The head of the University of Texas Investment Management Company suddenly announced his resignation on Thursday after being roundly criticized by the Governor, Lt. Governor and Senate Finance Committee over $3 million in bonuses paid to employees — including $1 million to the CEO, Bruce Zimmerman — at a time when the fund hasn’t been performing. Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler chastised UTIMCO, “This is shameful. Most people out there on the street are scared to death and we just paid you a million-dollar bonus.”
The Austin American Statesman‘s blog reports:
Rowling said the bonuses were based on performance in the year that ended June 30, and that the funds managed by UTIMCO posted small gains during that year. He said that, if he had to do it again, he would vote again to give the bonuses.
But of course, it wasn’t his money. One wonders if TRT Holdings, the successful holding company he founded, would have paid out such bonuses if the Omni or Gold’s Gym purchases had turned out to be duds? In this toxic economic environment, the action taken by UTIMCO — no matter how “right” on paper — surely doesn’t play well. UTIMCO was formed by the University of Texas to invest school funds.
Steve Ogden of Bryan, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said, , “There are not three people in the state of Texas who think that was a smart thing to do.”
Rowling concluded the contentious hearing by saying, “You can have my job. I resign.”
By all reports, no one there asked him to reconsider.