Denison Names New Chief Investment Officer
Date of Event: August 15, 2008
Posted: August 15, 2008
Adele N. Gorrilla will join the administration of Denison University on Oct. 1 as chief investment officer, succeeding Michael Horst, who completed 11 years as director of investments in 2007. Gorrilla will be responsible for the oversight of the university’s $700 million endowment. She will work closely with the Board of Trustees Investment Committee to define and implement a comprehensive investment strategy and select external fund managers. She also will play a role investing operating funds and in defining debt strategies.
“We’re thrilled to have Adele sign on as the first person to be specifically charged to serve as chief investment officer of the Denison endowment,” says Denison’s President Dale T. Knobel. “There was great enthusiasm for this selection among all of those who work with the college’s finances. On the strength of prior experience, passion for investing, excellent communication skills, clear ability to support and refute investment ideas with rigor and insight, Adele was the top choice for this position after an extensive national search. Denison’s surge toward even greater excellence has been fueled by its exceptional endowment. It is incumbent upon us to preserve and grow the endowed financial assets that enable us to dream big about the college's future.”
Since 2003, Gorrilla has been director of investments for University of Minnesota Foundation Investment Advisors, where she assists in asset allocation, due diligence and manager selection. She also has worked for Okabena Investment Services as an investment manager focused on hedge fund strategies and for Goldman Sachs in New York as a financial analyst providing research coverage of the real estate sector.
Gorrilla earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst®.
The creation of a chief investment officer position was an initiative of the members of Denison’s Board of Trustees, who determined that the university’s endowment was becoming too large to be managed by trustee volunteers. In the judgment of the Board, Denison’s small in-house staff required full-time professional leadership so that the college could maximize its efforts to protect and grow assets that provide educational excellence and substantial financial aid for the students at Denison.
According to Seth Patton, Denison's vice president for finance and management, a key staff member was lost with Michael Horst’s departure last winter for the Richard King Mellon Foundation. “It caused us to accelerate our plans for a fully staffed investment office.”
Patton also credits the leadership and dedication of the university's trustees with helping to secure Denison's fiscal strength. “I say without hesitation that under the leadership of trustees John Lowenberg, class of 1964, and Lee Sachs, class of 1985, the Denison Board of Trustees Investment Committee is as good as any you will find. Their success is evident. Now the complexity of investment strategies will require a staffing model with a dedicated investment office — and it certainly requires talented leadership, which we believe we have found in Adele.”
“Denison has an outstanding investment program and a high-caliber investment committee,” Gorrilla says. “I am honored to have the chance to join the Denison community and help shape the future of the endowment.”
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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