University launches investment board to advise on its funds
The University of Cambridge has formed its first investment board to advise on all matters relating to the university’s endowment and other investment assets, which currently total more than £1 billion.The University has persuaded David Swensen, the chief investment officer at Yale, to join the board and is also recruiting a chief investment officer of its own – making Cambridge the first UK university to forge a professional, in-house investment operation.
The move comes three months after the University launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign by any UK university, with a target of £1 billion.
Prof Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor of the University, who will also serve as a board member, said the initiative was “a significant step forward for Cambridge.
“Building the University’s endowment and providing more income to support core activities are crucial elements in our overall strategy to strengthen and reconfigure the University’s finances.
“Cambridge’s benefactors must be confident that gifts to the endowment will be managed according to global best practice.”
Michael Dobson, chief executive of Schroders plc and a graduate of Trinity College, will chair the board. Besides Swensen and Prof Richard, he will be joined by other leading financial specialists:-
• John Armitage, co-founder of Egerton Capital, and a graduate of Pembroke College
• Damon Buffini, managing partner of Permira and a graduate of St John’s College
• Charles Larkum, bursar of Sidney Sussex College, member of the University Finance Committee and of the University Investments Sub-committee since 1993
• Douglas McDougall, a former senior partner of Baillie Gifford & Co, chairman of The Law Debenture Corporation and of the Independent Investment Trust
• Stewart Newton, chairman of The Real Return Holdings Company, founder of Newton Investment Management, and a member of the advisory board of Cambridge’s East Asia Institute.