Yale Adds Wells Fargo CFO to Endowment Investment Committee

  • Venture capitalist Miura-Ko, banking veteran Shrewsberry join
  • Sutter Hill's Baker, Sycamore's Kaluzny depart group

Yale University has added a venture capitalist and the chief financial officer of Wells Fargo & Co. to the committee overseeing its $25.6 billion endowment, one of the top-performers in higher education.

Ann Miura-Ko, a co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based venture fund Floodgate, joined Yale’s 10-person investment committee along with John Shrewsberry, a banking veteran at Wells Fargo who is located in San Francisco. They replace Leonard Baker, a managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures, and Stefan Kaluzny, managing director at Sycamore Partners, according to a review of annual reports.

Shrewsberry, who has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, said he first met Yale’s investment chief David Swensen and others overseeing the endowment as part of his work at Wells Fargo. Miura-Ko wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Top Performer

“I have been active with the board of advisors of the Yale School of Management, and our paths have crossed there as well,” Shrewsberry said in an e-mail.

Since 1985 Swensen has led Yale’s top-performing endowment, which has returned an annual average of 13.7 percent over the past 20 years. The university’s venture capital portfolio had a 93 percent yearly gain in that period, the Ivy League school said in its 2015 annual report.

Yale’s 11.5 percent return for fiscal 2015 was among the best for college endowments. The average return was 2.4 percent, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers and money manager Commonfund.

Swensen didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment about the board changes.

The two outgoing board members are both veteran financiers. Baker has been a partner at Sutter Hill Ventures in Palo Alto since 1973 and on Yale’s investment committee since 1990. He said he left the board because he reached the university-imposed retirement age of 72. He’s also a former Yale trustee and chairman of the university’s finance committee, according to the annual report.

“Being on the investment committee was a huge thrill,” Baker said in a telephone interview. “Obviously I think it was time to go.”

Kaluzny, co-founder of Sycamore Partners, a New York-based private equity firm focusing on retail businesses, joined the Yale investment committee in fiscal 2010, according to annual reports. Kaluzny declined to comment through a spokesman, Michael Freitag, from the firm Joele Frank.

(Updates with performance in 6th paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected spelling of Miura-Ko's name.)
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