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Institutional Investor: How TIFF’s New President Started a New Job Amid a Pandemic

This article appeared in Institutional Investor on June 10, 2020
Written by Alicia McElhaney

Kane Brenan joined TIFF in April, just as Pennsylvania’s coronavirus cases peaked. He talked with Institutional Investor about how he started a new job, completely online.

When Kane Brenan was hired as TIFF Investment Management’s new president, he made a plan.

He was going to spend his first week at TIFF’s Radnor, Pennsylvania office, getting to know his new colleagues. Then, he’d hit the road, spending the next month meeting with TIFF’s nonprofit clients across the country.

“One, it gives you fodder to make changes,” Brenan said on his plan to meet with clients. “But also, you are kind of a blank slate. You can go and listen and learn.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, though, derailed that plan. Brenan’s first day at the firm was April 13, just days after Pennsylvania’s new coronavirus cases peaked. All travel was put on hold, and Brenan’s first day was conducted from his family’s home.

“It’s actually gone much better than I feared in mid-March,” Brenan said by phone Monday. “I couldn’t imagine not being in the office.”

Brenan, who previously led Goldman’s global portfolio solutions group, left the firm in the fall of 2019 to return to the Philadelphia area, where his family lives. At the same time, TIFF began its search for a new president, according to TIFF’s April announcement, which noted that “the stars aligned” so that TIFF was able to hire Brenan.

According to Brenan, working for a nonprofit that also serves as an investment manager for consultants is exciting to him.

“At my age and experience, to try something that rhymes with what I’ve done but has a different bent is really cool,” he said.

When Kane Brenan was hired as TIFF Investment Management’s new president, he made a plan.

He was going to spend his first week at TIFF’s Radnor, Pennsylvania office, getting to know his new colleagues. Then, he’d hit the road, spending the next month meeting with TIFF’s nonprofit clients across the country.

“One, it gives you fodder to make changes,” Brenan said on his plan to meet with clients. “But also, you are kind of a blank slate. You can go and listen and learn.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, though, derailed that plan. Brenan’s first day at the firm was April 13, just days after Pennsylvania’s new coronavirus cases peaked. All travel was put on hold, and Brenan’s first day was conducted from his family’s home.

“It’s actually gone much better than I feared in mid-March,” Brenan said by phone Monday. “I couldn’t imagine not being in the office.”

Brenan, who previously led Goldman’s global portfolio solutions group, left the firm in the fall of 2019 to return to the Philadelphia area, where his family lives. At the same time, TIFF began its search for a new president, according to TIFF’s April announcement, which noted that “the stars aligned” so that TIFF was able to hire Brenan.

According to Brenan, working for a nonprofit that also serves as an investment manager for consultants is exciting to him.

“At my age and experience, to try something that rhymes with what I’ve done but has a different bent is really cool,” he said.

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