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Britt Harris moving to UTIMCO

T. Britton Harris III was named president, CEO and chief investment officer of University of Texas Investment Management Co., Austin, effective Aug. 1 at a board meeting Friday..

Mr. Harris currently is CIO of the $139.7 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin.

Hs is replacing Mark Warner, a UTIMCO senior managing director who assumed the roles of interim CEO and CIO on Oct. 13 after Bruce Zimmerman resigned Oct. 10, following nine years as head of the university's investment office.

Mr. Warner said in an email that that his investment role after Mr. Harris joins UTIMCO has yet to be determined. While serving as interim leader, he also retained his role overseeing investment portfolios, including emerging markets equity and private equity.

“Britt is a highly successful … manager with an outstanding track record. He has provided both steady leadership and strong returns everywhere he has served," said Jeffery Hildebrand, UTIMCO's chairman and vice chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, in a news release.

“He brings expertise in global financial management and a critically important understanding of endowment management to support education,” Mr. Hildebrand added, noting “we extend our sincerest gratitude to interim CEO and CIO Mark Warner and the team for doing a masterful job of leading UTIMCO during the search process.”

UTIMCO manages $39.4 billion in assets from UT and Texas A&M, including endowment assets of $19.2 billion from the Permanent University Fund and $7.8 billion from the Long Term Fund of the General Endowment Fund. David Barrett Partners conducted the search for UTIMCO.

At the Texas Teachers fund, Deputy CIO Jerry Albright will assume the role of interim CIO, said Brian Guthrie, executive director of the plan, in a news release. TRS trustees will discuss a permanent replacement at the July 13 board meeting, the release said.

“Serving TRS has been one of the great honors of my professional life,” Mr. Harris said in the fund's news release. “Our teachers and educators are such important people, and it has been a privilege to serve them. I will greatly miss everyone at TRS, but the fund's organization is very strong and my confidence in TRS staff could not be higher.”

A request to TRS to speak to Mr. Harris was not granted.

“Britt is an absolute force of nature. No client pushes investment managers harder to improve, going so far as to send us report cards across a number of dimensions. He has not only delivered for his beneficiaries — retired teachers in Texas — he continues to challenge and strengthen the industry,” said George H. Walker, chairman and CEO of Neuberger Berman, in a statement. Neuberger Berman is one of TRS' external managers.