Mount Holyoke Endowment Picks First-Ever Investment Chief

Cambridge Associates partner Ana Yankova will lead the $800 million fund, ending a nine-month search.

Ana Yankova (courtesy photo)

Ana Yankova

(courtesy photo)

Mount Holyoke College has found its first chief investment officer.

The Massachusetts women’s college announced this week that it had hired Ana Yankova — partner at Cambridge Associates and a Holyoke alumna — to serve as the $800 million endowment’s inaugural CIO.

Yankova, who joined Cambridge Associates in 2005, has been a partner at the consulting and investment firm since 2017, leading investing processes and portfolio oversight for U.S. and European endowments, foundations, and family offices with assets ranging from $300 million to $20 billion. She previously worked as a senior financial analyst at the Yale University investment office and served as an economic research analyst at Mercer.

At Mount Holyoke, she will be responsible for the management and oversight of the school’s endowment, which until now was solely run by an investment committee.

Institutional Investor first reported in June that the school had begun searching for its first-ever CIO, enlisting executive recruiter Anne Keating of Fraser Keating Associates to assist.

[II Deep Dive: Mount Holyoke Endowment Needs its First-Ever CIO]

“The decision to hire a CIO was a strategic move in recognition that markets have become more complex and competitive,” committee chair Louise Wasso said in a statement. “Having a dedicated, full-time CIO watching over this significant asset of Mount Holyoke College 24/7 is in the best interest of the college generationally.”

At Mount Holyoke, endowment spending accounts for 25 percent of the operating budget. This spending helps to fund initiatives such as financial aid, which 73 percent of Mount Holyoke students currently receive, according to the college’s statement Monday.

Yankova, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke in 1997, said it was “a privilege” to serve her alma mater.

“Thirty years ago, Mount Holyoke took a chance on me — a young woman from Communist Bulgaria — by granting me a scholarship,” she said in a statement. “The college gave me a first-rate education that propelled me into a meaningful and rewarding career in endowment management.”