Virginia Endowment Chief Kochard to Depart $8.6 Billion Fund

(Bloomberg) -- Lawrence Kochard, chief executive officer of the University of Virginia’s investment-management arm, will step down from the $8.6 billion endowment by year-end, according to the school.

Kochard, 61, who has overseen UVA’s money for almost seven years, will pursue money-management opportunities outside of endowments and foundations, the university said Monday in a statement. Bloomberg reported Kochard’s departure earlier Monday.

The university, an elite public college in Charlottesville that was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, said it’s in the process of hiring a firm to search for a replacement. Kochard oversees a team of 35 people at the University of Virginia Investment Management Co.

‘Deep Experience’

“Larry has provided excellent leadership to a team that has generated critical funds in support of the university’s mission,” David MacFarlane, chairman of the investment-management arm, said in the statement. “One of his greatest legacies is the buildout of an exceptional and cohesive group of investment and operational professionals with broad and deep experience.”

Turnover among chief investment officers at endowments and foundations has increased amid volatile performance. In the past year, Harvard University and the University of Texas Investment Management Co. have replaced investing chiefs while Emory University in Atlanta and the University of California Berkeley are searching for CIOs.

Kochard joined the University of Virginia’s fund from Georgetown University, where he was the school’s first CIO. Prior to Georgetown, he worked at the Virginia Retirement System, building the public pension’s hedge fund portfolio. He taught for years at the University of Virginia’s undergraduate business school. Kochard was paid $3.2 million in 2014, according to a tax filing.

UVA is the fifth-largest endowment among public colleges in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s known for producing top results compared with peers, with an annual average return of 10 percent in the five years through June 30. The performance isn’t net of fees; most endowments report investment performance that includes fees. The endowment, valued at $8.6 billion at the end of June, had a 12.4 percent investment gain.