Photo: Yale University
While college endowments have bounced back from the disaster year of 2009, some colleges still saw little to no increase in endowment funds, according to a Commonfund-NACUB study.Total endowments increased 11.9% in 2010. However, the following 10 funds ended the year up 4 per cent or less. Note: this data includes withdrawals and payments, as well as investment returns.
The most famous endowment manager ever, Yale’s David Swensen, made the list with only 2% gains in 2010. He also made the list last year with a 29% decline.
The Swensen Model involves a diversified mix of assets including private equity, venture capital and commodities. It earned 20% returns in the years leading up to the crash.
2010 endowment: $1,367,878,000
2009 endowment: $1,314,603,000
This data includes withdrawals and payments, as well as investment returns. Data from NACUBO.
*Comment from Doug Phillips: There is a notation in each of the of the 10 individual 'Worst Endowment Manager' reports that states the calculation represents the change in endowment value (which includes spending and gifts), together with investment performance. Rochester's investment performance is excellent, well above public markets and at the mean of the largest endowments over the past decade, and also over shorter periods of time. However, the University's spending rate is higher than peers and gifts are lower than peers. While the University is making enormous progress on those measures, the gift/spending issue is a drag on our endowment growth rate. I do not have responsibility for spending or giving. There is a factually inaccuracy in the article since it infers, that I am responsible for endowment 'growth' (which includes spending and giving) rather than 'investment performance'. My inclusion on 'The 10 Worst' is based on growth, not investment performance. Investment performance is my sole area of responsibility. Using similar logic in evaluating a mutual fund, your article would rank funds by net inflow/outflow, rather than investment performance!