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CIO Pamela Peedin Leaving BU for Dartmouth

Guided endowment through recession

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Pamela Peedin will manage Dartmouth’s $3 billion endowment, beginning February 1. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Having shepherded the University’s endowment to a 12.7 percent return in the last fiscal year, Pamela Peedin, BU’s chief investment officer, is leaving to take the same job at her alma mater, Dartmouth College. Peedin starts her new post February 1.

“I had no intention of leaving,” says Peedin. “I imagined myself staying with the investment team, the investment committee, the BU community, and the portfolio for many years to come.” But she says her quarter-century relationship with Dartmouth—she graduated from the school in 1989, earned an MBA from its Tuck School of Business in 1998, and has been active in alumni work—influenced her decision “to explore this new opportunity, even though it means leaving a place I’ve come to love in a short time.”

Until she arrived in May 2007, the Board of Trustees investment committee met monthly to manage the University’s holdings. That committee now approves investments, while the investment office manages day-to-day business.

At Dartmouth, Peedin will oversee a $3 billion endowment, which earned a 10 percent return in fiscal 2010.

“Pam deserves enormous credit for the job she has done in starting, building, and managing the investment office,” says Alan Leventhal (Hon.’09), chair of the investment committee and a former chair of the Board of Trustees. “We will miss her leadership, but are fortunate to have an exceptionally strong investment team.”

Last year’s return on the $1 billion-plus endowment bolstered the University’s net assets in a troubled economy. Peedin says her team sought to grow the portfolio by investing in equities (notably, emerging markets) while seeking buffers against market downturns, a strategy that “helped improve the returns during the uncertain economic environment and very volatile market of the past few years.” Her newly created office succeeded, she says, because of “strong governance and a president who understood the value of a talented and dedicated investment office.”

In the last five years, according to Peedin, BU’s average 5.8 percent annual return on its endowment placed it in the top quarter of colleges and universities.

“Pam has built our investment office from scratch and guided our endowment through the most tumultuous financial markets that anyone has ever imagined,” says President Robert A. Brown. “We will miss her leadership, both of our investment office and as a member of the senior leadership of the University.”

BU recruited Peedin from Cambridge Associates, where she’d been a consultant and managing director. The Boston firm advises nonprofits on their investments.

In a Tuck School profile, she traced her passion for education to her Baltimore youth, when her parents made sacrifices to send their daughter to prep school. She later studied psychology at Dartmouth and then worked for private schools, as both a teacher and an administrator. The mother of two sons, Matt and Charlie, she says she earned her MBA with the intention of running a school, but found herself fascinated by the challenges of investing and mastering the stock market roller coaster.

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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