Brown University Names New CIO

A former hedge fund manager will lead the school’s $2.8 billion endowment starting in June.

Joseph Dowling(May 3, 2013) - Former hedge fund manager Joseph Dowling will join the likes of David Swensen, Jane Mendillo, and Narv Narvekar as the Ivy League's newest chief investment officer. 

Brown University has appointed Dowling to lead its $2.8 billion endowment, making him the second CIO in the school's history. The role was created in 2000, and has been filled by an interim CIO since Cynthia Frost stepped down at the end of 2012.

Dowling has spent the last five years managing his own money and "that of a select group of strategic investors" in a private partnership, according to the university's press office.   

From 1998 to 2006, Dowling managed up to $1 billion as the founder of Narragansett Asset Management, a New York-based hedge fund. The firm liquidated its assets following nearly three years of weak returns, according to a 2006 New York Post report.   

The Harvard Business School graduate's other prior experience includes positions at the First Boston Corporation, Eastdil Realty, Tudor Investments, and Oracle Partners.

Dowling's predecessor and her team returned 1% on the portfolio for the 2012 fiscal year, topping Harvard's 0.05% loss but trailing Dartmouth's best-in-class returns of 5.8%.

"Few positions at this University have so direct a bearing on Brown's long-term vitality as the chief investment officer," said Brown President Christina Paxson, in announcing Dowling's appointment. "Joe Dowling is an accomplished investment executive who understands the ambitions and needs of private universities; he understands Brown."

While Dowling earned his two university degrees at Harvard, his father (Joseph Dowling II) is a Brown alumnus, former member of the medical school faculty, and a trustee emeritus of the university.

Dowling starts as CIO next month.

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