UIF Names Ellen J. Ellison New Chief Investment Officer
The University of Illinois Foundation named seasoned investor Ellen J. Ellison as its new chief investment officer, effective Jan. 15, 2013. 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.
“The University of Illinois Foundation is embarking on a new strategy to manage the endowment internally with Ellen Ellison’s appointment,” said Jane P. Donaldson, chair of the UIF Board. “The endowment is now of a significant size to merit a strong internal team and we are fortunate to have a person with Ellen’s talent and experience joining us to lead this effort.”
While at the University of Miami, Ellison managed multi-class asset investment pools, including university endowment and pension funds that totaled $1.5 billion. In 2010, she was named one of the 10 Best University Endowment Managers by Business Insider. She has also served as the chief investment officer at J.I.K. Investment Services, Inc., a family office in Miami, Fla., and as a senior vice president at Fiduciary Trust Company International in both New York and Miami. Ellison also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
“I am delighted to join the University of Illinois Foundation at this important juncture and look forward to working closely with President Thomas Farrell and the entire Foundation team,” said Ellison. “It is a particular pleasure to be serving a University with such academic distinction.”
The Glen Cove, N.Y., native received a bachelor’s degree in French literature from Mount Holyoke College and then earned an MBA from Columbia University Business School. She speaks four languages and also served as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch and as financial analyst for Smith Barney.
“Ellen Ellison is the right person to develop and lead our endowment management program,” said Thomas J. Farrell, the incoming president of the University of Illinois Foundation. “She has the talent, experience and skills required to manage these important financial resources, and she will work closely with the Foundation's Investment Policy Committee in those efforts. Increasing and carefully stewarding the financial resources of the University of Illinois is a critical aspect in securing our future. Ellen will help us get this done.”
The CIO will lead the UIF investment team and provide guidance for the Foundation and the board on investment-related matters, including asset allocation decisions, portfolio management, and best practices. Ellison will also monitor capital markets and economic forecasts as they relate to the global economic situation. The combined active endowment for the University of Illinois and the Foundation is more than $1.6 billion.
The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 77,000 students, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.
The University of Illinois Foundation, which was established 77 years ago, is dedicated to securing and administering private gifts for the University of Illinois and its three campuses. Since its inception in 1935, UIF has been instrumental in securing and administering more than $5 billion in gifts for the University.
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