"The biggest risk of all is not taking one."


Carol Schleif is an accomplished executive and a pioneer in both buy- and sell-side investing. She has been a leader in Ultra High Net Worth Portfolio (UHNW) investing for nearly 40years, rising to become the highest-ranking female investment professional at Abbot Downing (Wells Fargo’s UHNW money management boutique).  She has been featured by Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Barrons and other business press outlets for her comprehensive investment expertise. Wired as a futuristic thinker, Carol was an early adopter of such trends as technological convergence, eCommerce, demographic and experiential shifts, blockchain and impact investing, helping drive research and investable alternatives for client portfolios.  Carol is a high-energy problem solver and lifelong learner; she is prepared to make an immediate, outstanding impact on a public or private company corporate board, or boards of mutual funds, RIAs, family offices and foundations. 

Carol’s clients, colleagues, and executive peers rely on her steady hand and intuition to lead through market peaks and valleys. She began her career as a market strategist, director of research, and portfolio manager, spending nearly two decades at Lowry Hill before the partnership was absorbed by Wells Fargo. Soon after, she was promoted to Regional Chief Investment Officer, sharing P&L responsibility for Abbot Downing’s largest region ($12 billion AUM). In this role, she transformed the front office team while personally managing over $750 million of assets for twelve high-worth families. Carol’s most recent executive role at Wells Fargo was as Deputy Chief Investment Officer, where she made far-reaching enhancements to compliance, talent development, investment strategy and external communications. 

Throughout her tenure at Wells Fargo, she was selected to lead many mission-critical strategic initiatives including the Private Wealth Management Investment Strategy and the integration of ESG into client discovery, portfolio construction, and manager due diligence. She also served on the Asset Allocation and Investment Oversight Committees. A mentor by nature, Carol personally created the Asset Management Learning and Development Program to enhance programs for career planning, development, and assessment. 

Carol has broad governance and advisory board experience. She is a Trustee of the College of St. Benedict (CSB) and St. John’s University, where she serves on several committees, including executive, and chairs the CSB Investment Committee. She is a member of the board of CFA Minnesota where she chairs Career Development Committee, and co-chairs the Challenging Perceptions Committee. Carol previously served on the board of Gillette’s Children’s Specialty Health Care Hospital, where she also chaired the Investment Committee and served on the Finance and Fundraising Committees. Her advisory board experience includes the University of Minnesota’s Discovery Capital Advisory Board and the Hamline School of Business Finance Curriculum Advisory Committee.  

Carol has an MBA and holds Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations and is often invited to speak to these communities. She was named to the Twin Cities Business Monthly’s Women to Watch and the Finance & Commerce Top Women in Finance lists. A native of Minnesota, Carol is an avid outdoorsman and a fan of water sports of all kinds. 

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