April 19, 2018 – Executive recruitment firm David Barrett Partners has placed Srinivas Pulavarti as vice president and chief investment officer (CIO) for Emory University in Atlanta. Firm founder David Barrett led the search.
Mr. Pulavarti will be responsible for overseeing the university’s investment portfolio of close to $6.9 billion. He succeeds Mary Cahill, who retired last summer. Christopher Augostini, executive vice president of business and administration, has been serving in the role since then.
“Srini Pulavarti is an innovative, forward-thinking investor with a proven track record of success,” said Mr. Augostini. “His energy, intellect and collaborative style in this highly complex environment have driven outstanding results for the institutions he served.” Mr. Pulavarti will assume his new role on July 1.
To Head Management Group
Emory’s endowment provides ongoing financial support for a wide range of initiatives to fulfill every aspect of the university’s mission, from funding student scholarships and financial aid, to investing in faculty excellence, and benefiting society through breakthrough research and high-quality patient care, said the school.
As CIO, Mr. Pulavarti will lead the Emory Investment Management group, a team of investment managers who work to maintain a well-diversified portfolio, invest with best-in-class external partners and seek opportunities to add value throughout market cycles.
Since 2012, Mr. Pulavarti has been president and chief investment officer of UCLA Investment Company in Los Angeles, managing approximately $2.3 billion for UCLA Foundation and its affiliate organizations.
A Strong Background
With nearly 25 years of investment experience with managing assets for endowments, foundations and pension funds in the U.S., Mr. Pulavarti has also served as president and CIO of Spider Management Company, an asset management affiliate of the University of Richmond. During his tenure there, he conceived and built the first successful outsourced CIO model in a university environment.
Mr. Pulavarti’s previous roles include: director and head of global investment strategy for Citigroup Pension Investments in New York, director of investments at Johns Hopkins University, portfolio manager and manager of investments at Lockheed Martin Investment Management Co., and senior fixed income and sovereign research analyst at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
A Leading Boutique
David Barrett Partners was founded in 2005 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.
The firm has a growing practice in the placement of CIO leadership, having placed investment officers for Harvard Management Co., University of California and Stanford Management Co. It is considered among the top boutique recruiting specialists in the field, serving traditional and alternative money managers, endowments, foundations, family offices and sovereign wealth funds.
Mr. Barrett has over 25 years of broad-based experience in senior-level recruiting in investment and wealth management. Besides David Barrett Partners, he co-founded another buy-side boutique search firm in 2003. Previously, he spent seventeen years with two global search firms, Russell Reynolds Associates and Heidrick and Struggles. He began his career in 1981 in equity research with Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. Following graduate school, Mr. Barrett returned to investment management as an equity analyst with Trust Company of the West in Los Angeles.
Turning to Search Firms
As globalization, change, and disruption create opportunities and risks in the investment management sector, demand for seasoned financial talent is rising. Demand for executive-level, “high impact” investing talent has been on the rise, and in the years ahead it is expected to soar. Recruiters say the need for chief investment officers across the asset allocator spectrum, including endowments and foundations, and corporate, public and state plans, have significantly increased in number over the last five years as expectations of performance has ratcheted up since the financial crisis.
“It is no secret that demand for high-quality CIO’s across the asset allocator spectrum, including endowments and foundations, corporate, public and state plans, has increased significantly over the last five years as expectations regarding performance has ratcheted up post financial crisis,” said Mr. Barrett.
“Demand for CIOs in alternatives, especially real assets, is on the rise as firms take the lead from investors increasingly seeking assets with lower correlation to the stock and bond markets and higher returns,” said Maria de Rossi, a partner at Odgers Berndtson, who specializes in financial services with a focus on alternative asset management, investment banking and private equity.
A number of organizations of all types of have turned to executive recruiters in recent months to help find new investment leaders. Here’s a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
The $16.3 billion Hawaii Employees’ Retirement System, Honolulu, has retained the services of executive search firm Kumabe HR to find its next chief investment officer. Vijoy Chattergy, who served in the role since 2012, recently left the organization. The Employees’ Retirement System was established in 1926.
Goldsmith & Co. placed Geetanjali Gupta as the new chief investment officer of the New York Public Library. Ms. Gupta was with the Harvard Management Company in Boston for more than 10 years, most recently serving as senior vice president of absolute return and public market funds.
$219.6 billion West Sacramento-based California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has retained executive search firm EFL Associates to finds its next deputy chief investment officer. Current CIO Michelle Cunningham will be retiring. Executive vice president Mary L. Hobson is leading the search along with SVP and managing director Daniel J. Cummings.
Heidrick & Struggles recently recruited Douglas C. Wesley as chief investment officer of Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS), an agency in the State of Illinois government that administers retirement, disability, death, and survivor benefits to eligible SURS participants and annuitants.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media