Fern Jones (1957-2017)
Senior Fellow Fern Jones, one of the founding members of Croatan Institute, passed away Wednesday, May 17, 2017, after a fatal truck accident near her Greenwich Village home in New York City. She was 60 years old.
To commemorate Jones's life and work and to carry forward her commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, the Institute has established the Fern B. Jones Memorial Fellowship.
Fern Bernadette Jones was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, on May 9, 1957. She grew up in North Carolina, graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and went on to college at Yale and later to business school as a Toigo Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A finance and investment professional, Jones brought broad experience from capital markets and portfolio management to the Institute's research and engagements.
Her career spanned 25 years in trading and risk management roles on the sell-side and in research and analysis on the buy-side. Jones trained on Wall Street in the 1980s, working as a proprietary trader, risk manager and securities analyst for J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Banque Paribas. During the 1990s she worked as an investment analyst for General Motors Asset Management and as a portfolio strategist for MetLife Investments during the early 2000s. She specialized in international bonds, derivatives overlay, hedged and structured portfolios. This background provided the foundation for her approach to sustainable finance and investing over the last decade, particularly in areas such as green bonds, natural resources, and real assets.
In addition to working with Croatan Institute, Jones maintained strategic alliances with other investment advisers to provide financial risk evaluation and portfolio analysis. As a private securities market consultant, she managed teams of technical experts and sector specialists to develop niche investment exposures geared to institutions. The work focused primarily on ventures in water, energy, agriculture and related biotech.
Jones was a founding Board Member and Treasurer of Triskeles Foundation and an advisory member of the Trustees’ Finance Committee of the New York Society of Friends’ Quarterly Meeting. She also served as a fiduciary for disabled individuals and elders, joining families, fraternal and faith-based groups to advocate for the participation of people with diverse capacities. To honor her advocacy on behalf of adults living with autism, the Institute has made a gift in Jones's memory to the University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program, thanks to generous gifts from her colleagues Christi Electris, Joshua Humphreys, Kristin Lang, Andreea Rodinciuc, and Elizabeth Umlas.
The funeral for Jones took place on Saturday, May 27, at the First Baptist Church of Hockley near Shacklefords, Virginia, and the Jones Family also organized a memorial service celebrating her life at the Fifteenth Street Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in New York City on Saturday, June 24.
Reflections on Jones's life and work can be found in the Obituary prepared by her family and the Homage to Fern Jones written by Croatan Institute President Joshua Humphreys.
Contributors to the Institute's Fern B. Jones Memorial Fellowship include the following generous donors:
Dolly H. Gray-Bussard
Joan E. Kapfer
Mary Jane McQuillen
To make a contribution honoring Fern Jones's legacy and memory, please visit the special page the Institute has established for gifts to the Fern B. Jones Memorial Fellowship.
S.M., Management, The Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A.B., English, Yale University