Sequoia Hires Stanford Investment Chief

Eric Upin, former chief investment officer for the Stanford University endowment, has joined venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, peHUB has learned.

Details are a bit sketchy as to what he’ll be doing, but sources believe that this could be the beginning of Sequoia’s long-rumored hedge fund practice. The Menlo Park-based firm has not yet discussed Upin’s role with all of its limited partners, although a few are being used as sounding boards.

Upin was a senior partner and managing director of equity research at Robertson Stephens between 1993 and 2002, after which he spent two years as director of tech research with Wells Fargo. He then joined Stanford Management Co. In February 2005 to oversee public equity investments, and one year later was named CIO when Mike McCaffrey left to hang his own shingle. He announced that November that he’d be leaving Stanford come February 2008, in order to pursue other opportunities.

I’m also hearing that Sequoia has hired at least one additional staffer to work on the mystery project, but have not yet gotten the name. The firm’s website isn’t much use, as Upin isn’t listed there yet (but a Sequoia receptionist does patch you through to his voicemail). On the other hand, Sequoia’s site does disclose that it recently added former Google exec Bryan Schreier as a partner, which I don’t think has been reported yet.

I emailed both Upin and Sequoia partner Mike Moritz for comment, but only got a “sorry but no” from Moritz.