University Endowments and Asset Allocation

The success that HMC has had managing the Harvard endowment has led other institutions to consider investment models that diverge substantially from the traditional allocation that prevailed into the early '90s. I'll collect some examples for discussion.

An interesting feature of these reports is (1) a stepped up position in foreign equities, (2) a large commitment to "absolute return" (i.e. market neutral) strategies, (3) direct investment in natural resources, and (4) substantial private placements (i.e. venture capital and leveraged buy-outs). The view on bonds (except for perhaps for distressed debt) is uniformly negative.

More Perspective

The top endowments are indeed impressive. The National Center for Education Statistics has the summary for the top 120 US College Endowments.

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