Notre Dame’s first Chief Investment Officer has been at the job for more than 30 years. He built a team that will likely work together just as long managing the endowment.
I have the best team in higher education, they are all Notre Dame alumni, they have a very strong sense of purpose and mission about the University. All of the senior team went out and did other things: Harvard MBAs, law degrees, CFAs, and they got other experiences. But they came back to help us manage our endowment. So that would be another factor that’s been huge to us, the stability of our team.
That team longevity helps the school build relationships with fund managers that last a decade a more.
Notre Dame has about 175 of these investment partners. They have been given an amount of money to manage, a piece of the overall endowment pie, each allocation averaging about $100 million, although the slices range from $5,000 to $500 million. The idea is for these partners to grow the size of their piece. “We monitor their performance constantly,” he says. “We get their reports typically monthly, and my team is meeting with them, talking through any issues or concerns. We’re always trying to improve our portfolio, better and better.”
That means better and better investment partners, too. Turnover is expected. People retire, he explains, or maybe have a good run they can’t keep up. While the average tenure is 10 years, Malpass and his team are always looking for new blood. “We like a smaller, a little more boutique-y owner-operator,” he says. Finding new partners means “intense networking and talking to people. That’s why we travel so much. You’ve got to get out and talk to people.”
To learn more about the endowment team at Notre Dame and how they invest, listen to Scott Malpass on Capital Allocators.
Post by Marcelino Pantoja