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U Virginia Endowment Hires New CIO

Robert Durden will leave Texas Children's Hospital to take the helm of UVIMCO’s $9 billion portfolio — triple the size of his current fund.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

The University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO) has hired a new leader.

Robert Durden, currently chief investment officer for Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, will take over as UVIMCO’s chief investment officer and chief executive officer in April, according to an announcement published late Friday.

“The University of Virginia serves as a model of great purpose and leadership, and it is an honor to join and serve this community,” Durden said in the statement.

Durden, 44, will go from managing $3 billion at Texas Children’s to running a $9.2 billion at UVIMCO.

He has worked at Texas Children’s since 2013. Prior to that, he served as managing director and head of private assets for Morgan Creek Capital Management, an investment firm based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

According to David MacFarlane, chairman of UVIMCO’s board, the fund undertook a “robust search process” to find its new leader. Lawrence Kochard, UVIMCO’s former CIO and CEO, left at the end of 2017 to become CIO at Makena Capital Management, an outsourced-CIO provider based in Menlo Park, California. 

UVIMCO COO Kristina Alimard had been the fund’s interim CEO, and E. Sargent McGowan, a managing director, acted as interim CIO during the search. According to UVIMCO’s statement, the two will return to their respective roles once Durden takes the helm.

“Robert will build on UVIMCO’s strong foundation and continue its long tradition of excellence, innovation, and service to the university,” MacFarlane said. “The UVIMCO board is thrilled that he has agreed to serve in this important leadership position."

A spokesperson for Texas Children’s did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.

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