Zijn fonds is 50 % waarde kwijt en sleept Harvard daarin mee. Door grote risico’s te nemen in hedgefondsen vallen bij zulke beleggers nu zware klappen. De Wall Street Journal licht toe: ‘While $350 million is a relatively small hit for the $29 billion Harvard endowment, the nation’s largest, it highlights the risks as colleges nationwide embrace nontraditional investments such as hedge funds and private equity. Investments like these are less regulated than more traditional options, and often engage in the risky practice of investing borrowed money in hopes of amplifying their returns.
Along with Yale University — where the roughly $18 billion endowment has achieved annual returns of about 17% in the past decade — Harvard was among the first universities to embrace such alternative investments. The goal is to seek good returns that don’t move in tandem with stock and bond markets, thereby giving diversity to the overall portfolio.’
In 2004 was al een fiks conflict ontstaan over de beloning die Larson kreeg voor zijn werk. Dat leidde er mede toe dat hij zich via verzelfstandiging aan verdere controverses onttrok. ‘As Harvard’s returns grew, so did its money managers’ paychecks, which soared into the millions of dollars a year. That sparked controversy among alumni and others associated with the university, who argued that investment managers shouldn’t be paid better than the school’s Nobel Laureate professors, or its deans. Mr. Larson’s $17.3 million in payments in 2003 from Harvard were among the large salaries that drew complaints from alumni several years ago.’