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Top family investment specialist leaves to join Cambridge University’s endowment office

Senior investment manager Benoit Ramsay has left Weybourne, Sir James Dyson’s family investment group, to become director of marketable assets at the University of Cambridge investment office.

Ramsay’s move has been confirmed on Linkedin. He has moved on after six years at Weybourne, following a stint at Partners Capital, the Swiss investment business.

Weybourne retains a capable investment team. Björn Thelander, who used to work for the Rausing family, became Weybourne investment chief 18 months ago. Weybourne was recently profiled by Family Capital

While looking forward to a new challenge, Ramsay is returning to his roots, graduating from Cambridge University in 2010.

He is joining a team which has responsibility for managing Cambridge University’s £3.2 billion endowment fund. 

Tilly Franklin, another Cambridge alumna, was appointed as the endowment’s chief investment officer last August. She was previously director of investments and head of private equity at Alta Investments, representing some members of the Rausing family. 

Her predecessor was Nick Cavalla who resigned from Cambridge in September 2018 with three colleagues. This followed distractions as a result of pressure on the fund to divest from oil and gas companies, applied by Cambridge Zero Carbon Society, a student lobby group.

Cavalla went on to become chief executive of Talisman Global Asset Management, the £3.6 billion investment arm of the Pears family office, an early investor in Facebook. Pears was founded by Bernard Pears, a real estate entrepreneur who started his career as a greengrocer. 

The carbon debate continues at Cambridge, where lobby group Extinction Rebellion recently dug up a lawn at Trinity College as part of its campaign for fossil fuel investment.

Confirming Franklin’s appointment in 2019, Cambridge stressed its commitment to “fundamental problems facing humanity such as climate change, food security and chronic disease.”

Around 90% of its endowment it managed externally and it requires assets to be managed on terms which comply to a range of climate change requirements, including fossil fuel exclusions.

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