From Bonds to Boards to Leading Northwestern

Amy Falls




Episode: 316
May 22, 2023

Episode Description:

Amy Falls is the CIO at Northwestern University, where she oversees the school’s $14.2 billion endowment that supports university operations and funds about a quarter of the University’s annual revenue. She also serves on the Board of Harvard Management Company, the Ford Foundation, Phillips Academy, and the Pete Peterson Foundation.

Our conversation covers Amy’s background and path to Northwestern, frameworks she learned along the way, and different challenges she faced in three different CIO seats. We then turn to her thoughts on manager selection, liquidity, and across asset classes, covering fixed income, private credit, private equity, public equity, and China. We close with Amy’s insights from her experience working with investment committees and parallels between her passion for farming and investing.

Show Notes
03:41    Background
04:41    Early career in international bond markets
12:26    Becoming Andover's first CIO
13:43    Navigating the GFC
19:51    Transition to Rockefeller University
23:13    Asset Allocation
26:57    Transition to Northwestern
28:57    Structuring the investment team
32:45    Selecting and reviewing managers
37:44    Investment frameworks
42:10    Decision-making processes
44:44    Private Credit
45:08    Private Equity
49:34    Public Equity
51:10    China
52:56    Navigating investment committees
54:57    Farming

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