Red Cell Partners (“Red Cell”), an incubation firm building rapidly-scalable, technology-led companies that are bringing revolutionary advancements to market in national security and healthcare, announced that Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. has joined as Chief Investment Officer, Chairman of the Investment Committee, Partner, and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Ferguson will lead Red Cell’s investment activities, advise incubations across the portfolio, and build on the firm’s relationships within the technology and global asset management industries.
Red Cell CEO and Founding Partner Grant Verstandig said, “I’ve known Roger for more than a decade, first as a mentor and investor and now, proudly, as a partner. Having Roger, one of the leading economic minds of today, on the Red Cell team is an unparalleled strategic advantage. Roger has spent decades successfully bridging the worlds of technology and asset management; through a series of strategic digital acquisitions, he transformed TIAA– a traditional, hundred-year-old company into a technology-oriented financial giant– broadening their mission and capabilities while more than doubling AUM. His experience uniquely positions him to raise capital and build efficient and innovative infrastructure around the Red Cell platform that will accelerate our growth and enable us to develop powerful solutions to address our Nation’s most pressing problems.”
The cross-generational partnership between Mr. Ferguson, a renowned economist and accomplished financial executive, and Mr. Verstandig, a serial tech entrepreneur, is built around their shared mission and deep belief in the power of innovation to solve the most important problems of our time. Both firmly feel that without imminent investment and a disruptive, data-driven approach, the healthcare and defense industries will be unprepared to meet future challenges.
Looking at the current economic environment and the foreseeable long-term future, Verstandig and Ferguson are confident that the venture studio model that Red Cell has built provides the most compelling structure for LPs and entrepreneurs alike, aligning them to create the urgently needed disruptive companies of tomorrow.
Mr. Ferguson said, “Red Cell’s mission-driven focus on tackling problems that have long been thought impossible to solve in the areas of healthcare and national security, historically underinvested and under-engaged areas of the economy, by harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies to generate long-term value for investors stands out in the venture industry. I am thrilled to collaborate with Grant and his team of extraordinary entrepreneurs and technologists as they upend antiquated models and propose innovative responses to complex questions. The team’s current portfolio is addressing major human issues from using AI in the quest to cure cancer and diabetes, to refining global logistics and supply chain management in a post-COVID world, to using blockchain technology to build a next-generation, secure, cyber communications platform. I’m excited to join my new colleagues on this journey and look forward to helping lead Red Cell into its next, even more dynamic phase of growth and development.”
Most recently, Mr. Ferguson served as the President and CEO of TIAA, a leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. He was responsible for guiding the company through both the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding the customer base by nearly 1 million new clients, and ensuring the company maintained strong financial health while meeting its commitments to millions of retirees. He also oversaw the doubling of the company’s assets under management to over $1 trillion, cementing their position as one of the world’s premier asset managers. Previously, Mr. Ferguson served as Head of Financial Services for reinsurance company Swiss Re, where he oversaw the company’s asset management arm with $170 billion AUM, as well as its capital markets and credit platforms.
From 1999 to 2006, Mr. Ferguson was Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve System, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he worked from 1984 to 1997. He began his career as an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardell.
Mr. Ferguson currently serves on the boards of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Blend Labs, Inc. (NYSE: BLND), Corning (NYSE: GLW), International Flavors and Fragrances (NYSE:IFF), as well as several private companies including Klarna, the privately-owned FinTech company, Zephyr AI, a former Red Cell incubation, and a number of non-profits including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Smithsonian Institution.
About Red Cell Partners
Red Cell Partners is an incubation firm building rapidly-scalable technology-led companies that are bringing revolutionary advancements to market in healthcare and national security. United by a shared sense of duty and deep belief in the power of innovation, Red Cell is developing powerful tools and solutions to address our Nation’s most pressing problems. Visit us at redcellpartners.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.