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Brown Endowment Gained 19% in Past Year, Trailing Harvard, Yale

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Brown University’s investments returned 19 percent in the past fiscal year, lagging behind the performance of Harvard and Yale, the richest Ivy League schools.

The endowment was valued at $2.5 billion as of June 30, after $69 million in new gifts and $111 million in spending, the Providence, Rhode Island, school said in a statement 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. bankruptcy. Investments at the $19.4 billion fund at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, gained 22 percent. Harvard University, the world’s richest school with a $32 billion fund, increased 21 percent.

After Lehman, Brown’s investment committee “chose to hold a portfolio with slightly less market exposure than in prior years,” the school said. As of June 30, the fund was composed of 21 percent in global stocks, 31 percent in hedged strategies, 22 percent in private equity, 14 percent in real assets and 12 percent in fixed income and cash.

Brown, the last of the Ivy League schools to report, generated an average annual return of 7.7 percent over the past decade, compared with Yale’s 10 percent increase and the 9.4 percent gain of Harvard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Ivy League consists of eight private schools in the northeastern U.S. Columbia University’s $7.8 billion endowment was the best performer this year, with a 24 percent investment gain. Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, was the worst, with an increase of 18 percent.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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