Morrell to step down as Wake Forest vice president, remain as treasurer
February 2, 2007
Louis R. Morrell, Wake Forest University’s vice president for investments and treasurer since 1995, will step down from his position as vice president June 30 as part of a plan he proposed to the administration. Morrell has chosen to take a new administrative role in which he will continue managing select Wake Forest investments and oversee the university’s trust program while remaining as university treasurer.
Morrell is responsible for the management and oversight of the university’s $1.1 billion endowment fund and approximately $340 million in other investments.
In his new role, Morrell will remain as a full-time administrator responsible for the management and oversight of the $32 million trust program consisting of gifts for the university, $214 million in separately managed endowment assets, and $95 million in a tactical fund which is part of the endowment pool.
"Lou’s extraordinary dedication to skillfully managing Wake Forest’s endowment has benefited the university for over a decade,” Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch said. “His innovative approach to managing the endowment has earned the university considerable recognition.”
Last fall, Wake Forest’s management of its endowment earned it recognition as the Savviest Nonprofit of the Year by Foundation and Endowment Money Management, a newsletter focused on nonprofits’ investment management. The newsletter’s Web site declared that “Wake Forest and its treasurer Lou Morrell are not afraid to defy tradition and adopt innovative strategies in pursuit of returns.”
In the last fiscal year, the Wake Forest endowment fund experienced a total return of 17.5 percent, placing it in 24th place among 765 institutions of higher education in terms of investment return. Included in the endowment is the internally-managed tactical fund which had a return of 30.1 percent during the same period.
Since last year, Hatch said, Morrell had been discussing his desire to move to a new role with more emphasis on investing.
"Lou has served Wake Forest superbly and I am pleased that we have developed a plan that will allow Lou to modify his responsibilities while also continuing to offer the university his valuable expertise and investment savvy,” Hatch added.
Wake Forest will begin soon a national search for a new vice president for investments. The process will be led by Nancy Suttenfield, senior vice president and chief financial officer.
Before joining Wake Forest, Morrell served as chief financial officer at Rollins College and in a similar role at Radcliffe College. He also served as controller and later assistant treasurer at Smith College.
He received a Bachelor of Science in economics at Babson College and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts. Morrell serves as a member of the Advisory Committee on Endowment Management for the National
Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). He recently authored a chapter on endowment funds as part of NACUBO’s first e-book series.