The University Record, October 1, 1997
From the Office of University Relations
President Lee C. Bollinger has selected Robert Kasdin to be the University's executive vice president and chief financial officer. He will submit his recommendation for Kasdin's appointment to the Board of Regents at its Oct. 16-17 meeting.
If approved, the appointment will be effective mid-November. Kasdin currently serves as treasurer and chief investment officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"Robert Kasdin brings to this position extensive experience in financial management in the academic and non-profit sectors. He currently oversees an investment portfolio of $1.1 billion, and under his leadership, that institution received two credit-rating upgrades within three years. He is one of the most respected names in financial management today, known for his integrity, insight and foresight," Bollinger said.
The selection of Kasdin stems from an extensive search conducted by a search advisory committee appointed last November, following the announcement by Chief Financial Officer Farris W. Womack that he would leave the position. Thomas C. Kinnear, vice president for development and the D. Maynard Phelps Professor of Business Administration and professor of marketing at U-M, chaired the committee.
Kasdin will have a broad scope of responsibilities related to financial, operational and staff activities. He will lead the Business and Finance Division, with 2,100 staff and a budget of $339 million. He will be accountable for the financial affairs of the University, as well as business operations, physical plant, and safety and security operations. He will share with Provost Nancy Cantor responsibility for human resources and affirmative action programs and policies.
Kasdin, who received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1983 and his A.B. from Princeton University in 1980, was corporate attorney at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1983-88, where he specialized in mergers, acquisitions, credit facilities and securities offerings.
In 1988, he was named vice president and general counsel for the Princeton University Investment Co. He was responsible for identifying investment opportunities for the university's $2.5 billion endowment and supervised relationships with investment managers.
Kasdin assumed his duties as treasurer and chief investment officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1993. He is responsible for the museum's $1.1 billion investment portfolio and manages banking relationships and $100 million debt. He determines financing strategies and manages relationships with rating agencies. Under his leadership, the museum has received two credit-rating upgrades in three years.
He participates as a member of the executive staff committee in formulating and monitoring the museum's $110 million operating budget and a capital budget of $20 million-$30 million per annum. He supervises the accounting staff, with responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the financial books, records and statements. He also advises the museum's $80 million merchandising operation on a variety of issues, primarily relating to financial operations.
Kasdin has been a member of the board of the Asean Strategic Capital Fund of Singapore, and vice chair of the board of APAC Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong. He is currently a trustee of Foundation Advisors Inc. and of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Kasdin is married to Claire Ullman, a political scientist whose research has focused on comparative social policy. They are the parents of three children.