Several endowments are boosting internal investment staff to cope with the proliferation of asset classes and the growing complexity of managing them.
Among those that have added senior investment professionals are the $1.5 billion endowment at Brown University, Providence, R.I.; the $643 million Tufts University endowment, Somerville, Mass.; and the $965 million Swarthmore College endowment, Swarthmore, Pa.
In addition, Smith College, Northampton, Mass., is close to adding an investment pro for its $810 million endowment.
Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, N.C., added an assistant treasurer in March to oversee its $800 million endowment assets.
Executive recruiter Susan Fowler, managing director at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc., New York, noted many endowments lack a "designated" chief investment officer. "Everything is being run by the treasurer. They are finding they need someone like that who can take some of the responsibility for investments. You are starting to see those funds looking for chief investment officers," Ms. Fowler said.
But the trend is not limited to midsized funds. The University of Texas Investment Management Co., Austin, which oversees the $8.6 billion University of Texas endowment, is almost done with a complete revamping of its investment staff. Under the direction CIO Bob Boldt, five new senior-level managing directors have been named, with three more to be added in the near future.
The three UTIMCO managing directors still to be hired will oversee a portion of the fund's equity portfolio; inflation-hedging investments such as Treasury inflation-protected securities; and oil and gas, timber and real estate.
"You either have a complex, rich asset mix or and commit to that, or you don't. If you commit to having a rich asset mix, you commit to having the people to manage those assets," Mr. Boldt said.