The University has named Lawrence Kochard, chief investment officer at Georgetown University, the next chief executive officer of the University of Virginia's Investment Management Company, which manages the University's endowment. Kochard, who was unanimously selected after a nationwide search, will take office Jan. 1. As CEO, Kochard will oversee the University's near $3 billion core endowment, assume responsibility for cash management and lead a 23-person staff that manages endowment assets in numerous organizations totaling close to $4.6 billion. Kochard - who obtained his master's degree and doctorate degree in economics from the University in 1996 and 1999 - comes to the position with investment experience in a wide range of asset classes, said Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, in an e-mail. Kochard was the founding director of Georgetown University's investment office in 2004 and was managing director for equity and hedge fund investments for the Virginia Retirement System from 2001 to 2004. Prior to this time frame, he also taught at the University's Commerce School from 1997 to 2000. "He understands endowments and consistently achieves impressive returns on the investments he oversees," Sandridge said. Kochard replaces former UVIMCO CEO Chris Brightman, who vacated the post in March for personal reasons. Brightman, who is now director of strategy for Research Affiliates, said he supported Kochard's selection. "I think Larry Kochard is an accomplished investor and well-known to the University community in Charlottesville as well as well-known and well-regarded in the endowment investment community," Brightman said. "The University made a great choice ... I'm sure he'll do a great job managing UVIMCO." Kochard emphasized the need for a team that operates as a cohesive unit to achieve access, particularly given the current economic environment. He offered praise for UVIMCO's "very seasoned senior team," noting the importance of managing a team in a way that continues to build long-term continuity. "One of biggest mistakes any investment team can make is lot of turnover," Kochard said, adding that the close relationship between UVIMCO and the University has contributed to it having been "one of the best-managed endowments over an extended period of time." During his tenure, Kochard plans to focus on risk management and asset allocation, with an emphasis on continuing and refining the work the UVIMCO team has already done. "From what I can see, UVIMCO is quite advanced on both of those fronts," Kochard said. Kochard also will concentrate on investment manager selection and increasing the endowment. "For U.Va. to maintain its elite status as a university, it continues to be important for us to grow the endowment," Kochard said, noting that this is the case particularly in light of declining state support. He said he will work to increase the percentage of the operating budget that is supported by the payout from the endowment to provide more flexibility to support programs.