Harvard University’s endowment has spun out its natural-resources team into an independent investment firm that will take over some of the endowment’s portfolio of orchards, farms and plantations.
Harvard Management Co. and insurer American International Group Inc., or
are expected to contribute some $200 million each as anchor investors to the new Boston firm, Solum Partners, people familiar with the matter said. They will also invest in a portfolio of assets the firm is buying from Harvard that includes fruit orchards, soybean plantations and stakes in companies that distribute avocados and make olive oil.
The spinout shrinks the $41.9 billion endowment’s controversial natural-resources portfolio and marks the exit of the last group inside Harvard tasked with running an entire asset class directly without outside fund managers. Solum is led by Colin Butterfield, a 47-year-old Brazil native who before Harvard managed Brazilian farmland for an investment venture