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Scaling Mount Sinai’s Endowment Requires Conviction

At the New York health care organization CIO Scott Pittman has built an investment culture from the ground up.

It seems that a career in the medical industry was always in the cards for Scott Pitt­man, CIO of Mount Sinai Medical System, starting from his college days at Baylor University, when the EMT-­certified undergrad rode ambulances on weekends. The equally compelling lure of finance led Pittman to earn an MBA from Baylor in 2002. He signed on for seven more years at the Waco, Texas–based school, first as a lecturer in finance and economics, then as director of investments. He worked with CIO Jonathan Hook (now chief investment officer at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation) in the endowment office while teaching students a portfolio investing class with a live, $6.5 million portfolio. In December 2008, Pittman accepted the first CIO position at Mount Sinai, the largest health care organization in New York City. There he oversees a $1.6 billion investment pool. At Mount Sinai, Pittman created an investment culture, built out resources and hired two investment professionals.

“Our risk-­adjusted return is equally important as our absolute return,” says Pittman, 40, who structured the endowment fund’s asset allocation, investment policy and best governance practices and set strategic goals. The CIO believes in using concentration in portfolio position sizing to reflect conviction and best ideas to build value, targeting alternatives that include music royalties. Alternative assets across all marketable and private investments make up more than 70 percent of the total portfolio.

Return to the 2016 U.S. Money Masters.

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  The 2016 U.S. Money Masters Click below to view profiles.

Small Endowment
John Alexander Jr.
Clemson University large public pension
Ashbel Williams Jr.
Florida State Board of Administration large corporate pension
Kathleen Gallagher
Benefit Plans,
Ford Motor Co. Foundation
Denise Strack
Gordon and Betty
Moore Foundation
 
manager lifetime achievement
David Booth
Dimensional Fund Advisors Small Public Pension
Elizabeth Crisafi
San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System Health System
Scott Pittman
Mount Sinai Health System Large Endowment
Sally Staley
Case Western Reserve University
 
Small Corporate Pension
Charles Van Vleet
Textron Investor Lifetime achievement
Peter Gilbert
Lehigh University Endowment Fund
 

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