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University of Houston System & Foundations Endowment Fund

Name: University of Houston System & Foundations

Assets Under Management: $3.4 Billion (Source: University of Houston System & Foundations on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report: 2013 Annual Financial Report – University of Texas System

Portfolio Insights: “The University of Texas System (the System) was established by the Texas Constitution of 1876. In 1881, Austin was designated the site of the main academic campus and Galveston as the location of the medical branch. The University of Texas at Austin opened in 1883, and eight years later, the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston (now a part of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston) established a program for university-trained medical professionals.

As a result of more favorable market conditions in 2013, net investment income, excluding the change in fair value of investments, increased $180.1 million, from $1.9 billion in 2012 to $2.1 billion in 2013 (Table 3). The net increase in fair value of investments was $2.1 billion in 2013, as compared to $1.6 billion in 2012, an increase of $516.0 million. These realized and unrealized gains were the largest contributor to the total increase in net position of $3.6 billion during 2013.” (Source)

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Top University of Houston System & Foundations Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) University of Houston System invested $10 million in Proxima Capital Master Fund, a long/short equity hedge fund managed by Proxima Capital Management, for its $592 million endowment, said a recording of the endowment management committee meeting last week.

The funding source could not be learned by press time. Separately, the management committee committed up to $7.5 million to Francisco Partners IV, a technology buyout fund. Investment consultant Cambridge Associates assisted with both the investment and the commitment. The endowment’s long-term target allocations to private investments and hedged long/short equity are 25% and 10%, respectively. (Source)

2) There are currently six University Systems in the State of Texas. Four of those systems – The University of Texas System, Texas A&M University System, Texas Tech University System and the University of Houston System – have a centralized treasury function to enable the pooling of system-wide cash reserves for the purposes of generating higher returns on their investment portfolio. The UNT System and Texas State System do not utilize a central treasury function. (Source)

3) One initiative included the launch of a fund-raising campaign called Building Futures Together, which was developed as a partnership by WCJC and the University of Houston System at Sugar Land to raise funds to support a new facility in Sugar Land. A $4 million gift from Th e George Foundation kicked off the campaign for the proposed facility to be shared by both institutions at the UHSSL site. This new facility will give students the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in one location. Another initiative was the creation of new programs in teaching and human services. To meet the demand for these highly employable fi elds, WCJC now off ers three Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees, an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services degree, and a Human Services Technician Level One certifi cate. (Source)

4) The University of Houston (UH) and the UH System (UHS) seek an exemplary leader to lead a comprehensive development effort at one of the nation’s most exciting institutions of public higher education. In the concurrent roles of Vice President for Development for the University of Houston and the Vice Chancellor for Development for the UH System, this key leader will join a dynamic and innovative public research university making considerable progress on its determined course toward overall excellence. (Source)

5) The University of Houston System announced that it has assembled a steering committee to guide its efforts in becoming the sole provider of programs at the University of Houston–Sugar Land campus.

University officials said they hope the transition will help build a viable branch campus in Sugar Land, support the efforts of University of Houston–Victoria in becoming a destination campus, and explore a new organizational arrangement to meet the community’s needs, according to the UH System.

“The UH System has a unique opportunity to re-evaluate its overall mission of providing affordable education to as many students as possible,” UH System Chancellor Renu Khator said. “In the process, it hopes to make the Victoria and Sugar Land locations capable of realizing their own vision of becoming the engine of economic and social development for their respective communities.” (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson