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TIAA Wins Major Outsourced-CIO Mandate For Georgia Endowment

The Medical College of Georgia Foundation picked TIAA to run its roughly $240 million investment portfolio.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

Augusta University’s Medical College of Georgia Foundation has selected a TIAA subsidiary to manage its $240 million endowment as an outsourced-chief investment officer (OCIO).

TIAA announced the mandate win August 8, noting that the foundation selected its program due to its “sophisticated risk management and spending policy optimization” capabilities. 

The Medical College of Georgia Foundation joins a growing number of endowments and foundations in handing off the day-to-day running of their portfolios. A February Natixis survey showed that roughly 40 percent of institutions were outsourcing at least some of their investment functions already, and portion was expected to grow.

[II Deep Dive: The Relentless Rise of Investment Outsourcing]

“Institutions are finding that if they do the right kind of due diligence they can find a partner who could be with them to do the right investments,” Kevin O’Leary, chief executive officer of TIAA Endowment & Philanthropic Services, said by phone Wednesday. 

According to O’Leary, the Georgia foundation’s due diligence included a site visit to meet TIAA’s team, and TIAA did the same in return, traveling to institution’s Augusta, Georgia headquarters. 

“The Medical College of Georgia Foundation had a really rigorous search process,” O’Leary said. “You could tell they put a lot of care and effort into it.” 

The nonprofit officially hired TIAA in May following a request-for-proposals process, according to a TIAA spokesperson. The previous OCIO was Prime Buchholz, an investment consulting firm based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

The Medical College of Georgia’s investment assets returned 13.1 percent in the fiscal year 2017, according to its website,  roughly doubling in market value over the past 10 years from $118.7 million on June 30, 2007. 

“We were seeking a solution to build upon our success,” said Ian Mercier, president and CEO of the foundation, in a statement. “Our endowment plays a vital role in helping to support many future generations of faculty, students, and scientists and the advancement of education, research, and patient care at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.”

A spokesperson for the foundation did not return a phone call seeking further comment. 

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