University of Cambridge Hires New CIO From Family Office

Tilly Franklin, who ran private equity at Alta Advisers, will lead the nearly $4 billion endowment.

St. Johns College, part of the University of Cambridge. (Peter Kindersley/Bloomberg)

St. Johns College, part of the University of Cambridge.

(Peter Kindersley/Bloomberg)

The University of Cambridge has hired family office investor Tilly Franklin as the chief investment officer of its £3.2 billion ($3.9 billion) endowment fund, the university announced Thursday.

The university has been without a CIO since last fall, when investment chief Nick Cavalla quit along with most of his investment staff. Cavalla, who had run the endowment since 2007, now serves as the chief executive of Talisman Global Asset Management.

His newly appointed successor, Franklin, has served as a director of investments and head of private equity at Alta Advisers since 2008. The single-family office manages the fortune of Swedish billionaire Hans Rausing, whose father founded food packing company Tetra Pak. Robert Wallace, the CIO of Stanford Management Company, is also an Alta Advisers alum.

“This is a key appointment,” Stephen Toope, the university’s vice chancellor, said in a statement. “Tilly is the ideal person to lead the endowment fund into this new era. She brings a wealth of financial experience and a passionate commitment to responsible fund management. We are lucky to have her.”

Prior to joining Alta Advisers, Franklin was a principal at private equity firm Apax Partners. She holds an MBA from London Business School, attended Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar, and has a master’s degree from Cambridge.

Since 2014, she has served on the University of Cambridge investment board.

“As an alumna, I’m delighted to be taking on a role at this great university, and helping to support its world-leading research and teaching,” Franklin said in a statement.

In addition to announcing Franklin’s hire, Cambridge said it would appoint a university-wide environmental social governance officer, who will “establish a program of research into responsible investment.” The university is also launching the Centre for Carbon Futures Initiative to tackle climate-related issues.