Dr. Kathryn J. Engebretson, a Penn alumna who has been a Principal of Miller Anderson & Sherrerd (the $44 billion institutional assets management arm of Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc.), has been chosen as the University's Vice President for Finance.
Dr. Engebretson, who has been with Morgan Stanley since 1994, was previously City Treasurer of Philadelphia, 1992-94 a post in which she spent the first year turning around of the City's financial ratings and the second refinancing its debt and implementing processes and procedures to upgrade the treasury function.
"Kathy earned her M.B.A and Ph.D. here and, as a Penn alumna, she has a great sense of the University," said President Judith Rodin in announcing her selection. "She also has great financial sense and expertise."
Born in the midwest and reared primarily in Minnesota, Kathryn Engebretson started out as a premed student majoring in biology and political science at Luther College in Iowa. After taking her B.A. summa cum laude there in 1977, she made a career-goal change, choosing statistics for her M.S. at the University of Minnesota. She served as assistant budget officer for academic affairs there while earning the degree awarded in 1981. She then took her M.B.A. at the Wharton School in 1983, spending an internship summer at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, and entered the business world as an associate in public finance at Dain Bosworth in Denver.
In 1984 she moved to Lehman Brothers Inc. in New York City where she began as an associate and became vice president of the public finance department before taking the City Treasurer's post in Philadelphia. By that time she had begun work on her Ph.D. at the Wharton School, and it was reportedly a Wharton professor on Mayor Rendell's transition team who recommended her to lead the unit in the City's recovery from its financial crisis a turnaround that involved $3.3 billion in financings, $2.5 billion of it refinancings that generated over $110 million in present value savings. She also revamped city investment policy, guided new investment legislation through City Council and placed investments with private sector professional managers where possible to improve performance. Intending to return to Lehman Brothers, she was instead recruited to Miller Anderson & Sherrerd by Penn's former vice president, Dr. Marna Whittington. There she became product manager for the firm's $20 billion core fixed -income assets, and as client relations manager she advised some of them the firm's largest institutional clients consulting for the U.S. A.I.D. on municipal finance on-site in Romania, to the U.S. Department of Education in a pooled loan program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and more recently to the World Bank in developing a market for South African municipal bonds. While serving in this post, she completed her Ph.D. at the Wharton School in 1996.
Photograph by Candace diCarlo