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Investment Office | Staff

Dr. Philip Zecher
Chief Investment Officer

Philip Zecher is the Chief Investment Officer for Michigan State University, overseeing its $4.2 billion endowment.  Zecher was tapped to start MSU’s investment office in 2016 and under his leadership the endowment has risen to one of the top performing university endowments, leading him to be named one of the top 30 endowment CIOs by Trusted Insight magazine in 2020. Before starting MSU’s investment office, Zecher was Partner and Chief Risk Officer of the currency hedge fund, EQA Partners. Prior to joining EQA, Zecher was the co-founder in 1999 of Investor Analytics, a New York City based risk advisory firm focused on the hedge fund and fund-of-funds industry.  Investor Analytics was the first risk advisory firm to provide risk analytics as software-as-a-service via the internet. Zecher has served as a company director in the US and Ireland and as a member of several non-profit boards, including the MSU Foundation, before being named MSU’s CIO. He is currently a member of the investment committee for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. In 2015, Zecher was professor of finance at the Broad College of Business at MSU.  He received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from MSU.

Cornelia Elisabeth (Beth) Forbes

Chief Operating Officer

Beth Forbes is the Chief Operating Officer for MSU’s Investment Office. She brings over 20 years of financial, operations, strategy and program management experience managing multi-disciplinary teams to reshape critical aspects of businesses undergoing significant restructuring, growth and/or transformation.  Her broad experience combines deep operational business understanding with an extensive foundation in tax, accounting, finance, operational risk management, internal controls and systems integration.  Prior to joining MSU, she was with JP Morgan for seven years where she was responsible for leading the strategy and execution of several of the firm’s most high profile regulatory, control, and risk mitigation programs under strict compressed deadlines.  She began her career in big 4 public accounting and her industry experience includes Wireless / Telecom, Technology, and Alternative Investments (Hedge Fund, Private Equity, and Real Estate from both an investment management and portfolio company perspective). Beth holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University, a Masters in Taxation from Georgia State University and a BBA in Accounting from Stetson University.  In addition, she is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.

Allen Huang

Director of Investments

Allen Huang is a Director of Investments for MSU. Prior to joining MSU, he was the Director of Fixed Income at the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS). His key responsibilities included asset allocation, investment manager selection, and portfolio management. Prior to joining INPRS in 2011, he worked at Barclays Capital and GE Capital. Allen holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Northeastern University.

Philip Douthit

Director of Investments

As Director of Investments for MSU, Philip Douthit applies over 35 years of experience in asset management and financial services to the Investment Office’s investment policy and strategy, portfolio management, and investment management.  Before joining MSU, he was Portfolio Manager & Head of Quantitative Analytics at Wells Fargo Portfolio Risk Advisors managing systematic option strategies for institutional investors, Portfolio Manager and Risk Manager at Tower Capital with funds of funds specializing in long-short equity strategies, and Director of Research and Product Development at Ferrell Capital managing funds of hedge funds blending multiple asset classes and styles.  Prior experience centered on developing proprietary trading systems for Liberty Brokerage, ABN Amro, IBM, BoA, and Clifford Drake.  Philip has a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute.

Karina Akopov

Manager of Investments

Valarie Montgomery

Senior Investment Analyst

Julianne Fent

Administrative Business Professional