Baylor's Hook Named Endowment Officer of the Year

June 14, 2005

by Lori Fogleman (254) 710-6275

Jonathan D. Hook, chief investment officer for Baylor University, has been named Endowment Officer of the Year in the June issue of Foundation and Endowment Money Management magazine.

FEMM said it selected Hook for the honor for "producing stellar returns and steering the university to aggressively increase its alternatives exposure."

A study released in January by the National Association of College and University Business Officers showed that Baylor's investment return rate of 25.2 percent for fiscal year 2004 outperformed the endowments of more than 700 U.S. universities, including Harvard, Yale, Duke and Notre Dame. The average overall return rate on endowments, according to the NACUBO study, was 15 percent.

The study also showed Baylor's market value of endowment assets at $672,341,000 in FY 2004. (Baylor's fiscal year ended May 31.) At the end of December 2004, the fund stood at $750 million, a high-water mark for the university.

"Baylor's investment policy was more aggressive in 2004 than any year prior, and thanks to Hook's guidance, the bold plan paid off," FEMM wrote in its June edition. "The $750 million endowment raised its allocation to alternatives by 15 percent - its largest alternatives jump ever."

In 2000, Baylor regents decided to bring the investment management function back to campus and take a more aggressive stance on managing the university's endowment. Hook joined Baylor in 2001, with the responsibility of recommending investment strategies and investment managers for the university's endowment and other cash/near-cash assets, recommending investment policies to appropriate administrative committees, and ensuring accountability of the investment managers for meeting Baylor's expected financial returns.

Hook said carefully selected managers and diversification led to Baylor's solid endowment performance.

"We started investing in alternatives a little later than most, but our gradual growth at the expense of domestic equity has served us well," Hook told FEMM.

A graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Ore., Hook earned his MBA with a concentration in finance from Baylor in 1981. Before joining Baylor, Hook spent six years in Atlanta as senior vice president of First Union Securities and First Union National Bank. In addition, he has served as director of Bank of Montreal from 1993-95, vice president of Westpac Banking Corp. from 1990-93, vice president of Security Pacific Merchant Bank from 1985-90 and assistant vice president of Texas Commerce Bank from 1981-85.

Foundation and Endowment Money Management is available on the web at www.foundationendowment.com.

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