VP and Chief Investment Officer William McLean to leave NU


Daily file photo by Sylvana Caruso

Outgoing VP and CIO William McLean listens to a statement prepared by students in 2015. McLean is leaving NU in October to join the University of Richmond in a similar role.

Emma Edmund, Summer Editor

Vice President and Chief Investment Officer William McLean will leave Northwestern for the University of Richmond, according to a Tuesday news release.

McLean’s last day is Oct. 16. He will join the University of Richmond on Jan. 1, 2021, as president and chief investment officer of Spider Management, a reference to the school’s sports teams and an organization that oversees the university’s endowment. McLean has served in his role at NU since 2002, where he has grown the endowment from approximately $3.3 billion to around $10.9 billion, the release stated.

In that time, support from the endowment to the University’s operating budget totaled around $5.3 billion, according to the release.

“Will’s leadership of our endowment has been critical to our success and has touched the lives of students and faculty over nearly two decades,” said Craig Johnson, senior vice president for business and finance, in the release. “It is through his careful stewardship that we were able to adopt a no-loan undergraduate financial aid policy to meet all demonstrated need, to hire and support world-class faculty and to fund groundbreaking research.”

McLean is currently a trustee at the University of Richmond, and has served in various positions on Spider Management’s Board of Management since 2012, the release noted. He is also the parent of two University of Richmond graduates.

Prior to his role at NU, McLean was senior managing director for asset and investment management at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He received his undergraduate economics degree from Davidson College and his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Leading the Northwestern University Investment Office for the past 18 years has been a great honor and privilege for me,” McLean said in the release. “With fantastic support from the Investment Committee and the University administration, we have been able to build a strong team and an investment program that will benefit Northwestern for years to come.”

According to the release, an interim vice president and chief investment officer will be announced later in the fall, as well as information about a search committee to find McLean’s successor.

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