Hamilton has announced the appointment of Lauren Jacobson as chief investment officer to manage its more than $1.3 billion endowment.
Jacobson currently serves as managing director and co-head of marketables asset classes at Columbia Investment Management Company. In that role, she co-manages $8 billion of investments, including oversight of the investment process and portfolio management. At Columbia, which has an overall endowment of $14 billion, she has served as a member of the Portfolio Construction Committee that oversees endowment asset allocation, risk, and firm strategy, and she has been part of the Investment Advisory Committee for Columbia University’s $9 billion Defined Contribution Retirement Plan. Jacobson will assume her position with Hamilton on November 7.
“Lauren Jacobson is a talented leader and a skilled investor who has a successful track record managing investments across asset classes,” said Bob Delaney, vice chair of Hamilton’s Board of Trustees and chair of the College’s Investment Committee. “As chief investment officer, Lauren will provide her exceptional skills to the important task of managing the endowment, which is critical to the current and future success of the College. We look forward to working with her to sustain this important resource for current and future generations of Hamilton students and faculty.”
“I am honored to join the Hamilton College team and to lead the endowment in support of the College’s mission and constituents,” said Jacobson. “Hamilton’s successful investing history provides a strong foundation at this critical time. I am excited to dedicate my energy and experience, working together with Hamilton’s Investment Committee and team, to building upon this legacy for the College’s long-term benefit.”
Jacobson is a 2007 graduate of the College of William and Mary where she earned a bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in finance. Prior to joining Columbia, she worked for eight years as director of investments at The Rockefeller Foundation and spent two years as an analyst for Goldman Sachs. Institutional Investor named her a Rising Star in Endowments and Foundations in 2013 and a Rising Star in Hedge Funds in 2018. Her peers chose her as a Class of 2021 NextGen rising star and future CIO in Chief Investment Officer magazine.
Hamilton’s investment performance has consistently been in the top quartile for the colleges that report their results to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, a membership organization that represents approximately 700 U.S. colleges and universities. The College’s overall endowment consists of more than 1,000 individual endowed funds established by donors to provide permanent income for institutional priorities. Student scholarship aid represents the largest percentage of those funds. In the most recent fiscal year, Hamilton’s endowment provided $47.2 million or about 30% of the revenue to operate the college. Hamilton practices need-blind admission for all first-year domestic applicants, meaning a family’s financial need is not considered when making admission decisions. Students who qualify for financial aid have their full demonstrated financial need met by the College.
Jacobson replaces Anne Dinneen, who was named chief investment officer and senior vice president at New York-Presbyterian in April, after a seven-year tenure at Hamilton.