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Mount Holyoke College Endowment Fund

Name: Mount Holyoke College

Assets Under Management: $907 Million (Source: Mount Holyoke College on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: Mount Holyoke College Annual Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “Mount Holyoke College (the “College”) is an independent, residential, liberal arts college. A pioneer and leader in the world-wide education of women since its founding in 1837, the College is the oldest continuing institution of higher learning for women in the nation.

The financial statements have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.” (Source)

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Top Mount Holyoke College Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Nov 9, 2014 – This year, Mount Holyoke’s endowment passed the $700 million mark for the first time in the College’s history. The endowment, which finances a portion of the capital requirements of the College, has grown by 13 percent since last year, from $632 million to $717 million.

The College’s endowment typically grows over time through a combination of donations and investment returns. Mount Holyoke alumnae and other donors contributed to the increase of the endowment through several projects. The College sponsored the campaign “One Million for Mount Holyoke” from June 9 to June 13, aiming to raise $1 million for the College. This campaign was intended to raise the endowment to ensure the College’s financial health. (Source)

2) The $620 million Mount Holyoke College endowment is planning to diversify to reduce risk. As part of its efforts, the endowment incorporated a commodities-driven hedge fund along with a global equity long/short vehicle into its portfolio in January. “We’re looking for diversification across managers, asset class and vintage year,” said Audrey McNiff, global co-head of foreign exchange and derivatives prime brokerage at Goldman Sachs, who chairs the all-women’s college’s investment committee.

The fund uses more than 20 managers in its alternatives portfolio, and that number is trending up as the school seeks to avoid concentrating its assets. Since 2007, it added equity long/short investments with Kensico Capital and Shumway Capital, global and emerging markets equity with Lone Dragon Pine, and distressed investments with Centerbridge Credit Partners, among other additions. (Source)

3) May 10, 2013 – The endowments of Furman University, Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, and University of Michigan all hold stakes in Sallie Mae through their investments in Highfields Capital Management, a hedge fund that manages more than $11 billion and is the second-biggest Sallie Mae shareholder. As of the end of last year, Highfields owned nearly 40 million shares of Sallie Mae, or 8.6 percent of the company’s common stock. (Source)

4) Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, is getting the jump on many of its peers in the not-for-profit community. The small private school, with a $235 million endowment, began with its 1993 fiscal year to phase in new accounting standards embodied in two Financial Accounting Standards Board edicts, FAS 116 and 117, placing it among the first NFPs to do so.

FAS 116 and 117, which were unveiled almost a year ago, are a significant event for endowments, foundations, and other tax-exempt NFP fund sponsors. They supersede a multiplicity of different accounting regimes for these organizations, and create standards that are closer to the bottom line-oriented balance sheets of for-profit corporations. (Source)

5) Oct 15, 2014 – This fall, Mount Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts became the second all-women’s college in the U.S. to begin accepting applications from transgender students. The announcement was received positively on the South Hadley campus, but it’s also raising questions about Mount Holyoke’s identity as the oldest women’s college in the country. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson