The Harvard Management Company (HMC) Board announced on Nov. 9 that Robert Kaplan, professor of management practice at the Harvard Business School (HBS) and former vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, has been appointed the interim CEO of the Harvard Management Company and will serve in that capacity until the new president and CEO is named. He assumed his responsibilities on Nov. 12.
Kaplan will work closely with the HMC Board and its Investment Advisory Group to oversee the investment operations at HMC upon the departure of outgoing president and CEO Mohamed El-Erian, who has rejoined his former firm, PIMCO, as co-chief executive officer and co-chief investment officer.
“We are grateful for the job Mohamed has done in rebuilding the investment capacity of HMC. He is leaving it in a much stronger organizational position than when he arrived,” said James F. Rothenberg, treasurer of Harvard University and chairman of HMC’s board of directors. “We are fortunate to have Rob Kaplan’s experience, expertise, and leadership to help ensure a smooth transition and to maintain the highest level of investment management.”
In addition to teaching at HBS, Kaplan is also currently a senior director of The Goldman Sachs Group, where he previously served as the firm’s vice chairman and a member of its management committee from 2002 to 2006. He was global co-head of its Investment Banking Division from 1999 to 2002. In 2002, he became vice chairman with oversight responsibility for the investment banking and investment management divisions. Kaplan also served as co-chairman of the firm’s Partnership Committee and chaired the Goldman Sachs Pine Street Leadership Program.
Kaplan said he is happy to be “working with the extremely talented team” at HMC. He added, “Their work makes a great contribution to the essential research and educational mission of Harvard, and I am pleased to be a part of this dynamic organization until a permanent CEO is named.”
Kaplan became a partner at Goldman Sachs in 1990 and headed its Asia-Pacific Investment Banking unit until 1993. He moved back to New York in 1994 to become head of the Americas Corporate Finance Department in 1994. In 1998, he became co-chief operating officer of Global Investment Banking and co-head in 1999.
In addition to his other roles, Kaplan is founding co-chair of the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center’s Council. He is also co-chairman of the board of the TEAK Fellowship, co-chairman of the board of Project A.L.S., and a member of the Board of Fellows of the Harvard Medical School and the board of The Jewish Theological Seminary. He has also been appointed by the governor of Kansas as a member of the newly created Kansas Healthcare Policy Authority Board. Prior to attending business school, Kaplan was a certified public accountant at Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co.
Kaplan received an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1983 and a B.S. from the University of Kansas in 1979.
Harvard Management Company Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University. Founded in 1974, it is charged with managing the University’s endowment, pension assets, working capital, and noncash gifts.