After a year in the making, Mercy Health’s former chief investment officer Anthony Waskiewicz has officially launched his new business, Investment Office Resources.
The company aims to help institutional investment offices fill their staffing gaps with expert specialists who act as contract employees.
“I think it is a very creative and innovative way for investment offices to get the specialization inside the office in a flexible and budget-friendly structure,” Waskiewicz said by phone Thursday.
The company, which publicly launched in June, already has four clients: SSM Health, Ascension Investment Management, Missouri Foundation for Health, and Mid-America Transplant. It’s looking to bring three or four more on by the year’s end.
Waskiewicz said the idea came to him a few years back, while he was still working as a CIO at Mercy Health. His team needed more private equity support, but didn’t have enough demand — or resources — to hire a full-time staffer.
Mercy wasn’t alone. Waskiewicz and three of his CIO peers came up with a solution: They would pitch in to share one private equity expert to support all four investment offices. While the plan never came to fruition, a seed was planted for Waskiewicz.
It became clear to him that the problem wasn’t unique to his investment team after he left Mercy in 2019 and began working for other healthcare systems.
“It opened my eyes to the fact that the resourcing challenge that I experienced at Mercy was very common throughout the not-for-profit space,” Waskiewicz said. “It wasn’t just unique to private equity support. Every team had some gap they were trying to fill.”
Soon after, he began to build Investment Office Resources. It wouldn’t be an outsourced chief investment officer business, as his team would never have discretion over investments like OCIO firms do.
And it wouldn’t be a consultancy, either. Instead of using a manager database and trying to work with numerous institutions, Investment Office Resources would work closely with in-house staff. “We look just like we are part of the in-house investment team,” Waskiewicz said of how his team works. They’re looped into institutions’ team emails, attend investment team meetings, and mentor younger staffers.
The company was up and running late last year, after SSM Health, a $10.6 billion St. Louis-based healthcare system, became its first client.
Then he built up a team. Waskiewicz said his first priority was “intellectual capital.” He said he wanted people with “hard-to-find expertise,” that “do a relatively narrow band of work, but very deep work.”
Waskiewicz brought on four staffers, including Dale Hunt, Ascension Investment Management’s former managing director for private equity; Francie Heller, a director at sustainable investment firm Arabesque Asset Management; Matthew Stefan, former head of manager research and monitoring at TIAA; and John Nawrocki, founder of an investment technology consultancy called Invictus Financial Development.
They tackle a range of issues like risk management and operations, but clients’ most common needs so far are private equity and responsible investing, Waskiewicz said.
“Everyone on the team, we really enjoy helping others,” he said. “Anywhere that we can be a set of helping hands, we want to help a mission-based organization be better.”