Kathleen Jacobs Lands CIO Post

The ex-NYU CIO will manage some $8 billion in assets for RWJBarnabas Health.

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After remaining relatively tight-lipped about her departure from New York University, former chief investment officer Kathleen Jacobs has landed the CIO job at RWJBarnabas Health.

Jacobs, who spent eight years at NYU, is joining the $8 billion health system on January 9. She will help formulate the strategy for the health system’s myriad portfolios, which include long and short-term capital, ERISA plan assets, and endowment pools of capital.

“As RWJBarnabas Health continues to grow and establish its ever-increasing role as an anchor institution in New Jersey, Kathleen will help us ensure our longevity and ability to continue increasing access to excellent health care,” said Frank Pipas, chief financial officer of RWJBarnabas Health, in a statement. “Her background and expertise are uniquely suited to fulfill the needs of this new position, which will evolve over time as our system continues to expand.”

RWJBarnabas is one of the largest health systems in New Jersey, rivaling Hackensack Meridian Health in size. The organization has quietly been running its search for a new CIO for several months. The prior CIO, Eileen Urban, retired early in 2021. The hospital has remained mum on what it did with its capital in the interim.

Jacobs departed from NYU in late September, and since then, the investments industry has puzzled over where the accomplished CIO would land. She departed alongside Cynthia Nascimento, managing director of investments.

Under Jacobs’s oversight, NYU’s endowment grew by about $2.3 billion. Returns for fiscal year 2023 were 11.5 percent, bringing total assets to $5.9 billion, Institutional Investor previously reported.

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Before joining NYU, Jacobs served as a managing director in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s office of investments. She helped to build out that office starting in 2008, and played a leading role in asset allocation and selection of fund managers, according to RWJBarnabas’s announcement. Before joining NewYork-Presbyterian, Jacobs was a senior investor for the Juilliard School’s endowment. Her early career involved roles at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

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