Ms. Handy was the long-serving treasurer of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. In 1998, she helped to spin off the University of Virginia Investment Management Co. into a separate company, and served as its president. When Ms. Handy left UVA last June, she had investment oversight of the college's $1.8 billion endowment and $400 million of several other UVA-related endowments.
Ms. Handy's business model is to manage assets for endowments "exactly as a university investment office would."
Under that model, Investure will assume management of the entire investment function for between four and 10 colleges with endowments ranging from $150 million to $1 billion. Investure will manage client assets on a discretionary basis as a manager of managers, using separate account vehicles for traditional asset classes and pooled funds for private equity and hedge fund investments. (At least for now, Smith will retain the asset allocation decision. Investure will manage Smith's fixed-income assets internally, and the rest as a manager of managers.)
Ms. Handy noted it is in the alternative investment arena that Investure likely can add the most value for many small college endowments, which would not have the internal staff expertise nor sufficient assets to easily manage a portfolio of direct hedge fund or private equity assets.
Ms. Handy brought three other staff with her from University of Virginia Investment and the university, including Hance West, managing director in Investure's fixed-income and hedge fund areas, and Chas Cocke, a principal who focuses on traditional asset managers and hedge funds.
Carol Wood, a spokeswoman for UVA, said the university still is searching for Ms. Handy's replacement, but was unable to say whether Messrs. West and Cocke are being replaced or what their titles and duties were.
Bruce Miller also joined Investure as a managing director from real estate manager Carmel Partners Inc., San Francisco, where he was director of acquisitions-Northern California. Mr. Miller will focus on private equity, venture capital and real estate manager research.
Ms. Handy said she is searching now for two more staffers — an analyst to support the investment manager research staff and a chief operating officer/chief financial officer who will oversee office operations and client service.
The company is "backfilling" on support services not directly related to investment management, said Ms. Handy, because staff had to focus almost immediately on managing Smith's endowment, which was transferred in early February. A second client with about $685 million in endowment assets has hired Investure and will transfer its assets by the end of the month. Ms. Handy declined to identify the client.
Ms. Constantine said Investure's commitment to serving a very small group of endowments convinced Smith College's investment committee to hire Ms. Handy and her team.
"Rather than feeling we were outsourcing to a large company, Investure brings a sense to us that ‘this is our CIO' who is managing our assets."
With the new allocation, $100 million is going into hedge funds and $20 million into private equity as soon as possible. Ms. Constantine said Investure is evaluating managers now for the pooled fund vehicles they'll use for these asset classes.