UNC Management Co. Has New PE Chief

Kevin Tunick is officially ensconced in Chapel Hill, N.C., having grabbed the reins of UNC Management Co.’s private equity program earlier this month after departing from Harvard Management Co.

Tunick worked at Harvard for the past 17 years, most recently helping to manage private equity investments for the university’s $34.9 billion endowment, which has a private equity portfolio of roughly $4.1 billion. Now Tunick runs the entire private equity program at UNC Management, though the scale is smaller than what he’s used to. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a $2.2 billion endowment with roughly $400 million committed to the private equity space. Tunick’s departure from Harvard Management Co. was first reported by Private Equity Insider.

“It’s a step up for Kevin,” said a source familiar with UNC Management’s search process. At Harvard, Tunick worked with John Shue as part of a three-person team led by Peter Dolan. “Kevin and Peter were fixtures there. I was thrown for a loop” when Tunick left, our source said. The search is underway for his successor, and Harvard Management Co. is still looking for a president and CEO in the wake of Mohamed El-Erian’s abrupt departure in the fall of 2007.

In recent years, UNC Management has been a bit of a revolving door for private equity professionals. Last year saw the exit of Mel Williams, the endowment’s private equity head, who left to create funds-of-funds manager TrueBridge Capital Partners along with Edwin Post from the Rockefeller Foundation. Williams had run UNC Management’s program since 2004, when a group of investment officers, led by then-CIO Mark Yusko, left to form funds-of-funds manager Morgan Creek Capital Management.

UNC Management President and CEO Jonathan King joined the limited partner in early 2005 from Dartmouth College, where he helped the endowment grow to roughly $2.5 billion. UNC Management’s endowment saw a 23.4 percent return for 2007.—J.P.