URBANA — The University of Illinois Foundation has hired a new chief investment officer.
Ellen J. Ellison, the former executive director of investments at the University of Miami, will be the new chief investment officer as of Jan. 15, 2013. She has more than 30 years of experience in the financial sector, according to the foundation.
"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 foundation's board, in a written release. "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."
The combined active endowment for the UI and the UI Foundation is more than $1.6 billion.
Ellison will lead the foundation's investment team and provide guidance on investment-related matters such as asset allocation, portfolio management and more. She will also monitor capital markets and economic forecasts.
She replaces Laura Vossman.
"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," Ellison said in a statement.
At the University of Miami, Ellison managed multi-class asset investment pools, including university endowment and pension funds that totaled $1.5 billion. She also has served as the chief investment officer at J.I.K. Investment Services Inc. in Miami and as a senior vice president at Fiduciary Trust Co. International in both New York and Miami.
Ellison received a bachelor's degree in French literature from Mount Holyoke College followed by an MBA from Columbia University Business School. She speaks four languages and also served as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch and a financial analyst for Smith Barney.
"Ellen Ellison is the right person to develop and lead our endowment management program," said Thomas Farrell, the foundation's incoming president. "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."