Cornell Endowment CIO to Depart

The $6 billion endowment will choose AJ Edwards’ successor by April 15.

Cornell AJ EdwardsAJ Edwards, Cornell UniversityCornell University’s CIO AJ Edwards will be stepping down effective March 31, the Ivy League school announced.

Edwards has spent eight years at the $6 billion endowment, first joining as a senior investment officer. He was then named CIO in May 2012.

He is the third CIO to resign in the last six years. James Walsh stepped down from his post in 2010 after four years, and Walsh’s successor Michael Abbott suddenly resigned in 2011 just six months into the job. “It had become apparent that his style of conducting business is inconsistent with Cornell’s policies and expectations,” the university said about Abbott’s exit.

The endowment has appointed senior investment officers Cody Danks Burke and Roger Vincent as interim-CIOs. The university is expected to select Edward’s permanent replacement by April 15.

“The endowment has had well over $3 billion in investment gains since the depths of the recession,” the outgoing investment chief told the Cornell Chronicle. “The investment office today is very strong, and I am proud that the quality of the staff has improved over the last several years through internal promotions and recruiting at all levels.”

Cornell’s CFO Joanne DeStefano also praised Edwards’ ability to help the endowment recover from the 2008 crisis, and said he has been “active in identifying new markets in which to invest.”

During his tenure, Edwards also improved the investment office’s internal decision-making process and implemented a new research management system.

Prior to his time at Cornell, Edwards managed the pension plan at Northeast Utilities (now-Eversource Energy). He also served in various positions in equity management at Connecticut-based Wright Investors’ Service.

He holds an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in mathematics from Fairfield University.

Related: Cornell Endowment Rocked by Another Resignation &The Endowment Bracket: Harvard, Yale, and the Sweet Sixteen

By Sage Um

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