MIAMI, Fla. — After considering several independent outsourcing proposals, the board of trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has chosen Cambridge Associates LLC of Boston to oversee the investment of the foundation’s $1.9 billion endowment, effective March 1, 2005.
The selection of Cambridge concluded a thorough reconsideration of the foundation’s investment policies and staffing prompted by the decision last fall by Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Timothy J. Crowe to retire after 15 years with Knight in March 2005.
Cambridge has served as Knight’s investment consultant for 18 years. Ennis Knupp + Associates, an independent external consulting firm, helped guide the foundation board throughout the review and selection process over several months, analyzing the proposals and recommending Cambridge to the board’s investment committee.
After March 1, the foundation’s internal investment oversight will be managed by up to three staff professionals. Knight Foundation is providing career transition assistance to its investment staff of nine full-time and one part-time employees.
“At end of day, the board decision was motivated by a desire to ensure both continuity and depth in the management of Knight’s extensive investments,” said W. Gerald Austen, M.D., Knight’s board chairman. “Our respect and appreciation for the outstanding work here at Knight by Tim Crowe and his staff cannot be overstated. Our stewardship responsibilities reminded us to do what we think is best for the foundation for the long haul.”
“Organizational changes are made for many reasons, but they inevitably involve people,” Knight President and CEO Hodding Carter III said. “The people affected by today’s board decision are not only capable and valued colleagues, they are also our friends. Knight could not have been better served; we’ll make every effort to ensure the future for these superb professionals.”
Crowe joined Knight Foundation in 1990 as a vice president and chief financial officer. He was one of four finalists among foundation investment officers honored last month in Institutional Investor magazine’s Award for Excellence in Investment Management. A chartered financial analyst who holds an MBA from Pennsylvania State University, Crowe serves on the investment council for Penn State, and served on the endowment fund board of trustees and investment committee for the American Red Cross. Before joining Knight, Crowe spent eight years in senior finance and operations management positions with companies in the technology industry, and six years in finance positions with large manufacturing companies, including Ford Motor Co.
Cambridge Associates LLC provides investment consulting and financial planning services to more than 700 clients around the globe. The firm was formed in the early 1970s to provide college and university endowment funds with comprehensive investment research. Cambridge Associates quickly expanded to include foundations and other nonprofit institutions and now has offices in Boston; Menlo Park, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; London, and Singapore. The firm was co-founded by James N. Bailey, who serves as senior managing director responsible for consulting services. He will oversee the ongoing Knight investment work.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.