The Pittsburgh Foundation

Strongly InvestedStaff Profile: Brad jones

Bradley Jones joined the Foundation in December 2017.

By Jacob Winningham
Jacob is a former communications intern at the Foundation.

BRAD JONES was looking for a new opportunity when he got an email that changed his life. A New York City–based securities litigation expert witness was looking for someone with a background in finance and analytics to help him prepare for complex court cases involving large investments.

Jones, who had been looking for ways to deploy the knowledge he gained by earning the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation, said yes. Over the next two years, he worked on about 40 securities litigation cases on behalf of individuals and families who believed they were defrauded by their investment advisors. The investment losses at stake ranged from $5 million to $100 million per case.

That experience transformed Jones into an expert in recognizing potentially fraudulent investments and advisors.

“Protecting someone’s life savings is an enormous responsibility. Obtaining the CFA® charter designation provided the foundation for that,” says Jones. Earning the CFA® charter requires hundreds of hours of study and three exams, each of which has a pass rate of about 50 percent.

From his studies and his experiences in securities litigation, Jones learned “how to pull apart complicated investments” like those that he deals with daily at The Pittsburgh Foundation, where he was named a senior investment analyst last December. 

Jones oversees about 60 advisors in the Foundation’s Third-Party Investment Manager program. These advisors have passed the Foundation’s rigorous vetting process, and are authorized to continue managing contributions donated by their clients. The program allows donors to maintain relationships with advisors they know and trust, while also allowing advisors to earn an advisory fee for investments that grow the asset to  generate additional grant-making dollars.

For Jones, working with an organization that focuses equally on ethical conduct and donor relationships is a perfect match. “I wanted to be somewhere where the focus wasn’t only on generating the maximum profit, but generating the maximum good. The Pittsburgh Foundation is the place to do that.”

Original story appeared in Forum Quarterly - Fall 2018