Even though he has never lived in Wisconsin, Tom Weaver said his move to Madison in December "is like coming home."
Mr. Weaver is the new director of investment of the $1.4 billion Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. He replaces Mark Bear, who retired Dec. 31 after 26 years.
Mr. Weaver has a strong family connection to the state and to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His father, John Weaver, was the first president of the UW System, from 1971 to 1977, and his grandfather, Andrew Weaver, was a professor of speech at UW-Madison from 1918 to 1961. The younger Mr. Weaver's daughter, Carrie, will soon begin a master's degree program in speech pathology at the Madison campus. Mr. Weaver said, "I've been coming to Wisconsin all of my life, visiting family."
For the past five years, Mr. Weaver was senior investment manager of the $2.1 billion Fairfax (Va.) County Employees Retirement System. Before that, he was a principal owner of money manager Davis Weaver & Mendel Inc., Atlanta, for 15 years.
Mr. Weaver is conducting an asset allocation and risk budgeting review of the foundation's investments, seeking better balance. Mr. Weaver said it's too early to predict the changes he will recommend to the board of trustees.
The foundation patents the inventions of university faculty, staff and students of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, licenses the technology to outside companies for development and returns the revenues to the university to fund research. It shares the patent income and investment income from the foundation's portfolio with UW-Madison.