New fund to bring female finance industry leaders to URI College Of Business

Media Contact: Austen Farrell, 401-874-9522 |
Margo Cook ’86 (photo provided Margo Cook)
Margo Cook ’86 (photo provided Margo Cook)

KINGSTON, R.I. — April 8, 2019 — With a commitment of $1,050,000 to the University of Rhode Island, Margo Cook ’86 and Renee Cohen will create a new residency position within the College of Business while making substantial contributions to four existing University funds.

The Margo L. Cook Woman Executive-in-Residence Fund will support a residency program designed to give students an opportunity to learn directly from highly accomplished women in finance.

“My great hope,” says Cook, “is that bringing industry leaders to campus as mentors and sponsors will educate female students about opportunities in finance and inspire more women to pursue this path at URI.”

In addition to the executive-in-residence fund, Cook and Cohen have made separate commitments to the President’s 21st Century Fund, the Margo L. Cook Internship/Study Abroad Endowment, the Men’s Basketball Excellence Fund, and the Annual Fund: College of Business Dean’s Fund.

“Such forward-looking and comprehensive support will advance URI on multiple fronts,” says URI President David M. Dooley. “We are committed to promoting women leaders in finance, and are deeply grateful for Margo’s inspiring efforts in this area.”

“The Woman Executive-in-Residence Fund will be a realization of Margo’s career-long goals of attracting more women to the financial services industry,” says College of Business Dean Maling Ebrahimpour. “Her support will help our female students learn from successful female executives in the finance area. With this new role, our students will realize that they can break the glass ceiling in this currently male-dominated industry.”

Cook, who graduated from URI with a degree in finance, is president of advisory services at Nuveen, a Chicago-based subsidiary of the Fortune 100 firm TIAA, one of the world’s largest and most diversified financial services organizations. She was co-president of Nuveen Investments prior to its acquisition by TIAA in 2014. Before joining Nuveen, she held senior investment leadership roles at Bear Stearns Asset Management and BNY Mellon.

Cook is a longtime supporter of URI. In fall 2018, she was selected as the keynote speaker for the College of Business’ Annual Career Day, and she currently serves as an at-large member of the URI Foundation Board of Directors Executive Committee and as vice chair of the Foundation’s Investment Committee.

The URI College of Business has served as a leader in business education, research, and outreach in Rhode Island since it was founded in 1923. It was the first accredited business school in Rhode Island, and is the only one in the state with accredited programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. levels.