UTIMCO’s CEO steps down

Bruce Zimmerman announced his resignation Monday with no immediate successor to the top role at the $35.9bn endowment, which has a 32% allocation to private investments.

The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) has lost its chief executive, the endowment said Monday.

Bruce Zimmerman stepped down after leading the Austin-based system for nearly a decade as CEO and chief investment officer. Prior to his time at UTIMCO, he had been Citigroup’s CIO and global head of pension investments.

In a statement, Zimmerman did not disclose his future plans.

UTIMCO, which manages $35.9 billion in assets, has a 32.1 percent exposure to private investments, as of 31 August 2015. Its private investments portfolio includes private debt, real estate, natural resources, buy-out, growth, and venture capital. Recent commitments to private equity funds made by UTIMCO include $100 million to Carrick Capital Partners II, which raised $275 million, $100 million to the $830 million Kerogen Energy Fund II, and $200 million to the $1 billion Equis Asia Fund II, all in 2015, according to PEI data.

UTIMCO’s board will appoint an interim CEO and CIO and will launch a national search for Zimmerman’s permanent replacement.

Founded in 1996, UTIMCO is the third-largest endowment in the US, behind Yale University and Harvard University, according to Monday’s statement. The entity manages the endowments for The University of Texas System and The Texas A&M System. 

“UTIMCO plays a crucial role in supporting everything we do at The University of Texas System and Bruce has done a masterful job in maximizing those resources,” Jeffery Hildebrand, the endowment’s chairman, said in a statement Monday. “Bruce built an organization and a business model that truly reflects…a ‘team of teams’ approach, capitalizing on the creativity and intellect of many external partners and internal colleagues.”

Zimmerman’s resignation comes amid recent leadership changes at other major university endowments, notably Harvard University, whose CEO, Stephen Blyth, stepped down in July after just 18 months in the role. Harvard said last month that Nirmal Narvekar, formerly the CEO of Columbia University’s endowment, will take Blyth’s place starting in December. Columbia in turn promoted Peter Holland, its CIO since 2003, to CEO, PERE previously reported.