HMC Taps Butterfield for Natural Resources Role

Aug 18 2016 | 7:27pm ET

Harvard University’s $37.6 billion endowment has hired Colin Butterfield to be its new head of natural resources. 

The position has been vacant since Alvaro Aguirre left Harvard Management Company in late September 2015 and had been filled on an interim basis by head of public markets René Canezin.

Butterfield will be responsible for advancing HMC’s direct natural resources program, the endowment said in a statement. He joins HMC from $2.2 billion Brazilian farmland investment management firm Radar, a joint venture between TIAA and Cosan where he served as CEO. Beforehand, he was as president of Brazilian sugar producer Cosan Alimentos and CIO of real estate investment manager Bracor Investimentos Imobiliarios.  

Butterfield will start in early October and will report to Canezin.

“Colin brings substantial technical expertise in natural resources, including deep insight into the operating and financial viability of investment opportunities across the globe,” Canezin said in the statement. “Natural resources investments have been a long-time contributor to the overall endowment portfolio, and we will look to Colin to refine our strategy and to bring the best opportunities at scale to our portfolio.”

Butterfield comes aboard HMC during a critical time for the world-famous endowment, which has struggled to match the returns generated by Ivy League rivals such as Yale. CEO Stephen Blyth resigned in late July for personal reasons following a medical leave, resulting in COO Robert Ettl being named interim CEO until a permanent replacement for Blyth can be found.

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