University of Texas Names Interim CEO for $37 Billion Fund

  • Mark Warner is director of natural resources, emerging markets
  • Bruce Zimmerman resigned from third-largest college endowment

The University of Texas Investment Management Co. appointed Mark Warner, one of its senior directors, to serve as interim chief executive officer of the third-largest U.S. college endowment.

Warner, senior managing director of natural resources and emerging markets at UTIMCO, will run the $37 billion fund until a CEO is selected, the management company said Thursday in a statement. Warner replaces Bruce Zimmerman, who resigned Oct. 10 after about a decade overseeing the endowment in what he said was a mutual decision with the university.

Warner, 53, joined UTIMCO in 2007 to manage the natural resources portfolio and also had responsibility for management of the firm, according to the statement. During his tenure, he has led the investment team’s efforts in forging partnerships and in co-investing alongside the endowment’s partners, UTIMCO said.

Make Progress

“We have the utmost confidence in Mark Warner and his ability to provide leadership and make progress while we conduct a national search,” Jeffery Hildebrand, chairman of the UTIMCO board and vice chairman of the board of regents, said in the statement.

The UTIMCO board of directors on Thursday also authorized the hiring of an executive search firm. Warner is a candidate for the permanent position of CEO and chief investment officer, said Karen Adler, a University of Texas System spokeswoman.

UTIMCO manages funds for the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and the Permanent University Fund, which invests revenue from land leased to oil and gas companies.

Fiscal Year

The fund’s fiscal year ended Aug. 31 with an investment gain of about 4 percent, UTIMCO said. For the 12 months ended June 30, when most colleges complete their fiscal year, the endowment was down 0.7 percent. About 430 endowments lost 2.7 percent on average in the year through June, according to an estimate by Cambridge Associates, which manages $9.9 billion for endowments and foundations. The data, like the school returns, is net of fees.

For 10 years, the fund gained an annualized 5.5 percent through Aug. 31 and 5.6 percent through June 30.

The University of Texas is one of the largest public university systems in the U.S., with 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 221,000, according to the statement. The school said UTIMCO, created in 1996, is the first nonprofit investment corporation formed by a public university and is under the authority of the system’s board of regents.

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