Published in Chief Investment Officer magazine | October 20, 2016

Long-termism personified

By Nick Reeve

In 1936, Edsel Ford—son of Henry, the founder of the Ford Motor Company—set aside part of his fortune to start the Ford Foundation.

That donation, equivalent to roughly $430,000 in today’s money, has since grown to the $12 billion portfolio overseen by CIO Eric Doppstadt and his team from their office in New York City. 

Since first joining as the organization’s general counsel in 1989, Doppstadt has been associated with the foundation for 27 of the 80 years it has been in operation. 

“I learned a huge amount from my legal career, but I always thought it would be even more fun to be the client than the lawyer,” Doppstadt recalls.

He made the switch to the fund’s alternatives team in 1995, with his legal background proving an “excellent foundation for investment work,” he says, “especially in learning to think analytically and evaluate risks probabilistically.”

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The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.