Dartmouth’s Endowment Posts Loss, Joining Two Ivy League Peers

  • The $4.5 billion endowment declined 1.9% in fiscal 2016
  • Harvard, University of Pennsylvania also reported declines

Dartmouth College joined two Ivy League peers in posting an investment loss for the year ended June 30, as college endowments struggled with volatile markets.

Dartmouth posted a decline of 1.9 percent for fiscal 2016 and the value of its fund dropped about 4 percent to $4.5 billion, according to a statement Friday.

At least a dozen schools have reported endowment losses for the year as slow economic growth, near negative rates and uncertainty over the pace of monetary stimulus has hampered returns. Among the Ivies, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania had declines. Yale University on Friday said its endowment gained 3.4 percent.

“The endowment was not immune from turbulent global markets, but despite overall weak absolute results, we did see impressive relative returns from some managers who were able to capitalize on opportunities resulting from the volatility,” Pamela L. Peedin, Dartmouth’s chief investment officer, said in the statement.

Annualized Gains

The decrease at the Hanover, New Hampshire-based school reflected net investment losses of $100 million and distributions of $209 million to support Dartmouth programs. That was offset by new gifts and transfers of $119 million.

The endowment said it had annualized gains of 8.7 percent for three years; 8.8 percent for five years and 7.2 percent for 10 years through June 30.

Dartmouth didn’t disclose what strategies dragged down performance, but its statement noted that almost all major international markets saw negative returns for the fiscal period. The college added that “markets this past fiscal year were marked by concerns about global growth, as well as uncertainty about the path out of an unprecedentedly low interest rate environment.”

Cornell University, Columbia University, Brown University and Princeton University are expected to report results over the next month.

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