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Harvard’s Investment Chief Says 8.1% Return Signals ‘Deep Structural Problems’

  • Endowment markdowns in natural resources have hurt its results
  • World’s biggest college fund is now valued at $37.1 billion
A sculler rows on the Charles River past the Harvard University Campus in Cambridge.

A sculler rows on the Charles River past the Harvard University Campus in Cambridge.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
Updated on

Harvard University’s endowment reported an 8.1 percent annual investment gain, a lagging performance its new manager said was “a symptom of deep structural problems” that will take years to turn around.

N.P. “Narv” Narvekar, who took over as chief executive officer of Harvard Management Co. in December, said in a five-page letter published Tuesday that the problems “highlight the critical impact of culture, structure, and incentives in an investment organization.”