CIO, The University of Notre Dame
Award: Large Endowment
Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, at the same time that David Swensen was building his famous model for endowment investing at Yale University, Scott Malpass was quietly establishing a top fund at his own alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. Malpass, class of 1984, returned to the South Bend, Indiana, campus from Wall Street in 1988 to take over the schools then$425 million fund and create an investment office.
Now $6 billion strong, the endowment fund at the largest Catholic university in the U.S. is managed by a team of 17, mostly alumni. As CIO, Malpass recognizes that diversification is only the beginning of getting the model right; access to top managers and consistent oversight are also critical. Malpass, 48, has benefited from having just two board-appointed committee chairmen oversee the endowment during his tenure. In early 2008 he created a dedicated risk management position to strengthen fund oversight. Notre Dames investment team members, famously loyal to their school and its CIO, provide the rest of the steady, long-term fund oversight. It seems to be working. The fund has posted a 10 percent annualized return over the past decade.