October 26, 2010 — Lawrence E. Kochard, currently chief investment officer at Georgetown University, was today named chief executive officer of the University of Virginia's Investment Management Company. A. Macdonald Caputo, chairman of the UVIMCO board and a member of the University's Board of Visitors, said in his announcement that Kochard will join UVIMCO on Jan. 1.
Kochard, 54, who was the founding director of Georgetown's investment office in 2004, comes to U.Va. with not only a strong background in finance, but also with University ties, including two economics degrees from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. He succeeds Christopher J. Brightman, who resigned earlier this year.
As CEO, Kochard will be responsible for overseeing the University's almost $3 billion core endowment, held by the Board of Visitors, and cash management for the University. He and his 23-person staff also are responsible for management of certain endowment assets held by numerous University foundations. The University's total endowment, including the related foundations, approaches $4.6 billion.
The University's endowment is one of the five largest in public higher education and in the top 30 among all colleges and universities.
"Larry was the unanimous choice of the UVIMCO board, and we have every confidence that he will maintain the fine reputation of investment excellence that has been established through the efforts of his predecessors and the incredible UVIMCO team," Caputo said. "We are convinced that Larry is the person who can provide the leadership and vision to achieve our future expectations for UVIMCO."
Kochard said he is very pleased on many levels to have been selected. "UVIMCO has one of the strongest and most respected teams in the investment world and one of the strongest and most respected boards," he said. "I love the University of Virginia and this community, so this is really coming home for me."
His academic credentials, as well as his range of experience – from Wall Street and the Virginia Retirement System to Georgetown – make him well suited him for the UVIMCO leadership position, Kochard said.
"Without realizing it, I think I have been preparing for this job for the past 20 years," he said.
Prior to going to Georgetown, Kochard served from 2001 to 2004 as managing director for equity and hedge fund investments for the Virginia Retirement System. From 1997 to 2000, he taught in U.Va.'s McIntire School of Commerce, first as an adjunct and later full time as an assistant professor.
His teaching has included courses in investment, fixed income and corporate finance. At Georgetown, he has continued to teach one course a year, and he hopes to do the same when he returns to U.Va.
Kochard said he believes that it's important, as the institution's chief investment officer, to be connected to a university's community and to understand not only the daily operations, but also "the institution's tolerance for risk."
He attributes some of the investment mistakes made at universities in 2008 to investment offices being too removed from their universities.
"They lost sight of who they were working for," Kochard said. "I will never let that happen under my watch."
He currently has 10 student interns working in his Georgetown office, another way he finds to connect with the university community and something he would like to replicate at UVIMCO.
Kochard said he also understands his responsibility to connect to faculty and staff, as well as to students, to explain the importance of the endowment and its connection to the long-term health of the institution.
"Never before has the endowment been more important than it is today," said Leonard W. Sandridge, the University's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "The endowment supports our students and our programs in teaching, research and health care. Larry understands the role of the endowment and will extend its benefits."
Sandridge pointed to UVIMCO's history of outstanding investment performance and said he believes that Kochard will be committed to upholding that legacy. "He brings the leadership and experience that will enable the UVIMCO team to excel," he said, "as well as to continue the strong endowment performance that supports the University and its related foundations."
As contributions from the Commonwealth of Virginia declined over the past 20 years, endowment earnings have become an increasingly important factor in the University's progress, President Teresa A. Sullivan said.
"Endowment income and private gifts provide the extra margin that takes the University of Virginia from adequacy to excellence. They also provide flexibility to meet pressing needs and support priorities as they arise during leaner times. The endowment contributes to the overall financial strength of the University," she said. "We are entrusting Mr. Kochard with one of our most important assets."
Kochard received a bachelor's degree in economics from the College of William & Mary in 1978, an M.B.A. in finance and accounting from the University of Rochester in 1980, and a master's and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia in 1996 and 1999, respectively.
Kochard and his wife, Jennifer, live in Charlottesville and have four children. Christopher is a third-year student in U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science; Matthew and Emily are in high school, and Elizabeth attends middle school.