Brown University Endowment Returns 13.4%

Strong global stock markets boost $3.2 billion portfolio.

Brown University’s $3.5 billion endowment reported a 13.4% return on investments for the fiscal year ended June 30, which it attributed to a strong performance from global stock markets.

During the University’s fiscal year 2017, which closed June 30, the endowment distributed $179 million to Brown’s operating budget, representing approximately $19,000 per student, and 18% of its budget.

The endowment’s performance surpassed the 11.1% preliminary return of its benchmark portfolio, as well as Cambridge Associates’ preliminary mean and median 12.9% returns for colleges and universities. Since 2012, the endowment’s assets have grown to $3.5 billion from $2.6 billion, and have contributed more than $800 million to Brown’s operating budget. The returns also represented a strong rebound from the previous year when the endowment reported a loss of 1.1%. The annualized returns for Brown’s endowment for three, five, 10, and 20 years are 5.8%, 9.1%, 5.2%, and 8.6%, respectively.

“Contributions from the endowment are vital in advancing Brown’s strategic priorities,” said Barbara Chernow, executive vice president for finance and administration, in a statement. “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.”

Chernow added that Brown’s investment office manages the endowment with a dual mandate to protect and grow its value over the long term. She said the endowment is invested in a diverse set of asset classes and conservatively positioned to allow for multiple future macroeconomic scenarios.

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