One of Harvard's Highest-Paid Money Managers Is Leaving

  • Alvaro Aguirre was paid $9.6 million in 2013, filings show
  • His departure is second in past three weeks at endowment

Alvaro Aguirre, one of the Harvard University’s highest-paid money managers, is leaving, the latest in a series of departures and a week after the $37.6 billion endowment posted a small investment return.

Aguirre oversaw natural resource investments at Harvard Management Co. and was paid $9.6 million in 2013. His departure follows that of his boss Andrew Wiltshire, the head of alternative investments, who earlier this month said he would retire later this year.

Paul Andrew, a Harvard spokesman, confirmed that Aguirre is leaving and declined further comment. The departure was first reported by the Boston Globe.

Natural resources were supposed to help distinguish Harvard’s endowment -- the largest in higher education -- as the university sought to recover from a 27 percent investment loss in the year ended June 30, 2009. Instead that particular portfolio has had “generally subdued returns,” including 3.5 percent for the fiscal year ended June 30, Stephen Blyth, the endowment’s chief executive officer, wrote in an annual report earlier this month.

Blyth also laid out a plan to revitalize returns at Harvard after lagging peers for the last six years. The endowment posted a 5.8 percent gain for the fiscal year.

Harvard’s endowment has seen a number of personnel changes, led by last year’s departure of Jane Mendillo, the CEO who was replaced by Blyth in January. The board overseeing the fund has added new members this year and named Paul Finnegan chairman after the death of James Rothenberg.

Aguirre stood out for his compensation at Harvard, lagging only Blyth and making as much as Mendillo in 2013. The year prior he was paid $6.6 million, the second most, trailing only Wiltshire, according to university tax filings.