Managing Director of Investments

 

January 2019

The Wallace Foundation is an independent private foundation with $1.5 billion in assets created in 2003 through the merger of charitable trusts that represented the philanthropic legacy of DeWitt and Lila Wallace, founders of the Reader’s Digest. The Foundation seeks to improve learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and foster the vitality of the arts for everyone.

Wallace’s approach to grantmaking is to undertake initiatives that meet local needs while also developing insights into important questions that, if answered, could help strengthen practices and policies within the foundation’s fields of interest. In the five years ending December 31, 2017, Wallace made grants and related expenditures totaling more than $330 million. Wallace currently has initiatives in school leadership, social and emotional learning, expanded learning, afterschool, summer learning, building audiences for the arts, and arts education.

We have a team-based structure and seek employees who are both highly skilled in their professions and able to work collaboratively, think analytically and communicate clearly. We value behavior that demonstrates a commitment to mutual respect and support, diversity, continuous learning, collaboration, excellence, and accountability.

The Managing Director of Investments opportunity at Wallace offers a senior role in the management of a substantial endowment with scale enough to pursue a sophisticated asset allocation strategy and have access to top quality managers, that is also small enough to allow the Managing Director direct involvement in all investment processes, including helping set the overall strategic direction of the endowment and researching individual managers across all asset classes. The opportunity also offers a mission-driven investment opportunity at a leading nonprofit that values collegiality and takes pride in contributing to improvements in education, youth development and the arts at a national scale. The Managing Director position will be the most senior person on the investment team other than the CIO and will have direct interaction with the Foundation’s president, Investment Committee, and Board of Directors.

ENDOWMENT MANAGEMENT
The Foundation’s investment goal is to earn a total return that will provide a steady stream of income to fund the grantmaking and operations of the Foundation in support of its mission while preserving the real or inflation-adjusted value of the Foundation’s total investment assets over long periods of time. We use a forward-looking, research-driven process to refine our Asset Allocation Strategy and identify top quartile investment managers with the aim of exceeding a challenging benchmark for total endowment performance. The Wallace Foundation’s endowment is diversified across a broad range of asset classes to achieve this goal: Market Stocks, Hedge Funds, Private Assets, Opportunistic, Global Credit, US Government Bonds, and Cash. Our Investment Policy, Investment Committee Charter, IRS-Form 990, and other financial and governance information can be found here on Wallace’s website.

The Managing Director will join an Investment Team consisting of the Chief Investment Officer (CIO), an Investment Officer, an Investment Associate, and an Investment Assistant. All members of the team work across all asset classes within the endowment. Members of the Investment Team conduct site visits to managers’ offices on a regular basis in the US and periodically overseas.

RESPONSIBILITIES
The Managing Director of Investments contributes to the effective management of the Foundation’s endowment by successfully fulfilling these responsibilities: 1) working with the CIO to develop and implement the asset allocation strategy; 2) contributing to the selection of new managers and decisions on continuation/termination of current managers across all asset classes; 3) leading our risk management work and operational due diligence which includes supervision of the Investment Associate; and 4) contributing to our team-based learning culture.

Asset Allocation Strategy
The Managing Director works with the CIO to design and implement the Foundation’s asset allocation strategy. Drawing on knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of leading asset allocation strategies and techniques, the Managing Director will contribute to the assessment and refinement of the Foundation’s asset allocation strategy and will use quantitative models to estimate the expected returns and volatility of prospective asset allocations in various market scenarios. The Managing Director contributes to asset allocation strategy presentations at IC meetings.

Investment Due Diligence (IDD) on Current Managers
We review current managers two to three times each year, depending on asset class, and wind down managers at least once annually. The review includes analyses of each manager using a broad range of qualitative and quantitative analytical tools prior to meeting with the manager through conference calls and site visits.

The Managing Director will have responsibility for regular IDD on a set of current managers across all asset classes. He or she will prepare a written analysis covering staff, strategy, portfolio holdings, performance, style, risk metrics, and risk controls after each Investment Due Diligence meeting.

Investment Due Diligence (IDD) on Prospective Managers
New managers are identified by Investment Team members through reviewing investment manager databases, attending conferences, networking with institutional investment peers, and meeting with bank capital market groups. The Managing Director may identify and recommend prospective managers in any asset class. The CIO, Managing Director and Officer jointly conduct the rounds of Investment Due Diligence on prospective managers.

Operations Due Diligence (ODD)
The Managing Director leads the Foundation’s Operations Due Diligence work for both current and prospective managers, supported by the Investment Associate, whom the Managing Director supervises. The Managing Director reviews our overall approach to ODD on an annual basis to identify, recommend and implement best practices to improve our ODD. Under the direction of the Managing Director, the Investment Associate prepares ODD reports on current managers annually and on prospective managers as needed.

Risk Management
The Managing Director leads the Foundation’s Risk Management work in Investments by: 1) preparing risk management reports for the Investment Unit; 2) reviewing our overall approach to Risk Management in Investments – covering both strategic and tactical risks – on an annual basis to identify, recommend and implement best practices to strengthen our risk management practices; and 3) supporting the Investment section of our annual foundation-wide Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process.

Global Economic Analysis
The Managing Director contributes to the preparation of quarterly global economic analyses with a focus on understanding the potential impact on the Foundation’s endowment. These analyses support the CIO in preparing his regular report to the IC.

Team-based Learning Culture
The Managing Director contributes to fostering a learning culture with colleagues in Investments by sharing investment insights day-to-day and at team meetings, and by contributing to or leading process improvement efforts based on best practices and other analyses.

As the supervisor of the Investment Associate, the Managing Director takes a professional development and learning approach to build and deepen the Associate’s knowledge across the investment field, with a focus on ODD.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ten to fifteen years relevant experience in institutional endowment management, which would include demonstrated experience in:
    • Developing asset allocation strategies; and
    • Identifying and conducting due diligence leading to the selection of high-quality investment managers across multiple asset classes.
  • Experience managing staff with a focus on professional development and learning
  • Experience with Operations Due Diligence
  • Excellent quantitative skills with demonstrated experience in modelling
  • Excellent conceptual and analytical thinking skills
  • Commitment to a collaborative approach, with demonstrated experience working well in teams
  • Outstanding communication skills - listening, writing, speaking - with the ability to clearly and concisely present complex issues
  • MBA and/or CFA preferred
  • Ability to travel within the U.S. and internationally

 

The Wallace Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to maintaining a diverse workplace where differing perspectives are a source of strength. People of color are encouraged to apply.

TO APPLY

The Wallace Foundation has retained the services of Harrison, Stone & Associates to conduct this search.
Please direct inquiries, nominations, and applications in confidence by February 22, 2019 to: search@harrisonstone.com. Please put “Wallace Managing Director of Investments” in the subject line of your email.