Jack R. Meyer
President and CEO, Harvard Management Co., Boston
Jack Meyer graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1969, the youngest member of his class (and the first Harvard class to stop wearing a coat and tie to class). He worked as a security analyst and investment officer for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, Boston, for about three years.
From 1973 to 1979, Mr. Meyer worked for Lionel D. Edie in New York. He started there in the research department, moving to portfolio management in 1975 and becoming chief portfolio officer in 1977. Mr. Meyer left Edie to become deputy controller of New York City, where for four years he managed the city's pension funds, sinking funds and treasury funds that had a combined total of $20 billion.
In 1983, Mr. Meyer joined the Rockefeller Foundation, New York, working there until 1990 as treasurer and chief investment officer, managing the foundation's $2 billion endowment.
Under his leadership, Rockefeller pioneered alternative investing, including private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and commodities.
He then joined Harvard Management Co. as president and chief executive officer, where he manages the university's endowment and pension funds as well as the charitable trusts and pooled income funds. The endowment has grown to $23 billion from $4.8 billion in 1990.
Around the Harvard community, executives at Harvard Management are subject to negative publicity when their compensation, which is millions more than the average Harvard professor, is released.
But nobody has argued with Mr. Meyer's results. According to preliminary returns, Harvard's endowment earned a 12.5% return for the fiscal year ended June 30, ahead of rival Yale University's 8.8%.
"Under Jack Meyer, Harvard has been in alternatives for many, many years," said Dale Kindregan, relationship manager for endowments and foundations for Russell Investments Group, New York. "Harvard has one of the largest allocations to alternatives."