North Carolina State University’s endowment returned 7.3% in fiscal 2019, a faculty letter from Interim Vice Chancellor Mary Peloquin-Dodd said.
The endowment, which achieved top-quartile peer performance, grew to a “historical high” of $1.401 billion.
“The 2019 fiscal year was one characterized by volatility and the end stage of a long economic recovery; however, we also recognize that trying to predict ‘when’ and the ‘where’ for a market correction is a recipe for failure and beyond our abilities,” Peloquin-Dodd said. She noted the organization’s long-term focus and its investment portfolio’s diversification, which she said makes sure the university’s funds will not go sideways in the event of a financial funk.
Peloquin-Dodd also said more than “30% of the endowment could be liquidated within a month” if need be.
North Carolina State University has returned 10.3% and 7.6% over the past three- and five-years.
The endowment’s asset mix as of June 30 was 31.1% long biased equity, 22.6% private equity, 13.2% long/short equity, 9.5% fixed income, 8.5% diversifying strategies, 5.9% energy and natural resources, 5% real estate, 3.3% private credit, and 0.9% cash.
In a separate performance-related document, monetary policy and trade are the investment office’s top market factors. “With central banks reiterating their willingness to be accommodative and to address slowing economic momentum, it appears that the global growth cycle isn’t over,” it said, adding that the trade war between President Trump and Xi Jinping sees the two powers appear to be taking “two steps forward and one (or three) steps back” until a final resolution.
“The cautiously optimistic view of investors on trade and central bank policy has resulted in bond and equity markets sending conflicting signals on the economy with the yield curve remaining inverted while equities progress toward all-time highs,” the document said.