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University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) Endowment Fund

Name: University of Denver (Colorado Seminary)

Assets Under Management: $403 Million (Source: University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: The University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “The University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) (the University) is an accredited, independent, coeducational institution located in Denver, Colorado. The University was founded as Colorado Seminary in 1864. In 1880, following the reorganization of the Colorado Seminary, the University was established as the degree-granting body. The University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Enrollment currently stands at approximately 12,500 students of which approximately 5,500 are undergraduates. The University is primarily supported by tuition and fees, private gifts, and grants and contracts.

The financial statements of the University have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.” (Source)

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Top University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) The University of Denver established the following investment policy for the Consolidated Endowment Fund to carry out the overall goals of the Board of Trustees. The policy may be changed from time-to-time and should be reviewed by the Investment Committee at least annually.

Investment Goal – The basic goal used to determine the appropriate investment policy is to achieve an investment return which will support the University’s Consolidated Endowment Fund Management and Distribution Policy (i.e., “Spending Policy”). Thus, the minimum benchmark which will be used to measure the University investment strategy will be performance which satisfies the Spending Policy plus the annualized rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index. Recognizing there will be volatility in the returns achieved through investments of the types necessary to attain the goal, the time horizon for measuring the goal will be a three-year period. (Source)

2) Glenn Mueller, a University of Denver professor and real estate investment strategist at Dividend Capital Group, joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWorld 2014: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Mueller stressed that job growth has been a key indicator for real estate investors to consider. He explained that in 2014, average monthly employment growth averaged more than 200,000 jobs, compared with about 100,000 per month in the prior few years.

“That produces a lot more demand for real estate,” which has pushed occupancy levels higher and allowed landlords to boost rents, Mueller said. “The REIT market is up over 20 percent this year, and part of it is because of those improving fundamentals,” Mueller noted. He added that he expects solid job growth to continue in 2015. (Source)

3) The University of Denver endowment has grown significantly in the last five years, reaching $403 million at the close of fiscal year 2013. Growth comes from both investment returns and the generosity of the University’s donors. The endowment has been boosted, in part, by the ASCEND campaign, which surpassed $400 million in funds raised in June 2013, making it the most successful campaign in University history.

The University’s strong financial position has allowed it to increase its investments in three areas of strategic focus. Although the dollars allocated to these priorities have increased steadily, the percentage of the operating budget devoted to them has remained consistent. (Source)

4) The University of Denver Controller’s Office is responsible for managing treasury functions, processes, controls and analytics for the University to support strategic priorities. Treasury Management includes short term cash management, investment and funding activities and associated financial risk management.  Managing University risk includes coordinating the opening of any/all University bank accounts. (Source)

5) Investments received by gift, including investments in real estate, are recorded at estimated fair value at the date of the gift and are subsequently adjusted for changes in fair value thereafter. Purchased investments are carried at fair value. Realized and unrealized gains and losses are reported in the appropriate net asset classification. The University also holds shares or units in alternative investment funds involving hedge, private equity, and real estate strategies. For financial statement presentation purposes, an investment may be considered alternative if the investment does not meet the following four criteria: (1) it is registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), (2) it makes semiannual filings with the SEC, (3) it calculates a net asset value daily, and (4) purchase and redemption of shares may be done daily. Such alterna tive investment funds may hold securities or other financial instruments for which a ready market exists and are priced accordingly. In addition, such funds may hold assets that require the estimation of fair values in the absence of readily determinable market values. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson