Thursday, April 27, 2017

McRaven resigns from UTIMCO Board


"Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?"
Proverbs 17:16

This is interesting; from yesterday's Daily Texan:
UT System Chancellor William McRaven decided last Wednesday to give up his seat on the board of the University of Texas Investment Management Co. in order to have the position filled by a Texas A&M System representative instead.

The announcement came a day before the UTIMCO board meeting, where the board also approved a change in the name to the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company, but will still be known as UTIMCO for short. The change reflects the inclusion of the Texas A&M System, which is also a part of the investment company.

“(McRaven) has appreciated the experience and the exposure to the process by which the investments of the various funds benefitting the UT and Texas A&M systems are governed and managed,” said Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, executive director of media relations and external communications for the UT System, in an email. “As conversations have unfolded between the two systems over the past several months about the opportunity to increase the A&M presence on the board, McRaven willingly volunteered to give up his role on the board.”

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said he approves of McRaven’s decision and the adjustment to the investment company’s name. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Sharp has wanted a stronger A&M presence since he became chancellor in 2011.

....

Under state law, the UT System Board of Regents will appoint an A&M System representative. UT System Regent Kevin Eltife told The Daily Texan that A&M deserves to have more representation in the investment company because the decisions made impact A&M’s System.

“The A&M System obviously has a vested interest in the investments that UTIMCO oversees, and I think it’s an effort to give the A&M System a little more oversight,” Eltife said. “I applaud Chairman (Jeffery) Hildebrand and Chancellor McRaven for going in this direction.”

McRaven’s decision to step down from UTIMCO comes shortly after he discontinued his plans for a data center in Houston, which caused controversy in the Texas Legislature. However, LaCoste-Caputo and Eltife said McRaven’s removal from UTIMCO’s board and the Houston land purchase are unrelated to one another.
Keep in mind, this comes on the heels of the UTIMCO CEO's sudden resignation on a holiday afternoon late last year.  While we have no specific knowledge, we've been suspicious of all subsequent news coming out of UTIMCO.  We made this exact point during our testimony in the last regental confirmation hearing.

That being said, it's also plausible in this cast that there's nothing more to this than the publicly stated reason of giving a bigger voice to A&M.

Bottom Line: It's impossible to know what this means, but it's a situation worth monitoring.

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