Harvard appoints Blyth to head up HMC

Stephen Blyth will replace Jane Mendillo as president and CEO of the university’s endowment fund

Harvard University has appointed Stephen Blyth as the new president and chief executive officer of Harvard Management Company, the body that manages the university’s $36.4 billion endowment fund and related financial assets, the university announced this week.

Blyth will be taking up the position on 1 January 2015, taking over from Jane Mendillo, who announced in June that she would be stepping down from the post at the end of the year after 21 years at the institution.

Blyth has been working at HMC since 2006. He currently serves as managing director and head of public markets and is responsible for investments in public equity, credit, and fixed-income markets which, according to the university, account for around 40 percent of the endowment and other assets that HMC invests.

In its statement, Harvard said Blyth was appointed following a nationwide search by HMC’s board of directors, chaired by James Rothenberg, who is also a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board.

Blyth, an alumnus of Cambridge University and Harvard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, once served as a professor of the practice of statistics in Harvard’s faculty of arts and sciences. Prior to joining HMC, Blyth was managing director and head of the global rates proprietary trading group at Deutsche Bank in London. Before that he worked for Morgan Stanley in New York as a managing director of its interest-rate group.

Blyth said in a statement that he would be inheriting from Mendillo “an organisation that is in great shape” which has “a long tradition of investment innovation”, which he will seek to continue.

Although HMC delivered an estimated average annual return of 11 to 12 percent for the five years to 30 June 2014, the endowment fund was still outperformed during the same period by nine other universities, PEI reported previously. In the previous two years the endowment had the worst performance of all eight Ivy League schools.

Following Mendillo’s decision to leave HMC, Dan Shore, the university’s vice president and chief financial officer, decided to step down in August to join a technology start-up. The university’s treasurer James Rothenberg also left the institution on July 1.