Investment Management at Harvard Management Company

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : FINC056 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Risk Management, Portfolio Management
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2000-08
Pub. Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Harvard Management Company
Industry : Financial Services
Countries : USA


The case examines the investment management strategies adopted by the Harvard Management Company (HMC). HMC managed Harvard University's endowment funds, the largest in the industry. The case explains the hybrid fund management strategy followed at HMC and how the strategy led to phenomenal growth of Harvard's endowment funds over the decades. The case describes the investment performance of the endowment fund, asset allocation, portfolio mix and risk management strategies under various fund managers of HMC since its inception. The case also explains the recent problems faced by HMC due to the frequent changes in its leadership and the sub-prime crisis that emerged in the US in late 2007 resulting in significant losses for Harvard's endowment fund.


Analyze the investment management strategies followed at HMC.

Appreciate the importance of asset allocation and portfolio diversification in investment management.

Study the risk management practices at HMC.

Understand the pros and cons of hybrid investment management strategy.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 3
Asset Allocation 4
Fund Management at HMC 5
The Crisis 12
Exhibits 15


Harvard Management Company, Funds Management, Portfolio Management, Diversification Strategy, Asset Allocation, University Endowment Funds, Jane Mendillo, Sub-prime Crisis, Neutral Asset Allocation, Hedge Funds, Hybrid Management Strategy, Inflation-indexed Bonds, Beta, Leverage Buyouts, Venture Capital, Walter Cabot, Jack Meyer, Mohammed El-Erian, Foreign Currency Management, Brain Drain, Compensation Issues, Chief Investment Officer, Leveraged Investment Strategy

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