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May 23, 2018  

Harvard Management Alums Ready to Go

Two former Harvard University endowment executives are putting the finishing touches on an equity fund that’s set to launch around midyear.

Bob Howard and Sid Sandilya, founders of Sierra Brook Capital of New York, plan to take long and short positions in the shares of industrial, consumer and technology companies, maintaining a concentrated book with low net exposure to the stock market.

The launch has been in the works since late 2016 — shortly after Howard and Sandilya quit their jobs as portfolio managers at the $37 billion Harvard Management. They recently hired investor-relations pro Pam Dickstein as a partner and head of business development, indicating they’re ready to take on limited partners.

Her arrival brings Sierra Brook’s total headcount to at least six. Also on board are chief operating officer Michael Lubman and senior analysts Matthew Scovotti and Michael Smeets.

Howard is Sierra Brook’s chief investment officer. At Harvard Management, where he worked from 2014 to 2016, Howard oversaw U.S. long/short equity investments. He earlier worked at KKR and Goldman Sachs, where he ran the U.S. principal-strategies unit.

Sandilya is head of research. He worked as a portfolio manager at Harvard’s endowment from 2015 to 2016. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager at BlueCrest Capital, and previously worked at Arrowgrass Capital and Citigroup.

Before joining Sierra Brook’s staff, Dickstein advised the firm on business development, strategy and communications via her PSD Consulting, which also counted Clearfield Capital and BlackRock as clients. She previously worked in prime-brokerage sales at Bank of America and Goldman.

Howard and Sandilya are the latest in a long line of Harvard Management alumni to launch hedge funds. Others include Phillip Gross and Robert Atchinson, founders of Adage Capital; Jack Meyer, founder of Convexity Capital; and Jonathon Jacobson, founder of Highfields Capital.