Leadership change planned for Washington University investment office


Kimberly G. Walker, chief investment officer at Washington University Investment Management Company (WUIMC), will step down from her position effective Dec. 31, according to David W. Kemper, chairman of the board of directors of WUIMC.

Kemper announced that a replacement will be chosen through a selection process to be led by WUIMC board member Eric Upin, who also will serve as interim chief investment officer until a successor is named. Upin received his undergraduate degree in economics and urban planning at Washington University before earning his master’s in business administration at Harvard University. He is head of portfolio strategies and managing director of Makena Capital Management in Menlo Park, Calif. Upin also serves as a member of the Washington University Board of Trustees.

Walker was appointed as chief investment officer in 2006. During her tenure,  endowment assets increased by almost 40 percent, and the investment office became a staff of more than 20 professionals. In her role, she has been responsible for developing the endowment’s overall investment philosophy, establishing a strategic asset policy, and implementing that policy through the selection and management of investment managers.

“I am grateful to Kim for her years of service to the university,” Kemper said. “She has steered our financial strategy during times of great uncertainty, and has provided steady leadership as our nation has navigated rough economic waters over the last decade. She has built the WUIMC and recruited a strong professional team. Thanks to her contributions, we are well-positioned to manage our financial future and maintain our strong position as a leader in university endowments.

“Kim Walker has served the university well. In our search for her replacement, we will be looking for a strong, strategic professional with a solid track record of success in managing large, complicated investment portfolios,” Kemper said.

“Kim Walker has made important contributions to the development of the WUIMC as its founding chief investment officer. She has also played an important role in engaging with the entire university community to understand the role of the endowment and the investment strategy,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “Kim has worked very effectively with our entire leadership team, and the foundation she built is much appreciated.”

Walker will work with the university in a consulting capacity while the search for her replacement is underway.

“It is a privilege to have led the endowment and to establish a professional and highly talented investment office,” Walker said. “Washington University defines excellence in higher education and I am proud of the contributions the endowment has made in support of that standard.”

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