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Our History

A strong future is built on a solid foundation.

For 50 years, Cambridge Associates has been a leading voice in building institutional-quality portfolios for its clients. Working with endowments, foundations, pensions, private clients, and healthcare systems, we pioneered the use of alternative asset classes to generate outperformance for portfolios.

Our Beginnings

Goals that stand the test of time

When Jim Bailey and Hunter Lewis started the firm in 1973, they shared two goals: look for ways to generate outperformance and minimize the conflicts that create misalignment between advisors and their clients.

Today, we’re proud that those two touchstones are still at the core of everything we do, whether it’s staying on the leading edge of private investments, thoroughly integrating ESG and diversity into our robust due diligence, or working hard to transparently manage our clients’ portfolios with their best interests as our only priority.

Long-standing relationships to meet long-term goals

Many of the clients we began serving in the 1970s continue to work with us today. And while their services have evolved as they have grown their portfolios and resources, it demonstrates our commitment to serve our clients in a way that is still unique in the industry today.

Looking Back

Jim Bailey, Co-Founder of Cambridge Associates

  • Q.

    What gave you the idea to start Cambridge Associates?


    I was a graduate student looking to make money to put myself through school. And as I sat in my classes at Harvard, I started to realize that everything I was learning at our business school, as far as I could tell, had never been applied to how they ran the financial side of the University. So Hunter and I got the idea to apply the more modern investment and financial planning techniques to the management of the non-profit endowment institution as a business. We formally launched what became Cambridge Associates in June 1973.

Asset Classes and Investment Strategies by Decade

How can we help build the right portfolio for you?