Princeton Investments Gained 22% in Past Year

Princeton University’s investments returned 22 percent in the past fiscal year, matching the performance of Yale University, the top-performing Ivy League school so far this year.

The endowment was valued at $17.1 billion as of June 30, the Princeton, New Jersey, school said today on its website.

Endowments at the richest U.S. universities have risen for two consecutive years, following record losses in the aftermath of the September 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ) bankruptcy. The fund at Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, gained 22 percent, while investments at Harvard University, the world’s richest school, increased 21 percent.

Over the past decade, Princeton’s investments generated an average annual gain of 9.8 percent, compared with the 10 percent increase of Yale, the 9.4 percent return of Harvard and the 9.3 percent increase of Stanford University near Palo Alto, California.

Yale and Princeton are leading the Ivy League schools that have reported results so far. The group consists of eight selective private schools in the northeastern U.S.

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia said Sept. 15 its $6.58 billion fund gained 19 percent, helped by rising stock markets. Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, said Sept. 28 that its $5.35 billion fund climbed 20 percent.

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is the worst performer so far in the Ivy League. The university said Sept. 28 that investments rose 18 percent for the year ended June 30, boosted by stocks and venture capital and gains across asset classes. Investment returns helped increase the endowment to $3.41 billion, after more than $40 million in new gifts and transfers, partly offset by distributions, Dartmouth said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian Wee in New York at gwee3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Edelman at ledelman3@bloomberg.net

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