MANHATTAN — After 18 years at the Kansas State University Foundation, Lois Cox, CFA, CFP, senior vice president of investments and chief investment officer, will retire June 30, 2023.
Cox is a 1988 graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration. She served 20 years as a portfolio manager at Kansas Farm Bureau prior to joining the foundation as director of investments in 2005. Cox assumed the role of chief investment officer, or CIO, in 2013.
Cox leaves the organization with a Long-Term Investment Pool valued at more than $900 million and total assets under management at more than $1 billion. In addition to her CIO role, she is an integral member of the senior leadership team for the KSU Foundation, guiding its comprehensive enterprise. Cox also lent her time and expertise to boards and organizations across campus and the state, including the College of Business Administration Finance Advisory Board and the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System’s board of trustees.
Cox was twice named one of Trusted Insight’s top 30 endowment CIOs, and strong returns in fiscal year 2022 placed the KSU Foundation among the nation’s 10 best-performing higher education endowments and affiliated foundations. When asked about her main source of pride, however, Cox points to the broader results produced by her team.
“Our work has allowed us to meet our ultimate objective of intergenerational equity — creating sustainable and relevant value across generations in support of Kansas State University,” said Cox. “We’re proud to have generated a 10-year annualized return of 9.25% and a 20-year annualized return of 7.9%.”
Cox’s integrity and impact on the foundation’s overall mission and success were the qualities that most impressed Greg Willems, KSU Foundation president and chief executive officer.
“Lois is one of my most admired professionals I’ve had the privilege of working with in my career. I’ve learned so much from her example and professional interaction with others,” said Willems. “Lois has done a masterful job of maximizing our investment management strategy and returns and has expertly balanced the efforts of her staff with contributions from our board and asset management committee.
“More importantly, Lois brought a mix of leadership, wisdom and professional acumen that helped elevate our organization’s capability and mission — she’s the kind of professional that cares deeply about her colleagues and organization and extends her impact well beyond her area of direct expertise and influence, and that’s the true brilliance of her career and contributions.”
Recruitment for Cox’s replacement is underway, with RSR Partners conducting the national search.