After nine years as chief investment officer and CEO, Bruce Zimmerman resigned from the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) in October 2016. The UTIMCO board appointed Mark Warner, a senior director, as the interim chief investment officer while the firm searches for a replacement.
Upon hearing this announcement, Trusted Insight went to work, leveraging the world’s most extensive database of institutional investors, to research the 20 most qualified investment professionals to run the second largest endowment in the United States.
If you closely follow the endowment world, it would not be surprising to see a few familiar names from UTIMCO’s closest rivals. While many of the top candidates hail from university endowments, we also drew from the top talent at private foundations, pensions and corporations.
Here are the investment professionals who Trusted Insight believes are most likely to be the next chief investment officer of the University of Texas Investment Management Company:
Allison Thacker joined Rice University in 2011 to manage the university’s $5.6 billion endowment fund and the university’s $968 million of debt. The Rice University Endowment ranks in the top 20 endowments of private research universities in the United States. Being the leader at one of the top endowments would be valuable experience for the role of CIO at UTIMCO. Thacker was named on Trusted Insight’s list of Top 30 Endowment Chief Investment Officers.
Amanda Hopper serves as senior investment director of public markets investments and has been at UTIMCO for over 8 years. Prior to UTIMCO, she was a senior associate at Teacher Retirement System of Texas and equity research associate at William Blair & Company. Her long position at the firm and familiarity with the endowment’s investment goals may qualify her as CIO.
Prior to joining Boston University in 2008, Brian was a portfolio manager with Morgan Stanley Investment Management where he implemented synthetic beta, portable alpha and LDI hedging strategies for institutional investors. He was an original member of Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and held several roles within the organization including head of operational due diligence. His long background in private equity and hedge fund due diligence is a good fit for UTIMCO’s increasingly large (32.1% of total AUM) private investments portfolio and equity-oriented investment thesis.
As CIO of Purdue Research Foundation, David is responsible for developing and implementing overall investment policies and strategies. Prior to joining Purdue in 2015, David was CIO at the Indiana Public Retirement System. Under his leadership, the pension system enjoyed 13.7% (net of fees) return in fiscal year 2014, with 10.5% and 8.4% annualized returns for the five and three year periods ending in 2014. His consistent delivery of superior returns across all positions on his resume makes him a top candidate.
Holmgren manages Hartford HealthCare’s $2.2 billion pension, endowment and insurance assets. Previously, Holmgren served as principal investment officer for the Connecticut State Treasury and as senior portfolio manager at DSI/UBS. David’s 26 years of investment experience in the United States, Europe and Middle East covering traditional and alternative investment management makes him a good fit for UTIMCO’s equity-oriented thesis for emerging markets. Holmgren was featured on Trusted Insight’s list of the Top 30 Hospital Chief Investment Officers.
Read Trusted Insight's exclusive interview with David here.
Vice President, Chief Investment Officer
Years of experience: 31
AUM: $11.1 billion
Elizabeth Hokada is the CEO of Kamehameha Schools. She joined Kamehameha in 2005 as director of the Financial Assets Division before ascending to vice president and chief investment officer in 2012. Prior to joining Kamehameha Schools, Hokada spent 20 years at the University of Michigan in various investment positions, including director of investments for the marketable portfolio of stocks, bonds and hedge funds. Elizabeth’s three-decade endowment background and diverse experience across several investment management roles makes her a well-rounded candidate for UTIMCO.
Erik Lundberg is responsible for directing and overseeing more than $10 billion in assets at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University in 1999, he held several positions with Ameritech’s investment office. Erik’s extensive investment management experience and superior track record at one of the nation’s top endowments makes him a prime candidate for UTIMCO. Erik was featured on Trusted Insight’s Top 30 Endowment Chief Investment Officers.
Joel Wittenberg has nearly 30 years of experience in institutional investing. He has led the investments of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for seven years and previously worked as corporate treasurer of two Fortune 500 companies. His outstanding expertise in leading sophisticated investment programs at top-tier organizations makes him a likely candidate to lead UTIMCO's massive endowment portfolio. Wittenberg was named on Trusted Insight’s list of Top 30 Foundation Chief Investment Officers.
John Heneghan oversees a large alternative investment portfolio of hedge fund and private equity funds at EGI, a private investment firm founded by real estate magnate Sam Zell. Heneghan also runs his own financial advisory business, Servant Financial. John’s expertise in private financings and hedge funds makes him a good fit for UTIMCO’s investment goals. His leadership experience with fund selection in this field will undoubtedly add tremendous value to UTIMCO’s increasing focus on private market and equity-oriented investments.
