Harvard Endowment Hires Natural Resources Chief

Colin Butterfield joins the $37.6 billion fund less than a month after CEO Stephen Blyth announced his resignation.

HMC Colin ButterfieldColin ButterfieldHarvard Management Company (HMC) has hired a new head of natural resources, filling the position 11 months after it had been vacated.

The $37.6 billion endowment announced it has recruited Colin Butterfield to advance its direct natural resources program. Butterfield joins from Radar—a $2.2 billion Brazilian farmland investment management joint venture between TIAA and Cosan—where he served as CEO.

“Colin brings substantial technical expertise in natural resources, including deep insight into the operating and financial viability of investment opportunities across the globe,” said René Canezin, head of public markets, in a statement. “Natural resources investments have been a long-time contributor to the overall endowment portfolio and we will look to Colin to refine our strategy and to bring the best opportunities at scale to our portfolio.”

Butterfield will join the endowment in early October and will report to Canezin. He replaces Alvaro Aguirre-Simunovic who stepped down last September after 12 years with HMC.

Prior to Radar, Butterfield served as president of Cosan Alimentos, a Brazil-based company that sells sugar products. He was also CIO of real estate investment manager Bracor Investimentos Imobiliarios.  

Butterfield also holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering from Boston University.

The news of Butterfield’s hire comes less than a month after the endowment’s CEO Stephen Blyth announced his immediate resignation for “personal reasons.” Blyth had taken a medical leave since May.

The Ivy League endowment is currently managed by COO Robert Ettl, who was tapped as interim CIO. HMC has hired executive recruiter David Barrett Partners to search for Blyth’s permanent replacement.

Related: Harvard Endowment Chief Stephen Blyth Resigns & Another Leader Exits Harvard Endowment