Kim Lew taking over as CEO at Columbia endowment

Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York Kim Lew will take over as the next President and CEO of Columbia Investment Management Company (IMC) on November 2.

Lew’s appointment follows an extensive national search led by Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger and Anne Sullivan, Columbia’s executive vice president for finance and information technology.

She replaces Peter Holland in overseeing the management of the University’s $10.95 billion endowment, which is one of the largest university portfolios in the U.S. His retirement was announced earlier this year following a 17-year career at Columbia. Holland was a member of the executive team at the IMC soon after its formation in 2003, serving as CIO until his appointment to lead the organization as CEO of the IMC in October 2016.

Last year Columbia’s CIO Tim Donohue left to join the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii. Last October, the endowment reported annual returns of 3.8% as of June 30, 2019.

Columbia’s portfolio historically has included sizable allocations to alternative investments including absolute return strategies, private equity and real assets.

“In a career that has spanned three decades, Ms. Lew has established herself as a thoughtful and innovative investor with an immersive approach that yields impressive results,” Bollinger wrote in an email to the Columbia community. “We could not be more pleased with this outcome.”

Lew joined Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2007, as director of investments, in charge of managing the organization’s private equity investments. She went on to become vice president and co-chief investment officer before being named vice president and chief investment officer in 2016. At Carnegie, she also prioritized working with diverse teams and investment firms and was quick to see the potential of markets in regions like Africa and Latin America.

Prior to Carnegie, Lew worked at the Ford Foundation for more than a decade, as a portfolio strategist and then as senior manager of private equity.

“It is an honor and a privilege to join the dedicated team at the Columbia Investment Management Company,” said Lew. “Columbia’s commitment to educating tomorrow’s leaders and its forward-thinking research on global issues is unparalleled. I have long admired the leadership and work of the institution, and I am excited to guide the endowment in service to the University’s mission at this pivotal time.”

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