Investment Professionals

David F. Swensen ’80 PhD

Chief Investment Officer

David Swensen is Yale's Chief Investment Officer. Prior to joining Yale in 1985, David spent six years on Wall Street, where his work focused on developing new financial technologies. He authored two books: Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment and Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment. Mr. Swensen has taught in Yale College since 1980.

David advised the President of the United States as a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has advised the Brookings Institution, the University of Cambridge, the Carnegie Corporation, the Carnegie Institution, Hopkins School, the New York Stock Exchange, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, TIAA-CREF, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and the States of Connecticut and Massachusetts. David graduated from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in 1975. He earned his Ph.D in Economics at Yale in 1980. A longtime stalwart of the Stock Jocks - 2010 & 2013 Yale Graduate-Professional Softball League Champions - he bats second and anchors the defense at first base.

 

Dean Takahashi ’80, ’83 MPPM

Senior Director

Dean Takahashi, Senior Director, joined the YIO in 1986 and has broad portfolio responsibilities working with office staff and external managers. He also deals with asset allocation, spending policy, and various University financial policy issues.

Dean received his B.A. in economics in 1980 and his MPPM in 1983 from Yale University. A Lecturer in Economics, Dean teaches a senior economics seminar in Yale College and a course on endowment management at the School of Management. Dean is a contributing author to Managing Investment Portfolios: A Dynamic Process (3rd edition), a CFA Program curriculum textbook.

Currently, Dean is a member of investment committees for the Kresge Foundation, Save the Children, and the Foote School. Dean was formerly a board member of Foote, Choate Rosemary Hall, the Edith B. Jackson Child Care Program, Asian Community Services of New Haven, the Boston Community Loan Fund, and two NYSE-listed investment companies. Prior to joining the Investments Office, Dean worked at Affirmative Investments in Boston and as a VISTA volunteer in Vermont. During the financial crisis, he briefly served as a Special Governmental Employee at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Dean is married to Wendy Sharp, who teaches violin and oversees chamber music at Yale. They have two children, Kerry and Kai, who are members of the Yale College classes of 2014 and 2016. The office speedster, Dean bats leadoff, patrols centerfield, and serves as the team's lockdown closer.

 

Carrie A. Abildgaard

Director

Carrie Abildgaard joined the YIO in 2004. She manages the Endowment's fixed income assets and its pools of retirement assets. Prior to working at Yale, she attended Lafayette College, earning bachelors' degrees in Mathematics, Economics, and Spanish in 2004. She became a CFA® charterholder in 2008. A true team player, Carrie plays everywhere from second base to right field.

 

Alexander C. Banker

Director

Alex Banker joined the YIO in 1997. He oversees risk management and capital markets activities. Prior to working at Yale, Alex was a senior manager at Coopers & Lybrand in Boston. He served as executive assistant to Bill Moyers at Public Affairs Television and as senior producer for several radio news interview programs on WOR-AM in New York. Alex currently serves as treasurer of both the Hopkins School and the Lingnan Foundation, an organization dedicated to the advancement of higher education in South China. He also chairs the investment committee of Middlesex School. He received a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Trinity College in 1983 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1991. Alex much prefers golf to softball.

 

Alan S. Forman

Director

Alan Forman joined the YIO in 1990. He oversees the Endowment's real estate portfolio. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Kimpton Group Holdings and serves on the Dartmouth College Investment Committee. He is also a former member of the Board of Trustees of Acadia Realty Trust, a NYSE-listed REIT. Alan received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in 1987 and an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University in 1990. He became a CFA® charterholder in 1993. During his heyday, Alan won the Stock Jocks' Silver Slugger award too many times to count.

 

R. Alexander Hetherington ’06

Director

Alex Hetherington joined the YIO in 2006, where he works on the natural resources and absolute return portfolios, and helps determine spending policy and asset allocation. He graduated from Yale College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Economics and became a CFA® charterholder in 2010. Alex is a former captain of the Stock Jocks and is fondly remembered by his players as a true players' manager.

 

Lisa M. Howie ’00, ’08 MBA

Director

Lisa Howie joined the YIO in 2008. She focuses on the Endowment's foreign equity investments, both marketable and private. Lisa received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale College in 2000 and an MBA from the Yale School of Management in 2008. Between college and business school, she worked in non-profit strategy and development. She also became a CFA® charterholder in 2012. Lisa's talents are put to use in both the infield and the outfield of the Stock Jocks defense.

