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Yale Endowment's Second-in-Command Takahashi to Step Down

Janet Lorin and Michael McDonald

(Bloomberg) -- Dean Takahashi, who served as the second-in-command at Yale’s $29.4 billion endowment, is stepping down after more than 30 years and won’t be replaced for now.

The university’s senior director of investments, Takahashi worked under Yale’s legendary Chief Investment Officer David Swensen since 1986. He’s credited with helping Swensen create the “Yale model’’ for investing, which included a move into alternative assets such as private equity and hedge funds from public equities and bonds.

Takahashi was seen as a possible successor to Swensen, 65, who’s run the endowment since 1985. Together, they’ve led one of the best performers in higher education: Yale posted an average annual return of 11.6% in the five years through June 2018, the second-best gain in the Ivy League, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Dean’s intellect, enthusiasm and creativity contributed mightily to Yale’s pioneering approach to managing endowment assets, which benefited not only the university, but also higher education in general and institutional investors of all sorts,” Swensen said in a statement.

Swenson said there are no plans to fill Takahashi’s senior director position at this time. “Yale’s endowment will be well served by the depth and experience of the existing leadership team,” he said.

Some of the best performing college endowments are run by people who worked in Yale’s investment office, including Andrew Golden at Princeton University, Seth Alexander at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Paula Volent at Maine’s Bowdoin College.

Takahashi will stay at the university to develop solutions to combat climate change. At Yale, he earned a degree in economics in 1980 and then a master’s degree in 1983.

“I am excited to remain at Yale to work on solutions that help build on the extraordinary commitment and expertise of the Yale community in addressing the existential threat of climate change,” Takahashi said in a statement.

Institutional Investor first reported Takahashi was leaving the post.

(Updates with Swensen comment in fifth paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Janet Lorin in New York at jlorin@bloomberg.net;Michael McDonald in Boston at mmcdonald10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at amirabella@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Steve Geimann

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