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HMC Aims to Sell $2.5 Billion in Endowment Assets

Harvard Management Company is housed in the Boston Federal Reserve building.
Harvard Management Company is housed in the Boston Federal Reserve building. By Zorigoo Tugsbayar
By Caroline S. Engelmayer, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Management Company is aiming to sell around $2.5 billion in private equity, venture capital, and real estate assets as part of its broader revamp in investment strategy, according to reports in Bloomberg and Axios.

According to the reports, HMC is seeking buyers for around $1.6 billion in real estate and almost $1 billion in private equity.

HMC's moves to sell the assets come as recently-installed CEO of the firm N.P. Narvekar reconsiders much of Harvard’s approach to endowment investing. In January, the company announced plans to lay off half its staff by the end of the calendar year after financial reports revealed that Harvard’s endowment lagged significantly behind those of its peers.

At the time, HMC also announced it would alter its investment model. Harvard has historically employed a unique “hybrid” investment model, in which HMC retained a large internal staff while also hiring external employees. Narvekar has opted to move HMC towards relying more on external funds to manage Harvard’s $35.7 billion endowment.

Narvekar made the changes after HMC posted negative 2 percent returns on its investments and the size of the endowment shrunk by nearly $2 billion. These losses have already prompted Harvard to reduce pay bumps for some employees and faculty.

The endowment’s lackluster performance could constrain budgets across Harvard for years, University President Drew G. Faust said in September.

HMC spokesperson Emily Guadagnoli declined to comment on HMC’s efforts to sell $2.5 billion in equity, capital, and investments.

—Staff writer Caroline S. Engelmayer can be reached at caroline.engelmayer@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @cengelmayer13.

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EndowmentHarvard Management Co