Wilton, Connecticut-based Commonfund, an asset manager for endowments, foundations and public pension investors, has named Mark Anson as president and CEO. He will be succeeding Catherine Keating who will be leaving the firm to take a senior position at BNY Mellon. Anson will remain as chief investment officer and chairman of the boards of Commonfund Capital Inc and Commonfund Asset.
WILTON, Conn., June 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Commonfund, an asset manager for endowments, foundations and public pension investors with $25 billion in assets under management, announced today that its Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Mark Anson as President and Chief Executive Officer to lead the firm, succeeding Catherine Keating, who will be leaving Commonfund at the end of the month and has accepted a senior position at BNY Mellon. Mr. Anson will continue to serve as the Chief Investment Officer and the Chairman of the Boards of Commonfund Capital Inc. and Commonfund Asset Management Company, Inc.
“Commonfund is very fortunate to have a highly experienced leadership team,” said Dr. Robert B. Litterman, Chairman of Commonfund’s Board of Trustees. “I have known Mark Anson for 25 years. He is a seasoned investment professional who has successfully led some of the world’s largest asset management platforms. The Board and I are highly confident in Mark’s ability to lead Commonfund through its next exciting phase of growth.”
Dr. Litterman added, “Catherine embraced Commonfund’s three pillar mission of performance, service and insight with passion and energy. Under her leadership the firm strengthened and enhanced each pillar to the benefit of its clients. The work of the Commonfund team earned the firm recognition as one of the industry’s most trusted asset managers in the US Institutional Investors Brandscape®, Cogent ReportsTM study by Market Strategies International each of the last two years1. Having achieved the goals we set for her at Commonfund, Catherine has decided to accept a new challenge in a senior position with BNY Mellon. We are very grateful for her contributions and wish her well in the future.”
Mark Anson added, “I appreciate the confidence that the Board has placed in me to lead the firm and advance its mission, and I am committed to build upon the strong foundation that we have put in place over the last several years.”
The Board of Trustees also announced today that Mark has appointed Deborah Spalding and Kristofer Kwait as Deputy Chief Investment Officers. Deborah is currently responsible for the design, tailoring, and implementation of custom investment solutions for Commonfund’s investment advisory clients. Prior to joining Commonfund, she was the Chief Investment Officer for the State of Connecticut’s $30 billion Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. Kris is currently Head of Investments and responsible for leading the marketable equities, fixed income, hedge funds and real assets investment teams as well as research and analytics. Kris oversees manager selection and due diligence as well as portfolio construction for more than $12 billion in assets under management. Kris has been with Commonfund for 16 years.
Commonfund was founded in 1971 as an independent asset management firm focused on not-for-profit institutions. Today, we manage $25 billion in assets for some 1,300 institutional clients, including educational endowments, foundations and philanthropic organizations, hospitals and healthcare organizations, pension plans. Our primary business is investment management, and we are active in all sectors of the global capital markets, both public and private.
About Mark J. P. Anson, Ph.D.
Mark Anson is currently the Chief Investment Officer, the Chairman of the Boards of Commonfund Capital, Inc. and Commonfund Asset Management Company, Inc. Previously, he was the President and Chief Investment Officer for the Bass Family Office, which was recognized as Family Office of the Year for 2014 and 2015. He was the President of Nuveen Investments, a full-service asset management company with over $250 billion in assets under management. Prior to Nuveen, Mark served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer for the British Telecom Pension Scheme (“BTPS”), the largest institutional investor in the UK with assets of £65 billion. In addition, Mark was the CEO of Hermes Pensions Management in London, a £55 billion asset management company that is wholly owned by the BTPS. Prior to joining BTPS, he served as the Chief Investment Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest pension fund in the United States with over $300 billion in assets. Mark is currently on the Committee of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. He also serves on the Editorial Board of MSCI-Barra, the Board of the Northwestern University School of Law, the Toigo Foundation, and the Board of the Chartered Alternative Investment Association. He is a past member of the Board of Governors for the CFA Institute. Mark has published over 100 investment articles in professional journals and has won three Best Paper Awards. He is also the author of five financial textbooks including the Handbook of Alternative Assets, which is the primary textbook used for the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst program. Mark earned a B.A. in Economics and Chemistry from St. Olaf College, a Ph.D. and Masters in Finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, all with honors. He has also received several industry awards in recognition of his leadership in asset management. Last, Mark has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Certified Public Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant professional degrees, and he is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.
About Deborah Spalding
Deborah Spalding is currently a Managing Director responsible for the design, tailoring, and implementation of custom investment solutions for Commonfund’s investment advisory clients. She is primarily responsible for asset allocation recommendations, portfolio oversight and analysis, and tactical rebalancing of client portfolios. Prior to joining Commonfund, she was the Chief Investment Officer for the State of Connecticut’s $30 billion Retirement Plans and Trust Funds. Previously, she was a Managing Partner at Working Lands Investment Partners, LLC, an independent investment management firm that invests in rapidly growing environmental markets. Prior to that, she held a number of executive level positions including Executive Vice President and Head of International Investments for Schroders Investment Management N.A. and Managing Director and Head of International Institutional Investments at Scudder Kemper Investments. She began her career as an equity analyst at SKB & Associates in San Francisco. Deborah received a B.A. in International Relations and Asian Studies from Tufts University and holds graduate degrees from Harvard University, University of California Berkeley and Yale University. She is a past Board Chair and a member of the investment committee of the National Wildlife Federation, and an advisory board member of the Center for Business and the environment at Yale and is a Lecturer in Forest and Ecosystem Finance at Yale.
About Kristofer Kwait
Kristofer Kwait is currently a Managing Director and Head of Investments responsible for leading the marketable equities, fixed income, hedge funds and real assets investment teams as well as analytics. Prior to his current role, Kris was head of the Hedge Fund Strategies Group. Previously, he served as head of hedge fund research with responsibility for overseeing the design and implementation of proprietary models for manager selection, portfolio construction, and risk management. Before joining Commonfund, Kris was a proprietary trader at both Andover L.L.C. and A.B. Watley, where he managed relative value equity strategies. Prior to his experiences as a trader, he was a stockbroker at Smith Barney. Kris attended pre-college at Juilliard School of Music, has a B.S. from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.