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Ohio State University Endowment Fund

Name: OSU Office of Financial Services

Assets Under Management:  $3.149 Billion (Source: Ohio State University on 6/30/ 2013)

Annual Report:  Ohio State University Endowment Fund’s Fiscal Year 2014

Portfolio Insights: “The university’s long-term investment pool (LTIP) consists of Gifted Endowment Funds as well as University Funds. The LTIP generated a net investment return of 14.4 percent in fiscal year 2014 compared to the benchmark return of 12.1 percent. Top contributions came from equity-oriented strategies of all types (private, public and hedged), as well as credit and natural resource managers. Fixed income, relative value funds and infrastructure managers were positive but lower relative to other strategies.

Market volatility continued to drop across asset classes, but there are a number of uncertainties at the forefront of investors’ minds: U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England rate increases, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan monetary easing, Chinese economic growth and geopolitical events across the globe. Strong equity markets have driven performance over the last five years, but the LTIP is designed to perform well in down markets as well. The university is positioned to preserve capital to ensure the endowment’s distributions continue to increase over time.” (Source)

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Top Ohio State University Endowment Fund (Ohio State) Headlines:

1) Endowment funds are essential to the vitality and financial security of The Ohio State University. Endowments preserve gifts in perpetuity so they can power the university’s core mission of education, research, knowledge creation, and community service.

Endowment donors have a unique opportunity to watch their gifts inspire, encourage, and create excellence today, with the assurance that their investment will fortify the university and touch countless lives for generations to come. (Source)

2) Ohio State University had the greatest endowment and investment pool growth of the 50 largest university funding pools in the year ended June 30, according to the 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments released Friday.

Ohio State’s long-term investment pool increased by 11.6 percent to $2.4 billion when taking into account investment performance, donations and expenditures, while nearly all the top 50 by size stayed flat or decreased. Texas A&M University was second, with 9.1 percent growth.

NACUBO, or the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and Commonfund report total fund changes for individual schools but investment returns only in aggregate. Endowments on average had negative 0.3 percent investment returns in 2011-12, it said, a turnaround from average returns of 19.2 percent in fiscal 2011. (Source)

3)  The Ohio State University requires substantial, consistent and permanent funding and, by receiving such funds, the University can continue to provide strong academic programs and innovative technology. Endowment funds embody such a need. Gifts are invested in perpetuity, and distribution from the invested contributions is used to fund the desired activities. A portion of the income may be reinvested in the fund at the request of the donor or department to further enhance the fund’s buying power over time. All endowed fund gifts at Ohio State are pooled together with other long-term university assets to form the “Long-Term Investment Pool”. (Source)

4) John C. Lane joined The Ohio State University Investment Office in October of 2014 as the Chief Investment Officer and is responsible for the investment management of the $3.5 billion Long Term Investment Pool.

Prior to joining Ohio State, John was the Chief Investment Officer of the $90 billion Ohio Public Employee Retirement System in Columbus, Ohio since January 2010.  From 2002 to 2009, he was the Director of Investments, Worldwide, at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York.  Previous to Kodak, John was the Chief Investment Officer of the $55 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania beginning in 1989.

John earned his BS and MBA from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Source)

5) Ohio State was among the first group of four public universities to raise a $1 billion endowment when it passed the $1 billion mark in 1999. At year’s end 2005, Ohio State’s endowment stood at $1.73 billion, ranking it seventh among public universities and 27th among all American universities. In June 2006, the endowment passed the $2 billion mark.

In recent decades, and in response to continually shrinking state funding, Ohio State has conducted two significant multi-year fundraising campaigns. The first concluded in 1987 and raised $460 million—a record at the time for a public university. The “Affirm Thy Friendship Campaign” took place between 1995 and 2000. With an initial goal of raising $850 million, the campaign’s final tally was $1.23 billion, placing Ohio State among the small group of public universities to have successfully conducted a $1 billion campaign. At his welcoming ceremony, returning President E. Gordon Gee announced that, in the Fall of 2007, Ohio State would be launching a $2.5 billion fund-raising campaign. (Source)


About Richard C. Wilson