United Parcel Service’s longtime chief investment officer Brian Pellegrino will leave early next year to become CIO of the Georgia Tech Foundation, he told Institutional Investor in an interview Wednesday.
Pellegrino has spent his entire career at UPS, becoming CIO in 2005. His replacement, which has not been announced, will be an internal hire, he said. The courier company did not conduct an external search to fill the role.
He leaves behind a 25-person investment team that he built from a group of three over the last 12 years, running what is now a $36 billion portfolio. UPS is one of the last large U.S. companies with an open defined benefit pension plan, and its portfolio is among the most sophisticated of its kind.
The fund has generated an annualized 8.75 percent return and $16.3 billion in investment income since inception, UPS documents show.
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At Georgia Tech, he will once again be in charge of an expansion project. “The portfolio has reached a critical mass of about $2 billion,” said Pellegrino. “The university is looking to build out an institutional investment program, including adding to the team,” he said. “It’s a perfect fit for me. We can build something very special.”
Pellegrino credits Georgia Tech’s outgoing CIO Jim Taylor with crafting a strong foundation for the young organization. “The people I have met there are so committed to Georgia Tech and the success of the university,” he said. “And that’s part of the attraction and the excitement.”
If talent has drawn Pellegrino to Georgia Tech, it is also what makes his departure from UPS a bittersweet one.
“I’m going to miss the people,” said Pellegrino. “I’ve had the privilege of working with an extremely talented, dedicated group. And not only the ones sitting there today, but also the ones who came before them.”