UVA Darden Alumna Susan Webb Taps Purpose to Break Barriers in Asset Management

By Jay Hodgkins

From her early efforts forging a career in investing to founding and leading her own asset management firm, University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumna Susan Webb (MBA ’84) has become passionate about advancing opportunities for women and minorities in the industry.

Webb, the founder and chief investment officer of Appomattox Advisory, was recently featured in the latest issue of The Darden Report magazine and Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.

Over nearly two decades as a trader, Webb became passionate about improving opportunities for women and minorities in the asset management industry, in which “diverse-owned managers control just 1.3 percent of all U.S.-based managers’ assets,” despite comprising a disproportionately large number of the top-quartile performers, according to the 2018 Diverse Asset Management Study by Bella Private Markets. So, when Webb founded her own investment management firm in 2005, Appomattox Advisory, she was determined to make the change she wanted to see in the industry.

Appomattox Advisory’s approach to asset management is informed by the risk management strategies Webb acquired over 17 years on the trading floor, where she gained an appreciation for a holistic portfolio as well as a sharp instinct for locating risk and minimizing downside.

In its work with endowments, foundations and pension funds, Appomattox Advisory prioritizes resilient, client-driven portfolios while maintaining a specialized mandate for female and diverse managers. Appomattox Advisory is remarkable among investment management firms for the fact that a full 25 percent of the managers they allocate to are women and minorities.

Webb identifies diversity as a primary value: She believes that diversity in the race, gender and life experiences of asset managers is just as beneficial to returns as the diversity of assets in the portfolio.

Read the full profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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