Dear Members of the Yale Community,
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Matthew Mendelsohn as Yale’s chief investment officer, effective September 1.
Analytically rigorous, steadfast, and ethical, Matt has built an extraordinary record of investing at Yale over the past 14 years. A director in Yale’s Investments Office, Matt currently manages the venture capital portfolio, which accounts for over a quarter of the endowment. Over the past ten years, Yale’s venture capital portfolio has returned 21.6 percent per year, which is well in excess of the S&P 500 and relevant private equity benchmarks. He is a senior leader of Yale’s asset allocation team and spent nearly a decade helping oversee the endowment’s leveraged buyouts portfolio. He previously contributed to the management of Yale’s domestic and foreign equities, absolute return, and natural resources asset classes.
In addition to being an exceptional institutional investor, Matt is widely recognized for his ability to build and lead teams and for his devotion to mentoring aspiring investors. And as his former students from Yale’s Endowment Management course can attest, he welcomes opportunities to impart both the skills and the core values of ethical and successful institutional investing.
Matt graduated from Yale College with a bachelor of science degree in physics. During his senior year, Matt, who was an aide to acting head of college Norma Thompson, met David Swensen, Yale’s legendary chief investment officer for over 35 years, at a Berkeley Fellows event. Matt was drawn to the Investments Office by David’s passion for our university’s mission, his commitment to mentorship, and his immense contributions to Yale and to higher education more broadly. However, above all that, Matt admired his integrity and unshakeable dedication to making decisions rooted in first principles. Upon graduating, Matt took a job in Yale’s Investments Office because of his desire to give back to the university and to learn directly from David and from all the other members of Yale’s endowment investing team.
As Matt prepares to take responsibility for the endowment, he is committed to advancing Yale’s influential and continually evolving approach to institutional investing and to building a diverse team of internal and external investment managers. He will benefit from the collaboration of an enormously talented and experienced group of mission-driven investors and leaders—including his colleagues in the Investments Office and the members of Yale’s Investment Committee.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Banker for leading the Investments Office in the interim, and all members of the office have my gratitude for their exceptional work during the transition. I also am grateful to the Chief Investment Officer Search Advisory Committee: Francis Biondi ’87, member of the Investment Committee; Michael Cavanagh ’88, Yale trustee and chair of the Investment Committee; Charles Goodyear IV ’80, Yale trustee and member of the Investment Committee; Ben Polak, William C. Brainard Professor of Economics (chair of the search advisory committee); Carter Simonds ’99, member of the Investment Committee; Heather Tookes, professor of finance; and Douglas Warner III ’68, former trustee and former chair of the Investment Committee. The search advisory committee solicited input from across the university and conducted an extensive international search for a leader with the integrity, vision, expertise, and tenacity to be Yale’s next chief investment officer. Of course, it is not surprising that the best person for the job comes from our own Investments Office, which has prepared many institutional investors to serve as chief investment officers at peer universities, foundations, and other organizations.
The “Yale Model” of asset allocation and manager selection has changed the world of institutional investment management. With Matt’s leadership, Yale’s exceptional investment team will continue to evolve and set the standard for the field. Please join me in congratulating Matt on his new role and in wishing him every success.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology
Read the accompanying Yale News story.