Dartmouth Endowment Returns 12.2% in 2018

US, private equities help propel portfolio to a record-high market value of $5.5 billion.

Dartmouth College’s endowment reported its second straight year of double-digit gains as its investment portfolio returned 12.2% for the fiscal year ending June 30, to raise its total asset value to an all-time high of $5.5 billion.

The endowment earned $591 million in net investment gains, with gifts and other net transfers adding another $183 million. The spending distribution from the endowment was $237 million, which is approximately 25% of operating revenues for the fiscal year.

“Portfolio gains were driven by robust US equity markets combined with strong venture capital and private equity returns,” Alice Ruth, Dartmouth’s CIO, said in a release. “Dartmouth’s endowment is fortunate to partner with a roster of top-tier investment managers who add tremendous value.”

It was Ruth’s first full year as CIO, having assumed her role as head of the investment team in March 2017. In fiscal year 2017, the endowment generated an investment return of 14.6% to bring its asset value to a then-record $4.96 billion. It took in $630 million in net investment gains, with an additional $77 million in gifts and other net transfers last year.

The endowment also reported a five-, 10-, and 20-year annualized returns of 10.6%, 7.6%, and 9.8%, respectively.

Despite having the second-smallest endowment in the Ivy League next to Brown University, Dartmouth has had among the top-performing investment portfolios of any of the elite universities in recent years. According to investment research firm Markov Processes International, Dartmouth has been among the top-four performing Ivy League endowments five out of the previous six years.

At the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the endowment’s asset allocation was 37.8% in global equities, 24.9% in hedge funds, 18.4% in venture capital and private equity, 7.5% in fixed income and cash, 7.1% in natural resources, and 4.3% in real estate.

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