Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed April 23, 1998
Contact: Mark Nickel

Head of Brown's investment office to join Hughes Medical Institute

Robert J. Kolyer Jr., associate vice president for investments at Brown, will leave the University June 1 to become a managing director in the investment office of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Kolyer has directed Brown's investment office since 1988.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Robert J. Kolyer Jr., associate vice president for investments and assistant treasurer of Brown University, will leave Brown June 1 for an investment management position with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Kolyer has directed the University's investment office since his arrival in April 1988, with primary responsibility for endowment and trust management, tax-exempt debt financing and acceptance of securities gifts.

"Jay Kolyer has led Brown's investment office through one of the most remarkable periods in the University's history," said Donald J. Reaves, executive vice president for finance and administration. "During his time at Brown, the University has developed effective new strategies for managing its endowment portfolio and has improved its ability to react swiftly to financial opportunities and changes in the market." Between 1988 and 1998, Brown's endowment more than tripled to $1.1 billion.

At HHMI, Kolyer will be managing director of investments, reporting to the vice president and chief investment officer. His duties will include evaluating and developing strategies of asset allocation and risk management for HHMI's $11-billion investment portfolio. HHMI, founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes and funded largely through the sale of the Hughes Aircraft Company after his death, is one of the nation's largest private sources of support for biomedical research and science education.

Kolyer's tenure at Brown coincided with Chancellor-elect Stephen Robert's chairmanship of the Corporation Committee on Investment. The committee, which includes nationally prominent investment professionals, has devised more complex investment strategies and has diversified the endowment portfolio by adding more managers in areas outside domestic stocks and bonds. Overall endowment performance was one of the factors that led to upgrades in the University's credit rating by Standard & Poor's (AA+) and Moody's Investors Services (Aa1).

Kolyer has served as treasurer of Brown's Third Century Fund, a component of the endowment that focuses on private equity investment, and has supported the Brown Real Estate Fund, another portfolio subset. In addition, he has served as a director and as treasurer of WBRU-FM.

"Brown is an exciting and fulfilling place to do the kind of work I've done for the last 10 years," Kolyer said. "The close personal involvement with the Corporation Committee on Investments, the caliber of my colleagues and the flexibility to make important decisions have made these years rewarding. I will always feel an attachment to this University even as I accept this new opportunity at HHMI."