RBC Funds nominate foundation CIO to replace indie reaching retirement age

Christie Zarkovich expected to take over for investment expert John MacDonald

The board of the $14.27bn RBC Funds Trust has nominated Christie Zarkovich as a new independent trustee, in anticipation of the upcoming retirement of independent trustee John MacDonald.

If elected at a shareholder meeting on March 15, Zarkovich will temporarily increase the number of independent trustees to seven, according to a Jan. 26 proxy filing.

MacDonald, who has been on the board since 2004, will reach the board’s mandatory retirement age of 75 by the end of this year. He is not standing for re-election and will step down on Dec. 31, the filing said.

Zarkovich, 48, is a 20-year veteran of institutional investing for foundations and charitable trusts. She is currently the chief administrative, financial and investment officer at Health Forward Foundation, a nonprofit healthcare organization based in Kansas City, Mo.

Prior to joining Health Forward in 2021, she was investment director at family office Chinquapin Trust Co. from 2019 to 2021, head of mission-driven investing at Cambridge Associates from 2018 to 2019, and a managing director at Perella Weinberg Partners from 2013 to 2016.

She previously held investment and risk management roles at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the A. I. duPont Testamentary Trust, and AGL Resources.

Zarkovich began her career as a metals analyst at the New York Mercantile Exchange in 1997.

MacDonald, 74, has been an independent consultant since 2020, following his retirement as vice president and treasurer at the Hall Family Foundation, where he had worked since 1988.

He also served as chief investment officer of Chinquapin Trust Company from 1999 to 2020.

The other RBC independent trustees are Lucy Hancock Bode, 71; Leslie Garner, Jr., 72; Philip Goff, 59; Ronald James, 72; and chair James Seward, 70.

RBC Funds president and CEO David Eikenberg is the board’s interested trustee.

The funds’ CCO is Christina Weber.

The board, which oversees 23 funds, has an audit committee, a nominating committee, a corporate governance committee, a compliance committee, and a valuation, portfolio management and performance committee.

Total compensation for the independent trustees ranged from $116,500 and $124,000 for the 2022 calendar year.

The funds’ investment adviser is Minneapolis-based RBC Global Asset Management, the asset management arm of Royal Bank of Canada. As of the end of 2022, it managed $389bn globally across separately managed accounts, mutual funds, ETFs, hedge funds, and other pooled investment products.

Christie Zarkovich
  • Chief administrative, financial and investment officer, Health Forward Foundation, 2021 – Present
  • Investment director, Chinquapin Trust Company, 2019 – 2021
  • Head of mission-driven investing, Cambridge Associates, 2018 – 2019
  • Managing director, Perella Weinberg Partners, 2013 – 2016
  • Associate director of public investments, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2007 – 2010
  • Associate director of investments, A.I. duPont Testamentary Trust, 2003 – 2007
  • Manager, AGL Resources, 1999 – 2003
  • Metals analyst, New York Mercantile Exchange 1997 – 1999
John MacDonald
  • Independent trustee, RBC Funds, 2004 – Present
  • Independent consultant, 2020 – Present
  • Vice president and treasurer, Hall Family Foundation, 1988 – 2020
  • Chief investment officer, Chinquapin Trust Company, 1999 – 2020