University of Texas Asset Management Co. approved changing its policy for investment staff bonuses following criticism of large sums paid in February despite heavy 2008 losses, confirmed spokeswoman Christy Wallace.
UTIMCO, which manages the Austin-based $19.2 billion University of Texas System endowment, approved a policy ensuring that if the system loses money, bonuses will be deferred for one year. If the endowment's assets decline during the deferral period, bonuses will decline equal to investment performance. If the endowments improve, bonuses will rise.
If losses equal or exceed 14%, bonuses will be eliminated. Bonuses will be doubled if gains equal or exceed 29%.
The change follows the abrupt resignation of Robert Rowling as UTIMCO president in February amid criticism by Gov. Rick Perry and other state lawmakers over $3.38 million in bonuses paid to UTIMCO staff members, $1.05 million of which went to CEO Bruce Zimmerman.
Mr. Rowling argued at the time that bonuses were for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, when the Permanent University Fund returned 2%.
The proposed policy change would defer bonuses if the endowments lose 10% or more between the time the compensation year ends and the bonus payments are finalized.
The proposal will be presented to the University of Texas System Board of Regents at its August meeting.