Vanderbilt's 11.5% Endowment Annual Gain Led by Global Stocks

  • Value of the fund climbed to $4.1 billion in fiscal 2017
  • Portfolio had 23.1% in global equities as of June 30

Vanderbilt University’s endowment posted an 11.5 percent investment return in the year through June, helped by a global stock-market rally.

The endowment’s value climbed to $4.1 billion, the Nashville-based private school said Friday in an annual report.

The average increase for 450 endowments and foundations for the period was 12.7 percent, according to data by Cambridge Associates. So far, Grinnell College in Iowa has the highest one-year return at 18.8 percent among more than two dozen school funds. Harvard University is among the worst performers with an 8.1 percent gain.

Vanderbilt’s endowment attributed its performance to a “strong capital market environment,” led by emerging markets, non-U.S. developed markets and U.S. large caps, according to the report.

The portfolio had 23.1 percent in global equities as of June, and 31.1 percent in alternative investments including private equity, real estate and natural resources.

Anders Hall has led Vanderbilt’s endowment since 2013. He came to the fund from Duke University Management Co., known as Dumac.

“Looking into the future, we continue to expect significant headwinds,” according to the report, which cited high U.S. stock valuations, slow growth in European economies and a “tense geopolitical situation” in Asian markets.

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