Nancy Zimmerman was born in Skokie, Illinois. She graduated from Brown University in 1985.
Zimmerman co-founded Bracebridge Capital with Gabriel Sunshine in 1994. The fund manages Investments for Yale University and Princeton University. As of February 2016, it had over $10 billion of assets under management.
Zimmerman's Investments in Russia made national headlines in 1997 when the USAID ended a $14 million grant to the Harvard Institute for International Development, headed by Zimmerman's husband, after he was accused of using the institute to help Zimmerman with her Investments. As part of a settlement, Zimmerman subsequently paid $1.5 million to the USG through one of her companies, Farallon Fixed Income Associates.
Zimmerman formerly served on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Brown University, from July 2010 to June 2016. She served on the scholar selection committee of the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund.
Zimmerman is married to Andrei Shleifer, a professor of economics at Harvard University. She is Jewish. As of February 2016, she was worth an estimated $320 million.
Zimmerman started her career working for O’Connor & Associates at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She later worked on interest rate options for Goldman Sachs. At Goldman, her boss was Jon Corzine, who later became the Governor of New Jersey.