Jacobs Named RWJBarnabas’ New CIO

It’s been a few weeks since Markets Group broke the story about Kathleen Jacobs, who achieved some of the highest portfolio returns in the industry this year, and then quit her chief investment officer role at NYU on Sept 29. Investors have been watching to see where the talented CIO would resurface. On Nov. 20, RWJBarnabas Health, the largest academic health care system in New Jersey, announced that Jacobs will become its new CIO on January 9. In her new role, she will formulate, articulate and direct the investment strategy of the $8 billion health system and keep it aligned to its mission, goals, and risk tolerance.

Jacobs’ purview will include RWJBarnabas Health’s Long Term Investment Portfolio, Short Term Capital Reserve Portfolio, Foundation Portfolios and Endowments as well as the system’s ERISA Plan Assets, which include employee retirement plans, and she will report to Frank Pipas, RWJBarnabas Health Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

“As RWJBarnabas Health continues to grow and establish its ever-increasing role as an anchor institution in New Jersey, Kathleen will help us ensure our longevity and ability to continue increasing access to excellent health care,” said Pipas in a written release. “Her background and expertise are uniquely suited to fulfill the needs of this new position, which will evolve over time as our system continues to expand.”

When she was CIO of New York University, Jacobs led the Investment Office and oversaw all aspects of the University’s $5.9 billion endowment for eight years, beating benchmarks and ending her tenure at 11.5% for the June fiscal year —  what one endowment CIO source described as “the highest June fiscal return for any large endowment” this year. The endowment median return  for fiscal year 2023 was 7%.

     Jacobs also served on the Investment Committee for the NYU and NYU Langone Medical Center retirement plans. Before that, she was a managing director in the Office of Investments at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where, beginning in 2008, she helped build the hospital’s first investment office and maintained a leading role in asset allocation and the selection of fund managers across asset classes. Previous to NewYork-Presbyterian, Ms. Jacobs was Senior Investor for the Juilliard School’s endowment. For the decade before that, she held investment roles of increasing responsibility at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.

Ms. Jacobs graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. 


By Christine Giordano


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