Harvard endowment to rely more on outside managers, cuts staff

A student stands in the entranceway of a building at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts November 16, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica RinaldiA student stands in the entranceway of a building at Harvard University in CambridgeThomson Reuters

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) – Harvard University will rely more on outside money managers to oversee the Ivy League school’s $37.6 billion endowment as it scales back on making direct stock picks, it said on Monday.

Michael Ryan, head of public markets and absolute return strategies at Harvard Management Co, is leaving and more jobs in the internal equity team will be eliminated, the endowment said in an internal email reviewed by Reuters.

The changes are part of an overhaul initiated by Chief Executive Stephen Blyth to improve returns at the largest U.S. college fund. Blyth, who took over the job in January 2015, has been on medical leave since late May.

Harvard Management will stop making selective direct equity investments, Robert Ettl, the endowment’s interim CEO said in the email.

The email did not say how much money would be shifted to outside managers or how many positions would be cut.

In the email, Ettl said Elise McDonald will oversee Ryan’s team as Harvard Management searches for his replacement.

“We continuously evaluate how we can best allocate capital and leverage HMC’s comparative advantages to maximize performance over the long-term,” Harvard Management spokesman Lex Suvanto said.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Richard Chang)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2016. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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