Morgan Stanley’s Martin Leibowitz Exits Harvard Endowment Board

  • Leibowitz is sixth director to depart board since 2015
  • Veteran finance researcher hit term limit, board chair says

Martin Leibowitz, a veteran Wall Street research analyst, has left the board of Harvard Management Co., making him the sixth outside director overseeing the $37.6 billion university endowment to exit since the beginning of 2015.

Leibowitz, who joined Morgan Stanley in equity research in 2004 after working for Salomon Brothers and money manager TIAA, left because he reached his term limit, Paul Finnegan, chairman of HMC’s board, said in an e-mail. Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, left the board for the same reason earlier this year.

The exodus comes at a time when Harvard’s endowment has been beset by turmoil. Stephen Blyth, who took over as HMC’s chief executive last year with a mandate to overhaul the fund, left after only 18 months in July for personal reasons following a medical leave. His departure followed a decision to reverse an expansion of the management company’s proprietary trading desk, eliminating at least 12 positions, many of them created in the last two years.

Other Departures

Finnegan, co-founder of Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, took over as chairman of Harvard’s board last year after longtime head James Rothenberg died. Finnegan didn’t respond to a request for further comment about the board. Leibowitz didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.

Along with Leibowitz and Hutchins, three others who are no longer on the board, according to a review of HMC’s website, are British venture capitalist Ronald Cohen; William Helman from venture capital firm Greylock Partners; and former Harvard Business School Dean Jay Light. The sixth member, Robert Kaplan, left after becoming president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

There are currently 10 people on HMC’s board including four who joined in the last year: Rockefeller University investing chief Amy Falls; Joshua Friedman from hedge fund Canyon Partners; Bob Jain of Millennium Partners; and Harvard professor Jeremy Stein.