Leslie K. Lenzo, chief investment officer at Advocate Aurora Health, will receive the Distinguished Woman Investment Professional of the Year Award from Women Investment Professionals at the organization's annual Trailblazers event on Oct. 14.
The Chicago-based non-profit organization, established in 1996, gives the award annually to a leading figure for her achievements and contributions to the institutional investing industry.
As CIO, Downers Grove, Ill.-based Ms. Lenzo oversees Advocate Aurora's $14 billion in corporate and pension assets as well as the investment options available in the organization's $8 billion defined contribution plans. She also serves on the investment committee of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and on the investment advisory group of Adventist Health.
"What stood out for us is that when she took over as chief investment officer of the 10th largest not-for-profit health-care system in the country, they did not have a well-built-out investment management organization," said Nancy Prial, president of Women Investment Professionals, in a phone interview. "So, she successfully overhauled the pension plan, built a team of investment professionals, and helped execute a huge merger, and in a sector (the health-care industry) that was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic."
Ms. Prial added that Ms. Lenzo has "been an active member of WIP for many years and has also been an advocate for diversity and inclusion."
The annual Trailblazer event, which will be held in a hybrid virtual and in-person capacity at the University Club of Chicago, will also honor last year's award recipient, Angela Miller-May, former CIO of the $12.8 billion Chicago Public School Teachers' Pension & Retirement Fund and recently appointed CIO of the $53.1 billion Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund in Oak Brook.
Ms. Prial said that Ms. Miller-May "was honored last year but in a fully virtual ceremony."
"I am truly honored to receive the 15th annual WIP Trailblazer Award," said Ms. Lenzo in an email. "It makes me proud to blaze trails and serve as a role model for the up-and-coming women within the investment industry."