After Over 20 Years at Bowdoin, CIO Paula Volent Is Bowing Out

The endowment grew to $1.8 billion in assets under management over the course of her tenure.

Paula Volent (courtesy Bowdoin College)

Paula Volent

(courtesy Bowdoin College)

Bowdoin College’s long-time chief investment officer Paula Volent is stepping down.

The school announced Thursday that Volent, who had served as the endowment’s investment chief since 2000, will leave on June 30, 2021, at the end of the academic year.

Over the course of Volent’s tenure, the endowment has grown from just over $465 million in the summer of 2000 to $1.8 billion as of June 30, 2020, according to Bowdoin’s announcement.

“Year in and year out, working with her team and the investment committee, Paula has produced consistently outstanding investment returns, outpacing virtually every other college and university endowment in the nation over the short, medium, and long term,” Bowdoin College president Clayton Rose said in a statement.

He added that Volent and her team have produced investment returns that “changed both the trajectory of the college and the lives of thousands of students who benefitted from the financial aid resources generated from its endowment.”

As of June 30, the endowment had returned 10.7 percent over the last three years, 8.5 percent over five years, and 11.6 percent over ten years, according to an October announcement from the college.


A Bowdoin spokesperson declined to comment on where Volent is headed next or who her replacement will be.

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Before joining Bowdoin, Volent worked at Yale University under CIO David Swensen. She worked as a senior associate at the Yale investments office, according to her biography on the website for the National Women’s History Museum, where Volent serves as a board member.

In 2020, Volent was named one of the top 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance by Barron’s.

Prior to working in the investment industry, Volent was a paper conservator at the New-York Historical Society, the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, the LA County Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., according to her biography on the museum’s website. She holds a master’s in business degree from the Yale School of Management.

Volent is on the board of directors at MSCI and the board of advisors for the Yale School of Management. She is also a council member at the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and a financial advisory committee member at the American Institute for Conservation.