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Yale's David Swensen and His Alums Are Among Best-Paid Endowment Heads

Sammy Criscitello and Michael McDonald

(Bloomberg) -- It pays to have worked at Yale University’s investment office.

David Swensen, the chief investment officer at Yale, and people who worked for him early in their careers, were among the highest-paid endowment chiefs in 2017, according to preliminary data collected by Bloomberg. They took five of the top 10 spots in our ranking.

Swensen, 65, who helped create the endowment model of investing, has delivered better-than-average performance for more than three decades. He also trained at least 10 current leaders at other prominent endowments and foundations in the U.S. No other investment office has a similar web of alumni connections.

“They’re worth the money,” Charles Skorina, an executive recruiter for endowments, said about Swensen and his acolytes. “They’ve been in the game longer and with better success than any other group of CIOs.”

Swensen has run Yale’s investment office since 1985. Those that worked for him --Princeton’s Andy Golden, Bowdoin’s Paula Volent, Stanford’s Robert Wallace and Penn’s Peter Ammon -- are among the best-paid endowment heads in our ranking below, according to preliminary data.

*Compensation is in millions. The ranking is preliminary, based on the initial results of Bloomberg News surveys of about 100 universities with the largest endowments.**Cahill is no longer at Emory; her compensation includes $1.7 million in severance

(Princeton corrects compensation figure in an article published Aug. 8.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Sammy Criscitello in Boston at scriscitello@bloomberg.net;Michael McDonald in Boston at mmcdonald10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at amirabella@bloomberg.net, Vincent Bielski

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