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M. Donatucci, investment chief for city pensions

Michael Donatucci was known as a man for others, a value, instilled in him through his Jesuit education, that shone through to everyone he met.

Michael Donatucci
Michael DonatucciRead moreCLAUDIA VARGAS / Staff

Michael Donatucci was known as a man for others, a value, instilled in him through his Jesuit education, that shone through to everyone he met.

"Anybody that ever met him always said he was such a gentleman," said his father, Ronald, Philadelphia's longtime register of wills. "I was blessed to know him for 31 years."

Mr. Donatucci, chief investment officer of the city's Pension Fund, took his own life Friday night, July 15. He would have turned 31 on Tuesday.

He was found dead in his home by his fiancee, Meghan Klein, whom he met about 10 years ago in Margate, N.J., where the Donatucci family has a summer home. They were to be married in September.

"If you had to make a perfect son, he fit in every way," Donatucci said. "He called me his hero, but I wasn't Michael's hero. He was my hero."

He grew up in Queen Village and graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School in 2003. Five years later, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics. Donatucci said his son was always asking "a million questions."

While in college, he began working at SEI Institutional Group, a financial services firm based in Oaks, with offices worldwide. He continued with SEI until joining the Board of Pensions in June.

Fran Bielli, executive director of the city's Board of Pensions, said Mr. Donatucci "hit the ground running."

"He really was enthusiastic about the job," Bielli said. "His investment knowledge was at a very high level."

During his short time as chief investment officer, Bielli said, Mr. Donatucci hired a new investment consultant, made recommendations to improve the fund's investment portfolio, and, right before Britain's vote to withdraw from the European Union, recommended reducing the fund's exposure to Europe, resulting in saving the fund "millions of dollars in a single day."

"He was a gentleman and a good person who each of his staff members admired and enjoyed working with," Bielli said.

Ronald Donatucci emphasized his son's dedication to his job, saying he often worked until 9 p.m. or later.

Mr. Donatucci struggled with mental health issues throughout, his father said.

"His mind never stopped racing," the father said. "He was always on. He never had any peace in his mind."

City Finance Director Rob Dubow, who worked with Mr. Donatucci as the Board of Pensions chair, said he noticed Mr. Donatucci's personable nature every time he interacted with his coworkers.

Mayor Kenney called Mr. Donatucci a "wonderful and talented man who will be missed."

In addition to his father and his fiancee, he is survived by his mother, Debra Foglietta; stepmother Stephanie Leva Donatucci; a brother; and a sister.

Viewings will be from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, and 8:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 21, at St. Monica Catholic Church, 2422 S. 17th St. A Funeral Mass will follow Thursday's viewing. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon.

Donations can be made to a memorial fund for mental health awareness, Michael P. Donatucci Memorial Fund, 1504 S. Broad St., Philadelphia 19146.

215-854-2602 @oliviaexstrum