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Notre Dame CIO earns award

| Sunday, September 21, 2014

Notre Dame Vice President and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Scott Malpass was recently selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from CIO Magazine.

Malpass will receive the award at the magazine’s Industry Innovation Awards on Dec. 8 at the New York Public Library in New York City.

Malpass, who was notified of his selection for the award earlier this month, said the award reflects positively on the work of his staff and the University as a whole.

“I’m thrilled for Notre Dame and what [the Lifetime Achievement Award] means for the University,” Malpass said. “This is a kind of recognition you don’t get without a team and support.”

Malpass is “an investor [who] grew alongside [Notre Dame’s] endowment, both becoming among the most respected in the institutional universe,” according to a CIO Magazine press release.

A 1984 graduate of Notre Dame, Malpass was named CIO of the University in 1989, at the age of 26. He oversees an endowment that has grown from $453 million when he started to approximately $8.3 billion at the end of the 2013 fiscal year, making it the 12th-largest endowment in American education and the highest at an American Catholic university.

WEB_CIO industry awardsSara Shoemake | The Observer
Malpass said the commonalities shared by his staff, which is largely made up of Notre Dame graduates, help drive the investment office’s actions.

“We have a real sense of purpose and a Catholic mission,” he said. “We’re a long-term investor, not worried about next week or next quarter or next year. We’re looking for the best-of-breed, the top investment talent to manage money for us.”

In an interview last year with Institutional Investor Magazine, Malpass said he and his staff had developed “the Notre Dame model,” a strategy distinct from those at Harvard and Yale, which hold the first- and second-largest endowments, respectively, among American universities.

Malpass said this model involves not only a shared mission but also a focus on building quality relationships with outside investors.

“[The Notre Dame model] relates to something I’ve talked about, acting from a shared sense of mission and purpose and nurturing a high-caliber, committed team,” Malpass said. “It also involves identifying and building relationships with the best investors in the world.

“While working together, we want to help them be successful and help us be successful. It’s better to have a good relationship and not be antagonistic to each other. We want investors to extend themselves, talk to our students, offer internships — do things deeper and different than what others do.”

Part of Malpass’s recent investment strategy involves outreach to international investors. Malpass, who spent part of the last academic year in London, said he will return to England later this fall and currently has staff members working in China.

“The team is always meeting with partners overseas and continues to deepen networks throughout the world,” he said. “We will continue to go out and meet partners and deepen relationships internationally with more long-term assignments overseas.”

Malpass is active on Notre Dame’s campus, as he also serves as an assistant professor of finance in the Mendoza College of Business. In keeping with his investing philosophy, Malpass said he and his team are more focused on the bigger picture than on a particular goal for this semester.

“We’ll focus on nitpicky operational things, but we want to maintain a disciplined process for how we go about sourcing and meeting and building relationships,” Malpass said. “… There’s a tendency to be short-term oriented, but we try to resist those short-term pressures and try to act like a long-term fundamental investor through cycles and dislocations and other things.”

Malpass said he expects to have a “small representative group,” including some of his senior staff members, on hand for the award dinner later this year.

“I do want to emphasize my team because I can’t do this without them,” he said. “Most of them have a lot of longevity too, and they’re great Notre Dame people.”

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About Brian Hartnett

Brian Hartnett is a senior marketing major and journalism, ethics and democracy minor. The Carroll Hall resident hails from Clark, New Jersey and covers Notre Dame football, as well as other University topics.

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