Q&A: Justin Reed '05, Senior Investment Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Friday, Apr 5, 2019

Justin explains his role at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, his career path and what experiences were most valuable for him along the way. 

Justin Reed
What is your current role?

I’m a senior investment officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, so I help to manage and invest the Museum’s approximately $3.5 billion endowment.

As a generalist, I invest across all asset classes and I am also involved in asset allocation. The work that we do directly benefits the Museum, which is wonderful because I love investing on behalf of such a world-class institution.

How did you find your first job after Princeton?

I got my first investments-related internship (at JPMorgan Private Bank) as part of my participation in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Career Program. SEO is an absolutely incredible organization that facilitates summer internships for underrepresented college students and includes a professional training program.

I found the rigorous training to be absolutely integral to my foundation as an investment professional. After my internship at JPMorgan, I was offered a full-time position after graduation, which I accepted. The skills and connections I made through this program continue to be valuable to this day.

What advice do you have for a student contemplating a career in your field? 

Try to do informational interviews whenever possible, even if you are not sure you are interested in the position. There are many amazing career paths that often aren’t readily apparent while you’re an undergraduate student. Even in finance, there are a lot of niche roles that are not as well-known as investment banking or private equity, but are just as interesting, challenging and rewarding. Doing information interviews can be helpful to just learn more about a field and the breadth of positions available.

Which experiences do you think were the most valuable for your ?

I’ve focused a lot on who I work with, and how they think, rather than simply what role or title I have. It’s a bit like picking courses based on the teacher rather than the course topic. I’ve had the rare chance to work with three of the best chief investment officers in the industry: Andy Golden at PRINCO, and Suzanne Brenner and Lauren Meserve at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Investments Office. All have been very successful, despite having slightly different investment styles and risk tolerances. Having the chance learn from each of those incredible investors has been invaluable to my professional development.

What is the most beneficial thing that you've learned during your career path?

I have learned to find great mentors and try to make sure they know how much I appreciate them. No one has ever become successful without the help of others. It takes many people investing in your career in order to reach your true potential.