Skip to main content

Saint Paul native brings new expertise to the Foundation.

Shannon O'Leary Headshot
Shannon O' Leary, Chief Investment Officer

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.

More Stories

Ramsey County Public Safety Fund

New fund will support Ramsey County’s initiative to reduce non-public safety-related traffic stops.

Learn More

Foundations Announce Nearly $8 Million in Community Grants

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the Mardag Foundation today announced that they have awarded nearly $8 million to Minnesota nonprofits through their latest round of grants.

Read the News

Call For 2021 Facing Race Award Nominations

Nominations can be submitted in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish until May 3 at 3 p.m.

Read the News

Foundations Announce Nearly $7 Million in Grants Statewide

Grants will help nonprofits remain responsive and resilient after a challenging year.

Read the News

Foundation Names Ellen Brownell Associate Vice President, Director of Investments

Ellen will be responsible for assisting the chief investment officer in all aspects of portfolio management.

Read the News

Announcing the Frontline Families Fund

Fund will provide financial support to families of frontline healthcare workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

View the news

Foundations Present “Art In This Present Moment”

Projects by Minnesota’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color artists portray personal narratives addressing diversity, identity and today’s societal issues.

View the news

Foundation Welcomes Cheniqua Johnson and Gina Suarez Reyes

New positions create pathway for future leadership in philanthropy dedicated to strengthening communities.

Read the News



* Indicates a required field