Columbia’s CEO Kim Lew to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The Columbia Investment Management Company chief will be recognized at the Allocators’ Choice Awards in September.

(Illustration by II/LinkedIn photo)

(Illustration by II/LinkedIn photo)

Institutional Investor will honor Kim Lew, president and chief executive officer of the Columbia Investment Management Company, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the fourth annual Allocators’ Choice Awards on September 22 in New York.

Columbia named Lew as CEO of its $11 billion fund in September 2020 following an “extensive” national search. She joined the endowment office from the Carnegie Corporation in New York, where she had worked for 13 years, most recently as vice president and chief investment officer.

Lew started at Carnegie as a director, working her way up to become co-CIO and, eventually, the endowment’s sole investment chief. While at Carnegie, she developed an investment team, built out a focus on alternative investments, and prioritized diverse fund managers.

In 2019, asset owners named Lew as Institutional Investor’s CIO of the Year in recognition of her work at Carnegie.

As a Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Lew will join others who have earned the distinction, including Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board executive director and CIO Michael Trotsky (2019), Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust CIO Roz Hewsenian (2018), and California State Teachers’ Retirement System CIO Chris Ailman (2017).

Lew sits on several boards, including Ariel Investments Mutual Funds, TIFF Investment Management, and Girls Who Invest, as well as the investment committees of the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Gallery of Art, and Wesleyan University.

She began her career as a credit analyst at Chemical Bank. She went on to graduate from Harvard Business School’s MBA program, after which she joined Prudential Capital Group, then the Ford Foundation. Lew spent over a decade at Ford, first as a portfolio strategist covering the technology sector, then as a senior manager for Ford’s private equity investments.

Institutional Investor will present Lew the Lifetime Achievement Award at a dinner at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City on September 22.

Other awards to be presented will include “Partnership of the Year,” “Change Maker of the Year,” and “CIO of the Year,” among others. Voting for those categories — which will be done exclusively by allocators — will begin imminently. Institutional Investor will also recognize a group of up-and-coming allocators as II Rising Stars.

During the dinner, Institutional Investor will also honor two industry leaders who have passed away this year: State of Wisconsin Investment Board chief David Villa and Yale CIO David Swensen.

Those interested in attending the event can register here.