University of Chicago Endowment Returns 8%

Reaches all-time high of $8.2 billion, but misses 8.3% median return among colleges and universities.

The University of Chicago endowment’s investment portfolio returned 8% for the fiscal year ended June 30, raising its market value to an all-time high of $8.2 billion from $7.5 billion at the end of fiscal 2017.

This is down from last year’s returns of 11.4%, and just short of the Cambridge Associates’ median return for colleges and universities of 8.3%.

The university said the endowment’s investment returns have boosted its market value by nearly $5.4 billion since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, thanks to a 9.5% average return. It also said the average compounded investment result for the university over the past 10, 15, and 20 years was 5.8%, 9%, and 8.6%, respectively.

“Working closely with the board of trustees’ investment committee and financial planning committee, as well as university leadership, we continue to believe that an integrated approach to the university’s fiscal health will best support our mission in all types of market conditions on a long-term basis,” said Mark Schmid, the university’s vice president and chief investment officer.

The university’s endowment is mainly invested in the Total Return Investment Pool (TRIP), which has an asset allocation of 31% in absolute return, 25% in global equities, 13.5% in private equity, 8.0% in fixed income, 8.0% in real estate, 7.5% in natural resources, 4.5% in private debt, 2.0% in “TRIP protection,” and 0.5% in cash and cash equivalents.

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