November 1, 2010

Cornell Selects New Chief Investment Officer

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After a months-long search, Cornell appointed Monday a new chief investment officer to oversee the University’s endowment.

Michael Abbott, former chief executive officer of Robeco-Sage, a New-York based fund of hedge funds, began his tenure as Cornell’s CIO on Monday, the University said in a statement. Abbott fills the position left vacant by the departure of James Walsh, who resigned in June after about three and a half years on the job.

The chief investment officer is responsible for running  the University’s Investment Office, which manages Cornell’s $4.4 billion endowment. Cornell announced earlier this month that its endowment performance was up 12.6 percent in fiscal year 2010 after a drastic 26-percent drop in fiscal year 2009.

“I am absolutely excited beyond anything that I’ve ever done in my career about this opportunity and how I can continue to build this wonderful endowment,” Abbott said in a statement.

“Michael’s experience as CEO of a fund whose clientele included educational institutions makes him particularly qualified to understand Cornell’s investment needs and concerns,” President David Skorton said in a statement.

“The breadth and quality of Michael’s investment experience, as well as his very strong management skills, make him an excellent choice as the new CIO,” Paul Gould ’67, chair of the Board of Trustee’s investment committee, said in a statement.

Abbott holds a bachelor of laws degree from Kings College, London, according to the University. He has previously worked for Elysium Capital Group, Goldman Sachs, and Swiss Bank Corporation. He also served as a member of London’s metropolitan police force and is a National Police Rifle Champion.

Original Author: Michael Stratford