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Harvard Hires Ex-Hedge-Fund Manager Bhatia in Expansion

Harvard Management Co., which oversees the endowment of the world’s richest university with $30.7 billion, hired Sanjiv Bhatia and three other portfolio managers as it expands it stock markets team.

Bhatia, who once headed the Asia office of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based hedge fund Deephaven Capital Management LLC, started this month as portfolio manager for emerging markets stocks, Harvard Management said today. The endowment also hired Al-Wadhah Al-Adawi, formerly at GLG Partners Inc., Amit Tiwari, who used to work at the Lakshmi Mittal family office, and Srdjan Tanjga, most recently at 40 North Industries LLC.

“These new colleagues bring a remarkable breadth of experience and expertise in emerging markets and international equities,” Stephen Blyth, head of public markets at the endowment, said in a statement. “They will further increase our ability to take advantage of investment opportunities across global equity markets to deliver superior investment returns.”

Harvard allocates more capital to international stocks, including emerging markets, than many of its peers, it said in an annual report released in September. Underperformance of emerging markets public equities contributed to a 0.05 percent loss on its investments for the year ended June 30.

Endowments and foundations had the worst returns of any class of institutional investors in the year through June, gaining 0.37 percent, consulting firm Wilshire Associates said in an Aug. 6 report.

Emerging Markets

“If chosen and executed well, emerging markets investments are poised to benefit from the phenomenal rate of change in local, regional, and global businesses worldwide and will be one of the key drivers of our portfolio’s future performance,” Harvard Management President Jane Mendillo said in the report.

Bhatia, who worked for 12 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., joined Deephaven in 2005 and left the U.S. hedge fund in July 2008 to start his own company, Isometric Investment Advisors Ltd. in Hong Kong.

He closed down the hedge fund that invested in Asian companies affected by catalysts such as mergers and reorganizations in December 2011 after FRM Capital Advisors Ltd. in London, which accounted for about 80 percent of its assets, decided to invest its money elsewhere.

The holder of a master’s degree in mathematics from Cambridge University, he worked a short stint after the closure at CQS (U.K.) LLP, the money-manager founded by Michael Hintze, before joining Harvard Management.

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