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UTIMCO CEO steps down
AUSTIN—Bruce Zimmerman, who has overseen the endowment benefitting The University of Texas System and The Texas A&M System for nearly a decade, has announced his resignation.
Zimmerman was hired in 2007 as chief executive officer and chief investment manager of The University of Texas Investment Management Co., or UTIMCO, the entity that manages endowments for the two largest public higher education systems in the state. 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.
Zimmerman stated that “It has been my extraordinary honor to lead UTIMCO and I am so proud of the results the team has delivered. The UTIMCO staff and Board, and everyone associated with the UT and A&M Regents and Systems, are remarkable people contributing so much to the state. While I will miss working with my colleagues, I have great optimism about UTIMCO’s future and I am excited to begin the next chapter in my life.”
Created in 1996, UTIMCO is the first 501(c)(3) investment corporation formed by a public university and under the authority of the UT System Board of Regents invests a number of funds, including the Permanent University Fund, currently valued at $17.9 billion. When Zimmerman took on the leadership role at UTIMCO, total assets under management were $23.5 billion and now total just under $37 billion.
“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,” UTIMCO Chairman and Regents Vice Chairman Jeffery Hildebrand said. “Bruce built an organization and a business model that truly reflects what Chancellor McRaven calls a ‘team of teams’ approach, capitalizing on the creativity and intellect of many external partners and internal colleagues, and making smart, calculated decisions that benefit and advance public higher education.”
The UTIMCO Board will act immediately to appoint an interim chief executive officer and chief investment officer and to launch a national search for Zimmerman’s successor.
The Permanent University Fund, commonly referred to as the PUF, is one of the state’s most unique, important and enduring competitive advantages. It is the largest endowment among those managed by UTIMCO. In 1876, the Texas Constitution set aside land in West Texas to support the UT and A&M systems of higher education. Today, that land – encompassing 2.1 million acres – is leased to oil and gas companies whose wells generate revenue that flows into the PUF. Land also is leased for grazing, wind farms and other revenue-generating activities. The Texas Constitution stipulates that The University of Texas System receives two-thirds of the benefits of the PUF and The Texas A&M System receives one-third.
Funds under UTIMCO’s management comprise the third-largest university endowment in the nation, behind endowments held by Harvard and Yale. During the past year, UTIMCO’s investment returns ranked as the 9th best among the 64 U.S. endowments of $1 billion or more in assets.
A Houston native, Zimmerman is a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Business School. Before coming to UTIMCO, Zimmerman was CIO and Global Head of Pension Investments at Citigroup. Previously at Citigroup, Zimmerman was CFO and chief administrative officer for Citigroup Alternative Investments, which invested more than $90 billion in proprietary and client capital across a range of hedge fund, private equity, private real estate equity and structured credit vehicles. Before joining Citigroup, he spent 13 years at Texas Commerce Bank/JPMorgan Chase in a variety of executive positions. Bruce is Vice Chairman of the CommonFund and a member of the Houston Endowment’s Investment Committee.
“Bruce earned his reputation as a strong, skilled investment manager and we are grateful for the excellent work he has done for public higher education in Texas,” said Regents Chairman and past UTIMCO Chairman Paul Foster. “He has steered the ship through good economic times and bad, always preserving and enhancing precious assets that allow us to provide unmatched opportunity for Texas students.”
About The University of Texas System
Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 221,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2017 is $17.9 billion, including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.