior issues can be found in “archives” on our website.

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