Amy Chen joined the endowment of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, in 2006 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York City. The endowment just had one analyst when she started. The seasoned investor built the organization from the ground up. At the time, the endowment was hungover from the broad exposure to the S&P 500 during the dot-com bubble. Over the years, Chen built up internal staff and was able to diversify the US$ 1.3 billion endowment portfolio. She, unlike the larger asset owners peers, is not giving up on hedge funds.
Chen focuses on communication and governance. She emphasizes having a healthy relationship among staff and investment committee members. She is keen on making sure that all of Smithsonian’s finance committee comprehends how market cycles work and how it will impact payouts.