Washington University’s Kim Walker Steps Down

Walker will be leaving the $7.5 billion endowment by the end of the year, while the university searches for her successor.

KimWalker_ChrisBuzelliKim Walker (Art by Chris Buzelli)Washington University of St. Louis’ endowment chief is stepping down effective December 31, the university said.

Kim Walker, who was appointed CIO of the now-$7.5 billion fund in 2006, will be working with the university “in a consulting capacity” while the endowment searches for her replacement.

Eric Upin, a board member of the Washington University Investment Management Company (WUIMC), will serve as interim CIO while leading the search for Walker’s permanent successor.

“[Walker] has steered our financial strategy during times of great uncertainty, and has provided steady leadership as our nation has navigated rough economic waters over the last decade,” said David Kemper, chairman of the endowment’s board of directors.

Under Walker’s 10-year tenure, endowment assets grew by nearly 40%, the university said. She was responsible for developing WUIMC’s investment philosophy and strategic asset policy, as well as manager selection.

“In our search for her replacement, we will be looking for a strong, strategic professional with a solid track record of managing large, complicated investment portfolios,” Kemper continued.

Prior to her endowment career, Walker served as president and CIO of Qwest Asset Management, managing $14 billion in employee benefit assets for the telecommunications company.

She was a chairman of CIEBA, the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, an industry group for corporate pension funds.

Walker also spent 13 years in a variety of positions at General Motors, including director of equity strategy.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Miami University, a master’s in economics from Washington University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

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