Harvard Names Columbia's Narvekar CEO of $35B Endowment

Sep 30 2016 | 12:20am ET

Harvard University has named Columbia University endowment head Nirmal Narvekar to lead its $35 billion endowment.

Narvekar will start in his new role at Harvard Management Company (HMC) on December 5, according to Bloomberg. He was named CEO of Columbia’s fund in 2002 and was recently included on a short list of candidates to fill the role vacated by the resignation of former HMC CEO Stephen Blyth last July. He replaces interim CEO Robert Ettl.

“Narv is a highly successful endowment manager with an outstanding 14-year track record heading a large endowment, providing steady leadership and delivering strong returns,” said Paul Finnegan, chairman of the HMC board, said in a statement released by Harvard. “He is a superb leader and mentor with a proven ability to recruit, build and retain a talented and committed investment team.”

Prior to taking on the top slot at Columbia’s endowment, Narvekar was managing director at the University of Pennsylvania's Office of Investments and spent 14 years as a managing director in the equity derivatives group at JPMorgan Chase. 

HMC reported last week that it lost 2% for the year ended June 30, trailing many of its peers including archrival Yale, which booked a 3.4% gain in the same period. In the decade through June 2016, Harvard’s average annual return was 5.7%, according to Bloomberg, while Columbia’s was 10.1% through June 30, 2015. 

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