UO Foundation engages outside adviser to manage endowment

View of UO Foundation offices

The University of Oregon Foundation has hired Jasper Ridge Partners to manage the foundation’s cash and assets effective July 1.

For the past 21 years, the endowment has been managed by an internal team at the foundation, and their contributions have resulted in the significant growth of the endowment. Staff retirements, notably Chief Investment Officer Jay Namyet, and growth in the size of the endowment prompted a review of the best way to manage the endowment going forward.

An evaluation by the foundation concluded that engagement of outside professional experts would likely boost risk-adjusted returns and add another layer of fiduciary safeguards. The decision was unanimously endorsed by the UO Foundation Board in April.

“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the foundation’s assets grow prudently to support the mission of the university,” said Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the UO Foundation.

The foundation receives, invests and disburses private gifts made to the university. The UO Foundation endowment currently stands at $1.1 billion, with additional investments bringing total assets to about $2 billion.

Jasper Ridge Partners manages approximately $30 billion in assets for select families, endowments, foundations, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. With a team of more than 100 investment and operations professionals, Jasper Ridge manages multiasset class and diversified portfolios, as well as tailored, asset-class-specific mandates.   

“Jasper Ridge brings a team with deep knowledge of capital markets and the investment universe combined with a strong understanding of foundation and university legal and compliance issues,” Weinhold said, “and we couldn’t be more delighted to partner with them.”

The move is an evolutionary step, said Mike Andreasen, the UO’s vice president for advancement, given the success of the UO’s current capital campaign, which is nearing its $3 billion goal.

“We’re grateful to the UO Foundation and its investment team for a successful, collaborative relationship that has brought us far,” Andreasen said. “We have the utmost confidence and trust that their new partnership with Jasper Ridge will yield great benefits for the university and its students.”