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Morgan Stanley Exec To Serve as HMC's Chief Risk Officer

By Nikita Kansra and Samuel Y. Weinstock, Crimson Staff Writers

A Morgan Stanley executive will take over as Harvard Management Company’s next chief risk officer, the body announced Wednesday.

Jake Xia, who has managed trading groups in New York, London, Tokyo, and other cities around the world, has held various positions related to risk management and trading during his 17 years at Morgan Stanley. In his new position at HMC, which manages Harvard’s $30 billion endowment, Xia will head the group that monitors investment risks of HMC’s internal and external portfolios.

“Jake’s extensive experience in risk management and complex trading across many asset classes and international geographies will be central to HMC’s continued success in balancing return and risk in our complex and globally diverse portfolio,” HMC President and CEO Jane L. Mendillo said in a press release Wednesday.

At Morgan Stanley, Xia most recently served as head of global structured rates trading in New York. He had previously been the head of global fixed income trading risk, also in New York, and co-head of fixed income in Japan.

Though he has worked around the world, this will not be the first undertaking in Boston for Xia, who holds a doctorate from MIT and a master’s degree from Northeastern University.

Xia’s arrival at HMC coincides with a period of recovery for Harvard’s endowment, which, while remaining by far the largest of any University in the world, dropped around $11 billion following the financial crisis. Though HMC has since regained about half of that loss, the endowment dipped slightly in the 2012 fiscal year, which ended on June 30 of last year.

Xia will succeed Neil Mason, who assumed the position in March 2010 and is leaving on July 1 due to family reasons.

—Staff writer Nikita Kansra can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @NikitaKansra.

—Staff writer Samuel Y. Weinstock can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @syweinstock.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: June 20, 2013

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that HMC’s chief risk officer position was newly created when Neil Mason joined the company in 2010. In fact, the position had existed prior to that point.

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