Columbia University's Endowment Posts 7.6% Investment Return

  • Ivy League university's fund rises 4% to $9.6 billion
  • Tied with Princeton for highest 10-year return in Ivy League

Columbia University, the last of the eight Ivy League schools to report on its endowment’s performance, posted a 7.6 percent gain in the year ended June 30, trailing the average of 7.8 percent for the group, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The fund’s value increased about 4 percent to $9.6 billion, the New York-based school said Wednesday in a statement. The school has had an annual average return of 10.1 percent over the past 10 years, tying it with Princeton University. N.P. Narvekar is president and chief executive officer of Columbia Investment Management Co.

Columbia is the fifth largest endowment in the Ivy League. Cornell University posted a return of 3.4 percent, the lowest among the Ivies.

Harvard University, the largest endowment in higher education at $37.6 billion, had the second lowest return among the 

group, with a 5.8 percent gain. Princeton and Yale University had the highest gains, with 12.7 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively.

The university didn’t release details on which assets outperformed.

“Columbia’s long-term endowment performance is among the leaders in the field because of the consistency of returns our investment managers have achieved in a wide variety of market conditions over the past decade,” said President Lee C. Bollinger in the statement. “As a result, the university continues to have the resources we need to compete academically with other great peer institutions that have far larger endowments than ours.”

The median return for endowments and foundations with more than $500 million this year is 3.6 percent, according to an estimate by Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.

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