Harvard Bolsters Investments in Google, Semiconductor Industry

The Harvard Management Company shored up its investments in the technology industry last quarter, boosting its shares of Alphabet — the parent company of Google — by nearly 40 percent while also increasing its holdings in the semiconductor companies.

At the end of June, HMC — the entity responsible for the University’s $53.2 billion endowment — held $263 million in Alphabet stock, representing the endowment’s largest direct investment and more than 30 percent of its $864 million public securities portfolio. HMC is required to disclose its direct public holdings to the Securities and Exchange Commission each quarter because it manages more than $100 million in assets.

The endowment’s second largest stock holding is in Meta Platforms — formerly known as Facebook — though HMC liquidated eight percent of its shares in the tech giant during the second quarter. HMC now holds $183 million in Meta, down from $274 million at the end of March.

The University’s investment arm also bolstered its holdings in several semiconductor companies, including Intel, NVIDIA, Advanced Micro Devices, and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. ASML Holding, the only company HMC added to its public portfolio last quarter, also produces semiconductor chips.

The increased investments in semiconductor companies come as the federal government is pledging significant support for the industry, which it views as critical to national defense and technology sectors. Early last month, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, which will provide over $50 billion for domestic semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development.

John M. Longo, a professor at Rutgers Business School and the Chief Investment Officer of Beacon Trust, wrote that it is “probably not a coincidence” that HMC’s increased investments in semiconductor companies occurred as the federal bill made its way to Biden’s desk.

“It’s clear that HMC’s managers are optimistic about the prospects for semiconductor manufacturers,” Longo wrote.

Consistent with previous quarters, the vast majority of HMC’s direct stock holdings lie in the technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. The latest disclosure also marked the third consecutive quarter in which HMC did not invest in any exchange-traded funds, or ETFs — managed funds that offer exposure to many underlying securities.

The University has previously come under fire for its ETF holdings from campus activist groups such as the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign, which alleged that the investments amounted to indirect support for the private prison industry. HMC liquidated all of its ETF holdings in the final quarter of 2021.

HMC spokesperson Patrick S. McKiernan declined to comment on the filings.

—Staff writer Eric Yan can be reached at eric.yan@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericyan0.

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