T. Rowe Price CIO Brian Rogers Joins Harvard Endowment Board

  • Rogers is first board appointment under new CEO Narvekar
  • Harvard Management Co. is making sweeping changes to fund

Harvard University’s endowment named its first board member since a new chief executive officer began making sweeping changes to the struggling $35.7 billion fund.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. Chief Investment Officer Brian Rogers joined the board of Harvard Management Co. effective immediately, according to a statement Monday. Rogers is retiring from T. Rowe Price on March 31 after almost 35 years, the Baltimore-based money manager said in November.

Narv Narvekar, who became CEO at Harvard Management in December, said in January the endowment plans to outsource most of the investment management and cut about half of its staff at the world’s wealthiest university fund. Harvard Management’s board now has 11 members. Bob Jain of Millennium Management was the last new board appointment in April.

‘Important Time’

Rogers “joins at an important time as HMC undertakes a transformation to better position the endowment to support Harvard University for the long term,” Narvekar said in the statement. “I am confident Brian’s experience in asset management will be extremely valuable as we develop new investment and risk frameworks to support our new investment model.”

Harvard Management will shut down its internal hedge funds by June 30, the end of the fiscal year, and about half of the 230 employees will depart by year-end, Narvekar said in a letter on Jan. 25.

Harvard traditionally has employed more people than other endowments because it has traders on staff investing directly in stock and bond markets, as well as teams making direct investments in other assets such as natural resources.

Trailing Peers

Harvard lost 2 percent on its investments in the year ended June 30 as most schools struggled with small losses. It has generated an annual average return of 5.9 percent during the last five years, among the worst in the Ivy League and trailing peers such as Yale, which had a 10.3 average percent gain.

Rogers is a member of the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine boards of trustees, and a member of its investment committee, according to the statement. He earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

(Updates with CEO’s comment in fourth paragraph.)
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