Manager of Harvard’s Endowment Fund Disenchanted With PE

Jane Mendillo, who manages Harvard University’s endowment fund, is disenchanted with private equity despite a 16.2% return in the asset class, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The largest college endowment by assets in the U.S. is now valued at $27.4 billion, up from $26 billion a year earlier, the story said. Over the past decade, the Harvard endowment invested heavily in buyout funds but the field “has become more and more crowded—with capital, with managers and with investors,” Mendillo said in the story.

Returns will be more muted going forward while future investments in PE will stress quality rather than quantity, Mendillo said. She anticipates that the endowment will reduce the number of active relationships within its PE and VC portfolio.

Real estate proved to be the biggest drag on the endowment’s performance, driving a -2.7% in real assets, which includes commodities and natural resources like timber, according to the report.