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Harvard taps private equity head

Harvard University’s endowment manager has hired a new head of private equity from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Richard Hall will start at Harvard Management Co. in April, the university said Monday. He succeeds Lane MacDonald , who recently left to oversee the family fortune of the Johnsons, who run Fidelity Investments.

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Hall, 46, joins the nation’s largest university endowment fund after managing $14 billion in private equity for the Texas pension fund, where he worked for six years.

“Hall brings significant and deep expertise across private equity investments, other private assets and global M&A, and we are delighted to welcome him to our team,” Harvard Management chief executive Jane Mendillo said in a statement. “Private equity has been and continues to be an important driver of returns in our portfolio.’’

Mendillo said Hall will increase the fund’s focus on global private equity and “canvass the world in order to bring the best opportunities in scale to our portfolio.”

Harvard’s endowment had $32.7 billion in total assets at the end of June, the latest figure available. About $5 billion of that was allocated to private equity, or funds that invest in private companies in an effort to turn them around and resell them at a profit.

A Harvard undergraduate with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Hall has worked for Banc of America Securities and other financial firms. He began his career as an intelligence officer in the Navy.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.
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