MIT Posts Small Annual Gain in Endowment as Large Colleges Trail

  • School’s $13.2 billion fund returned 0.8% in fiscal 2016
  • Big college endowments lost median 0.73%, Wilshire says

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology posted a 0.8 percent investment gain on its $13.2 billion endowment in fiscal 2016, according to a statement from the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based university.

The return bested an industry benchmark and losses reported by seven large public U.S. college endowments. Funds with more than $500 million lost a median 0.73 percent in the fiscal year through June 30, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. The Wilshire data, from fund custodians, excludes fees while most schools report returns net of fees.

The size of MIT’s endowment shrunk 2.2 percent from $13.5 billion a year prior after accounting for spending, the school said in an annual financial report released Sept. 9.

MIT didn’t disclose what strategies the endowment used to produce a positive
return. Seth Alexander, the fund’s chief investment officer, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking additional comment.

The endowment had a three-year annualized return through June 30 of 10.8 percent; 10.3 percent for five years and 8.3 percent for 10 years, the school said.

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