Cambridge Associates LLC (Investment Consulting)

THE SCOOP

From the start

The cofounders of Cambridge Associates (CA) started with what they knew.  In 1973, former Harvard roommates James Bailey and Hunter Lewis began researching the endowment fund investments of their alma mater.  Today, CA oversees hundreds of billions of dollars in assets for more than 850 institutional and private clients around the world, and its core client base continues to be nonprofits.  The firm provides investment consulting, independent research and performance monitoring services, with its traditional consulting services centered on asset allocation and investment policy development, manager search and evaluation, performance measurement and reporting, and capital markets and manager research.

Helping lambs become lions

After their initial success with Harvard, Bailey and Lewis thought other universities might want to strengthen their investments with research from CA, too.  Twelve universities took them up on the idea, and 30 years later, all 12 are still clients.  The firm tries to foster long-term client relationships, as opposed to quick-fix projects.  This is reflected in the fact that most new clients come through referrals from existing clients which the firm touts as evidence of its high satisfaction rates.

CA gradually began to offer its research to other nonprofit institutions, such as foundations, museums and hospitals.  Soon, these clients were requesting consulting services beyond just research.  In 1982, the firm began taking on private clients, including large institutions that oversee pension, agency and government funds.  Since its founding more than three decades ago, CA has worked with clients of a variety of asset sizes, levels of complexity and consulting needs, although the focus remains on nonprofits.

Mission: Very possible

In February 2008, the firm announced its new Mission Investing Group which will help clients develop mission-based investing strategies, such as tobacco-free or clean technology.  Some of the clients on the list were the Annie E. Casey Foundation (helping vulnerable children and families), the Meyer Memorial Trust Foundation (focusing on local venture capital, clean technology and buyout funds) and the F.B. Heron Foundation (supporting groups that help business grow in low-income communities).  The group will provide clients with lists of key players within their mission, a manager database, annual performance reports concerning the mission, an investing resource guide and strategies for how to best achieve the mission.

Sticking through the years

While CA has gone a long way since its inception in 1973; its original 12 clients still use the company’s extensive research and peer data.  Around the globe, it continues to serve its clients in its seven offices in Arlington, Va.; Boston, Mass.; Dallas, Tex.; London, England; Menlo Park, Calif.; Singapore; and Sydney, Australia.  The firm employs more than 950 associates.

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Cambridge Associates LLC (Investment Consulting)


100 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02110-2112
Phone: (617) 457-7500
Fax: (617) 457-7501
www.cambridgeassociates.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Sandra A. Urie
  • 2008 Employees: 900

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