UTIMCO chairman ‘excited’ about search for new investment chief

When the head of a multibillion-dollar organization steps down, effective immediately, it raises the question of whether the person jumped or was pushed.

Case in point: Bruce Zimmerman’s abrupt resignation Monday from the University of Texas Investment Management Co., which oversees nearly $37 billion in stocks, bonds and other assets, including endowments for the UT System and the Texas A&M University System. Zimmerman had been UTIMCO’s chief executive and chief investment officer since 2007.

UTIMCO Chairman and UT Regent Jeffery Hildebrand

UTIMCO Chairman and UT Regent Jeffery Hildebrand

I asked Jeffery Hildebrand, chairman of the nonprofit investment company and a UT regent, about the matter this morning, and he replied: “We’re going to proceed forward. We’re going to look for a new CIO and we’re excited about that. Based on Bruce’s comments, I think he’s excited where he’s at now, too.”

Asked if he was unhappy with recent performance, Hildebrand said: “I’m just going to no comment on that. I want to keep everything positive. Look, it’s a new chapter for everyone and we’re excited about it. I think Bruce is excited about where he’s going. We’re going to go out and conduct a national search and really find a world-class CIO to shepherd this thing over for the next 10 years.”

The UT System’s news release announcing Zimmerman’s departure included this passage:

“During his tenure, Zimmerman built a stellar team of investors who collectively have added over $4.25 billion of value – or approximately $475 million per year – for both the UT and A&M Systems.”

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