The Harvard Management Company boosted its investments in the technology industry last quarter, increasing its shares of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – by nearly 40% while increasing its stakes in 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% of its $864 million government securities portfolio. HMC is required to disclose its direct public holdings to the Securities and Exchange Commission quarterly because it manages more than $100 million in assets.
The second largest stock in the endowment is in Meta Platforms – formerly known as Facebook – although HMC sold off 8% of its shares in the tech giant in the second quarter. HMC now holds $183 million in Meta, up from $274 million at the end of March.
The University’s investment arm has also increased 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 increase in investment in semiconductor companies comes as the federal government pledges significant support for the industry, which it sees as essential to the national defense and technology sectors. Early last month, President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, which will provide more than $50 billion for research, development, manufacturing and workforce development in the field. domestic semiconductors.
John M. Longo, a professor at Rutgers Business School and chief investment officer of Beacon Trust, wrote that it’s “probably no coincidence” that HMC’s increased investment in semiconductor companies has produced as the federal bill landed on Biden’s desk.
“It’s clear that HMC executives are optimistic about the outlook for semiconductor makers,” Longo wrote.
Consistent with previous quarters, the vast majority of direct stocks held by HMC are in the technology, biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. The latest disclosure also marked the third straight quarter in which HMC has not invested 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 the investments amounted to indirect support for the private prison industry. HMC liquidated all of its ETF holdings in the last quarter of 2021.
HMC spokesman Patrick S. McKiernan declined to comment on the filings.