After more than 18 years at the helm of Pensions & Investments, Nancy K. Webman has retired.
The place will never be the same.
P&I is 42 years old; Nancy has worked here for more than 33 years.
She has left her mark on the publication.
Nancy has taught me a ton about management, about institutional investing and about journalism. Most importantly, she taught me there are two key things to making this organization work.
The first is that dessert should always be chocolate. The second is that a good editor asks tough questions and then gets out of the way to allow talented people to do good work, and holds them accountable for it.
Nancy joined P&I in 1982 as a reporter in Dallas and became managing editor in Chicago in 1983. She moved on to become executive editor in 1986 and was promoted to editor in 1997. She has overseen the newspaper's transformations, from strictly print news to conferences and into digital and research. Rance Crain, president and editorial director of Crain Communications Inc., the parent company of P&I, described Nancy as always having “an instinct for what our readers wanted and needed.”
“Nobody did a better job of shepherding P&I than Nancy,” Mr. Crain said.
Nancy last week described her time at P&I this way: “It's been an amazing run for me, starting when to most people 401(k) was nothing more than an IRS code. I might have written P&I's first story on 401(k)s — I'm old, I can't remember for sure. I've directed P&I's coverage through bull markets, market crashes, tech bubbles, recessions and through the rise of the LBO in the early 1980s, to the decline of the defined benefit plan.
”What I'll miss the most is the people. I'll miss the P&I editorial staff I've worked with for what seems like forever, some for more than 30 years and others for close to 30 years. And I'll miss the people I've met while doing my job, the sources who, along with the editorial staff, make P&I as good as it is.”
Chris J. Battaglia, vice president and group publisher of Pensions & Investments, also praised her dedication to the paper and the industry. “There aren't enough words to describe Nancy's many contributions,” he said. “She is the one of the most passionate advocates of journalism, and her unwavering commitment to providing the very best quality of information to our readers is unmatched.”
Nancy oversaw many changes at P&I, including the biweekly paper's move into daily news with a faxed subscription newsletter that predated the Internet and e-mail and still exists as P&I Daily.
Going forward, she is clear about her first plans.
“People ask what I'm going to do. Well, I have worked as a journalist since May 1972. First I want to enjoy not working for the first time in my adult life. Then I'll figure out my next chapter.”