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Pfizer’s Pension Director Exits for Sloan Foundation

Monica Lai has been named senior investment director for the $1.8 billion fund.

Monica Lai Monica Lai (Art by Dadu Shin) The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has poached Monica Lai from Pfizer.

Lai, who has spent more than six years at the pharmaceutical giant’s $13 billion US pension plan, has been named senior investment director, the foundation confirmed. Her first day was June 20.

In her new role, Lai reports directly to CIO Elizabeth Hewitt, who joined the $1.8 billion fund from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last October.

As part of a four-person investment team, Lai will have responsibility over “all aspects of endowment management,” the New York-based foundation’s spokesperson told CIO. She will focus on asset allocation, risk assessment and mitigation, and manager selection and oversight, as well as portfolio performance analysis.

At Pfizer, the Forty Under Forty alum most recently served as director of pension investments in charge of leading the team and broad portfolio activities. Previously, she was head of Pfizer’s alternatives portfolio consisting of hedge funds, private equity and debt, and real estate.

Lai also spent time at private equity firms Quadrangle Group and Harvest Partners. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Dartmouth College.

Lai’s move is the second personnel change for the Sloan Foundation so far in 2016. In March, former Managing Director of Investments Michael Stambaugh left to lead the $820 million Carnegie Institution for Science.

Related: 2015 Forty Under Forty: Monica Lai & Robert Wood Johnson MD to Lead Sloan Foundation

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