Speaking at a recruiting event for the Harvard Management Company on Monday, HMC President and CEO Jane L. Mendillo said she recently has been “more conscious about trying to recruit” Harvard students to work for the Company, which oversees the University’s investments.
“What I would like to do is entice some of you into working [for the HMC],” Mendillo told a crowd of about 40 students, including members of finance-related student organizations and supporters of the movement for socially responsible investment at Harvard.
In 2009, the HMC—which manages the University’s $30.7 billion endowment—began hiring summer interns from Harvard. Currently, 19 of the company’s employees are Harvard graduates.
According to Mendillo, the endowment represents an increasingly large percentage of the University’s operating budget, partially due to decreasing tuition revenue. In this environment, HMC’s portfolio has succeeded in part because of its diversity.
“We probably have the most international, the most global, portfolio of any endowment,” she said.
After her presentation, Mendillo fielded questions about financial management and responsible investment.
In response to a question about the potential conflict between Harvard’s mission and investment strategy, Mendillo told students that any investment that is not supportive of Harvard’s mission “does not belong in the portfolio.”
In the same vein, one attendee asked about her view on the creation of the social choice fund, which the University announced in December.
“It’s a challenging area,” Mendillo said. “Not everybody sees social choice and socially responsible investment in the same way.”
She added that the the new social choice fund will be “very small” and will not necessarily be able to take advantage of the investment strategies applied for Harvard’s larger funds.
Following the talk, Parker G. Clemans ’16, who is in the Veritas Financial Group and the Harvard Financial Analysts Club, said he is “definitely going to consider” recruiting for HMC in the future.
Students who did not come to the event for recruiting purposes still said they found the event educational.
Casper R. ter Kuile, a Havard Kennedy School student and a member of Responsible Investment at HKS, said that he was “really encouraged” to hear Mendillo’s take on aligning Harvard’s philosophy with its investments.
—Staff writer Nikita Kansra can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @NikitaKansra.
Rethinking ReinvestmentIn light of the controversy surrounding HEI’s treatment of its workers, Harvard’s administration should consider halting further investment in HEI.
Harvard’s Money MattersHarvard’s money matters, and together, we will change the way Harvard invests it, for a better future for all.
Investing in Harvard’s FutureRecent research has demonstrated that responsible investing can provide market rate returns—and, sometimes, perform even better than conventional investing strategies.
Responsible InvestmentBecause HMC is reluctant to share information relating to its investments, the University’s current approach to investments may be more socially conscious than advocacy groups realize.
Future of the Social Choice FundThe University has stipulated that 20 percent of the fund’s initial value will be allocated to fund student financial aid. Although this is a certainly an admirable gesture, the removal of such a large percentage of the fund annually might stymie its growth.
How to Make a Responsible EndowmentCreating a social choice fund that exists outside of the endowment is an important first step.