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14 August, 2019 - 11:28 By Kate Sweeney

New chief for £3.2bn Cambridge University Endowment Fund

The University of Cambridge has appointed Tilly Franklin as chief investment officer to lead its £3.2 billion Endowment Fund.

Franklin will leave her role as director of investments and head of private equity at Alta Advisers, a London-based investment advisory firm and one of Europe’s leading single family investment offices.

An alumna of Jesus College, Cambridge, Franklin brings an impressive level of financial experience from Alta, private equity firm Apax Partners Ltd, BBC Worldwide and Virgin Management to the role.

Franklin said: “As an alumna, I’m delighted to be taking on a role at this great university and helping to support its world-leading research and teaching.”

The University’s Endowment Fund supports a wide range of academic and research activities across Cambridge from the world-class Fitzwilliam Museum to scholarships for hundreds of students from around the world and ground-breaking research into chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, to name just two of the many areas of cutting-edge research at Cambridge.

University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “This is a key appointment. Tilly is the ideal person to lead the Endowment Fund into this new era. She brings a wealth of financial experience and a passionate commitment to responsible fund management.”

The fund has distributed on average about £75 million annually over the last 10 years to help support the university in its mission to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

Franklin will take on the CIO role in a challenging era for fund management as the world economy transitions towards a more sustainable economic model in the 21st century. 

Her presence on the university’s investment board for the last five years ensures a continuity of the strategic approach for the Endowment that has provided a framework for success since its creation 10 years ago.

The appointment coincides with the university’s efforts to tackle the fundamental problems facing humanity such as climate change, food security and chronic disease, where the fund’s contribution plays a vital role in supporting research and scholarship. 

Those efforts also include greater transparency into the fund’s activities and the appointment of a university-wide Environmental Social Governance  Officer, who will establish a programme of research into responsible investment, as well as the creation of a Centre for Carbon Futures Initiative determined to tackle the challenges of climate change.

The fund has a number of investors from Cambridge colleges to trusts, whose income furthers the research, learning and teaching for hundreds of university academics and scholars.

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