University of Texas Investment Management Co. handed out $7.2 million in bonuses to 29 managers after investments topped benchmarks for three straight years, according to CEO Bruce Zimmerman.
The biggest award, almost $1.88 million, went to Mr. Zimmerman, and half of that will be spread over three years, according to Mr. Zimmerman. President Cathy Iberg got about $1.08 million, he said, while the smallest payout was $25,000. The fund paid $5.1 million in 2010 bonuses.
Board members of UTIMCO, which oversees $25.4 billion in assets for the University of Texas System, Austin, awarded the payments Wednesday at a meeting in Austin. The fund earned 20% on its investments in the 12 months through August, ranking in the middle of about 20 large university endowments, and the fund has gained 7% a year in the past decade, Mr. Zimmerman said.
Mr. Zimmerman's bonus is more than three times his base salary of $600,000. he said.
“The board was very happy with our results,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “Our actual return has exceeded our policy benchmarks by $1.8 billion over the past three years, which is probably the best way to measure a staff.”
Paul Foster, the company's chairman, didn't immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment on the awards.
The endowment, which invested in gold bullion earlier this year, plans to expand private equity investments to include overseas mining and agriculture ventures during the next few years, Mark Warner, senior director for natural resources, said at the meeting. As much as $1.5 billion will be placed in the two industries within five years, up from less than $20 million currently, according to materials handed out during the session.
“It's a tremendous playing field for guys who know the space, and there are only five or six firms that really know the space,” Mr. Warner said, referring to mining industry investors.