Kirk O. Belsby, Partner
Prior to joining Finistere Ventures, Kirk served as the Chief Investment Officer for the Endowment Group of Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate (KSBE) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kirk was hired by KSBE in a re-structuring move and he grew the portfolio from $4.9 to $10.0 billion from 2002 to 2012, while simultaneously funding annual distributions of approximately 4.0% (based on the value of the trust) to benefit the education of Native Hawaiian children. Besides the typical mix of securities and real assets, the Estate also owns 365,000 acres of agricultural and conservation land in Hawaii.
During Kirk’s tenure the Estate was completely re-organized around business strategy, human capital, operations, and financial functions. Within the agriculture portfolio KSBE re-purposed the lands away from legacy sugar and pineapple uses into alternative energy and other creative uses to drive cash returns. Further, KSBE invested in water infrastructure to expand irrigation systems and restore stream flow, thereby improving opportunities to develop high value fruit & vegetable crops. KSBE’s master plan for integrating agriculture, residential and commercial uses on 3,000 acres on the North Shore of Oahu earned it the Sustainability Project of the Year by the National Planning Association.
In an article in Institutional Investor magazine, the turnaround of KSBE was quoted as “one of the most remarkable in the oversight of institutional assets”. Results published by Cambridge Associates indicate that KSBE was ranked in the top 2.0% for over 400 reporting endowments and pension funds for the trailing 10 year period.
Prior to KSBE, Kirk was the Western Region Managing Partner for the Global Corporate Finance Group at Arthur Andersen LLP in Los Angeles. He advised a myriad of Global 1000 companies, with a particular focus on Wall Street investment banks. Kirk holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis, and was raised on a cattle and grain ranch near Spokane, Washington.