Long before he became CEO of an international investment firm responsible for managing
more than $3 billion in assets, Raymond J. Harbert `82 absorbed the wisdom of then-Auburn
University College of Business faculty members James Cox and John Blackstone, among
“Both were excellent professors who made a difference by motivating and challenging
me to work harder on my studies,” Harbert said.
Thanks to Harbert’s generosity, future generations of Auburn business students will
be able to tell a similar story.
In recognition of a $40 million commitment from Harbert – the largest gift in Auburn
University history and the largest received by an academic unit in Alabama higher
education history – the Auburn University College of Business is now known as The
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
The Harbert name brings a new level of prestige to a college long recognized as one
of the nation’s top public schools of business. Of the top 50 business schools ranked
by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, 42 carry the names of benefactors.
The naming gift, announced on June 21, 2013, strengthens the college’s position as
a national and global leader by creating additional eminent scholar and endowed chairs
to recruit and retain top faculty members, forming a doctoral program in finance to
help prepare future thought leaders in academia and practice, and establishing the
Harbert Investments Center – a research enterprise focused on securities and wealth
creation – and a supply chain management research institute that will work in partnership
with Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. (View the Press Release)
Harbert serves as CEO of Harbert Management Corporation, a Birmingham-based independent
investment firm founded in 1993. Harbert Management Corporation attracts investors
from such sources as high-net worth individuals, financial institutions, pension funds
and foundations. In addition to its investment teams in eight U.S. cities, including
New York City and Chicago, the firm’s global footprint encompasses London, Paris,
Hong Kong, Madrid and Melbourne.
After graduating from Auburn with a business degree, Mr. Harbert began his career
with Harbert International, Inc., a subsidiary of Harbert Corporation. He served as
vice president of business development before becoming president of the corporation’s
real estate subsidiary, Harbert Properties Corporation. In 1988, he was elected vice
president of Harbert Corporation and managed the company’s investment portfolio.
In 1990, Harbert gained oversight of the rest of the firm after being elected president
and CEO of Harbert Corporation. He earned Ernst & Young’s regional Entrepreneur of
the Year Award for Financial Services in 2006.
A father of three, Harbert serves as a trustee for the Robert Meyer Foundation and
the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the
Birmingham Business Alliance and the University of Alabama at Birmingham President’s
Harbert and his wife, Kathryn Dunn Harbert `81, also an Auburn University graduate,
have both been generous in their support of Auburn University and the College of Business.
Mr. Harbert has served as president pro tempore of Auburn University’s Board of Trustees.
Previous investments in the College of Business include the Raymond J. Harbert Eminent
Scholar Chair in the Department of Finance, the Raymond J. Harbert Fund for Excellence
Endowment in the Department of Finance and the TIGER Lab, a 40-station computer lab