Here Are the Winners of the 2023 Allocators’ Choice Awards

Ken Lee of Children’s Health was named CIO of the Year, with other awards taken home by winners from Trinity Church, Smith College, and other institutions.


Ken Lee (Photo by II)

Allocators have selected Ken Lee of Children’s Health as the chief investment officer of the year.

Institutional Investor honored Lee and his peers at the sixth annual Allocators’ Choice Awards in New York City on Tuesday. Asset owners, including staff at pension funds, endowments, family offices, foundations, healthcare funds, and sovereign wealth funds, voted for the winners after finalists were vetted by II’s staff.

Lee was one of seven CIOs nominated for the honor. He was selected for his work building the Dallas-based healthcare system’s diverse investment office during the Covid-19 pandemic. He built trust with the hospital’s board to receive delegated authority over investments and has since implemented creative solutions to turn over the portfolio’s legacy holdings.

Over the course of the evening, Institutional Investor honored several other winners. Institutional Allocators for Diversity Equity & Inclusion was named Advocate of the Year. The organization was co-founded by Bhakti Mirchandani and Sophia Tsai from Trinity Church Wall Street, and Rob Rahbari and Stephanie Westen from the University of Rochester.

Meanwhile, Trinity Church scored another win on Tuesday night — the foundation, along with CIO Meredith Jenkins, took home the ESG Investor of the Year award, an honor introduced this year. The Innovator of the Year award went to Mark Steed, CIO at the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, for an analysis of volatility that led the pension fund to take more risk and add more opportunistic investments to the portfolio.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board won Investment Committee/Board of the Year for allowing flexibility in asset allocation ranges amid a rocky period in the markets.


The Teacher Retirement System of Texas, along with partners BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Morgan Stanley, won Partnership of the Year for a 15-year-old program that has generated $1.3 billion for the portfolio.

Smith College, which moved its investment office in-house under CIO Lisa Howie in 2020, took home the inaugural Rookie Fund of the Year award. Meanwhile, Northwestern University, led by CIO Amy Falls, was awarded the Team of the Year honor for shifting to a more collaborative approach under new leadership.

Institutional Investor also honored Andy Golden, the president at Princeton University Investment Co., with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the endowment and the industry.

The 2023 Rising Stars were recognized on Tuesday as well.

They include Paul Abrogouah, investments manager at the University of Missouri; David Ames, managing director at Kamehameha Schools; Christine Chang, investment officer at the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii; Wagner Dada, managing director in the systematic strategies group at CPP Investments; Todd Elfman, associate director of investments at New York University; Jonathan Grushkin, director of absolute return and real assets at Cleveland Clinic; Dawn Iglesias, investment strategist at the New Mexico State Investment Council; Amanda Kingsbury, alternatives investment officer at the Oregon State Treasury; Jared Murphy, manager of investments at the CommonSpirit Health Foundation; Andrew Siwo, director of sustainable investments and climate solutions at the New York State Common Retirement Fund; Terence M. Thompson; Van Tran; Jessica Wilbers, public markets portfolio manager at the Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri; and Charlotte Zhang, director of investments at the Inatai Foundation.