May 23, 2017 – 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 (CIO) 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 regarding performance has ratcheted up since the financial crisis.
One organization in search of new investment leadership is the New York Public Library, which recently enlisted executive recruiter Goldsmith & Co. to lead the hunt to replace outgoing chief investment officer Todd Corbin.
The new CIO will inherit greater assets than Mr. Corbin had when he took the job amid the economic crisis. Under Mr. Corbin’s leadership, the endowment grew to $1.04 billion, across 418 individual funds.
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services.
Goldsmith & Co, based in New York, specializes in connecting companies in the global financial services industry with senior executives and experienced investors. The firm is solely dedicated to providing search services to commercial and investment bank, brokerage firm, asset management, hedge fund, private equity, and private foundation and endowment clientele. Partner Joe Goldsmith leads the operation.
Investment Professionals Difficult to Find
As globalization, change, and disruption create opportunities and risks in the investment management sector, demand for seasoned financial talent is rising. However, recruiters say that given their multi-disciplinary and evolving nature, investment officer roles can be difficult to develop and ultimately recruit for.
“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 David Barrett, managing partner of David Barrett Partners, a boutique search firm which recruits senior and C-level professionals for the investment and wealth management sector. Mr. Barrett said that since successful professionals are well compensated throughout the sector, most have little incentive or reason to consider moving elsewhere.
“In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the challenge for recruiters in this space will be to demonstrate that they have the relationships, market credibility and industry knowledge to not just serve up candidates, but to deliver the right candidates,” he said.
Turning to Search Firms
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:
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.
David Barrett Partners placed Alice A. Ruth as CIO of Dartmouth College. Ms. Ruth, who spent the last eight years as chief investment officer for Michael Bloomberg’s family office, Willett Advisors, will oversee Dartmouth’s investment office and management of the College’s $4.5 billion endowment.
EFL Associates placed Amy C. McGarrity as CIO of the $44 billion Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association. Ms. McGarrity has held investment positions in both the private and public sectors. Most recently, she was a global equities product specialist with William Blair & Company in Chicago.
Korn Ferry recruited Geoffrey Berg as the new CIO of $28 billion South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC). Mr. Berg joined the organization in 2008 and has been serving as acting CIO since September 2015. The RSIC is responsible for investing and managing all assets of the South Carolina Retirement Systems.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media