February 16, 2010

Chief Investment Officer James Walsh Will Resign At End of School Year

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The University’s Chief Investment Officer, James Walsh, announced his resignation yesterday in a statement issued to members of the investment office and student trustees.

“After 3 1/2 interesting and enjoyable years at Cornell and in Ithaca, my family and I have decided to return home to the United Kingdom,” Walsh said in the release. “Cornell is a wonderful place. I have had the honor to work with a great group of talented and dedicated people, and I’ve learned a lot during my time here that I will apply to new endeavors in the U.K. I also feel proud to be leaving a stronger and more professional Investment Office than the one I found when I arrived.”

In the statement, Walsh also reported that the University’s endowment performance is up about 10 percent so far this year, after suffering a more than 25 percent decrease in fiscal year 2009. In the midst of the bleak financial situation that engulfed the nation in 2009, the statement noted that the University’s “endowment successfully avoided many of the liquidity problems that affected those of its peers last year.”

“Working with the Investment Committee, James helped the University weather the downturn and begin to regain much needed equilibrium in its investment performance,” President Skorton said in the statement. “I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Walsh has held the post of CIO since 2006 and oversaw the endowment’s steady growth until its devastating crash last year. The investment office has expanded from 17 to 25 members since he took the job. Walsh and his peers expressed optimism in the statement that he is leaving a stable foundation on which the investment office and endowment will build. University officials did not say when a new CIO will be announced.

Original Author: Brendan Doyle