Laurence (Larry) Morse, a venture capitalist, was born on July 2, 1951, in Birmingham, Alabama. Little is known about his time in Birmingham, but he enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1969 and graduated four years later with a B.A. in economics. During his junior year at Howard, he was awarded the Luard Scholarship by the London School of Economics and Political Science, and he attended the school from 1971 to 1972. Morse earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University after graduating from Howard University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. From 1982 to 1983, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.
Morse started his career as an analyst at UNC Ventures, a venture capitalist investment firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1983. He was promoted to investment officer while he was there. Morse was named Vice President of Equico Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of The Equitable Life Insurance Company of America, in 1988, and the founding principal of TSG Ventures in 1991. Morse was hired as a senior venture capital advisor by Coopers & Lybrand International Consulting Services a year later, in 1992. He was there to advise on the establishment of a proposed $100 million Africa Enterprise Development fund based in now-post-apartheid South Africa.
Morse assisted in the formation of Fairview Capital Partners, Inc., a private equity firm, in West Hartford, Connecticut, in September 1994. In 2000, he became a member of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, a non-profit educational charity that uses the English language to promote global understanding and goodwill through educational and cultural exchange programs. He was appointed director of both Webster Financial Corp. and Webster Bank in 2004.
Morse continued his work in the financial and educational fields in the years that followed. He served on the Princeton University Investment Company’s board of trustees for three terms before joining the Princeton University Board of Trustees in 2012. Morse then joined the Board of Trustees of Howard University in 2014 after becoming a trustee of Harris Associates Investment Trust in 2013. Morse has worked for or with a number of private equity firms, including Sierra Ventures, ICV Capital Partners, and Trinity Ventures, and has served on their advisory boards.
Morse is still a director at Webster Bank and the Chief Executive Officer of Fairview Capital Partners. He also wrote the novel Sundial, which was published in 1986 and was inspired by his experiences at Howard University. Morse was appointed chairman of the Howard University Board of Trustees on July 1, 2020. The English-Speaking Union presented Morse with the Founder’s Award and the Princess Royal Award on October 21, 2020. (ESU).