Robert Gillam

NET WORTH: $320 Million

SOURCE OF WEALTH: McKinley Capital Management

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Alaska

OVERVIEW: Robert Gillam supported education and organizations operating in his home state of Alaska through the Gillam Foundation. Gillam died in September 2018 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

BACKGROUND: Robert Gillam received his B.S. in economics from Wharton in 1968 and earned an M.B.A. in from UCLA in 1969. He began his finance career at Foster and Marshall, and in 1975, he was appointed to the Alaska State Investment Advisory Committee. He served for several years as a partner at the Denver-based brokerage Boettcher and Company. In 1990 he moved back to his native Alaska and founded McKinley Capital Management, which manages about $7 billion in capital. Gillam’s son, Robert A. Gillam, is the current CEO of McKinley Capital.


EDUCATION: Gillam's education philanthropy prioritizes students in the state of Alaska. His foundation has run an extensive scholarship program, which for many years awarded dozens of college scholarships in amounts under $10,000 annually to graduating Alaska high school seniors. The program was suspended in 2013. Gillam served on the advisory board of the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, where he also supported programs that promoted the study of Alaska Native arts. Another past grantee, Education Matters, is an initiative that aims “to improve education performance for all students in Anchorage public schools.”

ALASKA COMMUNITY: Gillam, who owned a ranch near Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, is rumored to have spent more than $30 million on advocacy opposing the Pebble Project, a plan to excavate minerals from the Pebble Mine located near the preserve. He also supported Covenant House Alaska, which serves thousands of homeless, at-risk, and trafficked youth in the state.

LOOKING FORWARD: It is likely that Gillam’s son, Robert A. Gillam, will direct philanthropic giving in the future.


Gillam Foundation
3301 C Street, Suite 500
Anchorage, Alaska 99503


McKinley Capital Management