Tougher investment climate dampened raises,
but many chief investment officers earned their compensations.
Reported by Jeff Ostrowski / Art by James Yang
Chief investment officers of universities, foundations and museums received robust raises in 2015, according to a compensation analysis by CIO magazine.
The 50 highest-paid CIOs of nonprofits made an average
of $2.3 million, up 24% from the average compensation of $1.87
million paid to the same CIOs the previous year.
The former CEO at Harvard Management Co., Jane Mendillo,
led the way. She was paid $13.8 million covering fiscal 2014 and
half of fiscal 2015. Harvard did not break out the separate years.
Mendillo’s second successor came in second on the list. He
made $7.2 million in the year ended June 30, 2015, as CIO at
CIO magazine based its Top 50 list on an analysis of the
latest publicly available tax returns filed by more than 250 large
nonprofit organizations. Because of inconsistencies in the way
nonprofits report their financial results, comparing them can be an
inexact science. Most nonprofits have fiscal years that end June 30,
but others’ years end at other dates throughout the calendar.
Most of the compensation figures on our list are for the year
that ended June 30, 2015, but lags in filing the tax returns mean the
most recent information available for some nonprofits is for a fiscal
year that ended at some point in 2014.
CIO pay is typically based on a three-year rolling average
of returns, and many endowments were performing well for the
period covered by our survey. However, a tougher investment
climate recently has dampened raises.
“This year, it’s been kind of flat,” said Elizabeth Havens, an
executive recruiter at David Barrett Partners who specializes in
The Ivy League dominates the Top 50 list, with Harvard,
Columbia, Yale and Princeton taking four of the top five spots.
The ranking shows that many private universities place a
premium on their CIOs, in some cases paying them more than
anyone else on campus.
Notre Dame’s CIO might not be a household name, but he
makes more than the head of the school’s vaunted football program.
Football coach Brian Kelly made $1.6 million in the year that
ended June 30, 2015, compared to his $5.4 million.
At Northwestern University, the CIO also outearns the football coach. Its CIO brought in $4.4 million in the year that ended
Aug. 31, 2015, topping football coach Pat Fitzgerald’s $3.3 million.
In some cases, though, a CIO is no match for a
legendary coach. At Duke University, the CIO’s $3.2 million
compensation package was eclipsed by hoops coach Mike