Kristin Agatone, managing director for New York-based investment firm Summit Rock Advisors, has been named Lehigh’s new Chief Investment Officer.
In her new role, Agatone will be charged with overseeing strategic management of Lehigh’s endowment fund, which is currently valued at approximately $1.2 billion. She will arrive at Lehigh on May 31st.
“It is an honor to step into this important role at the university and become a member of the Lehigh community,” said Agatone. “Working with the university trustees and leadership, I look forward to expanding the ways Lehigh’s endowment can support the university’s longstanding education mission—not just for the students of today, but those of future generations as well.”
“We are proud to welcome Kristin to Lehigh,” said University President John Simon. “She boasts an impressive track record in institutional investment management, and enjoys a sterling reputation among her peers and colleagues. We are fully confident that she’s the right choice to oversee our endowment and help us build an even stronger financial future.”
Agatone currently serves as a senior member of the Summit Rock investment team, leading the investment strategy for multiple asset classes. Prior to her time with Summit Rock, she worked at Boston-based Harvard Management Company, which manages the Harvard University Endowment. Earlier, she worked in the private equity group at TPG Capital in San Francisco and the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs. She is a double graduate of Harvard University, where she received both an MBA and a B.A. in economics.
At Lehigh, Agatone will work with her team in the Investment Office to develop a portfolio that will serve to support major initiatives and the university’s broader mission. She assumes the role after the retirement late last year of Peter M. Gilbert, who served as the university’s CIO for eight years. Jordan Hitch ’88, a member of the Lehigh Board of Trustees and former managing director at Bain Capital, has been serving as interim CIO since Gilbert’s departure.
“Kristin Agatone joining the Lehigh family as our next Chief Investment Officer is a fantastic development,” said Joseph R. Perella ‘64, founding partner and chairman of Perella Weinberg Partners. “As Lehigh moves forward, having superior returns in our endowment portfolio will make a critical difference in our ability to excel as an institution. It will also give great satisfaction to our many contributors that their endowed gifts are being managed by a team led by such an accomplished professional.”
A native of the Philadelphia area, Agatone says she was drawn to Lehigh not only because of the chance to return home, but also by the opportunity to help Lehigh in its increasing efforts to secure its place as a premier international university.
Agatone was selected after an extensive national search. The Lehigh search committee was chaired by Trustee Sarat Sethi, ’92, and also included Maria Chrin ’87; Robert L. Brown III ’78; Frank E. “Ted” Walsh III ’88; Prof. Anne-Marie Anderson; Hitch; and Perella. Board of Trustees Chair Brad Eric Scheler ’74 and President Simon served as ex-officio members.
“The search committee saw an incredibly strong pool of candidates,” Sethi said. “What impressed us about Kristin was not only our full confidence that she will apply her deep understanding and superb investment experience to grow our endowment, but also her character. Kristin is extremely bright and ambitious, yet humble and engaging. We are delighted to place Kristin at the helm of our investment team.”