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Wallace Foundation Hires Next CIO From Rockefeller University

Rob Nagel is stepping down after 30-plus years at the $1.6 billion foundation.

Thomas Lenehan — Rockefeller University’s deputy chief investment officer — will be leaving to take over the Wallace Foundation at the end of the year, the charity confirmed to Institutional Investor Monday. 

Lenehan replaces CIO Rob Nagel, who has run the investment portfolio since 1988. 

Nagle is retiring, the foundation said in a statement. 

Wallace’s portfolio was worth $1.6 billion as of September 30, and invested via outside asset managers selected by the internal team. Lenehan will lead those efforts, as well as overall investment strategy.

His second-to-last fiscal year — that ending June 30, 2019 — at Rockefeller University was a standout industrywide. The now-$2.4 billion biomedical research institution delivered one of the highest returns of any U.S. nonprofit fund, profiting from an elite stable of venture capital managers under the leadership of CIO Amy Falls. 

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Lenehan joined Rockefeller University in 2011 and said he is “truly sad to be moving on,” but “thrilled to be joining the team at the Wallace Foundation to support its important mission.”

“Tom is a superb, forward-thinking strategist, sensitive to changing external conditions, and a strong believer in the interdisciplinary thinking that is the hallmark of Wallace’s approach,” foundation president Will Miller said in the statement. 

In 2017, outgoing CIO Nagel earned $696,266 in total compensation, including deferred retirement benefits, according to the latest IRS filings available. This made him the second-highest-paid employee, after president Miller. 

Rockefeller University CIO Falls expressed gratitude to Lenehan for his years of work and delight that “he will bring his strong investment acumen and team building skills to another important institution and mission.”

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