University of Virginia
Investment Management Co., which is responsible
for overseeing investment of assets approaching $2.5
billion, has named a new CEO.
John O. Wynne, chairman of the UVIMCO board and a member of
the University’s Board
of Visitors, today announced the appointment
of Christopher J. Brightman as the chief executive officer of UVIMCO.
Brightman, 43, currently the chief investment officer of Strategic
Investment Group, a multi-manager global investment firm in Arlington,
Va., replaces Alice W. Handy, UVIMCO’s former CEO, who retired
At Strategic, Brightman supervised a team of more than 20 investment
professionals and was responsible for approximately $9 billion
in assets spread across several dozen external managers. He
joins the University with a strong background in a number
areas including asset allocation and investment policy, evaluating
and managing external managers, and directly managing money.
“Mr. Brightman comes to the University after an exhaustive nationwide search
for someone with the right balance of skills to whom we can entrust the future
of our endowment,” said University President John T. Casteen III. “There
are few more critical jobs at the University today. Mr. Brightman’s proven
track record as an investment strategist is impressive, and he has a firm understanding
of the endowment’s importance to the current and future well being of the
institution. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Brightman and his family to the
The endowment is the University’s source of sustainable private support
for instruction, service, and research and is built through the gifts of donors
dedicated to sustaining the growth and aspirations of the University. The endowment
consistently ranks among the five largest endowments of public institutions and
among the 30 largest of all colleges and universities in the nation.
As contributions from the Commonwealth of Virginia continued
to decline over the past dozen years, endowment earnings
have become an increasingly
factor in maintaining the University’s excellence. For the past two years,
and for the first time in University history, income from the endowment exceeded
the state appropriation to the University’s annual budget.
Brightman will be responsible for oversight of the approximately
$2 billion endowment held by the University’s Board of Visitors as well as cash management for
the University. He and his staff also will be responsible for management of certain
endowment assets held by numerous University foundations. Together, they bring
the investments under management by UVIMCO to almost $2.5 billion. The University’s
total endowment, including the related foundations, approaches $2.9 billion.
Leonard W. Sandridge, the University’s executive vice president and chief
operating officer, together with UVIMCO board members Thomas A. Saunders, A.
Macdonald Caputo and Wynne, led the search for UVIMCO’s new CEO.
believe that under Chris Brightman’s leadership, and building on his
excellent experience and record of results, the endowment and the UVIMCO staff
will be in most capable hands as we begin to set out an aggressive agenda for
the future,” Wynne said. “The search committee was committed to finding
the very best person for this position, and we’re confident we’ve
achieved that goal.
is a skilled investor — and a wonderful person.”
Brightman describes himself as a generalist — both from an investment perspective
and a personal one. “I love an intellectual challenge and have a broad
range of interests,” he said. “I like to know what’s going
on in the world — in economics, public policy, technology, psychology,
sociology, you name it — everything is relevant when you’re dealing
with investment markets.”
Brightman was drawn to the opportunity to work for the University
because it offers him the chance to be directly connected
to touching people’s lives. “In
the investment business you are sometimes a bit removed from the process of doing
good for other people. In this job, I will be able to connect in direct and personal
ways and to help further the goals and aspirations of a great institution like
the University of Virginia. It’s a dream come true.”
Brightman believes that his past positions have positioned
him well for taking over the University’s endowment. “I’ve spent much of my career
being entrusted with managing other people’s money. I know what a solemn
trust it is.”
Sandridge, who has been overseeing UVIMCO for the past
10 months, will be looking to Brightman to be both a
endowment and a good
of the 11-member UVIMCO staff. “We have a strong, close-knit team in place
ready to work with Chris,” Sandridge said. “They are eager for his
new leadership and ready for the challenging work that lies ahead. The future
health of the University is dependent on steady growth of the endowment.”
Brightman, who begins his tenure on Dec. 1, received
a bachelor’s degree
in finance from Virginia Tech in 1983 and an MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore
in 1990. Before joining Strategic in 2001, he had a one-year stint with Greenwich
Capital in Greenwich, Conn. That position was preceded by eight years as executive
director and head of equity strategy and senior fixed income portfolio manager
for UBS Asset Management/Brinson Partners Inc., in Chicago.
Brightman and his wife, Donna, have three children:
Jon, 13; Amy, 15; and Lora, 17.