Months after Smith College announced plans to establish its own in-house investment office, the endowment has hired its first chief investment officer.
Lisa Howie, who is currently a director at the Yale Investment Office, will begin her new role as Smith’s CIO on June 28, according to a Monday announcement from Smith.
In a statement, Howie said she is “thrilled” to join Smith, adding that it’s a “fantastic opportunity to build a team and a portfolio in service of Smith’s mission of educating and empowering women.”
Smith had been outsourcing its investments to outsourced CIO firm Investure since 2004, Institutional Investor previously reported. The $2 billion endowment made the decision to set up its own investment office in December, noting that most other university endowments its size already manage their own assets.
Howie has been tasked with building Smith’s investment team and office, according to the announcement.
“Her performance has been exceptional at Yale, where she has developed a great network, both globally and in the U.S.,” said Kathleen McCartney, Smith College president, in a statement. “Importantly, she knows how to recruit and develop talented teammates, which will be one of her first tasks as she builds Smith’s investment office team.”
Howie has worked at the Yale Investment Office, where she focuses on the endowment’s foreign equity investments, since 2008. According to Smith’s announcement, Howie helped with recruiting and staffing efforts, as well as on diversity and inclusion initiatives, at Yale.
“From working closely with Lisa for more than a decade, I know she will bring intelligence, dedication, compassion, hard work, and investment prowess to her efforts every day,” said David Swensen, Yale chief investment officer and, according to Smith’s announcement, Howie’s mentor, in a statement.
The Yale Investment Office did not return a phone call Monday seeking further comment on the news.
Howie received both her undergraduate degree — in science in molecular biophysics and biochemistry — and her MBA from Yale. Between her time in college and at business school, she worked in nonprofit strategy and development, according to Yale’s website.
“During my time at Yale I have learned a great deal about principled investing, innovative sourcing, and collaborative team building,” Howie said in a statement on Monday. “I look forward to applying this knowledge and experience at Smith.”
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In addition to her work at Yale Investment Office, Howie serves on the investment committees at the New York Public Library, The Ohio State University, and Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, the announcement said.
Smith said in December that the college expects to continue to work with Investure over the “next several years” to transition its investments and other administrative functions.