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Heir Apparent at Carnegie Corp. Exits for Biotech Venture Firm

Alisa Mall has accepted a top job at Foresite Capital, throwing wide open the search for Carnegie’s next CIO.

Carnegie Corp. of New York has lost four of its highest-ranking investment professionals to prominent roles elsewhere in the last six weeks or so. 

Managing director Alisa Mall is moving to the private sector after more than a decade at Carnegie, where many saw her as the likely next chief investment officer. But Mall put in her notice within weeks of CIO Kim Lew’s departure, as did fellow managing directors Ken Lee and Brooke Jones, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Lew, Lee, and Jones have taken CIO roles at peer institutions: Columbia University, Children’s Health in Dallas, and Bryn Mawr College, respectively. Recruiters frequently cite Mall as a prime target for CIO openings, but she opted to pivot as well as climb.

[II Deep Dive: Carnegie Corp. Managing Director Lands CIO Role at Children’s Health]

San Francisco-based Foresite Capital, a specialist in life sciences and health investing, recruited Mall to help run a swathe of its business functions, the head of communications confirmed Wednesday to Institutional Investor. Later this year, she will take over corporate development, long-term capital formation, investor relations, and engagement on environmental, social, and governance matters. 

Foresite manages $3 billion across four funds, with major backing from an elite endowment. The company created Mall’s managing director position for her.

Mall declined to comment. 

Foresite’s chief executive officer Jim Tananbaum called her “a fitting addition to our leadership team: an investment professional of the highest caliber who is deeply committed to our mission of improving the lives of patients,” per a statement to II. “We look forward to her leadership and know that we will accomplish much together in the years ahead.”

Mall is a native Californian, but will remain on the East Coast for the next year or so at least. Carnegie’s team scattered far and wide during the last six months, including to the West Coast, as the pandemic compelled people to stay home and cramped Manhattanites to flee for space. 

Mall spent nearly a dozen years at Carnegie, running real estate and natural resources for the top-performing portfolio. Under Lew, the $3.5 billion nonprofit’s returns ranked among the top decile of its peers, according to a private database.

Carnegie has started to search for its next investment chief — a highly competitive race thrown wide open by the departures of Mall, Lee, and Jones. 

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