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2019

Top 30 University Endowment Chief Investment Officers

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University endowments oversee sizable pools of long-term capital, which are meant to fund the latest technology and research; drive community growth; and support the education system’s long-term vision. The following investment chiefs are proven thought leaders in this ever-evolving space, some having built investment offices from scratch while others implement unique strategies to remain competitive. These leaders also share how their institutions continue to evolve under their stewardship. Presenting Trusted Insight's 2019 Top 30 Endowment Chief Investment Officers:

Robert Durden

Chief Executive Officer/Chief Investment Officer

University of Virginia Investment Management Company

Robert Durden is the chief executive officer/chief investment officer at UVIMCO. As CEO, Robert provides leadership for all aspects of UVIMCO’s operations and serves as UVIMCO’s primary representative to the University, related foundations, and the public. As CIO, he is responsible for the investment management of UVIMCO’s Long Term Pool, overseeing the asset allocation, portfolio management, risk management, and manager selection activities of the investment staff. Previously, he served as SVP and CIO at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where he oversaw the hospital’s Foundation and other investment assets, totaling approximately $3 billion. He was previously the Managing Director of Private Investments at Morgan Creek Capital Management, and directed $4.5 billion of private investments across private equity, energy and natural resources, and real estate. Durden holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.A. in economics from Princeton University. He is also a CFA charterholder . Show more

Paula Volent

Chief Investment Officer

Bowdoin College

Paula Volent is chief investment officer at Bowdoin College, where she is responsible for oversight and management of the college's endowment. She joined Bowdoin College in 2000, and has since served as senior vice president and vice president there. Before that, she was a senior associate at the Yale Investments Office. Volent holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, a master's degree in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Show more
Scott Wilson is the chief investment officer at Washington University Investment Management Company. Previously, he served as CIO at Grinnell College where he managed the investment strategy for Grinnell’s nearly $2 billion endowment . His previous experience also includes positions at Credit Suisse First Boston Equity Research in Chicago; Merrill Lynch Technology Equity Research Group in San Francisco; Bank of America Securities in London and Tokyo; and Barclays Capital Japan, where he served as head of the Asia Interest Rate Option Trading Desk. Wilson is a Grinnell graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics. He also attended the University of Chicago’s financial mathematics program. Show more
Stuart Mason has been chief investment officer at the University of Minnesota since 2002. Previously to joining the university, he spent 15 years as a senior investment banker or executive officer in several investment banks including Dougherty & Company, EVEREN Securities and Dain Rauscher Corporation. He also served as vice president of Wells Fargo Corporation for 10 years. Mason holds an MBA in business from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in chemistry and biology from St. Olaf College.  Show more
Jagdeep Bachher is chief investment officer and vice president of investments at the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). Previously, Bachher was an executive vice president of venture and innovation at Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest and most diversified investment fund managers. Bachher holds a Ph.D. and M.A.Sc. in management sciences and B.A.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo. Show more
Britt Harris is president, chief executive officer and chief investment officer at The University of Texas / Texas A&M Investment Management Company (UTIMCO). Before joining UTIMCO, he was chief investment officer at Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) for almost 10 years. Prior to that, he was CEO for Bridgewater Associates. Harris also serves as an executive professor teaching investment courses at his alma mater, Texas A&M University and also at The University of Texas at Austin. Show more
Anne Martin is the chief investment officer at the Wesleyan University, where she joined in 2010. She previously was a director at the Yale Investments Office where she worked primarily on the Natural resources and private equity portfolios. Prior to joining Yale, she worked as a general partner of private equity firm Rosewood Capital, where she focused on Internet, software, and business service investments. Prior to that, she was a managing director at BT Alex Brown in its technology practice, where she worked on corporate finance and merger and acquisitions in the information technology sector. Anne holds an MBA from Stanford Business School and a bachelor's degree from Smith College. Show more
Kenneth Miranda is the chief investment officer at Cornell University Endowment, where he oversees a $6 billion portfolio and has served the organization since 2016. Before joining Cornell, Miranda served as a director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF). Miranda joined IMF in 1986, and led its investment office since 2000. He is a member of the IMF Food and Agriculture Organization’s advisory committee on investments. Previously, he served as president of the Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union, and was a senior adviser on George Washington University’s investment committee. Miranda holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of science in foreign service from Georgetown University. Show more

