Former board chair, whose hedge fund lost $1.5 billion, returns to board, will oversee endowment

By Matt Day

Two years after resigning as chair of Macalester’s Board of Trustees, Jeffrey Larson ’79 is back on the board and is directing its investment committee. Craig Aase ’70, who oversees the college’s endowment on a day-to-day basis as head of the investment office, said Larson returned to the board this summer, and has been the chair of its investment committee since June. The committee is charged with determining the college’s investment priorities and providing oversight of Aase’s office.

Larson resigned from the board in August 2007 after the sale of his hedge fund, which had been one of the most successful in the country. Sowood Capital Management was an early, high-profile casualty of the subprime mortgage collapse that preceded the financial crisis. The fund lost more than half of its value in July 2007 when investors ran from corporate credit and traditionally safe bets began to backfire.

“We’re very happy to have Jeff Larson back on the committee,” Aase said. “He brings a wealth of institutional investment experience with him, along with insights gained from the difficulties he encountered with his hedge fund.”

Sowood lost more than $1.5 billion before selling its remaining assets to Citadel Investment Group of Chicago.

Larson, who majored in economics, worked at Minnesota agricultural giant Cargill after graduating and later spent more than a decade at the Harvard Management Company.