Alice & Jess Yawitz Family

Alumna (MBA 1975) and Alumnus (AB 1968, MA 1969, PhD 1972), Respectively

For me, this is a story of love – love for kids; love for the community; love for the idea that each person has this amazing power to make somebody else’s life better. I’m forever grateful to the Yawitz Family and for the reminder they give us every day: hope in what is good and right with this world.

Ethic of Service Award Nomination

The Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award recognizes Alice and Jess Yawitz and their sons, Daniel and Andrew “Roo” Yawitz, for their steadfast commitment to uplifting the St. Louis region, and their legacy of service and leadership through Washington University and beyond.  

Alice and Jess Yawitz are proud alumni of Washington University in St. Louis. Alice graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in 1975. Jess holds an AB, an MA, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Washington University. Jess went on to join Olin Business School as a faculty member where he quickly rose to become the John E. Simon Professor of Finance, and the founding director of the Institute of Banking and Financial Markets.  

Jess left the faculty in 1984 and joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he served as a director of the Financial Strategies Group and later CIO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Jess went on to found NISA with Bill J. Marshall in 1994 following a reorganization of NISA’s predecessor, National Investment Services of America, Inc. (“National”). Jess joined National in 1990. Over the ensuing 30-plus years, Jess built NISA into one of the most respected investment-management firms in the world. Specializing in fixed-income investment, NISA has hundreds of institutional clients around the globe and nearly $500 billion of assets under management.   

Alice and Jess later established the Yawitz Family Foundation with a focus on increasing access to quality education and creating conditions for economic growth through small business growth and creation. Their impact is far reaching and has created a transformational impact in the St. Louis region. Their dedication to St. Louis reached new heights following the onset of the pandemic in 2020. In response to the dire economic strain put on countless families in the region by the pandemic, the family initiated the Gateway Resilience Fund, which provides direct relief to St. Louis families and businesses to help bridge the gap until other resources became available. 

The Yawitz Family embodies the meaning of an ethic of service.  As one nomination submitted on their behalf states, “we live in a better place because of the Yawitz [Family’s] example and their charitable investment to improve the region.”