Harvard Endowment's Head of Alternative Assets To Retire

Sep 11 2015 | 7:57pm ET

The head of alternative assets for Harvard University’s $36 billion endowment, Andrew Wiltshire, has announced his retirement.

Wiltshire has been with Harvard Management Company (HMC) since 2001. He is credited, among other things, with developing the natural resources portion of the Ivy League school’s portfolio. He also helped lead the organization through the global financial crisis.

His resignation will be effective later this year, HMC said. 

Harvard was among the first university endowments to engage higher-risk alternative strategies such a private equity, commodities, and other natural resources in an effort to boost returns. 

“Andy was a pioneer in developing HMC’s timberland strategy and innovative natural resources portfolio,’’ said Stephen Blyth, CEO of HMC, in a statement. Wiltshire was managing director of natural resources and director of timberland investments for the endowment before taking on the role of head of alternative investments.

Over the ten years that ended in June 2014, the endowment's natural resources portfolio delivered an annualized return of 11.6%, according to Bloomberg.

The move is the latest in a series of executive changes announced by HMC over the past year. Last December, president and CEO Jane Mendillo was replaced by Blyth, while Paul Finnegan became the fund’s new chairman. Canyon Partners co-founder Josh Friedman and former U.S. Federal Reserve Board governor Jeremy Stein joined the board earlier this year as well. 

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