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Finalist - Best Outsourced CIO in North America

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Northland Wealth Management Shortlisted in the category of Best Outsourced CIO (OCIO) in North America at the Family Wealth Report Awards 2017.

For those that are not familiar with the benefits of utilizing an OCIO for your family office, or foundation, here are the top 5.

In the intricate world of investment management, the role of a Chief Investment Officer (CIO) is indispensable. CIOs guide investment strategies, manage risks, and ensure the alignment of financial objectives with organizational goals. But hiring a full-time CIO can be expensive and might not be feasible for every institution. This is where the concept of an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) steps in, offering a compelling solution for institutions that need expert investment oversight without the commitment of an in-house position.

Here are the top five benefits of using an OCIO:

1. Access to Broad Expertise and Resources

One of the primary advantages of hiring an OCIO is the immediate access to a wealth of knowledge and resources. These outsourced professionals typically come from firms that have a vast array of experts specializing in various areas, from alternative investments to risk management.

  • Diverse Investment Strategies: OCIOs can introduce institutions to a broader range of investment strategies, including those that may not be on the radar of an in-house team, such as alternative investments or emerging market opportunities.

  • Advanced Analytical Tools: OCIO firms often invest in state-of-the-art analytical tools and software to evaluate investments and track performance. These tools can provide deeper insights, better risk assessment, and more efficient portfolio management.

2. Cost Efficiency

While there is a cost associated with hiring an OCIO, it can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team, especially for smaller institutions.

  • Reduced Overhead Costs: An in-house CIO comes with associated costs beyond just a salary, such as benefits, training, and other resources. With an OCIO, institutions pay for the services they need without incurring the additional overhead.

  • Economies of Scale: OCIOs manage assets for multiple clients, which can lead to economies of scale. This collective bargaining power can result in reduced fees for investment products and services.

3. Flexibility and Customization

Outsourced CIOs offer a level of flexibility that's hard to achieve with an in-house team.

  • Tailored Solutions: Every institution has unique investment goals and risk tolerances. OCIOs can provide bespoke investment solutions tailored to these specific needs, ensuring that the investment strategy is aligned with the institution's broader objectives.

  • Scalability: As an institution grows and its needs change, an OCIO can easily scale their services up or down. Whether it's adjusting strategies, expanding into new investment areas, or changing risk profiles, an OCIO can adapt swiftly.

4. Risk Management and Governance

With the ever-evolving landscape of financial markets, risk management and governance have become paramount.

  • Expert Risk Assessment: OCIOs have the tools and expertise to evaluate and manage various risks, from market volatility to geopolitical events. They can also ensure that the investment portfolio is diversified appropriately to mitigate potential losses.

  • Strengthened Governance: OCIOs can bolster the governance framework of an institution. They provide clarity on roles and responsibilities, ensuring that there's a clear decision-making process in place. Furthermore, they can offer guidance on best practices, regulatory changes, and compliance requirements.

5. Allows Institutions to Focus on Core Competencies

By outsourcing investment management to an OCIO, institutions can redirect their focus to their core mission and competencies.

  • Free Up Internal Resources: Without the need to oversee day-to-day investment activities, institutions can allocate resources to areas that directly align with their mission, whether it's serving members, stakeholders, or pursuing growth initiatives.

  • Peace of Mind: With an OCIO taking care of investment strategy and management, institutional leaders can have peace of mind knowing that experts are handling their assets. This can lead to reduced stress and a clearer focus on broader organizational goals.


In an era where financial complexities continue to grow, the role of a Chief Investment Officer is more crucial than ever. However, not every institution is in a position to hire an in-house CIO, and that's where an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer shines. From cost efficiency and flexibility to risk management and access to broad expertise, the benefits of an OCIO are substantial.

Whether you're a non-profit organization, a foundation, or a pension fund, considering an OCIO could be the strategic decision that propels your institution's financial health and success into the future.


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