Long-time Kresge Foundation CIO Set to Retire

By David G. Barry


After 17 years as vice president and chief investment officer of the Kresge Foundation, Rob Manilla is set to retire and will be replaced by Deputy CIO John Barker.

According to the Troy, Mich., foundation, the endowment produced gains of nearly $4 billion during Manilla’s stewardship. It reported assets of $4.66 billion in 2021.

In a statement, Kresge President Rip Rapson said that Manilla has “curated one of the most creative and effective private endowments in the country, attracting in the process a superbly gifted group of young investment professionals” and has also “helped shape the foundation’s grantmaking and social investment practices through his expertise, experience and insight – and his deep commitment to our mission.”

Among the things that Manilla did during his time was establish student-managed investment funds at two metro Detroit academic institutions: Oakland University and Wayne State University. Each $2 million fund complements an undergraduate course that provides students with real-world investment experience and covers the essentials of portfolio management, stock selection and portfolio evaluation.

Barker joined the foundation’s investment office in 2007 from the University of Notre Dame investment office, where he was an assistant investment director.

The Kresge Foundation focuses on expanding opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development, nationally and in Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans.