National Gallery of Art appoints chief of investments

Christine Kelleher will work alongside the finance committee and treasurer to guide the gallery’s endowment portfolio, which has a 5% private equity exposure.

The National Gallery of Art has appointed Christine Zapotoczky Kelleher as chief of investments, replacing George-Ann “Tykie” Tobin, who retired this year, according to a statement.

Kelleher, who takes up the position on 5 September, will work alongside the endowment’s finance committee and gallery executive officer and treasurer William McClure to guide the endowment’s portfolio.

The endowment had investments of $803 million and an exposure to private equity and venture capital of around 5 percent at 30 September, according to its latest annual report. Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein sits on the finance committee.

“Christine brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of managing endowments for institutions of similar size that serve a public mission,” McClure said in an emailed statement.

“Her experience and network of relationships with outstanding investment managers will have an immediate and lasting positive impact on the Gallery’s portfolio.”

Kelleher joins from private equity placement firm Avec Capital, where she has been a managing director since 2013. Prior to that, she was senior investment officer for Georgetown University, overseeing the school’s endowment and retirement plan. She assisted with the founding of Georgetown’s investment office in 2004, contributed to designing and executing a global alternative asset investment strategy, and served as acting chief investment officer in 2011, according to the National Gallery of Art.

According to a statement from Avec Capital, Kelleher will be responsible for constructing a direct alternative investment programme at the endowment. The National Gallery of Art has typically invested in private equity through funds of funds.

The endowment said its investment strategy going forward will be determined through “ongoing guidance” from the finance committee and the treasurer.