Veteran Managing Director Leaves University of Southern California Investment Office

By David G. Barry


Edgar Smith has left his longtime role as a managing director in the University of Southern California Investment Office.

Smith’s plans are not known and neither he, USC Chief Investment Officer Amy Diamond, or a university spokesman, Ron Mackovich, immediately returned messages. USC’s endowment was at $8.1 billion as of June 30, 2021. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, it generated a 43.2% return. It has not yet released results for its 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Smith, who joined USC 10 years ago, was, according to his LinkedIn profile, part of the school’s senior investment team with responsibility across asset classes and strategies including equities, hedge funds venture capital and credit.

Prior to USC, Smith was a senior research analyst with the Archstone Partnerships. He also has held roles with Lasair Capital, Paamco and JPMorgan.

Smith is the second managing director to leave the USC Investment Office in the past six months. Earlier this year, Samantha Cooper left after 10 years to become a managing director of non-profit OCIO solutions for Russell Investments.

According to a website listing, the investment office currently has two managing directors: Hailey Liu and Brian Johnson. Liu, who has been at USC since 2015, focuses on equities and real estate. Johnson joined USC in 2014 from UC Regents, where he was director of real assets.

Diamond replaced the retiring Lisa Mazzocco as CIO in the fall of 2020. She previously had served two decades as managing director of private investments and real assets with Northwestern University’s Investment Office.

USC’s asset allocation consists of 45.5% in global equity, 18.4% in venture capital, 9.4% in absolute return, 8.4% in private equity, 5.6% in natural resources, 5.2% in fixed income, 4.4% in real estate and 3.2% in cash.