Wesleyan University Names Yale Endowment's Anne Martin as Investment Chief

Wesleyan University, which sued its former endowment head for fraud last year, named Anne Martin of Yale University’s fund as its new chief investment officer.

Martin, who starts Aug. 1 at Wesleyan, oversaw venture capital, energy and commodities investments at Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, according to a blog post written today by Michael Roth, Wesleyan’s president. The university’s fund was valued at almost $520 million as of Sept. 30.

Martin, a graduate of Smith College with a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, was one of six directors at Yale, the top-performing U.S. endowment, with an average gain of 12 percent in the decade ended June 2009. Her boss David Swensen pioneered an investing style that beat market indexes by relying on assets such as commodities, real estate and private equity. Some of those holdings fell more than public stocks and bonds after the U.S. housing market declined in 2007.

“We explored a variety of models for the management of Wesleyan’s portfolio before concluding that we had found the outstanding candidate in Ms. Martin,” Roth wrote.

Wesleyan, in Middletown, Connecticut, fired its previous chief investment officer, Thomas Kannam, in October and filed a suit in November saying that he “defrauded the university of thousands of dollars” and “engaged in outside employment in breach of his duty of loyalty, his employment agreement and the university’s conflict of interest policy.” Legal proceedings continue, said David Pesci, a Wesleyan spokesman.

U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked Wesleyan No. 13 among liberal-arts colleges in the U.S. The top spot on the list is held by Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Wesleyan was founded in 1831 and has more than 2,700 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, according to the university’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian Wee in New York at gwee3@bloomberg.net.

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