University of Pennsylvania Endowment Rises 13% on Credit, Stock Holdings

The University of Pennsylvania, the Ivy League school founded by Benjamin Franklin, said the fund that manages most of its endowment gained 13 percent in the past year, helped by investments in credit and public equities.

The Associated Investments Fund outperformed its benchmark by 3.6 percentage points in the year ended June 30, the university, in Philadelphia, said today in an e-mail.

The $5.7 billion endowment benefited from “strong double- digit returns in credit” within the absolute-return portfolio, Kristin Gilbertson, Penn’s chief investment officer, wrote in an e-mail. Penn is one of the eight private schools in the northeastern U.S. that make up the Ivy League.

The Ivy League’s Harvard University, the world’s richest school, said its $27.4 billion fund gained 11 percent last year, while Columbia University’s $6.5 billion endowment gained 17 percent.

Institutional funds, including public and corporate pensions, endowments and foundations, returned a median of 13 percent in the past year, according to Wilshire Associates Inc., a consulting firm in Santa Monica, California. The firm’s Trust Universe Comparison Service tracks 1,300 funds and $3 trillion in assets.

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