Irish score big – Many happy returns

Aggressive investing in global stocks, buyout funds and venture capital has scored a big return for the endowment at the University of Notre Dame, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 13.

Under the leadership of Scott Malpass, the school’s chief investment officer, the endowment surged to $3.5 billion from $2.2 billion and posted a return of 57.9 percent for the year ended June 30.

The endowment was the top performer in the university category for the year, according to preliminary surveys, the Journal said.

It has grown at an annualized rate of 18.1 percent in the decade ended June 30 – and at a rate of 29.1 percent in the last three years.

By comparison, the total return on Standard & Poor’s 500 index was 17.8 percent over the decade and 19.7 percent for the three years through June 30.

Because of the endowment’s returns, Notre Dame has been able to curb tuition increases to 5 percent this fall – the smallest boost in 20 years. It also has been able to finance new programs such as a Latino Studies department and has more than doubled spending on scholarships.

In the decade before the 38-year-old Malpass took full charge of endowment in 1992, its average annualized return was 13 percent, the Journal said.

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