U.S./world – Endowed returns – Venture stakes grow

Investment returns for endowments at U.S. colleges and universities outpaced a handful of market indexes, a new study says.

Schools also are investing a bigger share of their endowments in venture capital and less in domestic and international equity, Foundation and Endowment Money Management reported May 21.

Boosted by effective allocation of their assets, the average endowment posted a 13 percent return in the year ended June 30, 2000, up from 11 percent a year earlier, says the study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The study surveyed 569 schools with $241 billion in endowment assets.

The results, however, don’t reflect the market’s slump in the second half of 2000.

“We should be prepared for less robust investment results going forward, says Joseph P. Mullinix, senior vice president for business and finance at the University of California.

John Griswold, senior vice president at Commonfund, the largest money manager to endowments in the U.S., told Foundation and Endowment Money Management that the drop in equity allocations reflected efforts by endowments to protect themselves from the turmoil in the U.S. markets.

And he predicted the trend would continue.

“Trustees are in no hurry to invest in the stock market,” he said. “They are looking at alternatives.”

Harvard, with $18.8 billion, had the biggest endowment, followed by Yale, with nearly $10.1 billion and the University of Texas System, with just over $10 billion.

Stanford, with $8.6 billion, and Princeton, with nearly $8.4 billion, rounded out the top five.

For full story, go to Foundation and Endowment Money Management.

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