Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., walks with his wife Priscilla Chan. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Mark Zuckerberg Seeks Investment Chief for Philanthropy Initiative

(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg is hunting for a chief investment officer to oversee more than $10 billion for his philanthropy, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Zuckerberg, who with his wife Priscilla Chan co-heads the organization, is conducting the search with an executive recruiter and David Swensen, Yale University’s longtime CIO, according to a person familiar with the matter. Swensen will chair the investment committee, the person said.

Mark Zuckerberg Seeks Investment Chief for Philanthropy Initiative

Amy Dudley, a spokeswoman for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, confirmed the existence of the search but declined to discuss details. Swensen declined to comment.

Supporting Causes

The search reflects the expanding ambitions of an organization launched in 2015 with the goal of helping to eradicate disease, improve education and reform the criminal justice system. While Zuckerberg and his wife said they would pledge 99 percent of their wealth to philanthropy, an investment office would help generate returns to support those causes.

The organization, which is managed by Chan, is the repository for much of the Facebook founder’s wealth, totaling about $63 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

More than 95 percent of Zuckerberg’s fortune is still invested in Facebook shares and he remains a controlling shareholder. According to the social media company’s filings, 360 million shares, or $58 billion, are held by CZI Holdings LLC as of Aug. 30.

The investing chief is expected to build a team to oversee a portfolio of more than $10 billion, according to a description of the position viewed by Bloomberg News. The document was prepared by David Barrett Partners, the executive recruiter leading the search.

David Barrett declined to comment.

The New York-based firm has overseen numerous searches for endowment and foundation leaders, including helping hire Stanford University’s Robert Wallace, who trained at Yale under Swensen.

More Flexibility

A representative for Zuckerberg and Chan has said they established the initiative as a limited liability company instead of a nonprofit to give it more flexibility to support causes. It has a subsidiary that’s a tax-exempt nonprofit and another that’s a social welfare organization, both of which make grants. It also has a venture investing arm that has backed startups related to the company’s mission.

Some of Zuckerberg’s fortune has been invested with Iconiq Capital, a wealth adviser that invests capital for several early Facebook employees. The investment firm has since grown beyond managing these entrepreneurs’ money to include building private equity, venture and real estate funds it sells to external clients.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative seeks candidates with a “track record of innovation and independent thought,” according to the recruiting document. They must be “deeply passionate” about making social progress, and be an inspirational leader and team builder. A primary objective will be “optimizing the performance of CZI’s investment portfolio.”

The CIO, who will be based in Redwood City, California, will report to Zuckerberg, Chan and the investment committee, it says.

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