Brown University Posts 13.4% Investment Return

Updated on
  • Endowment fund’s value was $3.5 billion at end of June
  • Ivy League school’s annualized 10-year return is 5.2%

Brown University said it posted a 13.4% investment return in fiscal 2017, buoyed by strong performance in global equities.

The value of the fund rose 9 percent to $3.5 billion. Annualized returns for five and 10 years are 9.1 and 5.2 percent, respectively, the Ivy League school said Tuesday in a statement. Brown is the fifth of eight Ivy League members to announce investment performance.

Many of the largest college funds attributed double-digit gains for the year through June 30 to strong public equity markets. The average increase for more than 400 endowments and foundations in fiscal 2017 was 12.7 percent, according to early data by Cambridge Associates.

The University of Rochester said its $2.3 billion fund gained 14.3 percent in fiscal 2017. It had an asset allocation target of 35 percent in public equities. Boston College’s $2.4 billion endowment said it had a 14.9 percent return, with 51 percent of investments in domestic and international equities.

In its statement, Brown didn’t disclose strategies the endowment used or performance by asset class. The Providence, Rhode Island-based university said the fund is invested “in a diverse set of asset classes and conservatively positioned to allow for multiple future macroeconomic scenarios.”

“Prudent management with a focus on preserving the endowment’s long-term strength ensures that Brown can continue to offer future students the same opportunities for learning, research and discovery that students enjoy today,” Barbara Chernow, executive vice president for finance and administration, said in the statement.

The endowment distributed $179 million to the university’s operating budget in the fiscal year, according to the statement. The fund is managed by Joseph L. Dowling III.

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