New Foreign-Funds Chief Hired

The Harvard Management Company (HMC) announced last week that it had appointed a chief for its newly created foreign exchange management team.

Karen Parker Feld will join HMC from Wellington Management Company, where she currently manages over $20 billion in her capacity as director of foreign exchange.

Previously, Feld worked for Chase Manhattan Bank as a managing director and the head of currency research for Chase Manhattan Bank.

In a statement, HMC President Mohamed A. El-Erian said he looked forward to working with Parker Feld.

“Karen brings to HMC proven strong portfolio management skills in the foreign exchange area, an excellent industry reputation, an outstanding intellect, and impressive academic credentials.”

Feld, a Fulbright Scholar, holds a summa cum laude bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

She is the third senior executive to join HMC as chief Mohamed A. El-Erian seeks to “rebuild and reinvent” the company after former CEO Jack R. Meyer took over thirty people with him to form Convexity Capital Management.

Last month Kathryn I. Murtagh joined the firm as chief compliance officer and Marc Seidner as vice president for domestic fixed income.

El-Erian is still looking to fill senior executive positions in international fixed income and external management.

HMC’s foray into foreign currency is a new direction for HMC, according to El-Erian.

“A lot of what we do has embedded currency exposure in it,” he told The Crimson in an interview last month.

El-Erian said that HMC aims to invest one-third of its portfolio in global assets.

In her new position, Feld will be responsible for managing the foreign-currency fluctuation risk inherent in HMC’s international investments.

“So the example is if you’re looking in real estate in India, if you’re looking at forests in Brazil, if you’re looking at equities in China, you can make two disciplined decisions. One is: Do I like the underlying activity? And two is: What’s my view on the currency?” said El-Erian.


As he rebuilds HMC, El-Erian will also be advising the International Monetary Fund on the financing of its core operations. He will serve on a “committee of eminent persons” along with former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, and five others, the fund announced Thursday.

El-Erian rose to deputy director of the IMF’s Middle East Department during his decade-and-a-half at the fund, and he was reportedly a candidate for the fund’s top post.

—Staff writer Cyrus M. Mossavar-Rahmani can be reached at crahmani@fas.harvard.


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