Penn State names Joe Cullen new chief investment officer

July 26, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Joe Cullen, chief investment officer for the Montana Board of Investments, has been named Penn State’s new chief investment officer, following a national search. Cullen will begin his appointment at the University on Sept. 16.

Joe Cullen

Joe Cullen, chief investment officer for the Montana Board of Investments, has been named chief investment officer at Penn State, effective Sept. 16, 2019. 

IMAGE: Courtesy Joe Cullen

Cullen succeeds John Pomeroy, who retired on Dec. 31, 2018, after more than 17 years as Penn State’s first chief investment officer. Cullen will report to David Branigan, chief executive officer for the Penn State Office of Investment Management, which oversees the day-to-day management and administration of the University’s investment funds.

As chief investment officer, Cullen will be responsible for managing the investment portfolios of Penn State’s more than $4 billion long-term investment pool (LTIP), which contains endowed assets valued at $2.81 billion and nonendowed funds (NEF) valued at $1.27 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2018.  

“Replacing a chief investment officer of John Pomeroy’s caliber has been a real challenge, as John will be a very tough act to follow,” Branigan said. “Joe Cullen brings to Penn State’s Office of Investment Management a high degree of experience, expertise and professionalism. Joe’s management and oversight of OIM will be hugely positive, and will significantly contribute to the continuation of OIM’s path to excellence, which is currently in the hands of an existing team of five outstanding investment professionals with over 85 years of combined experience managing a sizable multi-asset class portfolio.”

In his new role, Cullen will coordinate the University’s overall investment strategies and portfolio construction, in alignment with the strategic objectives and risk parameters of the LTIP and NEF, and in conjunction with Penn State’s existing investment staff. In addition, Cullen will serve as the risk officer for the University’s investment programs, monitoring investment performance and underlying risks, and also developing proactive measures to manage risk and adjust asset allocations as appropriate.

Cullen’s duties also will include directing and overseeing analyses of multiple asset classes in implementation of multiple investment strategies; conducting and supervising investment research; establishing and cultivating relationships within the investment community and among peer institutions; and conceptualizing and articulating complex financial and investment information for stakeholders.

“Education has been an important part of my life, and I’m excited to join a leading institution like Penn State and support its mission to impact the world through teaching, research and service,” Cullen said. “In particular, I’m honored to join the Office of Investment Management to assist in the stewardship of Penn State’s investment funds, as the investment assets are a critical component of the sound financial management of the University’s resources and help the institution to carry out its mission.”

Cullen has served as chief investment officer for the Montana Board of Investments since 2015, leading and mentoring a team of investment professionals that manages $18 billion of public and private investment assets across a wide spectrum of asset classes and investment strategies.

Previously, he served as head of institutional portfolio management at Fidelity Investments in Boston, where he was a senior member of an investment team that managed more than $150 billion in target-date assets. Over the course of a nearly 30-year career, Cullen also has held senior investment positions at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he helped to oversee approximately $2 billion in endowment assets, as well as at Lucent Asset Management Corp., where he was a senior manager in the public markets group.

Cullen earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin, and a master of business administration degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder, a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst charterholder, and holds Financial Risk Manager certification from the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

Last Updated July 26, 2019