Harvard Endowment Chief Goes on Medical Leave

The fund’s COO Robert Ettl will serve as interim investment head until CEO Stephen Blyth returns.

stephenvblythStephen Blyth, CEO, Harvard Management CompanyHarvard University’s endowment chief Stephen Blyth is taking a medical leave, the school confirmed to CIO.

Effective today, current COO Robert Ettl will serve as interim CEO of the $37.6 billion endowment.

“We have a highly experienced executive team at HMC [Harvard Management Company] and, together with Bob, they will provide strong leadership in Stephen’s absence,” said Paul Finnegan, the endowment board chairman, in a statement. “We look forward to Stephen’s return to the company, and wish him well as he returns to full health.”

Harvard has also named René Canezin, head of fixed income, credit, and commodities, and Rich Hall, head of private equity, as interim co-chairs of HMC’s investment committee.

Blyth, 48, took over as CEO of HMC in January last year from former chief Jane Mendillo.

Since his appointment, Blyth has been restructuring the fund’s asset allocation, enveloping a factor-investing approach into the investment decision-making processes.

The endowment has also seen a number of high-profile exits during Blyth’s overhaul.

Vice President for Sustainable Investing Jameela Pedicini left last November to join outsourced-CIO Perella Weinberg, while Head of Natural Resources Investment Alvaro Aguirre-Simunovic stepped down last September after 12 years with the fund.

Earlier this month, the endowment announced it is downsizing its internal equities platform, removing up to eight positions in its public equities group in favor of hiring external managers.

Related: Harvard Endowment Downsizes In-House Equities Team & Harvard Names New Endowment Head, Underperforms Peers in 2014

By Sage Um