University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe today announced Thomas “Tom” F. Richards will assume the role of interim vice president of finance of the UM System, effective July 1. Richards will begin following the retirement of Natalie “Nikki” Krawitz.
Richards currently serves as treasurer of the UM System—a position he was appointed to by the UM System Board of Curators in January 2011. As treasurer, Richards provides operating leadership and strategic direction for the university's cash management, debt and banking relationships across all four campuses and the health care system. In addition, he manages investment portfolios in excess of $5 billion, including the university’s retirement, endowment and general operating funds. Richards served as assistant controller for the UM System prior to his appointment as treasurer.
In his new role, Richards will have primary responsibility for systemwide financial planning and administrative services, including the university’s budget and appropriations requests; management of its endowment, retirement trust funds and debt; as well as the university’s treasury, accounting and financial systems, procurement, risk management, and facilities planning and development functions. The vice president also serves as a key university spokesperson to internal and external constituencies on financial and business matters.
Richards has more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector, serving as an audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and as chief financial officer and senior vice president for Landmark Bank N.A. in Columbia.
Richards earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and is a certified public accountant. As an active member of the community, he serves on the board finance committee of Columbia Public Schools and is a member of Columbia Northwest Rotary as well as the treasurer of its community foundation. Richards is married to Melissa Lawson, an associate professor of clinical child health and division director of Adolescent Medicine at the MU School of Medicine.
A high resolution photo of Richards is available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umsystem/10214550574/.