2013 U.S. Investment Management Awards — Large Foundation

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Large Foundation


Sometimes a foundation’s mission is compelling enough to inspire a seasoned investment professional to move 3,000 miles from home. That was the case when Joseph Boateng, a 20-year veteran of East Coast company pension management — notably, at Xerox Corp. and Johnson & Johnson — made the pilgrimage to Seattle-based Casey Family Programs. The now-$2 billion foundation, one of several with the Casey moniker, was launched in 1966 by United Parcel Service founder James Casey to reduce the number of children entering foster care and help them become productive adults. “The mission made a difference; it pulled me here,” confirms Boateng, who earned a BS degree from the University of Ghana, in his home country, and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since its inception, the Casey foundation has invested more than $1.6 billion in child welfare services, employing 450 social workers nationwide. To keep its assets growing, after 13 years of outsourcing its investment portfolio management to Russell Investments, the foundation in 2007 hired Boateng as its first CIO. Upon his arrival he confronted a $2.6 billion portfolio with a 75 percent allocation to index funds. He reduced the indexed assets, which are now at 22 percent, and increased active strategies to 78 percent. Boateng, whose desire to learn inspired his tracking of terminated managers in a “graveyard report,” believes in sticking with his chosen ones. “Performance would be one of the last things that would trigger termination,” he says. “This whole concept of short-termism is killing the industry.” Attractive valuations in the aftermath of the 2008–’09 financial crisis gave the CIO a good opportunity to double private equity, to 10 percent of the total. Hedge funds are spread throughout the portfolio. — Frances Denmark