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Episode Description:

Jenn Birmingham is a Managing Director at the Princeton University Investment Company (or PRINCO), one of the world’s largest and most prestigious university endowments, where she has been leading efforts in finance and operations since 2010. Prior to PRINCO, Jenn spent over eight years at Deutsche Bank Asset Management where she was a Managing Director and Global CFO of DB Advisors and Deutsche Insurance Asset Management.

Jenn and PRINCO are a prime example of how operations can provide leverage to the investment organization. For context on PRINCOs investment philosophy, longtime and retiring CIO, Andy Golden, is a repeat guest on Capital Allocators, and his first appearance is replayed in the feed.

Jenn and I discuss her transition to the endowment world from Deutsche Bank and how PRINCO has evolved operationally since her arrival. We turn to the nuances of working at an endowment, collaboration across teams, and practical ways to drive adoption of new technology. We close by examining organizational challenges facing endowments today along with operational advice for emerging managers.

Show Notes:

2:09 Path to Princeton
7:54 PRINCO team
13:10 Delegation
15:59 Peer networks
16:57 Organizational challenges
18:14 Governance
21:46 Operational due diligence
27:17 Collaboration with investment team
30:57 Data & technology
40:36 Diversity & hiring
53:06 Managing CIO expectations
55:33 Advice for other COOs
56:53 Closing questions

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