Notre Dame Endowment Gains 8.7% on Private Equity, Real Estate

  • Value of Catholic school's fund grew 7.1% to $10.5 billion
  • Fund's performance was also boosted by investments in China

Notre Dame Builds $10.5 Billion Endowment Success

The University of Notre Dame, the wealthiest Catholic university in the U.S., posted an 8.7 percent gain for the fiscal year ended June 30, with private-equity investments contributing to its performance.

The endowment rose in value to $10.5 billion, Scott Malpass, the school’s chief investment officer, said in an e-mail, an increase of 7.1 percent. The fund returned an annualized 10 percent over the past 10 years, Malpass said.

University endowments with some of the highest one-year gains in fiscal 2015 were boosted by investments in private equity, venture capital and real estate, including the fund at South Bend, Indiana-based Notre Dame. The fund also had strong performance in emerging markets, particularly China, Malpass said in an e-mail Friday.
 
“I am delighted to see the impact of these returns in the advancement of the academy and student life, and especially in the financial aid resources available to our students,” Malpass said.

The fund’s asset allocation targets are 35 percent in public equities; 27.5 percent in private equity; 15 percent each in real assets and marketable alternatives, and 7.5 percent in fixed income, with “no major changes” in the mix from the previous year, Malpass said.

The median return for endowments and foundations over $500 million this year is 3.6 percent, according to an estimate by Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. Bowdoin College, a liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, posted the highest return so far this year at 14.4 percent.

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