Curran W. "Cub" Harvey Jr., T. Rowe Price president

He had managed the New Horizons Fund and later became a partner at a Baltimore venture capital firm

  • Curran W. Harvey
Curran W. Harvey (Baltimore Sun )
December 18, 2013|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Curran W. "Cub" Harvey Jr., former president of T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. who later was a partner in New Enterprise Associates, a Baltimore venture capital firm, died Sunday of pneumonia at Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Fla. He was 84.

"Cub was known as a crack analyst and was someone who loved studying emerging companies. That's how he was known through the years," said James A.C. Kennedy, CEO and president of T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., who began working with Mr. Harvey in 1978.

"He always had a smile on his face — right to the end — when talking about companies."

The son of Curran W. Harvey Sr., who was sales manager for the Anchor Post Fence Co., and Charlotte Cromwell Harvey, a homemaker, Curran Whitthorne Harvey Jr. was born in Baltimore. He spent his early years in Catonsville before moving with his family to a home on Carrollton Avenue in Ruxton.

After graduating in 1947 from Gilman School, Mr. Harvey earned a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1951 from Yale University. He later did additional studies at Columbia University, the University of Dayton and the Johns Hopkins University.

From 1951 to 1954, Mr. Harvey served in the Navy as an engineer, where he attained the rank of lieutenant.

Mr. Harvey began his engineering career in 1954 as a project manager for Belock Instrument Co., where he worked for a year. From 1955 to 1959, he was a senior sales engineer for the Ford Instrument Co., a division of Sperry Rand Corp. He was sales manager for the Aerospace Division of Aeronca Manufacturing Co.

Mr. Harvey, interested in a career in the venture capital business, got an interview through a friend in 1961 with Thomas Rowe Price Jr., the founder of T. Rowe Price.

"In the interview, Mr. Price asked what I did for a living. After replying, I asked him the same question," Mr. Harvey wrote in a biographical sketch last year for the reunion of the Book and Snake Senior Society, of which he had been a member during his Yale days.

"He was shocked at my reply. To my surprise, he hired me at the top of the market. He gave me an adequate salary, but no stock," he wrote.

Mr. Harvey began his career in 1961 working as an analyst for the New Horizons Fund, which was one of the first mutual funds in the nation to specialize in investing in small growth companies with good management. His responsibility was following the small electronics companies that made military equipment.

In 1969, he became president of the New Horizons Fund, where he was responsible for its day-to-day portfolio management decisions.

Mr. Harvey's performance was impressive. The fund, which had $169 million in assets in 1969, grew to $510 million by 1972, and at one point was so popular that its managers closed it to new investors.

In 1970, Mr. Harvey was named to the firm's board of directors, and in 1974 was appointed vice chairman of the firm. In 1978, he turned over day-to-day management of New Horizons to Thomas Barry and became more involved in the administration of T. Rowe Price Associates.

Mr. Harvey served as president of T. Rowe Price Associates from 1980 until 1981, when he was elected chief executive officer, succeeding E. Kirkbride Miller as the firm's top officer.

"He was always a very thoughtful and gentle soul who cared deeply about people. He championed clients and the young people at T. Rowe Price, whom he helped attain ownership in the firm, and kept this talent at the firm," said Mr. Kennedy.

At the time he decided to step down in 1984 to join New Enterprise Associates, T. Rowe Price was managing $16 billion in assets.

He joined Charles W. Newhall, a former New Horizons analyst who established NEA in 1976 with funding assistance from T. Rowe Price, and other original founding partners Frank A. Bonsal Jr. and C. Richard Kramlich.

"Sure there is some risk, but the rewards outweigh the risks. It gets into your blood," Mr. Harvey told The Baltimore Sun at the time. "I have never heard of anyone getting out of the venture capital business."

"At NEA, he started the Spectra Fund, which was part of our affiliated strategy regarding funding of small businesses in the defense arena," said Mr. Bonsal, who retired from the firm in 2003. "What made him successful was that Cub was a good judge of people and companies. He was a great analyst."

After retiring from NEA in 2003, where he had been a partner, he continued serving on several corporate boards, including the First National Bank of Maryland and Allied Irish Banks.

Mr. Harvey's philanthropic interests were focused on education. He had served on the boards of Gilman School and Boys' Latin School.

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