Penn Endowment Gains 1.6% as Europe Crisis Hurts Equities

The University of Pennsylvania, the Ivy League school founded by Benjamin Franklin, gained 1.6 percent on its investments in the year ended June 30, down from a 19 percent increase in the previous year.

The value of the university’s endowment stood at $6.8 billion after accounting for gifts and distributions to help cover operating costs at the Philadelphia-based school, Kristin Gilbertson, the university’s chief investment officer, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Endowments and foundations had the worst returns of any class of institutional investor, gaining on average 0.37 percent for the year through June, consulting firm Wilshire Associates said in an Aug. 6 report.

The debt crisis in Europe, which hurt the performance of equity markets, caused the poor performance, Gilbertson said.

Penn’s results compare with a 5.5 percent gain, including reinvested interest, by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. (SPX)

Over the past decade, the endowment has had an annual average return of 7 percent, Gilbertson said.

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