Thomas Lenehan

Deputy Chief Investment Officer

The Rockefeller University

Thomas Lenehan is the deputy chief investment officer of The Rockefeller University, where he helps manage the University’s $2 billion endowment . He started his career as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. He slowly climbed the ladder and held various positions throughout his career including as a senior associate at Stone Point Capital, principal at FTV Capital, vice president at Vista Equity Partners, and lastly, director at Commonfund Capital Inc. Lenehan holds an MBA from Stanford University and a B.S. in business administration and management from Georgetown University. Show more
Dr. Philip Zecher brings a decade of experience designing and implementing risk models for the hedge fund community. In 1998, he left Deloitte Consulting to develop a proprietary risk system for a closely-held hedge fund. In 1999, this system became the core product for a new company, Investor Analytics, LLC (“IA”), that he founded with two other colleagues. Phil continuously enhanced the risk models and technology at IA, and the system grew to handle many billions of dollars of hedge fund assets. He sold his interest in IA in 2006 before joining EQA Partners. Prior to starting his finance career at Deloitte Consulting, Phil earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics at Michigan State University and a B.S. at Ohio University. He is widely published in both academic journals and the financial press. Phil currently serves on the MSU Foundation Board of Directors and the College of Natural Science Dean’s Advisory Board and is a former member of the President’s Leadership Advisory Committee for Winning FRIB. Show more
Seth Alexander is president at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management Company (MITIMCo) since 2006. Prior to joining MITIMCo, Alexander was director at the Yale Investments Office. At Yale, Alexander was a management fellow at the Yale School of Management, co-teaching a class on endowment management. Alexander holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Yale University. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder . Show more
Brian Pellegrino is the chief investment officer at Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc., where he oversees a $1.8 billion endowment. Previously, he was the CIO at UPS Group Trust, an asset management arm of UPS, where he delivered consistent portfolio performance and built a best-in-class investment organization. During his 37 years at UPS, he held financial management roles at various levels. As CIO, he grew the investment department from a three-person office to a 24-member team. Pellegrino holds an MBA in finance from Rutgers University and a B.S. in accounting from Montclair State University. Show more
Benjamin K. Wall was appointed Chief Investment Officer of The Texas A&M Foundation in January 2017. As CIO, Mr. Wall is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Texas A&M Foundation’s endowment, including investment strategy, vision, and portfolio construction, directing the investment team, and managing relationships with nearly 100 external investment managers. Mr. Wall first joined the Texas A&M Foundation in 2008 as Alternative Investments Director responsible for investments in venture capital, private equity, energy, real estate, hedge funds, and timber. Prior to joining the Texas A&M Foundation, Mr. Wall began his investment career at AIG Investments and before that was in public accounting with Ernst & Young. Mr. Wall holds BS and MS degrees in Accounting from the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University and is a CFA Charterholder. Mr. Wall currently serves on the Investment Advisory Board for the Comptroller of the State of Texas and also serves on the Board of Brazos Christian School, where he chairs the Finance and Endowment Committees. Show more
Bradley Johnson is the chief investment officer at the University of Oklahoma Foundation. Previously, he was a managing director at Cambridge Associates where served at for 7 years. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager of structured equity at W.R. Ericksen & Associates. Johnson holds an MBA in finance from Duke University and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Puget Sound. Show more
Scott Richland has served as chief investment officer of the California Institute of Technology's (Caltech) $3 billion investment office, since September 2010. Previously, Richland served as president of private investment manager and family office Andell Holdings, LLC. Before joining Andell, he served in senior management roles at SunAmerica Inc. and AIG. Richland holds an MBA from Stanford University and a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Show more

Jainen Thayer

Chief Investment Officer

Grinnell College

Jainen Thayer is the chief investment officer at Grinell College, Previously, he was the CIO at Oberlin College, where he was responsible for directing and managing all aspects of the investment portfolio, which includes allocations to a variety of assets classes and strategies. Prior to that, he was the director of investments at New York University and a managing director at Fortress Investment Group, a global alternative asset management firm. Thayer holds an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.d/ Show more
Kathleen Jacobs is the chief investment officer of New York University where she oversees all aspects of the University’s $4.2 billion endowment. In addition, she serves on the committee responsible for oversight of the $9 billion retirement plans of NYU and NYU Langone Medical Center. Prior to joining NYU, she was managing director in the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital investment office where she maintained a leading role in asset allocation and the selection of fund managers across asset classes. Before that, she was a senior investor for the Juilliard School’s endowment. Prior to moving to the non-profit sector, she worked at both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. Ms. Jacobs has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Show more
Clarissa Hunnewell serves as chief investment officer at Boston University. She is a Harvard-trained investment consultant who has managed portfolios in the billions of dollars and worked with several educational institutions. Hunnewell holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in economics from Princeton University. Show more

Jonathan Shear

Associate Vice President & Chief Investment Officer

University of Utah

Jonathan Shear has served the University of Utah since 2003 as Associate Vice President/Chief Investment Officer. As the chief investment officer, Shear has built the first University of Utah Investment Office overseeing total endowment of $1 billion and $1.5 billion operating funds. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Shear was the Investment Director, Global Equities at Brown University where he helped the endowment's growth from $400 million to $1.4 billion. Shear began his investment career as an investment analyst at Baker, Watts & Company, an investment banking firm in Maryland. He also served as a portfolio manager for BayBank Investment Management in Boston, Massachusetts. Jonathan Shear holds a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Maryland College Park and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Show more

