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VP & Chief Investment Officer Rob Manilla to retire this month

General Foundation News

Rob Manilla, who has served as Kresge’s vice president and chief investment officer for the better part of 17 years, will retire from the foundation this month. Under Manilla’s stewardship, Kresge’s endowment has produced gains of nearly $4 billion, powering the foundation’s grantmaking and social investing capacity in American cities.

“Rob 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,” said Kresge President Rip Rapson. “He 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. And he has been engaged in every aspect of the organization’s culture, contributing with particular impact on our efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.”

To expose and attract Southeast Michigan undergraduates to careers in philanthropic investing, Manilla led the establishment of 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.

Manilla is regularly cited as a top foundation CIO in the U.S and was named one of the 100 most influential global institutional investors by aiCIO magazine in 2013 and 2014. He is a graduate of Oakland University and the University of Detroit-Mercy. He serves on the Bedrock Manufacturing Co. board of directors and is an investment committee member of Boeing Corp., Trinity Health, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. He is also a member of the board of advisors for Oakland University Business School.

Manilla will be succeeded by John Barker, a senior leader within the foundation’s investment office since 2007.