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Endowments Still 25% Away From Pre-Lehman High, Commonfund Says

U.S. endowments, after record losses in the market rout triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., are 25 percent below pre-crisis highs and may need four years to fully recover, Commonfund said.

Endowments gained an average of 12 percent in the year ended June 30, trailing the 14 percent return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, according to a report released today by Commonfund and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Funds rose about 15 percent from July through December, said Verne Sedlacek, Commonfund’s chief executive officer, while the S&P 500 climbed 23 percent.