Kent E. Muckel
Baylor University, Waco TX
Education: BS, finance, University of Colorado, CO; MBA,
Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, CO
Mentors: Christopher Bittman, CIO, University of Colorado
Foundation; Kim Walker, CIO, Washington University; Kathy
Lutito, CIO Qwest Asset Management
Kent Muckel joined Baylor University as CIO on May
1st of this year. Responsible for investment
decisions and portfolio management, he is assessing current
asset allocations and actively looking for opportunities to
take advantage of market dislocations while maintaining
The asset allocation model of Baylor is based on thematic
buckets; risk reducers, market exposures, return enhancers and
inflation hedges. Muckel is increasing the level of liquidity
and flexibility within each bucket to move more tactically.
Were looking at creative ways to get income and
growth into the portfolio, re-examining some allocations that
were made in a different economic environment, while also
looking to capitalize on attractive ideas stemming from the
markets recent volatility he says.
Baylors CFO, Reagan Ramsower, attributes Muckels
investment strength to his in-depth analytical skills.
Kent is incredibly comprehensive and systematic in his
research and the formulation of strategies for investing our
endowment. With an eye for details grounded by this solid
investment strategy, Kent is able to juggle the myriad
objectives of a university endowment he says.
The changing economic environment, according to Muckel,
presents the opportunity for endowments to re-evaluate the
asset allocation and implementation of their business models.
Managers will have the opportunity to re-think portfolio
design to better align portfolio constructions with the
specific needs of the institution it supports. The biggest
obstacle for foundations and endowments will be to balance the
desirable perpetual nature of an endowment or foundation and
the opportunities created with a long-term asset-base against
the immediate need to meet spending requirements and other cash
calls. All of this must be done in the face of potentially
lower returns than in the past due to an era of economic
de-leveraging and slower growth, says Muckel.
Before joining Baylor, Muckel was the senior portfolio
manager for the University of Colorado Foundation, where his
notable achievements included eliminating the securities
lending program in March 2008, and four weeks before the fall
of Lehman, removing cash from the Commonfund short-term vehicle
helping to preserve liquidity at the university. He also spent
nine years at the corporate pension fund for Qwest
Communications, responsible for the $10 billion public markets
portfolio in his final year.