It’s been a year since we looked at the colleges with the largest amount of money in their endowment funds, and we thought it was time to check in again.
The data comes from the NACUBO Commonfund Study of Endowments, which examined 835 U.S. colleges and universities. Overall, the study found that the endowments returned an average of 11.7% for the fiscal year that ended in June.
The funds continued their rebound from the Great Recession. And that’s a good thing because endowments pay a key part of the schools’ operating budgets, making up an average of 8.8%.
(Check out last year's Top 10 Richest Colleges for 2012 on ThinkAdvisor.)
NACUBO notes that the percentage gains for the endowment funds do not equate to investment returns. Instead, the percentage change reflects the net impact of:
- Withdrawals to fund institutional operations and capital expenses;
- The payment of endowment management and investment fees;
- Additions from donor gifts and other contributions;
- Investment gains or losses.
In addition the market value of real estate and other illiquid assets is estimated and can change quickly.
Check out the Top 20 Richest Colleges for 2013: The Biggest Endowments:
$4.8 billion, up 9.5%
2012 Ranking: No. 20—$4.4 billion
The Rice Management Co. is headed by CIO Allison Thacker and COO Ron Long.
19. University of Virginia
$5.1 billion, up 7.9%
2012 Ranking: No. 19—$4.7 billion
Lawrence Kochard, CEO and CIO, leads the University of Virginia’s Investment Management Co. Previously he had been CIO of Georgetown University’s investment fund.
18. Cornell University
$5.2 billion, up 6.6%
2012 Ranking: No. 18—$4.9 billion
The school’s Office of University Investments is guided by CIO A.J. Edwards, who was appointed to the position in May 2012 after serving a year as interim CIO.
17. Washington University in St. Louis
$5.6 billion, up 8.1%
2012 Ranking: No. 17—$5.2 billion
Kimberly Walker heads the Investment Co. as CIO, a position she has held for nearly eight years. She had been president of Qwest Asset Management Co., part of Qwest Communications International, which had $4 billion in assets under management.
16. Emory University
$5.8 billion, up 6.5%
2012 Ranking: No. 16—$5.4 billion
Mary Cahill, who honed her prowess at Merck and Xerox, is vice president of investments and CIO for Emory’s funds.
$6 billion, up 8.7%
2012 Ranking: No. 15—$5.5 billion
Neil Triplett, who has been president of the Duke asset management team since 2007, leads the endowment. He has been part of the team since 1999.
14. University of California
$6.3 billion, up 7%
2012 Ranking: No. 14—$5.9 billion
Jagdeep Singh Bachher is the CIO and vice president of investments; he joined the fund in April. Before taking the helm of the Cal pension and endowment funds, he had been an executive vice president at Alberta Investment Management Co., one of Canada’s largest investment fund managers.
13. University of Chicago
$6.6 billion, up 1.5%
2012 Ranking: No. 12—$6.5 billion
Mark Schmid, vice president and CIO, leads an investment team of 29 people, from the school that was founded by John D. Rockefeller.
12. University of Notre Dame
$6.8 billion, up 8.3%
2012 Ranking: No. 13—$6.3 billion
The Investment Office is led by Scott Malpass, a graduate of the school who adheres to Catholic principles when making investment choices.
11. University of Pennsylvania
$7.7 billion, up 14.6%
2012 Ranking: No. 12—$6.7 billion
Peter Ammon was named CIO in April 2013, replacing Kristin Gilbertson, who resigned the fall before. Ammon came from the Yale Investments Office where he had been a director.
10. Northwestern University
$7.8 billion, up 8.3%
2012 Ranking: No. 10—$7.1 billion
William McLean, vice president and CIO, has guided the school’s investments since 2002. He has served as president of the North Carolina Society of Financial Analysts.
9. Columbia University
$8.1 billion, up 7.1%
2012 Ranking: No. 8—$7.6 billion
President and CEO N.P. Narvekar continues to lead the Columbia Investment Management Co., which was founded in 2002. He had previously been at the University of Pennsylvania.
8. University of Michigan
$8.3 billion, up 9%
2012 Ranking: No. 7—$7.6 billion
Erik Lundberg, who has been with the university since 1999, is the endowment fund’s CIO.
7. Texas A&M University
$8.7 billion, up 14.3%
2012 Ranking: No. 9—$7.6 billion
Eddie Davis, a graduate of the school in 1967, is president of the foundation.
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
$11 billion, up 6.8%
2012 Ranking: No. 6—$10.3 billion
The MIT Investment Management Co. is led by its president, Seth Alexander, who came to the school from Yale in 2006.
5. Princeton University
$18.2 billion, up 7.4%
2012 Ranking: No. 5—$16.9 billion
The endowment is managed by the Princeton University Investment Co., which is led by its president, Andrew Golden.
4. Stanford University
$18.6 billion, up 9.7%
2012 Ranking: No. 4—$17 billion
The fund is led by president and CEO John Powers, who joined the Stanford team in 2006. Previously, he had been managing director and director of research at Offitt Hall Capital Management.
3. University of Texas System
$20.4 billion, up 12%
2012 Ranking: No. 3—$18.2 billion
Bruce Zimmerman is CEO and CIP of the University of Texas Investment Management Co. Under his stewardship, the endowment has regularly beat the market since 2011.
2. Yale University
$20.7 billion, up 7.4%
2012 Ranking: No. 2—$19.3 billion
The Yale Investments Office’s leader is David Swensen, who as CIO pioneered an investment theory that bears his name.
1. Harvard University
$32.3 billion, up 6.2%
2012 Ranking: No. 1—$30.4 billion
Jane Mendillo is president and CEO of the Harvard Management Co., positions she has held since 2008. Previously, she was CIO of Wellesley College.
-- Related stories on ThinkAdvisor: