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Columbia Pacific hires fund manager who helped direct one of country’s largest endowments

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Columbia Pacific, a family of private asset and investment management companies that invests on behalf of high-net-worth and institutional clients across a variety of strategies, is hiring a director of one of the country’s largest endowments in a key role.  

Vera Minar, most recently one of the directors at the Stanford University endowment, will oversee the opportunistic strategy at Columbia Pacific Advisors and serve as Chief Investment Officer for an affiliated company, Columbia Pacific Wealth Management.  Minar will expand Columbia Pacific’s already extensive network of partners through her deep relationships and expertise in the alternatives industry.

Columbia Pacific Advisors, founded in 2006, manages over USD1 billion across a variety of strategies, leveraging the firm’s expertise, extensive network and access to deal flow.  Columbia Pacific Wealth Management, founded in 2011, has quickly grown into one of the largest wealth management firms in Seattle, with over USD2 billion in assets under management.  

Both companies tie to an original investment platform of Columbia Pacific, which was at its inception established as a private investment firm founded by Dan Baty, a pioneer in the senior living industry in the US and Europe. These platforms invest on behalf of like-minded investors with the goal of creating and preserving generational wealth.

Vera Minar, formerly known as Kotlik, most recently managed Stanford's Absolute Return and Fixed Income portfolios, which accounted for roughly a third of the university's overall endowment.  Before that, she led asset allocation and strategy for the overall endowment portfolio for three years, guiding the endowment through the 2008 financial crisis.

In her nine years at Stanford, Minar helped grow the endowment from USD14 billion to USD25 billion. Stanford’s endowment is the third largest in the country, helping to fund the university’s operations through investments in private equity, real estate, natural resources, public equity, absolute return and fixed income portfolios.

Minar said the key factors that attracted her to the Columbia Pacific team were the firm’s established culture of investment excellence, as well as the company’s value system and long-term approach.

“Columbia Pacific’s leaders laid a strong foundation for their 27-year track record of success, and I’m thrilled to contribute to its further growth working with Columbia Pacific Advisors and Columbia Pacific Wealth Management,” Minar says. “The fact that the founding family and the senior management team have an overwhelming portion of their personal wealth invested alongside our clients is incredibly compelling and shows remarkable depth of alignment.”

Minar started her career on the quantitative risk team at Ziff Brothers Investments in New York, followed by stints at Ernst & Young and Barclays Capital in New York before starting at the Stanford endowment, Stanford Management Co, in 2006.

“I am extremely proud of our track record, the strength of our team and am grateful for the partnership of our clients.  It’s imperative that we preserve our values, culture and investment standards as we grow,” Dan Baty says.  “We have been extremely conscientious in working toward this point, and as we continue our growth, we will strategically deepen our bench and add strong leaders of Vera’s calibre.”

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