Amherst College moves CIO, endowment to Boston

  • Letitia Johnson, who was announced as Amherst College’s new chief investment officer on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. COURTESY AMHERST COLLEGE

  • Students enter Johnson Chapel on the Amherst College quad on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/2/2019 3:22:08 PM

AMHERST — Amherst College has hired a new chief investment officer and will be migrating the school’s $2.4 billion endowment to a new office in Boston. 

The college announced on Thursday the hiring of Letitia Johnson, who has spent her career at the investment firm Cambridge Associates. College spokeswoman Caroline Hanna confirmed that Johnson will work out of Boston and that the school will eventually move some of the investment office out to the city while keeping other positions in Amherst. 

“The timing of all of this will become clearer over time and determined by Letitia,” Hanna said.

Johnson replaces current CIO Mauricia Geissler, who has been in that role since 2003. She will be managing what amounts to a $2.9 billion investment pool — the college’s endowment, together with the endowment of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. and other college reserves.

The move also makes Amherst College the latest school to move its endowment operations to a major financial center. Earlier this year, Mount Holyoke College began the search for its first-ever CIO. The job posting for that position said the new CIO would form a dedicated investment office, preferably located in Boston.

Other schools that have located their operations to Boston to improve performance include Williams College and Dartmouth College.

“Being able to focus on and contribute to one single portfolio and mission is a wonderful opportunity,” Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward to partnering with the investment and leadership team, the board and the broader Amherst constituencies in the important task of managing an endowment that is critical to the current and future success of the College and Library.”

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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