AUSTIN, Texas — The individual who succeeds Bob L. Boldt as CEO and CIO of the $19 billion University of Texas Investment Management Co. will face a double whammy, observers said.
He or she will be expected to maintain the performance momentum established by Mr. Boldt and to assuage a pair of boards recovering from what had been described by several people as an at-times fractious relationship with UTIMCO's former chief executive officer.
Mr. Boldt resigned Aug. 31 over what he called a "fundamental disagreement" with the UTIMCO board on investment strategy. "My philosophy is that we have to pursue a policy that is creative and competitive and value-added, based on risk management and risk budgeting," Mr. Boldt said. "At the end of the day, we came to a fundamental disagreement about that, and I decided that it was better for me and the organization to, rather than argue about that, move on and apply that philosophy someplace else."
Mr. Boldt said he is considering his next career move.
Interim CEO and CIO Cathy Iberg, UTIMCO's managing director of marketable alternative investments and deputy chief investment officer, did not return calls seeking comment. H. Scott Craven, UTIMCO chairman, also did not return calls.
Executive recruiters and people who have deep knowledge of the Austin-based investment company say it is not likely the UTIMCO board, or the board's overseer, the University of Texas Board of Regents, will want a repeat of the tumultuous four-year tenure of Mr. Boldt. But no one interviewed would name likely candidates for the job.
The UTIMCO board "needs the same kind of skill set that Bob brought to maintain our competitiveness, and also someone who can try and educate the board or regents and bring them along," said Woody Hunt, former UTIMCO chairman who left the board in July. "In addition to being an investment professional at a very high level, they need to be willing to spend some time managing the bureaucracy."
"This is one of the more complicated (positions) because you have political appointees overseeing you," said Hank Higdon, founding and managing partner of executive search firm Higdon Partners LLC, New York, which has placed investment officials at several universities and endowments. He noted that compared with Ivy League universities, the CEO post at UTIMCO is especially tough because part of the job is "spending half of your time examining constituencies."
"This is a fishbowl," he added.