Cornell's Office of University Investments (OUI) directs the University's approximately $6.7 billion long-term investment fund under the oversight of the University's Board of Trustees, which is responsible for strategic management of all investable funds and implements policy through the Investment Committee of the Board.
The OUI—with a current team of 19 professionals—recently relocated from Ithaca to New York City. The CIO is looking to recruit an outstanding Head of Operations to build and manage a New York City based team and to oversee the shift of the operations function from Ithaca to NYC over the next 12 months.
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This position is located in our New York City office.
Reporting to the Chief Investment Officer, the Head of Operations will play a significant role in the management of investment office operations and compliance. In addition to providing overall operations leadership, the successful candidate will be tasked with taking a proactive approach to improving the organization's technological efficiency and developing a closer partnership with the investment team in matters of operational due diligence and other key areas. Major responsibilities fall into these broad categories:
Supervise and develop operations and administrative staff; put in place staffing needs and development plans.
Oversee all aspects related to daily investment operations, including cash management, monitoring and reconciling daily cash flow, and portfolio rebalancing as necessary.
Work with the CIO to ensure appropriate management of OUI facilities, procurement, budget, University, and OUI policy compliance.Partner with Cornell resources and key stakeholders in this regard.
Work with the CIO in developing strategies for success across the organization.
Performance Reporting & Benchmarking
Direct the compiling, reviewing, and reconciling of monthly accounting and performance information.
Interact with the custodian and third-party data aggregators to ensure accuracy of entries made into accounting and performance measurement systems.
Source new benchmarks and verify data; automate process by developing new data feeds for account values, cashflows, benchmarks, and other market data.
Lead the overall relationship with the University's custodian (BNY Mellon), including oversight of establishing accounts, account management, documentation requirements, and tax related issues.
Verify accuracy of reports over time.
Operational Due Diligence
Establish and oversee process for monitoring fee payments and verifying external managers' compliance with investment mandates and agreements.
Develop and oversee the document management process, incoming from third parties as well as internally generated.
Coordinate legal review of documents and use of external counsel.
Work with the investment team on operational due diligence, focusing in particular on counterparty agreements and other back office functions internal to the manager.
Act in close coordination with investment team.
Work with and manage regulatory consultant (Regulatory Financial Group).
Work systematically with external audit firm (PWC).
Provide accurate and timely turnaround regarding requested information.
Technology & Systems
Manage implementation of Solovis performance measurement system.
Generally work to automate processes wherever possible.
Develop and implement highly efficient processes for the delivery of IC/Board related materials as well as for ad-hoc projects.
Portfolio and Risk Analytics
Work with the Director of Portfolio and Risk Analytics (DPRA) to develop and oversee the maintenance of performance and transaction data in the OUI's proprietary database.
Collaborate with DPRA in oversight of IT function within the OUI.
Collaborate with CIO and DPRA in developing and implementing proprietary systems; oversee and enhance disaster recovery protocols.
Success in this role will require collaboration across the organization and the University to effectively manage general office operations, administrative staff, communication systems, physical space, and other support services. The Head of Operations will also represent the OUI with both external and internal parties, including the Investment Committee. In addition, the successful candidate will work with the CIO and others on various projects that may include participants from Cornell's academic community. Some occasional travel will be required for meetings in Ithaca, to help evaluate investment managers or vendors, or for other business matters.
Skills & Qualifications
The successful candidate must have the vision, creativity, and substantial relevant experience typically acquired from an endowment, foundation, pension fund, or institutional allocator of capital. The ideal candidate will have experience in both operational processes and investment management back office functions. He/she should also have a strong understanding of capital markets and complex investment strategies and be able to communicate effectively and diplomatically with other members of the OUI staff. This individual will bring strong planning and organizational skills as well as a proven ability to work independently and under pressure.
Other qualifications include:
minimum seven years' leadership experience in an endowment, foundation, pension fund, investment management firm, fund-of-funds, or other institutional allocator of capital;
experience managing an operations staff in a sophisticated investment environment;
experience interviewing and conducting due diligence on investment managers;
solid command of back office due diligence processes (trading systems, counterparty risk, valuations, etc.);
working knowledge of derivatives and derivative strategies (futures options, swaps, CDS);
demonstrated computer skills;
proven ability to contribute in a team environment;
excellent time/project management skills;
excellent written and verbal communications skills; and
Master's degree required: graduate degree in law, accounting, actuarial science, finance, computer science, or related discipline preferred (ideally a JD, MBA, or Master's) together with completion of or willingness to complete the C.F.A. designation program.
The successful candidate should have a high degree of intellect and integrity and be a proactive, insightful, energetic, and articulate individual with proven excellent judgement reasoning and problem-solving skills. This individual should be capable of representing the University effectively while interacting with leading investment managers and other large endowments and institutional investors. The successful candidate must also be a collegial team player who is comfortable sharing responsibility, managing multiple assignments, and adjusting priorities to meet challenges as they arise. He/she will also be enthusiastic about being part of the University and contributing to its mission.
Compensation will be commensurate with the importance of this position and its impact on Cornell's continued growth and success. A competitive compensation arrangement is offered, consisting of a base salary and incentive bonus based on overall endowment investment performance and personal goals.
To be considered for this position, please send résumé and cover letter to RSR Partners at:
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