* Richard Hall was previously at Teacher Retirement System
* Position has been vacant for most of past year
* Head of Harvard endowment wants bigger private equity
By Chris Witkowsky
NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters-peHUB) - Richard Hall, head of
private equity at Teacher Retirement System of Texas, is taking
over as head of private equity at Harvard Management Company,
which runs Harvard's $32.7 billion endowment.
HMC has been without a PE chief for most of the past 11
months. Peter Dolan ran the program for 18 years, but resigned
in April 2013. The position remained vacant for eight months,
until Harvard promoted Lane MacDonald to take over. But after
just two months on the job, McDonald left to be president of
Crosby Advisors, a family office.
Hall, who starts the new job in April, was unavailable for
"Hall brings significant and deep expertise across private
equity investments, other private assets and global M&A," HMC
President and CEO Jane Mendillo said in a prepared statement.
Hall faces big expectations. Mendillo last September
expressed disappointment with the performance of the endowment's
private equity portfolio, characterizing it as "fair." The PE
portfolio returned 11 percent in fiscal 2013, which was "well
below" the return on public equities and only slightly above the
10.6 percent benchmark Harvard set, Mendillo wrote in a letter
accompanying HMC's fiscal year report.
Because investments in PE funds are locked up for years
before those funds return capital to LPs, Harvard expects an
"illiquidity premium" over public markets, Mendillo wrote. "Over
the last 10 years, however, our private equity and public equity
portfolios have delivered similar results."
To improve its PE returns, Harvard is "actively focusing on
honing our private equity strategy to maintain the highest
concentration in the very best managers with the greatest
potential to add value," Mendillo wrote.
Hall took the private equity helm at Texas Teachers' in 2012
after another limited partner legend, Steve LeBlanc, decided to
leave the public system. Hall had been with the system working
on private equity since 2008.
Prior to Texas Teachers', Hall worked at Banc of America
Securities, where he was vice president of real estate
investment banking. Before that, he was director of corporate
development and strategy at Tomkins.
Earlier in his career, Hall worked in direct investments at
Dell Ventures. Before his career in finance, Hall served as an
intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy for six years, earning the
rank of lieutenant.