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Harvard to Invest $300 Million in Credit Fund

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - HMC Office
The Federal Reserve Bank Building in Boston, where Harvard Management Company's offices are located.
Harvard plans to invest an expected $300 million in a direct lending firm started by three former Harvard Management Company credit specialists, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The money will come from Harvard’s endowment; the Boston firm slated to receive the millions dollar-strong backing from the University is Evolution Credit Partners, according to Bloomberg.

HMC spokesperson Patrick S. McKiernan declined to comment Tuesday on the expected investment.

Evolution Credit, which finances buyouts, acquisitions, growth capital, and recapitalizations, among other services, also provides direct financing to private middle market companies in the U.S. with earnings between $15 million to $100 million, according to the firm’s website.

All three co-founders of Evolution Credit have strong ties to HMC. One of the co-founders, Rene Canezin, previously served as the head of fixed income, credit, and commodities at HMC. Mike Guarnieri, another co-founder and now a managing partner at the firm, worked as a specialist in private credit business at HMC. Joe Lu, managing director and partner at Evolution Credit, is also a former employee of HMC, where he specialized in private credit business.

Valued at $37.1 billion, Harvard’s endowment is the largest university endowment in the world. The endowment has underperformed in recent years; now, new HMC CEO N.P. “Narv” Narvekar is implementing ambitious changes to its management structure in an effort to reverse this trend.

Last January, Narvekar announced plans to cut HMC’s 230-person staff by over half. Narvekar has cut around 100 jobs since he joined HMC in late 2016.

In another change, HMC’s real estate team officially became part of Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital in February, finalizing a decision made late last year.

—Staff writer Lucas Ward can be reached at lucas.ward@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter at @LucaspfWard.

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