Investment Management at Harvard Management Company

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : FINC056
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2000-08
Pub. Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Harvard Management Company
Industry : Financial Services
Countries : UK/India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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"It (HMC) was heavy in equities, public and private, and hedge funds and all sorts of alternative assets, and for many years, those assets were continuous providers of cash return. And that party has stopped."1

- John Morris, Management Director, HarbourVest Partners2, in March 2009.

"Many endowments stretched too far, and I think Harvard did as well."3

- Jack Meyer, Former CEO, Harvard Management Company, in February 2009.

Introduction

On February 17, 2009, 1,600 non-faculty employees of Harvard University (Harvard) received a crimson folder containing details of the early retirement benefits offered to them. Earlier, on February 11, 2009, Harvard had announced the eligibility4 criteria for those employees who would be offered early retirement.

The objective of the move was to save on operating expenses. The University also announced other cost-cutting measures that included budget cuts varying between 10% and 15% in all Harvard departments. Besides, it announced a 3.5% increase in tuition fees for the academic year 2009-10.

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1] Michael Quint and Gillian Wee, "Harvard Accepts Higher Debt Costs as Bankers Profit," www.bloomberg.com, March 03, 2009.

2] HarborVest Partners is a global private equity investment firm founded in 1975. Its headquarters are located in Boston, US.

3] Bernard Condon and Nathan Vardi, "How Harvard's Investing Superstars Crashed," www.forbes.com, February 02, 2009.

4] Employees who were over 55 years of age and worked for Harvard University for a minimum of 10 years as of June 30, 2009.


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