The Nature Conservancy Gets a New CIO, Just in Time for the Crash

First-time investment chief Bola Olusanya left the private sector for the multibillion-dollar nonprofit.

Bola Olusanya (via LinkedIn)

Bola Olusanya

(via LinkedIn)

The Nature Conservancy has hired longtime institutional investor Bola Olusanya as its chief investment officer, officials confirmed this week.

Olusanya took over the leading environmental nonprofit’s portfolio March 16 — just after stock markets crashed dramatically due to the global pandemic.

He oversees more than $2 billion of The Nature Conservancy’s vast portfolio of assets, valued at $7.7 billion as of June 30, which also includes conservation lands and other real estate holdings worth about $4.4 billion.

Olusanya left the private sector for the CIO role. He served as a managing director at Key Private Bank and before that Strategic Investment Group, a $37 billion outsourced-CIO firm, according to an internal TNC letter from chief financial officer Leonard Williams.

Olusanya’s move is also a return to the nonprofit investment side. He spent seven years at Vanderbilt University’s endowment, and worked early in his career as an analyst in Emory University’s investment office.

His mission now is delivering “superior, but prudent risk-adjusted returns” over the long term, according to TNC’s description of his role. “TNC’s CIO will be accountable for the management of over $2 billion in assets including asset allocation, the investment process and manager selection along with rigorous reviews of existing and prospective investments.”


Williams praised Olusanya as a proven “executive and thought leader” in his letter to staff, noting the new CIO’s 20-plus years of experience, including senior roles in the Nigerian banking sector.