Harvard manager goes to Gates’ investment firm

Stan Zuzic, one of Harvard University's top-paid endowment managers, joined the firm that oversees investments for Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Bloomberg.

Mr. Zuzic resigned from Harvard Management last month after 11 years, according to an internal Harvard memo obtained by Bloomberg News. He is now at Bill Gates Investments, the firm that manages money for the Gates Foundation, according to a person with knowledge of the move.

Mr. Zuzic, formerly a senior vice president with Harvard's U.S. stock group, was the endowment's third-highest-paid manager in 2008, making $4.9 million. He's the latest manager to leave since Jane Mendillo became CEO of Harvard Management in July 2008 and reshuffled staff. She promoted bond manager Stephen Blyth to head the fund's internal investment team and expanded the group last year.

The Gates Foundation, run by 27-year Microsoft veteran Jeff Raikes, is the wealthiest charitable institution in the U.S., with $35.2 billion in assets as of March 31. The foundation, which funds education and health initiatives, is receiving the majority of billionaire investor Warren Buffett's holdings in Berkshire Hathaway.

Mr. Zuzic didn't return telephone and e-mail messages seeking comment. Michael Larson, who runs BGI, didn't return phone calls. Christine Heenan, a spokeswoman for Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., declined to comment on Mr. Zuzic's departure.

“In my experience at HMC, from the depths of the financial crisis to today, we have benefited from Stan's uniquely logical way of synthesizing information to bring clarity to even the most complicated problems,” Ms. Mendillo wrote in the internal memo. “Stan is leaving to pursue an exciting new opportunity that promises to be a great fit with his considerable talents.”

The university's endowment dropped a record 30% to $26 billion in the year ended June 30 as investments declined 27%. Following the loss, Ms. Mendillo reduced the influence of independent firms that oversee two-thirds of the fund for the university.

Hacking decides to stick around at Arizona Public Safety

James Hacking, administrator of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Phoenix, reversed his decision to step down and now will stay on at the $6.3 billion system at least through August 2013.

The system's board also reserves the option to retain Mr. Hacking for two additional one-year periods through August 2015, according to a system news release.

Mr. Hacking had announced last November that he would step down in August. In a telephone interview, he said that with all the investment changes the system has made in recent years, along with new board members and a new administrator there was concern that the system's investments could be jeopardized.

“(The board) wanted some continuity,” Mr. Hacking said.

Brian Tobin, interim chairman of the board of trustees, said in the news release that the board persuaded Mr. Hacking to stay because of significant changes that have and will continue to take place on the board.

Of the current five board members, two are relatively recent appointees,” Mr. Tobin said in the release. “Two more appointees are expected to be named soon by the governor (Jan Brewer) to fill two new board positions that were authorized by legislation that became law last month. With so much change on the board, the existing members felt that every effort should be made to continue to retain the services of Mr. Hacking, who has been instrumental in the system restructuring that has been going on for the last four years.”

Mr. Hacking said in November that he had no immediate plans to retire, but noted then that he would move to St. Paul, Minn., where his wife, Laurie Hacking, serves as executive director of the $15 billion Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association.

First Quadrant picks Peters as partner

Edgar E. Peters was named a partner at First Quadrant. He will continue to serve as co-director of global macro research, said Rick Roberts, another partner at the firm.

Mr. Roberts said Mr. Peters becomes the ninth partner at the firm.

In a statement, Max Darnell, First Quadrant chief investment officer, said Mr. Peters launched the firm's Essential Beta strategy and is its lead portfolio manager.

First Quadrant, which manages more than $17 billion in assets, is a subsidiary of Affiliated Managers Group.