Phillip & Elizabeth Gross

Family investment

One won’t find many media interviews or public anecdotes about the frugality for which Phillip Gross BBA1982, MS1983 and Dr. Elizabeth Cochary Gross are known in investment circles. But if money does indeed talk, the story it tells about these influential philanthropists has a moral: success is built on the foundation of a good education, and the opportunities afforded by that education must be paid forward to the members of the next generation who need it most.

In 2001 after more than a decade as an investment analyst for Harvard University, Phill co-founded Adage Capital Management L.P., a Boston-based money management firm that regularly makes headlines for its unique investment strategies, such as giving refunds to investors when the fund underperforms. Adage manages assets for several major universities, colleges, foundations, and nonprofits and it’s now one of the largest stock hedge funds in the world.

The Grosses established the Gross Family Foundation in 1998 to provide grants to youth services and educational facilities in the Boston area. Phill is an avid skier, and in keeping with his passion for sports, the foundation has a special interest in supporting athletic projects for inner-city kids. He is also a trustee for the United States Skiing and Snowboard Association and is on the board of directors for Youth Enrichment Services, an agency that engages urban kids in skiing, hiking, and track.

In 2002, the Grosses were among the founding members of Strategic Grant Partners, a consortium of family foundations that supports projects to improve the lives of struggling individuals and families in Massachusetts. Phill is currently the treasurer.

Along with youth programs, higher education is the Grosses’ other major philanthropic interest. Phill has sat on several boards for the Wisconsin School of Business and is a former member of the UW Foundation Board of Directors. Liz is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Tufts University and has served on the board of trustees for both institutions after a career as a research scientist and faculty member at Tufts, along with a stint as director of admissions and recruitment at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She also serves on the boards of several nonprofits focused on education, social justice, and medical research.

Phill’s late father, Phillip W. Gross BS1952, earned a degree in chemical engineering. The Grosses have four children.