The 2016 Executive Excellence Awards: Mary Pugh

CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Pugh Capital Management

January 28, 2016

GIANNI TRUZZI

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Running a boutique investment house for public and corporate pension funds, endowments and credit unions, Mary Pugh is what one of her clients calls a sleep-well-at-night manager of portfolios. That reputation for sound strategy has allowed her firm to be trusted by Boeing and the University of Washington for their fixed-income investments, along with other assets that total more than $3 billion under management.

Exactly when the dynamic Pugh sleeps is anyones guess. The daughter of a Boeing engineer graduated from Yale and rose quickly at Washington Mutual to become, at age 29, the youngest person to be named a senior vice president. In 1991, she founded Pugh Capital Management with business partner Scott Greiwe and was assigned a portion of the savings banks employee pension funds to manage.

In the intervening years, Pugh has served on the Seattle branch board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and as a trustee of the Seattle Foundation and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Though Pugh left Washington Mutual in 1991, she was on its board of directors and felt the sting when things went south in 2008. She says it was heartwarming how clients at Pugh Capital Management held fast, reassured by her reputation and integrity.

As leader of one of the countrys largest African-American-owned asset management firms, Pugh feels an obligation to pay forward her expertise. Ive really enjoyed the passion, learning and career Ive had in the fixed-income space, Pugh says. She shares her enthusiasm via the Accounting Career Awareness Program, a Seattle nonprofit that gives minority high school students exposure to opportunities in accounting and other areas of business.