Cambridge Associates was formed in 1973 to provide investment research and consulting services to a group of major university endowments in the United States. The firm grew out of a project undertaken for Harvard University by our two founders, James Bailey and Hunter Lewis, who were asked to conduct a comprehensive review of Harvard’s approach to the investment of its endowment, which then totaled approximately $700 million. To learn more, read a Q&A with Jim Bailey detailing the origins of the firm.
After completing this project for Harvard, Jim and Hunter were soon hired by 11 other major university endowments to provide asset class research and recommendations based on their initial findings. These institutions included Amherst College, California Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Wesleyan University, and Yale University. We are proud to say that today, more than 35 years later, these 12 original clients still use the firm’s extensive research and peer data.
Our client base quickly grew to include foundations and other nonprofit clients. In the early 1980s, we expanded into the private client business at the request of a nonprofit board member. In the 1990s, we began developing an international presence, working with global institutional investors as well as large institutional investors beyond the nonprofit world. Over time, we began working with pensions, sovereign wealth funds, and other government funds.
With the globalization of our investment approach and client base, we began developing an international presence in the mid 1990s to serve clients and conduct research in all regions of the globe. We now have eight office locations worldwide in Arlington, Virginia; Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Beijing, China; London, England; Menlo Park, California; Singapore; and Sydney, Australia.