Mr. Nelson oversees investment of $26 billion for Commonfund's 1,500 institutional investors and also chairs the firm's investment policy and asset allocation committee. He reports to Verne O. Sedlacek, Commonfund Group's president and CEO.
He replaces Lyn Hutton, who left Commonfund on Nov. 30 to become managing director and COO of investment banking and capital markets firm Prager, Sealy & Co.
Mr. Nelson left ING Investment Management Americas, where he was vice chairman and CIO, in 2009, Mr. Luke said.
In other news, A. Nicholas De Monico, managing director, was promoted to CEO of Commonfund Marketable Alternatives, the firm's hedge fund unit. The position is new and gives Mr. De Monico oversight of the unit's business side, Mr. Luke said. He had been head of the unit and will not be replaced in that role, according to Mr. Luke. Mr. De Monico served as Commonfund's deputy CIO, an interim title, after Ms. Hutton's departure.
Also, Michael Strauss will become Commonfund's chief investment strategist, a new position. He will remain the firm's chief economist.