A Better Endowment Return

The University’s endowment grew 20.2 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, bringing its total value to $6.6 billion. It is the best investment performance in a decade for Penn, which has been criticized in the past for being overly conservative in its approach.

“With a new strategy in place,” said University executive vice president Craig Carnaroli W’85, “the portfolio outperformed its composite benchmark by 150 basis points over the past year. We are thrilled with the continued improvement in our investment performance.”

The return was slightly lower than the 20.4 percent rise in the S&P 500 index, but Penn appears to be closing the performance gap between itself and the richest member of the Ivy League, Harvard, which posted a 23 percent gain to bring its endowment to $34.9 billion. By comparison, Harvard more than doubled Penn’s endowment return two years ago, and nearly tripled it two years before that.

Over the past three years, investment gains and new gifts have swelled Penn’s endowment by more than
65 percent.
—T.P.


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