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A New $9 Billion Health System Has Tapped Its First CIO

Adam Smith joins from the Cleveland Clinic to execute on an investment office build-out.

A newly-formed $9 billion health system based in Michigan has hired a Cleveland Clinic managing director to serve as its first chief investment officer.

Adam Smith joined Corewell Health on January 23, three sources have confirmed. He served as Cleveland Clinic’s managing director of absolute return and real assets for nearly six years.

“Everyone likes the guy,” one former colleague said. “He has a great reputation in the alts community and was great to have as a colleague. He knows his stuff but was also always willing to listen to different opinions.”

Corewell was formed following the merger of Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health in February 2022. The two hospital systems had several pools of capital, including pension funds, operating capital, a health insurer, and more, with assets totaling $9 billion. Until now, investment management was consultant and committee driven.

Smith will be tasked with building out internal investment operations at Corewell. The work is analogous to what Cleveland Clinic did when it hired CIO Stefan Strein in 2015 to build an investment team to manage its assets.

Where the two will differ, though, is team formation. While Cleveland Clinic has brought much of its investment management and operations in-house, Smith will hire a lean team of three to five people, then leverage outside consultant relationships. This model mimics that of Mercy Health, where Smith served as director of investments before joining Cleveland Clinic in 2017.

Once Smith has settled into his role and assessed the portfolio needs, Corewell will launch searches for those new roles. According to a source familiar with the matter, recruiting will ideally take place this year.

Smith began his career as an airport management consultant based in Cleveland, where he worked for the John F. Brown Company. After a brief stint there, he headed to Fund Evaluation Group, where he held roles including co-director of research for the institutional consulting firm.

He then held roles at Perspecta Trust and Lancaster Pollard before joining Mercy Health System in 2012.

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