Harvard Admits That Harvard Sucks At Managing Harvard's Money

In a blow to metaphysical obnoxiousness, the phrase "I'm a hedge fund manager at Harvard" is now obsolete.
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In the future, if someone tells you that they're a "hedge fund manager at Harvard" you should feel free to tell them that such a job is too contemptibly douchey to be real.

harvardhedge

Because now it isn't!

Harvard University’s endowment plans to outsource management of most of its assets and lay off roughly half the staff, in a radical overhaul of the way the world’s wealthiest school invests its money.
About half the 230 employees at Harvard Management Co. will leave as part of a sweeping change by the university’s new endowment chief, N.P. “Narv” Narvekar. The endowment will shut down its internal hedge funds and let go traders by the middle of the year, with other layoffs occurring by year-end, Mr. Narvekar said in a Wednesday letter to Harvard endowment employees, certain alumni and university administrators.

And Harvard made the decision because it turns out that Harvardian money managers (who perhaps can't get jobs at the more famous hedge funds) haven't been very good at managing Harvardian money.

Harvard’s returns have trailed rivals’ in recent years. The endowment’s annualized gains of 5.7% over the 10 years ended June 30, 2016 are second- lowest in the Ivy League and below the comparable 8.1% returns of Yale University and Columbia University.
The $35.7 billion endowment currently provides more than a third of Harvard’s operating budget and contributes to the costs of student financial aid, research and professor salaries.

So what's the new boss gonna do instead?

Richard Slocum, who most recently invested the personal wealth of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, will in March become the endowment’s chief investment officer, according to people familiar with the matter. The position is a new role for Harvard and reports to Mr. Narvekar. Messrs. Narvekar and Slocum previously worked together at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Why let B-list hedge fund guys lose your money when you can hire JPM alums to do it for less and outside funds to do it for more? Balance.

Harvard Endowment to Lay Off Half Its Staff [WSJ]

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You're a Harvard undergrad and you want to beef up your resume so that in a couple years, top hedge funds will be begging you to take meetings with them. You figure joining some sort of on-campus investor group might do the trick, but there are so many to choose from it's difficult to figure out which one is going to be your ticket to the big leagues. Except it's not actually that difficult at all. In fact, the answer is quite simple. There are student investment clubs and there is Black Diamond Capital Investors. The former, piddling little after-school programs for, when it comes down to it, amateurs. The latter, an opportunity to put your balls on the table and make some real money. If that sounds like something you'd be interested, please have a check or money order for at least $1,000 ready,* which is the minimum investment members/partners must make, so that management can ensure everyone's got skin in the game. “Black Diamond is all about taking investments to the next level,” said Patrick M. Colangelo ’14, who founded the club last semester. He said that the mandatory minimum investment exists to ensure member engagement in the group, which is limited to 25 participants. "We select experienced finance students who are willing to put up the minimum capital contribution because we seek partners who will be vested in the operations and performance of the fund," Colangelo said. "It really gets the most out of our partners.” Member Arash Alidoust ’13 said he believes the buy-in is critical to the success of Black Diamond, which claims to be Harvard’s largest private growth fund. “It makes you much more concerned and much more innovative,” Alidoust said. “Black Diamond becomes part of your life.” And while the initial outlay be difficult for some college kids to swing, rest assured you're going to make it back many times over. Members said that Black Diamond’s investment strategy differs significantly from that of other financial groups on campus. Like the hedge funds it emulates, Black Diamond is a riskier investment than some of its peer groups, a risk which members hope will be rewarded. Colangelo said that the organization is aiming for a 30 percent return on its investment...“What Black Diamond has been created for is for investors who have a little bit of experience, joining a group of other experienced individuals who really want to do something different,” Colangelo said. Alidoust said that the strength and diversity of Black Diamond’s team of investors allows the club to break out of the typical “framework” of investing. “We encourage innovation and new ideas about investing, rather than just sticking with the old ideas,” he said. Exclusive Investment Club Asks Student Members for $1,000 [Crimson] *Though feel free to invest up to $20,000.