Prior to joining Saudi Aramco in 2011, Jon Nieman was the managing director of Redline Partners, a private equity officer at State Street and a portfolio manager of private equity at State of Michigan Retirement Systems. His leadership position in one of the largest global funds and experience with private markets makes him a good fit for UTIMCO’s increasingly large (32.1%) private investments portfolio.
Chief Investment Officer, Chief Executive Officer
University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO)
Years Of Experience: 29
AUM: $7.5 billion
Five-Year Annualized Return:13.7% (ended 06/30/15)
Lawrence Kochard has broad investment and operational experience as both the CEO and CIO of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO). Kochard’s well-rounded experience and impressive results at UVIMCO qualify him to lead UTIMCO. Kochard was named on Trusted Insight’s list of Top 30 Endowment Chief Investment Officers.
Lee Hobson is on the board of UTIMCO. He is the founder and managing partner of Highside Capital Management, a private investment firm based in Dallas, Texas. Prior to founding Highside in 2003, Mr. Hobson was a partner at Maverick Capital from 1994 to 2003, where he focused on investments in the consumer sector and in Latin America. Lee is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His expertise in emerging markets makes him a good fit to UTIMCO’s investment goals. His superior track record with managing his own hedge fund/family office coupled with his influence at the firm may make him a strong candidate.
As CIO and Treasurer, Maria is responsible for debt and investment management strategy for the A&M System. UTIMCO serves the endowments for both University of Texas and Texas A&M. Her current position undoubtedly provides familiarity to both UTIMCO’s investment thesis and management team, which makes her a logical option for CIO.
Mark Cutis has served as CIO of the Abu Dhabi Investment Council since 2008. Previously, Cutis was the CIO of Shinsei Bank, among other positions. His leadership at one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds as well as his experience in emerging markets makes him an excellent asset for UTIMCO.
Mark Newcomb is responsible for public market investments at Washington University in St. Louis’ Investment Management Company. Prior to this, Newcomb was an investment manager focusing on public markets at the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). His strong experience with public market allocation, past relationship with UTIMCO, and familiarity with the endowment’s investment strategy makes him a likely candidate for UTIMCO to tap. Newcomb was recently named on Trusted Insight’s ranked list of Top 30 LPs Investing In Credit.
Mark Warner was appointed unanimously as the interim CEO/CIO by the UTIMCO board after Bruce’s resignation. Mark joined UTIMCO in 2007 and was the senior managing director and head of natural resources and emerging markets investments. He has also served as acting CIO in the past when Zimmerman was away. It would not come as a surprise if Mark was given a permanent tenure as CEO/CIO given his long history with the firm, success with his division and relationships on the board.
Ryan serves as managing director of hedge fund investments and has been at UTIMCO for over 11 years. Prior to UTIMCO, he worked at Highland Capital Management and CIBC World Markets identifying arbitrage opportunities and completing more than $5 billion in financings across leveraged loan, high yield, and private equity portfolios. His seniority at the firm and familiarity with the endowment’s investment goals may land him a promotion to CIO.
Samuel Gallo holds nationwide recognition for his strong leadership as CIO at the University of Maryland and extensive first-hand experience trading and managing high-volume investment teams. Prior to joining University of Maryland, Sam was transacting nearly $8.3 billion per day as a derivatives portfolio manager and trader. He also advised the United States Treasury Department on its investment programs. He would be an excellent choice to lead the UTIMCO during this critical period of time.
In addition to overseeing the investment of Caltech’s approximately $2 billion in endowment and operating funds, Scott serves as an independent director on the boards of AIG's Life Insurance and Retirement companies. Previously, he was president of Andell Holdings, LLC, the family office for Andrew Hauptman and Ellen Bronfman Hauptman, and he served as president of the Hauptman Family Foundation. Prior to Andell, Richland worked for 12 years at AIG SunAmerica and was an advisor to Evolved Alpha (a multi-strategy hedge fund). His diverse experience in leading/advising family offices, hedge funds and endowments makes him an excellent candidate for steering UTIMCO’s diversified investment strategy.
Stuart Mason manages the University of Minnesota’s $900 million broadly diversified endowment and directs cash management and Treasury operations, which include direct investment of approximately $650 million of university cash reserves. He also serves as the treasurer and CIO of the University’s captive insurance company, RUMINCO, Ltd. Over a 39-year career, Mason has shown savvy in managing multiple pools of capital and excellence as a university endowment CIO, making him a strong candidate to fill a similar role within the larger UTIMCO. Stuart was featured on Trusted Insight’s list of Top 30 Endowment Chief Investment Officers.
Read Trusted Insight's exclusive interview with Stuart here.
Updated 4:23PM Nov. 22: Five-year annualized returns were not previously dated. The article now reflects that the five-year returns listed are for the period ending June 30, 2015.