Cambridge Univ. Looks for New CIO After Endowment Execs Quit in Divestment Debate


FundFire | April 25, 2019

The FundFire article, “Cambridge Univ. Looks for New CIO After Endowment Execs Quit in Divestment Debate," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Debra Brown on the growing interest in socially responsible investing. The article is excerpted below.

Cambridge University is recruiting a new CIO after Nick Cavalla, together with three other investment office leaders, resigned last fall amid a heated debate about fossil fuel divestment on campus.

The incoming CIO will oversee the Cambridge University Endowment Fund, the main pool of the U.K.’s second-largest endowment, totaling £3.3 billion, or $4.3 billion.


Candidates, on the other hand, have also started to ask about their prospective future employers’ stance on socially responsible investing during the interview process, says Debra Brown, managing director of Russell Reynolds Associates’ asset and wealth management recruiting practice. “It’s helpful if there’s a philosophy already established, whereby an incoming or prospective CIO can decide whether he or she is comfortable with that,” she says.

At Cambridge, “it sounds like they hadn’t thought through how they were going to handle issues of this nature,” Brown adds. She advises endowments to figure out “where the lines are drawn, and who’s going to make the decisions.”

To read the full article, click here.