Hugh O'Donnell

Chief Investment Officer

Colby College

Hugh O'Donnell was named chief investment officer of Colby College's endowment in 2012. Previously, he was an investment manager at Honolulu-based Kamehameha Schools' $9.1 billion endowment . Prior to that, he was a general partner at Crescent Private Capital, an associate at TA Associates, and an analyst at Fleet Bank. Mr. O'Donnell holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University. Show more
Ellen Ellison has served as the chief investment officer of the University of Illinois Foundation since January 2013 where she has built out an investment team in Chicago. At the University of Illinois Foundation, she is responsible for the $1.9 billion endowment pool of the foundation. Ellison previously served as executive director of investments at the University of Miami and was responsible for multi-class asset investment pools. She has also served as the CIO at J.I.K. Investment Services, Inc., a family office in Miami, Fla., and as an SVP at Fiduciary Trust Company International in New York and Miami. Ellison holds an MBA from Columbia University Business School and a bachelor's degree in French literature from Mount Holyoke College. She also serves on a number of not-for-profit boards. Show more

John Zona

Chief Investment Officer & Associate Treasurer

Boston College Endowment

John Zona serves as chief investment officer and associate treasurer of Boston College. He also serves as Advisory Board Member at Windrose Advisors. His primary responsibilities include the oversight and administration of the University's $2.2 billion endowment, working capital and other invested funds, debt management, treasury operations, insurance and risk management. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. He is a member of the investment committee of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus, the finance and investment committees of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), National Collegiate Athletic Association as well as other investment and risk management advisory boards. He also serves as Advisory Board Member at Windrose Advisors. Zona holds a Ph.D. from Boston College. Show more
Julie Van Cleave is the chief investment officer at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, where she is responsible for managing all aspects of the Foundation’s investment operation. She reports to the President/ CEO, and works closely with the Investment Committee. Julie joined the Foundation in 2013 after a combined 30 years as an equity portfolio manager with Oppenheimer Funds, Deutsche Asset Management and Mason Street Advisors (Northwestern Mutual Life), managing top-rated mutual funds and institutional funds. Julie holds a BBA and an MBA in finance, investments, and banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an alumna of the well-recognized Applied Securities Analysis Program at Wisconsin and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
Jeremy Crigler is the chief investment officer at Tulane University, where he has served at for over 11 years. Prior to joining Tulane, he was a senior investment officer at Cornell University Investment Office. Crigler holds an MBA from Duke Fuqua School of Business and a bachelor's degree from Tulane University. Show more

Jason Perlioni

VP of Investments & Chief Investment Officer

Johns Hopkins University Endowment

Jason Perlioni became the second vice president of investments and chief investment officer for Johns Hopkins University in 2017. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the investment program for over $6 billion of endowment and other investment assets for the University and affiliated organizations. Previously, he was CIO at Pritzker Group Asset Management. Prior to that, he was director at UBS Global Asset Management and manager of hedge fund investments at Northwestern University. Perlioni holds an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Rice University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Show more
Karl Scheer is the chief investment officer at the University of Cincinnati which he joined in 2011. Previously, he co-managed a $1 billion endowment-style investment program at Summer Hill, a Mason Ohio-based family office where he had spent 6 years. Prior to that, he worked with Frank Russell before moving to San Francisco to join Russell’s dedicated private equity group, Pantheon Ventures, where he focused on manager selection and portfolio construction using private equity funds. He also spent five years financing startup companies in Seattle as part of venture capital firm, Frazier & Company, and merchant bank, Compass Capital. Scheer holds a B.A. from Harvard University, where he was captain of the intercollegiate varsity swimming team and an NCAA Division I All-American. Show more

Lois Cox

VP for Investments & Chief Investment Officer

Kansas State University Foundation

Lois Cox is the vice presidents of investments and chief investment officer at Kansas State University Foundation (KSUF). She has over 30 years of experience in investment. Prior to her current role, she was the director of Investments at KSUF and portfolio manager at Kansas Farm Bureau. Lois graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in finance. Show more
John Lane is the chief investment officer at the Ohio State University Office of Investments, where he is responsible for the investment management of a $3.63 billion long-term investment pool. Prior to joining the Ohio State, he was the CIO at the $90B Ohio Public Employee Retirement System. Lane holds a B.S. and MBA from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Show more
Collette Chilton is the chief investment officer at Williams College, where she joined in 2006. Previously, she was president and CIO at Lucent Asset Management Corporation. While at Lucent, she was responsible for the investment and oversight of approximately $40 billion in pension and retirement savings assets for the company. Prior to that, she served as CIO of the $30 billion Pension Reserves Investment Management (“PRIM”) Board, which invests the assets of the public employees’ and teachers’ retirement systems in Massachusetts. She held a similar position with the Massachusetts State Teachers and Employees Retirement Systems (“MASTERS”) Trust from 1993 until PRIM and MASTERS merged in 1996. Collette received a B.S. degree in political economy of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Amos Tuck Graduate School of Business at Dartmouth College. Show more

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