March 6, 2009

Alumnus Alper elected as new trustee chair

[img id="77476" align="alignleft"] Andrew Alper (A.B.’80, M.B.A.’81) was elected chairman of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees at a meeting Wednesday. He will begin his three-year term June 4.

Current chair James Crown announced his plans to step down last month, after serving as chair for six years. The trustees amended the board’s bylaws to create a three-year term for the chairman at last night’s meeting.

Alper anticipates that there will be “no major changes” in the board’s philosophy under his leadership. “We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing, giving advice to President Zimmer...and providing the financial resources to allow the University to move forward,” he said in an interview last night.

Currently the vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees, Alper has served on the board since 1999 and has been actively involved with the University since his graduation in 1980. He will be the first former College student to serve as chairman since Harold Swift, who graduated from the College in 1907 and served as chairman of the board from 1922 to 1948.

“I have vivid memories of leaving Cobb Hall with a cramped hand from filling in blue books,” Alper said in the interview.

In 2005, Alper became chairman of the Chicago Initiative, the University’s largest capital campaign ever. The campaign, which was completed last summer, raised $2.38 billion in gifts from 117,700 individuals and organizations.

Alper is also a member of the Visiting Committee to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

“Andy has been a tireless advocate for the University and an important leader in so much of the board’s varied work,” University of Chicago president Robert J. Zimmer said in a release. “Bringing that leadership as chairman of the board, Andy will help us build on that momentum and further the distinctive and powerful culture of the University.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics and an M.B.A., Alper spent 21 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was an investment banker, co-head of the Financial Institutions Group and Chief Operating Officer of the Investment Banking Division.

In 2002, he was appointed president of the New York City Economic Development Corp and chairman of the New York City Industrial Development Agency by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Earning $1 a year, Alper worked to strengthen New York’s economy and to keep businesses in lower Manhattan after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

He is now chairman of EQA Partners, LP, an asset management firm specializing in global macro and currency strategies. He also serves as a trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and a director of Friedman, Billings, and Ramsey Capital Markets Corporation.

“It is a humbling honor to be elected by my fellow trustees to lead the board in these challenging times,” Alper said in a release. “I am personally grateful for the opportunity to give back to an institution that has meant so much to me and my family.”