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Harvard taps Stephen Blyth to run $36.4B endowment

Stephen Blyth will take over as CEO of the unit overseeing Harvard University's $36.4 billion endowment on Jan. 1, the school announced Wednesday.

He will succeed Jane Mendillo, who had announced in June that she would step down as CEO of the endowment at the end of the year.

"Jane Mendillo has been an outstanding leader of HMC, and I will inherit an organization that is in great shape," Blyth said, in a statement. "HMC has along tradition of investment innovation, and has pioneered new strategies to take advantage of evolving market opportunities."

Blyth is currently the managing director and head of public markets for the Harvard Management Co. and also serves as a statistics professor at the university, where he received his Ph.D. He previously served as a managing director at Morgan Stanley in New York and later Deutsche Bank in London before joining the university management firm in 2006.

"Stephen Blyth is an extraordinarily talented investment professional with admired leadership qualities, uncommon savvy about markets and a deep dedication to the purposes of higher education," said James F. Rothenberg, chairman of the Harvard Management board of directors, which conducted the nationwide search.

Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Michael Fein | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Harvard University's endowment, the largest school endowment in the world with a value of more than $34 billion, announced on Tuesday an investment return of 15.4 percent.

That fell short of Yale University's endowment returns, which topped Ivy League funds with its Wednesday report of an annual increase of 20.2 percent to $23.9 billion.

Much smaller endowments at Dartmouth College and University of Pennsylvania gained 19.2 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.

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Reuters contributed to this report.