Stanford Endowment's Finance Chief Retires in Latest Departure

  • Odile Disch-Bhadkamkar leaves after 23 years at Stanford
  • New chief Wallace is making changes to $22 billion portfolio

Odile Disch-Bhadkamkar retired as chief financial officer at Stanford Management Co., the latest departure as the university’s $22.2 billion endowment is being revamped.

Disch-Bhadkamkar told colleagues in an e-mail obtained by Bloomberg that the CFO role in the endowment office is being scaled back. A former vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co., she worked at Stanford for 23 years, including the last two overseeing system and process upgrades for the investment team, she said in the e-mail.

“With a strong team in place, this is an opportune time for me to hand over the reins,” she wrote. She said she would retire in the spring.

Several Exits

Stanford Management has had a number of departures since Robert Wallace was hired as chief executive officer in March of 2015. A veteran of Yale University’s investment office, Wallace previously ran London-based money manager Alta Advisers. Disch-Bhadkamkar is the fifth managing director to leave since last June, according to a review of the unit’s website.

Brad Hayward, a spokesman for Stanford, and Disch-Bhadkamkar declined to comment.

Other less senior staff have also departed, including Sarah Kim, a director of private equity and venture capital who left last month for Iconiq Capital, which helps manage the fortunes of Silicon Valley billionaires. At the same time Wallace has brought on at least three investing executives, including another Yale veteran and a former colleague from Alta.

Stanford, located near Palo Alto, California, had a 7 percent investment return on its endowment in the year ended June 30. The return was above industry benchmarks yet trailed outliers such as Yale and Princeton, which posted double-digit gains in fiscal 2015.

Stanford’s management company said in a brief report last year that it was overhauling the portfolio.

“SMC is currently in the process of concentrating its investment portfolio to drive additional performance through a focused and high‐convicted approach,” according to the report.

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