Why Commonfund: Interviews, Careers, & Portfolio

Gain insights into Commonfund portfolio, investing approach, interview process, and compensation
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    Commonfund Overview

    Commonfund is an American asset management firm which is based in Connecticut and founded in 1971 which received a seed grant from the Ford Foundation.

    Being a private non-profit organization, Commonfund manages investment programs for public pension funds, foundations, endowments, and other mission-driven institutions.

    The firm, along with Yale University CIO David Swensen, helped pioneer implementing the “endowment model” of investing to institutional investor portfolios. In the US, Commonfund comes after Vanguard Group as the biggest manager of outsourced endowment assets.

    The firm also operates the Commonfund Institute, which offers the investment field with research and professional development programs like Commonfund Benchmark Studies, the Investment Stewardship Academy and the Commonfund Forum, and CF Private Equity, which manages and builds private markets portfolio.

    Currently, Mark Anson and Robert Litterman are leading Commonfund as its CEO and Chairman, respectively. In addition to Commonfund’s headquarters in Connecticut, the firm also has additional offices in Beijing, London, San Francisco, and New York City.

    Commonfund logo

    Commonfund AUM

    According to the most recent regulatory filings, Commonfund has $16.3 BB in assets under management as of February 1, 2023.

    Commonfund Interview Process & Questions

    The interview process can change with each candidate. Despite these changes, the general nature of the process at Commonfund (or a firm like it) stays the same for the most part. You can expect the following:

    • 4 to 6 rounds of interview
    • The HR team or junior investment professionals conduct the first rounds, while the more senior professionals supervise the later rounds.
    • The whole process lasts for several weeks – unless it’s “on-campus” or “on-cycle recruitment initiative

    Interviews at Commonfund will be a mixture of behavioral questions, fit questions, and technical or investing questions.

    The Growth Equity Interview Guide is an excellent resource for anyone who needs help in preparing for growth/VC interviews.

    Why Commonfund

    Interviewers want to know if the candidate has specific reasons for choosing their firm, and not simply sending job applications to any firm with open positions. So make sure to get ready for the “Why this firm” question as it will most likely show up during your interview.

    If you’ve made connections with employees at the firm, this is the perfect time to mention them and their positive influence on your decision through the experience and insights they shared with you about the firm.

    To know more about the firm and tailor your answer to “Why this firm” question, it’s highly recommended to listen to interviews with its investors, founders, and management team.

    To get you started, here’s a great discussion with Cari B. Lodge, Managing Director at Commonfund:

    YouTube video

    Commonfund Case Study

    Candidates almost always have to perform a case study during interviews. Case studies are used in interviews to evaluate the technical and communication skills of their candidates.

    Most of the time, case studies at firms like Commonfund focus on financial modeling and investment recommendations. But for junior roles, they may also require a cold calling case study.

    I’ve discussed case studies in great detail inside my Growth Equity Interview Guide. Check it out if you want help preparing for it.

    Commonfund Salary & Compensation

    According to Glassdoor, the estimated total pay for their analysts is $98,766 per year, while the annual salary for associates is $124,761. These figures represent the median, and can still change depending on several factors such as education, experience, and qualifications.


    Commonfund salary


    Commonfund salary

    Commonfund Careers, Jobs, & Internships

    To view open roles at Commonfund, head over to our job board where we also feature opportunities from other similar firms.

    Commonfund Portfolio & Investments

    According to Crunchbase, Commonfund has already made 19 investments across six funds. Some of their notable deals include LetsGetChecked, AnyRoad, and Tebra.

    Notable Transaction: Vast Data

    Vast Data is a startup based in New York which provides an unstructured and scale-out data storage solution which is designed to remove tiered storage – i.e. setups which move data between low- and high-cost storage hardware.

    In December 2023, Vast Data secured $118 million from a Series E funding round led by Fidelity Ventures with participation from Commonfund, Next47, Greenfield, 83North, Norwest, Tiger Global, Goldman Sachs, Dell, Nvidia, Drive Capital, BOND Capital, and New Enterprise Associates.

    After the round, Vast was valued at $9.1 billion and brought the startup’s total fund raised to $381 million.

    From the latest report, Vast’s ARR stands at $220 million and the company is growing 3.3x YoY. Aside from that, Vast cash flow has been positive in the last year.

    Vast plans to expand its business reach in Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

    Next Steps

    If you want to land a role at Commonfund (or a similar firm), I highly recommend that you check out my Growth Equity Interview Guide.

    This self-paced online course will help you gain a competitive edge and ace your interviews which leads to better chances of landing your target role. Inside the course, you’ll find step-by-step lessons, frameworks, and expert tips on topics like financial modeling, case studies, and many more.

    Get the course and start learning today!


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    Mike Hinckley

    Founder of Growth Equity Interview Guide


    Coached and assisted hundreds of candidates recruiting for growth equity & VC

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    •      Operator in portfolio at Airbnb 
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