Archive for September, 2015

Exodus from the Stanford Endowment: Mr. Wallace Cleans House

09 / 22 / 2015
by Charles Skorina | Comments are closed

Robert F. Wallace, the new head of Stanford Management Company, has been aggressively culling his staff since he was appointed in late March.

This has not gone un-noticed by the media, and we can now name more names and connect more dots.

Last year, before Mr. Wallace succeeded John Powers, SMC had about 22 investment staffers (excluding operations, HR, the CFO, etc.).

Four were in the top tier as Managing Directors.  Now only one of that original group remains.

Departing MDs were: Craig Blanchard, Saguna Malhotra, Martina Poquet, and Wafa Wei.  

(Ms. Poquet was reaching retirement age, so her departure this month may not have anything to do with the CEO shift.  Mr. Blanchard left last year, after the announced departure of Mr. Powers, but before the arrival of Mr. Wallace.  In January he joined Makena Capital, an asset manager founded by Michael McCaffery, former CEO of the Stanford Management Company.  So, these two moves should not be construed as part of the "great purge".)

Last year there were seven staffers with the Director title; now only four remain.

Departing Directors were: Vera Kotlik, Karen Horn Welch, and Joshua Richter.

Last year there were four staffers titled Manager; three remain.

The departing Manager: Ben Chiquoine,

At the junior level there are four Associates/Senior Associates and, as far as we know, all four are still in place.

So, six senior staffers (ignoring Ms. Poquet and Mr. Blanchard) have left since April and we believe they were all pushed out by Mr. Wallace.  That's about one third of the pre-Wallace senior staff roster.  And, we suspect, one or two more may be contemplating an early departure.

Managing Directors at SMC have a base salary of approximately $400K and a bonus opportunity of another $400K, for a total comp of about $800K.  Directors have a base of about $250K and a bonus opportunity of $250K, for a total comp of about $500K.

The departures were partly offset by two new faces Mr. Wallace brought with him.

Greg Milani, who was Mr. Wallace's right-hand man at Alta Advisers in London, was appointed Senior Managing Director, which makes him the highest-ranking staffer.  

Mr. Wallace also tapped Jay Kang as a new Managing Director.  Mr. Kang is a Yale grad (class of 2002, same year as Mr. Wallace) who worked at the Yale Investment Office under David F. Swensen.  More recently Mr. Kang was number-two at the Hilton Foundation in L.A. under CIO Randy Kim (who is another Swensen/YIO alumnus). 



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