Harvard Prepares to Back Canezin's Credit Fund With $300 Million

(Bloomberg) -- Three former credit specialists at Harvard University have formed a direct lending firm that’s expected to receive $300 million from the revamped endowment.

One of the founders of Evolution Credit Partners in Boston is Rene Canezin, who was head of fixed income, credit and commodities at Harvard, according to the new firm’s website. The Ivy League school’s endowment plans to back Canezin’s spinout, Bloomberg previously reported. A Harvard spokesman declined to comment.

Harvard Management Co., which oversees the $37.1 billion endowment, has shuttered internal hedge funds and downsized its trading desk as part of an ambitious overhaul. N.P. ‘Narv’ Narvekar, the endowment’s chief executive officer, announced the plans in January 2017 as he seeks to turn around performance at the largest U.S. college fund.

Read More: Harvard Endowment’s Private Equity Head to Depart for Texas

Harvard Management seeded $400 million to portfolio managers who left the endowment to form TPRV Capital in Boston last year. In December, Bain Capital said it agreed to manage Harvard’s $3.4 billion in direct real estate investments and hire 22 people who oversaw the portfolio at the endowment.

Mike Guarnieri, who focused on private credit business at Harvard, is a managing partner and another co-founder of Evolution Credit, according to the website. Joe Lu, who also covered private credit business at the endowment, is a managing director and partner. Lisa Schwarzberg, who joins from State Street Corp., where she was head of strategy for alternative investments, is chief operating officer.

Evolution Credit provides direct lending to middle market companies in the U.S. with earnings between $15 million to $100 million, according to its website. It provides financing for acquisitions, capital growth, restructuring and buyouts.

HFMWeek earlier reported the formation of Evolution Credit.

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