What I want is properties that produce something that the world is going to want more of, and the increase in the supply is difficult
– Jane Mendillo, head of Harvard
University’s $32 billion endowment. Since she took over the endowment, Harvard’s holdings of forests, farms, and other natural resources in Brazil as well as in New Zealand and Romania have grown to about 10 percent of the portfolio—more than $3 billion.
The early and enthusiastic embrace of private equity and hedge funds turned Harvard into a top performer among endowments, with a 20-year return of 12.9 percent through 2011, despite the losses during the financial crisis.