Investment Office

150 North Upper Wacker Drive, Suite 1020, Chicago, IL 60606

After a thorough and strategic review of endowment investment practices and operations, and based on the recommendations of an external endowment industry consultant, the Foundation’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to build an independent investment office that will focus more on performance and the long-term, strategic management of the endowment.

Effective January 15, 2013, the Foundation named seasoned investor, Ellen J. Ellison, its new chief investment officer. Ellison has more than 30 years of experience in the financial sector and was the former executive director of investments at the University of Miami. Her announcement can be found here.

As CIO, Ellison is tasked with building and leading a UIF investment team and providing guidance for the Foundation and its Board on investment-related matters—including asset allocation decisions, portfolio management, and best practices. Ellison also monitors capital markets and economic forecasts as they relate to the global economic situation.

In addition to setting up physical office space in Chicago over the past year, initial objectives for the Foundation’s Investment Office include:

  • Establishing a strong governance framework
  • Recruiting talented individuals to join the investment team, whether local or national
  • Beginning to re-vamp the existing pooled endowment assets to emphasize single strategy, best-in-class manager/owners whose firms are aligned with the mission of the University of Illinois Foundation.