Harvard Management Company Hires Two Senior Executives in Plan To Remake HMC

The Harvard Management Company (HMC) announced last week that it had hired two senior executives to fill positions in fixed income and compliance.

The move comes as HMC chief Mohamed A. El-Erian pledges to “rebuild and reinvent” the company [See story, page A1.] The fixed income post marks an effort to “rebuild” the company’s bond division, and the new compliance position appears to be part of Erian’s bid to “reinvent” HMC.

Marc Seidner, director of active core strategies at Standish Mellon Asset Management, will join HMC as vice president for domestic fixed income. The move comes after the departure of top bond managers Maurice Samuels and David R. Mittelman to Convexity Capital Management LP, leaving a vacuum in HMC’s bond divison.

Seidner is the second executive to join HMC from Standish Mellon—Jennifer Pline joined last September from the firm as vice president of trusts.

Kathryn I. Murtagh, a partner at law firm Goodwin Proctor LLP, will assume the newly-created position of chief compliance officer on May 1.

El-Erian said the creation of the position was not prompted by regulatory requirements. “We think it’s a good idea to do it because we are looking to the next five to 10 years to make sure that Harvard Management remains at the forefront of the industry,” he said.

El-Erian said he had been seeking to fill five senior positions in compliance, domestic fixed income, international fixed income, foreign exchange, and external management.

“Once we bring in the head of the team, that person will then fill out underneath,” said El-Erian. The hirings of Murtagh and Seidner mean positions in international fixed income, foreign exchange and external management remain outstanding.

“The main challenge for us right now is getting the factory back to 100 percent capacity,” El-Erian said.

Now that Mittelman, Samuels, and other top managers have set out to work on other funds, El-Erian said in an interview last week he is aware that the current round of hires might one day depart as well.

“The challenge of Harvard Management is to have a pipeline,” he said. “I also think that at some point people tend to spin out. We are going into this with our eyes wide open, and as long as we can get five to ten years of excellent returns on the endowment from each group, then our job would have been done well.”

—Staff writer Cyrus M. Mossavar-Rahmani can be reached at