What Harvard Money Managers Make

by Chris Sturr | April 15, 2009

As we reported earlier, Harvard expects to lose $11 billion, or 30% of its endowment (just what they lost is equivalent to what Iceland received in bailout funds). The budget for the entire city of Boston is $2.4 billion.

Although a lot of money was lost, the financial geniuses who run the fund (officially the Harvard Management Corporation) have pocketed a pretty penny.

Here are the annual compensation packages for the top six managers (fiscal years July 1 to June 30th):

2003 $107.5 million (source) (note: alumni outrage at the compensation from this year prompted the imposition of salary caps, although even then, as seen below, the caps are still quite generous.)

2004 $78.4 million (source)

2005 $56.8 million (source)

2006 $13.3 million (source) (note: total payout is lower because of management turnover and outsourcing of some fund oversight.)

2007 $22.3 million (source)

2008 $26.8 million (source)

The total for these six years for the top six money managers (HMC does not report the compensation of the other employees) was $305.1 million.

Interestingly, the top managers of Yale’s endowment, which has posted similar outsized returns, earn about one tenth of their counterparts at Harvard.

Even with the drop to a total value of $20-some billion that is expected to be reported in July, the endowment represents a massive amount of capital controlled by a single non-profit, tax-exempt entity that receives hundreds of millions in taxpayer grant money.

–df

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