Harvard is looking for investment managers with expertise as short-sellers, as the world's biggest university endowment becomes more cautious about the outlook for financial markets.
In its latest annual report, which showed investment returns fell to 5.8 per cent in the year to June, the $38 billion endowment said its managers had started to increase cash holdings and feared that some markets had become "frothy"."We are proceeding with caution in several areas of the portfolio," Harvard Management Company chief executive Stephen Blyth wrote in the report.
"We are being particularly discriminating about underwriting and return assumptions given current valuations.
"In addition, we have renewed focus on identifying public equity managers with demonstrable investment expertise on both the long and short sides of the market."
Mr Blyth, a British-born statistician, was promoted to run the endowment last year after the resignation of Jane Mendillo, whose returns failed to keep pace with those at other Ivy League institutions.