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Second-in-command at Stanford Management Company retires

Stanford Management Company (SMC) Senior Managing Director Greg Milani M.A. ’96 MBA ’96, is retiring from the investment office, University spokesperson E.J. Miranda confirmed in an email to The Daily.

However, Miranda did not provide information on why or when Milani will retire, nor did he specify who will take over the role. Milani declined to comment. Institutional Investor first reported on Friday that Milani would retire.

SMC manages the Merged Pool, comprised of Stanford’s endowment and other assets, which totaled approximately $29 billion in August 2018. Established as a division of the University in 1991, SMC is governed by a board of directors appointed by Stanford’s Board of Trustees, which ultimately has complete control over the endowment and its investment program.

Research and teaching, capital improvements, infrastructure and operational funds at Stanford, among others, are drawn in part from income generated by SMC.

SMC CEO Robert Wallace hired Milani shortly after Wallace took over the investment office in March 2015 and dismissed most of the pre-existing SMC staff throughout that year.

Milani has worked as Wallace’s de facto right-hand man for more than five years. Before Stanford, Wallace was CEO and chief investment officer of the London-based private investment firm Alta Advisers, where Milani also worked. Wallace has not announced any intention to retire from his role at SMC.

Milani is leaving SMC on a high note, with the investment office having returned 11.3 percent in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018. This topped the University’s benchmark score by 370 basis points, or 3.7 percent, and the median U.S. endowment by 230 basis points.

“Beginning in mid-2015, SMC initiated an effort to consolidate its external partner roster,” reads the investment office’s 2018 annual report. “Our efforts included building fewer, more substantial positions with partners that demonstrate superior judgement, thorough processes, sound ethics and a strong alignment of interest with the university.”

The Board of Trustees approved a new Ethical Investment Framework issued by Stanford Management Company (SMC), as well as an updated Statement on Investment Responsibility, during a meeting from Dec. 3 to 4, 2018.

Earlier that year, Wallace responded to a question about ethical investment by saying,“The endowment is not a tool for social activism. We at the Stanford Management Company do not believe it is our job to try to achieve particular social outcomes unless they are consistent with our direct divestment policy or our long-term economic goals.”

In addition to his role in SMC leadership during this period of changes, Milani has co-taught ECON 143: “Institutional Investment Management: Theory and Practice” since the 2017-18 school year. His future role at Stanford, if any, remains unknown.

Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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