 

Timothy R. Sullivan ’86

Director

Tim Sullivan joined the YIO in 1986. He oversees the Endowment's private equity portfolio and serves on the advisory boards of numerous private equity partnerships. He is a former Director of NYSE-listed oil company Newfield Exploration. Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yale in 1986 and became a CFA® charterholder in 1990. Tim is a longtime Boston Red Sox fan and earns his keep on the Stock Jocks at third base.

 

Celeste P. Benson

Senior Portfolio Manager

Celeste Benson joined the YIO in 1999. She oversees the Endowment's cash management and trading activities. Prior to working at Yale, Celeste worked in Sales and Trading at Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer, Cowen, and Tucker Anthony. She started her career in Sales at Kidder Peabody in New York and later worked as Assistant Operations Manager for the Kidder Peabody Office in Boston. Celeste earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kenyon College in 1981. Before retiring from the Stock Jocks, Celeste was the team's best and only pitcher.

 

Michael E. Finnerty

Associate Director

Mike Finnerty joined the YIO in 2000. His main areas of focus are real estate, derivative activities, and debt financings. Prior to his time at Yale, Mike worked at Lehman Brothers in the Public Finance Division concentrating on higher education clients. He presently serves on the Hartwick College Investment Committee and the Yale-New Haven Health Services Corporation System Investment Committee. He also advises the Yale-New Haven Hospital on its debt financing and derivatives activities. Mike graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Hartwick College in 1992 and earned an MBA with honors from Boston University in 1998. Mike has taken a temporary leave of absence from the Stock Jocks to pursue a career as his son Patrick's little league coach.

 

Matthew S. T. Mendelsohn ’07

Associate Director

Matt Mendelsohn joined the YIO in 2007. He focuses on the private equity and timber portfolios, in addition to helping with asset allocation. He graduated from Yale College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and became a CFA® charterholder in 2011. Matt spent three years as captain of the Stock Jocks and continues to patrol left field.

 

John V. Ricotta ’08

Associate Director

John Ricotta joined the YIO in 2008, where he works primarily on the natural resources portfolio. He graduated from Yale College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and became a CFA® charterholder in 2012. John generally plays left field, from which he can keep an eye on his energetic dog.

 

Cain P. Soltoff ’08

Associate Director

Cain Soltoff joined the YIO in 2008, where he focuses on the domestic equity and absolute return portfolios. He graduated from Yale College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics and became a CFA® charterholder in 2012. Cain possesses massive opposite field power and plays a tight third base.

 

David S. Katzman ’10

Senior Associate

David Katzman joined the YIO in 2010, where he focuses on the private equity portfolio and asset allocation. He graduated from Yale College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics and became a CFA® charterholder in 2014. David recently ended a successful two-year stint as captain of the Stock Jocks with a victory in the 2013 Championship Game.

 

Patrick Sherwood ’13 MBA

Senior Associate

Patrick Sherwood joined the YIO in 2013, after graduating from the Yale School of Management with an MBA. He works on the natural resources and foreign equity portfolios. Patrick looks forward to joining the softball team next season after recovering from an injury suffered as an intern.

 

Xinchen Wang ’09

Senior Associate

Xinchen Wang joined the YIO in 2009, where she works on the foreign equity and absolute return portfolios. She graduated from Yale College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics. Xinchen is the Stock Jocks' physical, defensive catcher.

 

Philip Bronstein ’12

Senior Financial Analyst

Philip Bronstein joined the YIO in 2012, where he works on the domestic equity and absolute return portfolios, in addition to helping with retirement assets. He graduated from Yale College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. Philip excels for the Stock Jocks in right field.

 
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David Zhang ’12

Senior Financial Analyst

David Zhang joined the YIO in 2012, where he focuses on the absolute return portfolio and asset allocation. He graduated from Yale College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. David patrols the outfield for the Stock Jocks.

 
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Timothy H. Hillas ’13

Financial Analyst

Tim Hillas joined the YIO in 2013, following his graduation from Yale College with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs. Tim is acclimating himself to the softball diamond after a lengthy career on track ovals.

 
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Daniel J. Otto ’12

Financial Analyst

Danny Otto joined the YIO in 2013, following his graduation from Yale College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Since joining the office, Danny has traded in his hockey skates for a pair of softball cleats.

 
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E. Benjamin VanGelder ’13

Financial Analyst

Ben VanGelder joined the YIO in 2013, following his graduation from Yale College with a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and Classics. Ben showed great promise in his rookie softball campaign.

 

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