It’s official: After eight years as Meyer Memorial Trust’s chief investment officer, Rukaiyah Adams has stepped down.
The Portland Business Journal first reported on her departure earlier in the summer. On Tuesday, Adams released an official statement on the news, lauding the trust’s work over her tenure.
The CIO, along with her team, advisors, managers, and consultants, grew the endowment from $700 million in 2014 to more than $1 billion in 2022.
“Seeing the impact of our work on the place I've called home all my life has been a true gift, especially given that I directly benefited from Meyer’s philanthropy as a kid in Portland at the Girls and Boys Clubs in North and Northeast Portland and Self Enhancement, Inc.,” Adams said in a statement.
Prior to joining Meyer Memorial Trust in 2014, Adams served as the director of investment management at The Standard, where she managed a $7 billion investment fund. She also worked as the chief operating officer and director of investments at IAM Asset Management.
Her career began in law: Adams worked as an M&A lawyer at Ater Wynne LLP and as a corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates. She also serves on multiple boards, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund investment committee, the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation, the Oregon Public Broadcasting board, and the Self Enhancement, Inc. Foundation.
She previously served as the chair of the Oregon Investment Council, among other Portland-based organizations.
Adams highlighted the diversity, equity, and inclusion work her investment team has done over the years in her farewell message.
“We've used the levers at our disposal to diversify our pool of asset managers, to push for greater transparency and accountability from those partners, and to make sure our “walk” matches our “talk” when it comes to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles guiding our investment decisions,” she wrote.
Sohel Hussain is set to step in as interim director of investments. He has been with the organization since April 2021, when he joined as director of investment operations. Hussain previously worked at PIMCO, Secor Asset Management, and other investment management firms, his LinkedIn profile shows.
“Change is never easy, but it is inevitable and better embraced than resisted,” Adams wrote. “After eight years, it is time for a change and I am ready.”