CIO, Meyer Memorial Trust
Award: Small Foundation
The Meyer Memorial Trust was established in 1982 with $120 million from the estate of Fred Meyer, a West Coast entrepreneur. The initial executive director of the trust, Charles Rooks, tapped Wayne Pierson, a former Ernst & Young auditor, to create an investment portfolio. As CFO and CIO, Pierson set out to diversify the cash from the estate by hiring five outside managers.
Recognizing the funds size constraints, Pierson came up with a novel way to attract and motivate top managers: an annual investment roundtable conference at the foundations Portland, Oregon, headquarters. The one-and-a-half-day meeting, now attended by 28 managers, is organized by asset classes and includes hedge funds, private equity and emerging-markets equity. The managers share their best thinking and compete for awards.
Pierson, 60, a big believer in long-term relationships, enjoys presenting the winning and very competitive managers with a trophy that is returned the following year to be reengraved for the next winner. Award categories include best long-short idea and best one- and three-year performance. The hardworking managers helped the $640 million fund produce a return of 14.3 percent in 2010 and more than 10 percent annually for the past ten years.
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