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Tufts University Endowment Fund

Name: Tufts University

Assets Under Management:  $2.076 Billion (Source: Tufts University on6/30/2013)

Annual Report: 2013 Annual Financial Report of Tufts University

Portfolio Insights: “Fiscal year 2013 produced improved financial results with an increase in total net assets of $128 million. Investment performance accounted for the largest portion of the increase in net assets. The total return pool, which comprises the majority of the University’s investments, returned approximately 11% for the fiscal year. Capital contributions also continued to yield favorable results in 2013 as $76.9 million was raised in total achievement by the University. Unrestricted operating performance produced an increase in net assets of $6 million.

Comprised primarily of cash and investments at 69% and property and equipment at 27%, total assets of $3.0 billion increased by 3.1% during the year with a compound five-year average increase of 2.4%.” (Source)

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Top Tufts University Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Tufts University Endowment engages in the following alternative investment strategies: buyouts/corporate finance, distressed debt/turnarounds, hedge funds, international private equity, mezzanine, real estate, and venture capital. Tufts University Endowment will commit from $5 million to $10 million per partnership, and has a net internal rate of return target of 15%-25%. The fund allocates 5% to 10% of its total assets to alternative investments. Tufts University Endowment was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Medford, Massachusetts. (Source)

2) Tufts University Endowment is an active investor in hedge funds, investing both directly and through fund of hedge funds. It has a 40% target allocation to alternative investments and has committed approximately USD 650 million to hedge fund investments. The endowment has invested in a total of 30 hedge funds and is seeking to maintain these investments over the course of the next 12 months. The endowment operates an “open-door policy” for managers and will invest opportunistically. It will consider a number of different strategies and will invest on a global scale. The endowment does not invest with emerging managers or seed funds but it will consider investments in spin-out teams that have a proven track record and experience within the industry. (Source)

3) Tufts University’s endowment fund, boosted by record gifts from two wealthy alumni, grew more than any other major US college and university endowment last year. The endowment increased 43.8 percent last year, driving up Tufts’ rank to 51st — $1.2 billion — from 65th in 2005, according to a report on 765 endowments released yesterday by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

It has doubled since the Medford university recruited president Larry Bacow from MIT in 2001. Its growth also has been fueled by his decision to bring on a professional investment manager to run the endowment’s portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other investments. (Source)

4) Through the Tufts University endowment fund, the Omidyar gift will support entrepreneurship in the form of microfinancial entrepreneurial investments in developing nations.

The thrust of the Omidyar gift, in support of worldwide entrepreneurship, was of great interest and was particularly pleasing to Cummings Foundation in view of its own efforts to nudge the University in the same direction with the Cummings Family Chair in Entrepreneurship. (Source)

5) Tufts University received $100 million from alum Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, on Nov. 3. The donation, the largest endowment gift in Tufts’ history, is remarkable not only for its size but also for its unusual stipulations.

Guidelines surrounding the donation require that the $100 million be invested in microfinance initiatives through the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, which will be controlled by an independent board of trustees, according to Tufts’ official announcement.

Ultimately, the donation will be “invested entirely in international microfinance initiatives undertaken by banks” that make “small loans to poor, predominantly female heads of households,” Kim Thurler, associate public relations director at Tufts, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. (Source)


About Richard C. Wilson