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George Washington University Endowment Fund

Name: George Washington University

Assets Under Management:  $1.375 Billion (Source: George Washington University on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report:  2012 -2013 GW Annual Report – Finance Division

Portfolio Insights: “The George Washington University’s strong financial position is enabling the university to spearhead innovative academic initiatives, strengthen our curricula and scholarship, and develop world-class facilities for learning and research.

Among the university’s accomplishments in 2013 is the adoption of a new strategic plan, which will guide the university into its third century. The plan builds on the university’s strengths by focusing on the themes of innovation through cross-disciplinary collaboration, globalization, civic leadership, and governance and policy.

These critical areas are linked to actions and initiatives that will strengthen the educational experience and allow students and faculty to make an increased impact on local, national and global communities.

Along with the strategic plan, the university launched initiatives this year that create new learning and research opportunities across disciplines.” (Source)

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Top George Washington University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Joining a growing trend of universities outsourcing services and functions traditionally done in-house, George Washington University this month said it was enlisting an outside investment firm to manage the school’s $1.375 billion endowment fund. Administrators say the outsourcing, in an age of rising tuition and tighter institutional budgets, can lower costs and allow schools to focus on their core educational mission. From bookstores and landscaping to email and finances, the ivory tower is turning to the private sector to stay in business. In GW’s case, outsourcing the endowment oversight will cost six employees of the nine-person investment office their jobs. Two investment officials will remain and aid the outside management firm. (Source)

2) GW will hire an outside firm to oversee its $1.4 billion endowment for the first time in more than a decade, cutting the role of its chief investment officer and six other positions.

Just two investment officials will remain out of the nine-person office after GW moves to outsource the management of its endowment – the lifeblood of the University’s finances – by July, University spokeswoman Candace Smith confirmed Friday.

Chief Investment Officer Donald Lindsey, who has led the investment office since it was created 11 years ago, was the seventh highest paid administrator at the University in 2012, according to GW’s most recent tax filings. He earned $615,660 in total compensation that year. (Source)

3) George Washington University, Washington, is looking for an outside firm to manage its $1.4 billion endowment. A recorded message heard when a call was placed to the investment office said the office is “in transition” and is seeking proposals from investment firms to manage the endowment. “After the transition, the investment office will report to the deputy executive vice president and treasurer, and will manage the relationship with an external firm, and continue to provide endowment audit management,” the recording said. (Source)

4) George Washington University Endowment is an endowment fund. The fund engages in the following alternative investment strategies: buyouts/corporate finance, distressed debt/turnarounds, hedge funds, real estate, and venture capital. George Washington University Endowment allocates 20% of its total assets to alternative investments. It was formed in 1987 and is based in Washington, District Of Columbia. (Source)

5) Prior to forming Benval in 2013, Mr. Lake worked as a Senior Investment Officer in The George Washington University (GW) Investment Office. The GW Investment Office was responsible for managing the University’s $1.4Bn endowment fund. Beginning in 2005, Mr. Lake researched opportunities, identified investments and recommended implementation strategies/managers, including the use of derivatives across all asset classes, leading 20 investment allocations. Mr. Lake also made recommendations regarding overall portfolio/strategy. Additionally, Mr. Lake monitored: investment managers, global economic, political, and geopolitical factors; and tracked capital flows in the public and private markets. (Source)

 

About Richard C. Wilson