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Foundation Welcomes Shannon O’Leary as Chief Investment Officer

Saint Paul native brings new expertise to the Foundation

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation today announced that Shannon O’Leary has joined the organization as Chief Investment Officer (CIO). O’Leary, a Saint Paul resident with nearly 20 years of experience in wealth and investment industries, will begin on May 13.

An experienced leader with depth and breadth in building and managing investment teams, processes and procedures, O’Leary joins the Foundation from The Advocate Group, a Minnesota-based wealth management firm, where she served as CIO and was a member of the firm’s Governing Board. She led the creation of—and had oversight for—the firm’s investment department, in addition to managing client assets across all asset categories.

Previously, O’Leary spent seven years as the manager of wealth planning and investments for a large family office and served as a member of its Investment Committee. She played an integral role in portfolio construction and monitoring, the management of due diligence, client reporting, and risk management for the family’s complex multi-generational investment structure and associated entities. O’Leary began her career as an analyst at Dearborn Partners in Chicago after earning a bachelor’s degree in economics with a concentration in high-energy physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We are delighted to welcome Shannon to our leadership team,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., the Foundation's president and CEO. “She is a seasoned investment leader with strong technical skills across all asset classes, including both institutional and complex ultra-high net worth portfolios. We are confident her experience will enhance our strong investment program for our donors, nonprofit partners and community stakeholders.”

“I was born and raised in Saint Paul and have had countless opportunities to appreciate the far-reaching, positive impacts of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation,” said O’Leary. “I look forward to putting my experience and skills to work to advance the Foundation's mission of strengthening our communities in the East Metro and statewide. It is an honor to be a part of such a deeply-rooted tradition of giving.”

The Foundation's impact is broad. In 2018 alone, in partnership with donors, the Foundation made nearly 8,575 grants to support community needs in 71 of 87 Minnesota counties. Additionally, the Foundation supports 17 affiliate community foundations, which provide regional granting strategies and local donor opportunities.

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