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Carleton College Hires CIO From BlackRock

The $828 million endowment lacked an investment chief for more than a year after Jason Matz left for the GHR Foundation.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

Carleton College, a small liberal arts school in Northfield, Minnesota, has ended its year-plus search for a new chief investment officer.

Kelsey Deshler, formerly head of manager research at BlackRock, will join the $828 million endowment as CIO later this month. She replaces Jason Matz, who left Carleton after 12 years to take the CIO role at the GHR Foundation in January of 2017. 

"Kelsey's broad experience, sophisticated investment knowledge, and her desire to put that knowledge to work for the benefit of Carleton’s students and faculty, make her a superb choice,” said Carleton President Steven Poskanzer in a statement

A spokesperson for BlackRock said that Stephanie Park and Reinoud van Ieperen will replace Deshler as acting heads of global manager research. Park will handle operational due diligence, while van Ieperen will handle investment due diligence, both on an interim basis. 

Deshler was the global head of manager research at BlackRock for two years, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, she worked as a research head and portfolio manager at Credit Suisse, where she oversaw equity long/short, event-driven, and distressed-credit strategies, according to the Carleton announcement. 

Deshler had joined Credit Suisse in 2012 after working as an investment analyst at General Motors Asset Management. She began her finance career as a hedge fund research analyst at CTC Consulting.

She will relocate to her home state, Minnesota, for the Carleton CIO job.

[II Deep Dive: 2015 Investment Management Awards: Jason Matz]

A spokesperson for Carleton said the endowment earned 14.45 percent for the year ending on June 30, 2017. The fund had a five-year return 8.13 percent and ten-year return of 5.24 percent. 

The college had hired its previous CIO, Matz, in 2004 after experiencing a 19.2 percent loss in the 2001 to 2002 fiscal year, following the dot-com bubble burst. 

As investment chief, Matz diversified Carleton’s assets by adding private equity and hedge funds, changes that Matz said helped the endowment perform better during the financial crisis in a 2015 interview with Institutional Investor

In a statement, Deshler said she was "thrilled” to join the endowment as CIO and help support the college's "important mission.” 

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