Columbia University’s Endowment Looks to Hire as CEO Settles In

  • Ivy League school’s fund seeks investment director, analyst
  • CEO Holland started post at $9 billion endowment on Oct. 3

Columbia University’s $9 billion endowment is searching for talent and promoting staff as a new chief executive officer starts putting his stamp on a fund that outperformed during volatile times.

Columbia is looking to add an investment director and an analyst to its 21-person office, according to the school’s online job board. Peter Holland, the longtime chief investment officer, began his role as CEO on Oct. 3, replacing Narv Narvekar, who departed to run Harvard University’s struggling $35.6 billion endowment.

Schools with large endowments including University of Texas, Dartmouth College and Washington University are seeking new leadership amid turnover at endowment offices. Robert Hornsby, a spokesman for Columbia, declined to comment on the personnel moves.

New Hires

According to Columbia’s job posting, the investment director will help determine asset allocation; participate in investment strategy analysis; and review and evaluate external investment managers. The investments analyst position is a 24-month role with a start date beginning July 2017 reporting directly to Holland, according to the posting.

Columbia on Dec. 1 appointed Tim Donohue chief investment officer. Donohue had been a managing director at the endowment since 2008. The fund in recent months also promoted Adam Goldstein to managing director on the investments team while associates James Snevily and Sue Tse were named directors on the operations side, according to the investment office’s website.

Columbia’s endowment reported a 0.9 percent investment loss for the year through June 30, the smallest loss among the eight Ivy League schools. The value of the fund declined 6.2 percent. Most college endowments posted losses for the first time since 2009. About 450 endowments fell 2.6 percent on average in the period, according to an estimate by Cambridge Associates.

Read More: U.S. Colleges Amass Riches as Students Sink in Debt: QuickTake

Columbia’s fund was a top performer under Narvekar, who has been CEO since 2002, with five-year and 10-year annualized returns of 7.4 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.

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