Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations Welcome Shannon O’Leary as Chief Investment Officer

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations (the Foundations) today announced that Shannon O’Leary has joined the organizations as Chief Investment Officer (CIO). O’Leary, a St. Paul resident with nearly 20 years of experience in wealth and investment industries, will begin on May 13.

An experienced leader with depth and breadth in building and managing investment teams, processes and procedures, O’Leary joins the Foundations from The Advocate Group, a Minnesota-based wealth management firm, where she served as CIO and was a member of the firm’s Governing Board. She led the creation of - and had oversight for -  the firm’s investment department, in addition to managing client assets across all asset categories.

Previously, O’Leary spent seven years as the manager of wealth planning and investments for a large family office and served as a member of its Investment Committee. She played an integral role in portfolio construction and monitoring, the management of due diligence, client reporting and risk management for the family’s complex multi-generational investment structure and associated entities. O’Leary began her career as an analyst at Dearborn Partners in Chicago after earning a bachelor’s degree in economics with a concentration in high-energy physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We are delighted to welcome Shannon to our leadership team,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., the Foundations’ president and CEO. “She is a seasoned investment leader with strong technical skills across all asset classes, including both institutional and complex ultra-high net worth portfolios. We are confident her experience will enhance our strong investment program for our donors, nonprofit partners, and community stakeholders.”

“I was born and raised in St. Paul and have had countless opportunities to appreciate the far-reaching, positive impacts of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations,” said O’Leary. “I look forward to putting my experience and skills to work to advance the Foundations’ mission of strengthening our communities in the East Metro and statewide. It is an honor to be a part of such a deeply-rooted tradition of giving.”

The Foundations’ impact is broad. In 2018 alone, in partnership with donors, the Foundations made nearly 8,575 grants to support community needs in 71 of 87 Minnesota counties. Though the Foundations have St. Paul roots, the donor base is far-reaching:  48 percent of donors reside in the west metro and 26 percent reside in the east metro, with the remaining 26 percent in greater Minnesota or other states. Additionally, the Foundations support 17 affiliate community foundations which provide regional granting strategies and local donor opportunities. 

About the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations believe in the best of Minnesota and the power of its communities. With roots in Saint Paul and partners across the state, it is Minnesota’s largest community foundation and the partner of choice for thousands of donors, nonprofits and community organizations. The Foundation inspires generosity to make Minnesota better for all who call it home. Learn more at