Harvard backs ex-credit team to tune of estimated $300 mln: report

  • Evolution Credit Partners formed in 2017
  • Founders were part of private credit team at Harvard Investment Management
  • Investment likely to be around $300 million

Harvard Management Co will invest in Evolution Credit Partners, a direct lending company formed by three ex-employees.

Rene Canezin and Mike Guarnieri co-founded Evolution in 2017. The company seeks to provide financing solutions to private middle-market companies with an annual Ebitda of $15 million to $100 million, according to Evolution’s website.

Harvard Management will invest $300 million in the company, Bloomberg reported in March. A spokesperson for Harvard Management declined to comment.

Harvard Management has been in a restructuring mode since Nirmal Narvekar became its CEO in late 2016. The size of the 230-member team has been trimmed, the relative value and equity platforms shut down, the real estate platform spun out and the credit platform repositioned, according to the January and September 2017  letters by Narvekar.

The credit team was set to depart the endowment and they were “working to execute a mutually beneficial arrangement as an external manager,” Narvekar wrote in his September 2017 letter.

The three Evolution partners were senior members of Harvard Management’s  credit team. Canezin was a managing director and head of fixed income, credit and commodities at Harvard Management. Guarnieri was a managing director focused on private credit and Joe Lu was a core member of  private credit business, according to Evolution’s website.

Evolution will provide credit for buyouts, growth, acquisitions, refinancing and recapitalization. The target industries include building products,healthcare, industrials and retail among others, according to the website.

Emails to Evolution went unanswered.