Vanderbilt announces Spitz’ retirement as chief investment officer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – William T. Spitz, who has served as Vanderbilt University‘s chief investment officer since 1985, will be retiring from his position upon the appointment of his successor, university officials announced today.

As vice chancellor for investments and treasurer, Spitz has presided over a ten-fold increase in the university’s endowment, which has grown from $300 million to almost $3 billion over the past 21 years. In 2006, the income from the endowment provided more than $120 million to Vanderbilt’s operating budget for scholarships, faculty chairs and programs support.

“Bill Spitz is without a doubt one of the giants in endowment management,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “His leadership and vision have fueled Vanderbilt’s leaps forward over the past two decades. Every person connected to Vanderbilt, now and in the future, owes him a great debt of gratitude.”

“I can’t imagine a more rewarding investment career than one that allows you to contribute to a great university like Vanderbilt,” Spitz said. “It has been a distinct privilege to see the tangible results of my efforts in the form of great students, faculty and new facilities. I look forward to my continuing association with all of my friends and colleagues at Vanderbilt.”

Spitz plans to resume teaching at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, where he is a clinical professor of management and finance and has taught popular courses on investment management.

A 1973 Vanderbilt graduate who earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, Spitz came to Vanderbilt from New York, where he was previously president of NSR Asset Management and vice president of Wertheim & Company, both investment management firms. Under his direction, Vanderbilt University’s endowment changed from a traditional blend of domestic equities and fixed income to a more innovative mix of foreign equities, private equity, real estate and market-neutral assets. The fund’s performance has consistently ranked in the top quartile of endowments for the last 5- and 10-year periods.

Outside his work at the university, Spitz is a founder and director of the Diversified Trust Company and serves on the advisory committees of several investment funds, including the Acadia Realty Acquisition Fund, Charles River Ventures, Heartwood Forestland Fund and ZN Mexico Trust. He is the author of numerous articles in financial publications and several books, including the bestselling Get Rich Slowly: Building Your Financial Future Through Common Sense.

Between 1997 and 2000, Spitz served as chairman of the Common Fund, an appointment given to those held in the highest regard by their peers in the endowment sector of the financial community. He is a chartered financial analyst and the 1993 recipient of the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ Rodney H. Adams Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the field of endowment management. In 2005, he received the Award for Investment Leadership given by the investment firm Hirtle, Callaghan & Co.

Media contact: Elizabeth P. Latt, (615) 322-NEWS

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