Harvard names head of $3.6 billion natural resources group

Harvard Management Co. names Colin Butterfield, former CEO of TIAA's Brazilian farmland investment company, as head of natural resources at the university’s $37.6 billion endowment.
Bloomberg | 18 August 2016
Harvard names head of $3.6 billion natural resources group
by Michael McDonald 
Harvard Management Co. named Colin Butterfield as head of natural resources at the university’s $37.6 billion endowment following a series of departures in the group last year under the former chief executive officer.
Butterfield, 43, was most recently CEO of Radar SA, a $2.2 billion Brazilian farmland investment management joint venture between retirement money manager TIAA and Cosan SA, HMC said in a statement Thursday. Butterfield will join HMC in early October.
The endowment is in transition after CEO Stephen Blyth resigned for personal reasons last month after taking a medical leave in May. Robert Ettl, the fund’s chief operating officer, is the interim CEO while HMC searches for a replacement. HMC said in June it would dismantle the in-house public equities team, just two years after it began building a group that specialized in publicly-traded stocks in the U.S. and other developed markets.
The endowment has a $3.6 billion natural resources portfolio that is about 9 percent of the portfolio as of August, according to the university’s website. The portfolio includes timberland in Brazil and other developing countries, according to university reports. The natural resources and commodities portfolio returned 3.5 percent in the year ended June 30, 2015, which Blyth last year called “generally subdued.”
“Natural resources investments have been a long-time contributor to the overall endowment portfolio and we will look to Colin to refine our strategy and to bring the best opportunities at scale to our portfolio,” Rene Canezin, head of public markets at the endowment, said in the statement.
The team that formerly oversaw the natural resources portfolio has been raising moneyfor a new fund to invest in timberland and agriculture. Andrew Wiltshire, Harvard’s former head of alternative assets, joined with Oliver Grantham and Alvaro Aguirre to start Folium Capital in Boston.
Boston Globe | 18 August 2016
Harvard endowment names new head of natural resources
By Beth Healy
The Harvard University endowment named a new head of natural resources investments, even as it has a search underway for a new chief executive.
Colin Butterfield was appointed managing director, Harvard Management Co. said Thursday. He most recently was chief executive of Radar, a $2.2 billion Brazilian farmland investment management joint venture.
In the new post, Butterfield will report to Rene Canezin, managing director and head of public markets. The former head of natural resources, Alvaro Aguirre, left last fall amid a series of departures in the group.
“Colin brings substantial technical expertise in natural resources, including deep insight into the operating and financial viability of investment opportunities across the globe, Canezin said in a statement.
Butterfield, 43, was previously a director at Cargill Inc., from 2004 to 2007, where he worked on helping the Minnesota agricultural giant enter the Brazilian sugar and ethanol markets, according to Harvard. He holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering from Boston University.
The $37.6 billion Harvard endowment is seeking a new chief executive after Stephen Blyth stepped down in July after a medical leave that began in May. He was on the job for about a year and a half.
Original source: Bloomberg

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