Kenneth Miranda, director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) investment office, has been selected as Cornell’s chief investment officer, Provost and Acting President Michael Kotlikoff announced today.
Miranda will manage Cornell’s $6 billion investment portfolio and lead the Office of University Investments, starting July 1.
Director of the IMF’s investment office since 2000, Miranda also has been a member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee since February 2012.
“We are immensely proud to have Ken leading our investment team. He is a results-driven professional with dynamic strategies that will ensure our endowment grows in depth and breadth as it maintains the stability required to support our educational and engagement mission,” Kotlikoff said.
The Office of University Investments implements policies established by the board of trustees and its Investment Committee. The chief investment officer manages day-to-day operations of Cornell’s long-term investments and appoints investment managers, monitors the overall investment program and manages the office.
Miranda will report to trustee Donald Opatrny ’74, chair of the Investment Committee, and Joanne DeStefano, Cornell’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“Over the past four years the Investment Committee has come to value Ken’s astute analytical skills and his remarkably thoughtful contributions to our dialogues. He has a clear understanding of today’s complex and rapidly changing investment environment,” said Opatrny.
As IMF director, Miranda coordinated a focused team that oversaw the investment of approximately $11.5 billion in assets for the IMF’s Staff Retirement Plan and Retired Staff Benefits Investment Account. In managing these funds, he made investments across a broad array of asset classes, themes, strategies and managers.
Given his experience in global investing, Miranda said he expects to globalize the return streams of the endowment. “In terms of approach, I tend to look at big changes, big themes, to identify market inefficiencies, growth bottlenecks and forced selling pressure that tend to generate the environment for outsized returns,” he said. “At the same time I’m very focused on managing the risk and the downside protection of the portfolio through quantitative techniques.”
Miranda, who joined the IMF in 1986, held numerous policy roles including deputy division chief for Japan and senior roles in the Asia and Pacific department and the fiscal affairs department. He currently serves as a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s advisory committee on investments.
His prior roles include serving as president of the Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union, one of the 50 largest credit unions in the country by assets, where he also had several other leadership positions. Formerly, he was a senior adviser on George Washington University’s Committee on Investments.
Miranda earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1986 and a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University in 1981. He is a chartered financial analyst.
“We are fortunate to hire someone of Ken’s caliber. His high-level expertise in long-term investments means he is poised to meet Cornell’s unique needs, goals and risk tolerance. Cornell’s endowment is in very good hands,” DeStefano said.
“I am looking forward to collaborating with the solid staff in the Office of University Investments who have a valuable, proven skill set,” Miranda said. “It is an honor and privilege to contribute to the role of the endowment in supporting students, faculty research and scholarship at this world-class research institution.”
Many of his family members have worked in academia, he added. “I’m familiar with the culture and have always envisioned myself working in higher education.”
Miranda succeeds A.J. Edwards, who stepped down from the post March 31. Currently, senior investment officers Cody Danks Burke and Roger Vincent are serving as interim co-CIOs.