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Harvard Endowment Names Canezin of Barclays as Managing Director

Harvard University, the world’s richest school, appointed Rene Canezin as managing director of its portfolio-management team to lead investments in debt.

Canezin, 42, will join Harvard Management Co., which oversees investments for the university, from Barclays Capital, where he headed U.S. credit and global high-yield trading, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school said today in an e-mailed statement. He will build and lead a team to “generate superior investment returns across debt markets,” Harvard said.

Canezin, who will report to Stephen Blyth, the fund’s head of internal management, is joining Harvard two years after the endowment lost a record 27 percent in the meltdown of global capital markets following the September 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy. Jane Mendillo, president of Boston-based Harvard Management, has reshuffled staff and expanded her group of internal managers since taking the helm in July 2008.

In the year ended June 30, Harvard’s $27.6 billion fund climbed 11 percent, beating its own benchmark while trailing the median 13 percent gain of institutional funds, including public and corporate pensions, endowments and foundations, tracked by Wilshire Associates, a consulting firm in Santa Monica, California.

New Position

Canezin, who graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in finance, spent 18 years at Lehman, including five years in Asia running its regional treasury group, Harvard said. He will start in the coming months and his position will be a new one, said John Longbrake, a Harvard spokesman.

In 2009, Marc Seidner, the head of U.S. fixed-income investing at Harvard Management, left and joined Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California.

Mendillo has made the fund more liquid and thinned the ranks of external money managers by 20 percent, hiring hedge-fund executives Emil Dabora and Mark McKenna from Caxton Associates LLC and Michele Toscani, a former managing director for Fortress Investment Group LLC in Tokyo.

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