November 16, 2016 – Executive search firm David Barrett Partners has been selected by Dartmouth College to lead its search for a new chief investment officer. After more than six years as Dartmouth’s CIO, Pamela Peedin will step aside as the school year winds down in 2017.
David Barrett Partners has a growing practice in the function, having recently placed investment officers for Harvard Management Co., University of California and Stanford Management Co.
Richard Kimball, a founding general partner of growth equity firm Technology Crossover Ventures, will chair the search committee and work with trustee Beth Cogan Fascitelli and Alice Ruth, both members of the board’s investment committee.
Dartmouth’s endowment investments generated a loss of 1.9 percent for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The endowment ended the fiscal year valued at $4.5 billion.
Boutique Investment Specialist
David Barrett is certainly no stranger to finding these sorts of investment leaders, all of whom typically have proven track records that can be proffered to clients seeking the best elite investment professionals that money can buy. He and his partners are considered top boutique recruiting specialists in the field, serving traditional and alternative money managers, endowments, foundations, family offices and sovereign wealth funds.
The firm was founded by a team of investment management recruiting industry veterans from large, multinational search firms who were drawn to establishing a focused investment and wealth management boutique. Just recently, David Barrett Partners placed Jack Mahler as the first chief investment officer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Investment Professionals In Demand
According to recruiters specializing in the investment function, demand for executive level, ‘high impact’ investing talent has been on the rise, and that demand is expected to soar in coming years. But recruiters say these roles can be generally difficult to develop and ultimately recruit for clients, given their multi-disciplinary and evolving nature.
“Recruiting top talent in our space has always been challenging and, even with the ongoing advances in technology and proliferation of third-party candidate databases, it will not get easier,” said Mr. Barrett in an interview with Hunt Scanlon Media several months ago. He said pay was a key factor and that since successful professionals are paid well throughout the sector, there is little incentive or reason for them to consider moves elsewhere.
“In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the challenge for recruiters in this space will be to demonstrate they have the relationships, market credibility, and industry knowledge to not just serve up candidates, but to deliver the right candidates,” he added.
Just recently, the $37 billion University of Texas Investment Management Co. said it was looking to replace past chief executive officer Bruce Zimmerman, who recently stepped down. The third largest U.S. college endowment is currently reviewing executive search firms to lead the assignment. No word yet if a firm has been selected.
According to recruiters who hope to be in the running for this prestigious assignment, the endowment will likely be seeking candidates with proven track records and who have a demonstrated track record for managing large sums of money. Mission-driven leaders, they said, or those with global vision, for example, need not apply. Even leaders with proven financial skills sets might not be worthy. This position, like the one underway at Dartmouth, is all about track record specificity.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media