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5 CIO Candidates For Emory University Endowment

by trusted insight posted 1year ago 4484 views
Mary Cahill, chief investment officer and vice president of investment at Emory Investment Management, retired on Aug. 1, 2017 after a 17-year tenure at the helm of the prestigious Atlanta-based university endowment. 

Christopher Augostini, executive vice president at Emory, has launched a search for her replacement, and Trusted Insight has identified five candidates qualified to fill the role.

The following candidates were selected based on their unrivaled experience managing complex portfolios at world-class institutions, their relationship to Emory University, the size and types of assets managed and the returns achieved along the way.

Allison Thacker 
President & Chief Investment Officer 
Rice Management Company 
AUM: $5.7 billion (as of Jun. 30, 2016)
10-year annualized return: 7.1%
Years of experience: 30+

Argument: Allison Thacker has proved adept at managing a portfolio of Rice University’s endowment, which is similar size and asset allocation as its private university peer, Emory. Her efforts at Rice have produced strong 5- and 10-year annualized returns of 7.8 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. With three decades of investment management experience under her belt, Thacker would make a strong leader at Emory.

Biography: Allison Thacker is president and chief investment officer at Rice Management Company, where she manages the Rice University’s $5.7 billion endowment fund. Previously, she was managing director and portfolio manager at RS investments, a boutique public equity asset manager, for over roughly 22 years. There she managed a 10 person team and $1.9 billion in assets. Thacker holds an MBA from Harvard University Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rice University. 
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Collette Chilton
Chief Investment Officer 
Williams College 
AUM: $2.2 billion (as of Jun. 30, 2016)
10-year annualized return: 7.3%
Years of experience: 30+ 

Argument: For 24 collective years, Collette Chilton served as chief investment officer at three distinguished institutions: Williams College, Lucent Technologies and Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board. Under her leadership, Williams beat its return benchmarks for the last ten years, with the exception of 2008; and has 5- and 10-year annualized return of 8.5 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Chilton’s experience at Williams and managing pension fund assets at Lucent and Mass PRIM prove her ability to be a faithful steward of Emory’s endowment.

Biography: Collette Chilton is chief investment officer at Williams College. Previously, she was CIO at Lucent Technologies, where she managed $50 billion in pension funds for the telecommunications giant and CIO at Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board. She is a board member at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth for nearly 20 years now, as well as a board member at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and Investment Fund for Foundations. Chilton holds an MBA in finance from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a B.S. in political economy of natural resources from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Mark Cutis 
Chief Investment Officer 
Abu Dhabi Investment Council
AUM: Greater than $100 billion (estimates from public sources)
Years of experience: 24+

Argument: Mark Cutis, an Emory alumnus with more than a decade of experience leading diversified portfolios at global institutions, can walk into Emory and make a material impact on day one. Cutis’ tenure managing global, diversified portfolios in the Middle East and Japan offer unique boots-on-the-ground experience vital to maintaining and expanding Emory’s global investment presence. His time at various international banks only compliments that further. Emory’s $6.5 billion portfolio might allow Cutis more leeway to explore the niche, diversified private market investments that a $100 billion-plus portfolio may not allow. Tack on Cutis’ alumnus status, and you’re looking at a highly qualified candidate with an opportunity to give back to the institution that gave him his start. 

Biography: Mark Cutis has been chief investment officer at Abu Dhabi Investment Council since 2008. Previously, he was the chief investment officer at Shinsei Bank and is experienced in working for global investment banks in New York, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Moscow. Cutis holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a B.A. in economics from Emory University. 

Mary Cernilli
Managing Director of Fixed Income & Absolute Return 
Emory Investment Management
AUM: $6.9 billion (as of Aug. 31, 2016)
Years of experience: 20+

Argument: Long-term leadership begets long-term returns, and Mary Cernilli, Emory’s senior-most investment professional who worked alongside Cahill for 12 years, is intimately acquainted with the portfolio, strategy, managers and board. In addition to her broader portfolio management experience, Cernilli specializes in fixed income & absolute return, which were some of the “bright spots” in the challenging market conditions of fiscal 2016. If Emory aims to stay the ship launched by Cahill, then Cernelli is a shoe-in for internal promotion.

Biography: Mary Cernilli is managing director of fixed income & absolute return at Emory Investment Management. Previously, she was vice president at Trusco Capital Management, where she was a senior member of the fixed income team responsible for investing over $1 billion in the taxable and tax-free markets. Cernilli holds a B.S. in accounting from Long Island University. She also holds a chartered financial analyst and certified public accountant designation.

Michael Barry
Chief Investment Officer 
Georgetown University 
AUM: $1.5 billion (as of Jun. 30, 2016)
Years of experience: 19+ 

Argument: Michael Barry is a proven endowment leader who has an existing working relationship with Emory leadership. Throughout his career, Barry has led the investment of increasingly larger, more complex asset pools with much success. When you consider that institutional investment is a relationship business and Christopher Augostini until recently served as chief operating officer at Georgetown, Barry should very well be on the radar as a strong choice to fill the role.

Biography: Michael Barry is chief investment officer at Georgetown University, where he oversees $1.8 billion of endowment and pension assets. Previously, he was CIO at the University System of Maryland Foundation, where he managed $900 million in assets, and senior research associate at Cambridge Associates. He sits as a member in several investment committees including Frank-Merrick Foundation, Council For Advancement and Georgetown Preparatory School. Barry holds a master's degree in economics the John Hopkins University and a B.A. in philosophy from Fairfield University.