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American Red Cross Outsources Investments to Cambridge Associates

The nonprofit split with CIO Greg Williamson in December, and announced its decision to outsource its endowment and pension funds.

  • By Amy Whyte

Nearly six months after dismissing chief investment officer Greg Williamson in favor of an outsourced-CIO model, the American Red Cross has selected its new investment manager.

The nonprofit has hired Cambridge Associates’ OCIO unit CA Capital Management to manage its pension fund and endowment, according to a statement provided to Institutional Investor on Thursday.

Chief financial officer Brian Rhoa described the move as a “strategic decision.” Last year, a spokesperson for the Red Cross said the organization would “no longer have the scale to require the expense of funding an in-house investment management team,” thanks to a change in its investment strategies.

[II Deep Dive: American Red Cross to Outsource Investments]

As part of the new outsourced program, Cambridge Associates will provide two “specialized” OCIO teams, with one focusing specifically on each asset pool, Rhoa said in the statement.

“The Cambridge teams will manage our pension assets to reduce and eventually eliminate financial risk associated with them to secure our resources for our mission priorities,” he added. “They will also help us manage our endowment in a way that maximizes growth over the long term.”

The American Red Cross had originally hired Williamson in 2015 to oversee the investment of its defined benefit, defined contribution, endowment, and non-endowment funds. Prior to joining, Williamson was CIO of BP America, where he was responsible for the oil company’s pension assets and the BP Foundation.

At the Red Cross, Williamson spent the early months of his tenure rebuilding the investment team. Staffers including deputy CIO Anne Shelton, managing director Edward Karppi, and associate director Jordan Levine left, while new hires including Jane Western, Carol Anne Lindsey, and Margaret D’Annunzio came in.

It is not clear whether all of these employees still have jobs at the Red Cross. In December, a spokesperson said in a statement that Williamson’s role was the only position immediately impacted by the decision to outsource. The organization declined to comment Friday when asked if any other investment jobs have since been eliminated.

Williamson has moved on to a new role as head of strategy at Pluribus Labs, an asset management start-up using data- and technology-driven strategies.

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