Ferrero departs Harvard

The director of real estate investment for the influential university endowment has left his post.

David Ferrero has parted ways with Harvard Management Company (HMC), which invests on behalf of the $35 billion (€24 billion) Harvard University endowment.

Ferrero rose to the position of director of real estate investment in 2004 having joined Harvard Management Company in 1997 from AEW. Since that time he spearheaded the company’s push into foreign markets, public securities and direct investments. In fiscal year 2006, Harvard’s property portfolio generated a return of 23 percent.

At press time, an employee at Harvard Management said Ferrero was no longer with the endowment and was unaware where Ferrero could be reached. An investment advisor who knows Ferrero confirmed that he has left.

Ferrero was featured in PERE magazine’s June 2007 “Rising Stars” feature. He is a native of Windson, Connecticut and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. “He’s probably one of the most influential LPs out there,” an industry practitioner told PERE in June. “He’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.”

In October, HMC chief executive, Mohamed El-Erian, left his post to rejoin bond giant Pacific Investment Management Company. According to the Harvard University Gazette, HMC has appointed Robert Kaplan, professor of management practice at the Harvard Business School and former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, as interim chief executive until a new head is named.