Harvard hires former hedge fund manager to head public equity

BOSTON Fri Aug 1, 2014 5:11pm EDT

BOSTON Aug 1 (Reuters) - Harvard University has hired a former hedge fund manager as head of public equity to help oversee how its $32 billion endowment invests in stock markets around the world, the Ivy League school said on Friday.

Michael Ryan, a Yale graduate and former Goldman Sachs partner who recently helped run hedge fund JAI Capital Management, will step into the newly created position at Harvard Management Company (HMC), the school's money management arm, in September.

"Public markets are an important driver of HMC's returns and we are confident Mike will contribute significantly to our investment strategy and our ability to outperform our equity market benchmarks," Stephen Blyth, managing director, head of public markets said in a statement.

Harvard invests a bigger chunk of its portfolio in private equity than in U.S. stocks and that has caused the school to miss out on strong stock market gains over the last five years, outside analysts have said.

Jane Mendillo, HMC's chief executive, said in June she would leave the university at the end of the year. Last month she said she had no regrets about how the portfolio was invested. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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