HMC Bond Trader Departs

Reshuffling at Harvard Management Company, which manages the University’s endowment, continued last month with the resignation of bond trader Mitch Livstone, who has left Harvard for a Boston-based fund.

Livstone’s resignation was announced in an internal e-mail in the middle of last month, but his resignation was not made public until last week when Bloomberg obtained a copy of the e-mail.

After a three-year stint at HMC, Livstone has departed for Geode Capital Management’s institutional investment arm, which manages $81 billion.

Livstone leaves HMC at a time when media reports indicate that its director, Jane L. Mendillo, has carried out a campaign to partly restructure the organization after Harvard’s endowment plummeted 27.3 percent during the 2009 fiscal year.

Requests to Livstone for comment yesterday were not returned.


In a speech earlier this year, Mendillo said she had worked to adopt a more sophisticated risk management strategy in the University portfolio and allocate a larger percentage of its investments to cash holdings.

Last year, when markets dropped precipitously, many institutions—including Harvard—reportedly scrambled for cash to meet their short term obligations.

According to Bloomberg, Livstone had reported to Marc Seidner, the former head of HMC’s U.S. fixed-income investment group, who has since left for Pacific Management Company (PIMCO).

PIMCO is headed by Mohammed El-Arian, a former director of HMC, whose short-lived tenure managing Harvard’s endowment saw stellar returns during the boom years of 2005-2007.

When he left in 2007, Harvard’s endowment was valued at $34.9 billion.

HMC has seen its staff reshuffled several times over the last decade. Last February, the organization announced that it would lay off 50 staffers in an effort to “rebalance to company” to better suit Harvard’s new portfolio, and in 2005, former HMC director Jack R. Meyer left the company with approximately a third of his staff to start his own hedge-fund after vocal protests from alumni over HMC compensation levels.

—Staff writer Elias J. Groll can be reached at