The investment portfolio of Cornell University’s endowment returned 5.3% for the fiscal year ending June 30, raising its total asset value to a record $7.3 billion. Penn State’s endowment reported that its portfolio earned 7.7% for the same fiscal year increasing its value to $3.11 billion.
Cornell CIO Kenneth Miranda called fiscal 2019 returns “a solid result” in a statement, considering “our efforts to restructure the portfolio and the constraints that come with those efforts.” Miranda added that “we’re seeing a lot of very promising indicators across asset classes as we work to get our portfolio positioned correctly.”
Cornell said real estate and equities led the endowment’s performance this past year.We are continuing to reposition the portfolio,” Miranda added, “slightly constrained by the illiquidity [assets not easily converted into cash] associated with many legacy investments that we’re working to convert into new positions.”
The university’s public and private equity investments returned 9.2%, Private equity led returns bringing in 18.2%.
Real estate returned 10.9%, outperforming its benchmark’s return of 6.5%. Over the past three fiscal years, the portfolio’s growth is a “respectable” 9.4%, Miranda said.
Penn State University’s Endowment’s 7.7% returns were just below last year’s return of 7.8%, but stayed above the benchmark.
The endowment reported three-, five-, 10-, and 20-year annualized gains of 9.3%, 6.0%, 9.8%, and 6.9% respectively, outpacing its passive benchmark..
As of June 30, Penn State’s long-term investment pool, which includes the endowment plus $1.36 billion in non-endowed funds, was 48% invested in listed equities; 21% in private equity; 13% in diversifying/hedged/private credit strategies; 11% in fixed income/short-term investments, and 7% in real assets.