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University of Minnesota & Foundations Endowment Fund

Name: University of Minnesota Foundation Directory

Assets Under Management:  $1.7 Billion (Source: University of Minnesota & Foundations on 6/30/2013)

Annual Report:  University of Minnesota Foundation – 2 013

Portfolio Insights: “The University of Minnesota Foundation is a key partner with the University in building and sustaining excellence among students and faculty, and fueling discovery in important areas. The Foundation accomplishes this by raising gifts and other private resources, investing and managing endowed funds for long-term growth, and stewarding gifts to ensure they are used as donors intend.

Building support for the U: The Foundation helps donors identify giving opportunities that build excellence at the U and assists donors with including philanthropy in their estate planning. In fiscal year 2013, the Foundation recorded $236 million in gifts, pledges and future commitments.

Disbursing funds to the U: An important role for the Foundation is to ensure that gifts are used according to donors’ wishes and share with donors the impact of their giving. In fiscal year 2013, $165 million was transferred for University purposes designated by donors.” (Source)

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Top University of Minnesota & Foundations Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) University of Minnesota regents approved new asset allocation ranges for the university’s $974 million consolidated endowment fund, according to board materials.

The long-term allocation ranges for the Minneapolis-based university’s endowment are: risk-mitigating assets, 8% to 15%; U.S. and international public equity, 25% to 30%; private capital (venture capital, distressed debt/equity, mezzanine debt), 15% to 25%; inflation hedges (core real estate, energy, timber, oil, gas and other investible commodities), 10% to 20%; fixed income, 10% to 15%; and hedge funds, 8% to 15%.

Stuart Mason, associate vice president and chief investment officer, was away from the office and unavailable for comment.

The consolidated endowment fund’s previous allocation ranges were not provided in publicly available materials, but according to an investment report for June 30, 2011, the endowment’s allocation targets were 40% public equity and 20% each for private capital, real assets and fixed income. (Source)

2) The University of Minnesota endowment was the top investor among its peers this past fiscal year, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

The school posted a return of 20.4 percent on its $1.3 billion fund, which supports scholarships, some research and university initiatives.

The newswire says the U outperformed the University of California, which came in second with 18.7 percent, Penn State, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Texas.

Chief Investment Officer Stuart Mason says the U has been near the top before, but this is different.

“I don’t believe that we have ever — a least my 12 years’ tenure — we’ve never been identified as perhaps the highest,” he said.

Mason says the great year will help boost the thing that he’s more focused on: the U’s long-term investment performance.

“A very good year like this one obviously increases the long-term averages, but, you know, it’s fun to have a great year,” he said. (Source)

3)  Because of overall economic growth nationwide, the University of Minnesota Foundation saw a much larger return on its investments this year. The foundation, which funds many scholarships, faculty and research programs, had an 11.7 percent return for fiscal year 2013, up from 1.6 percent in the previous fiscal year. The foundation manages private gifts to the University, making sure they are invested to ensure growth and are spent how the donor intended. Its endowment now totals more than $1.4 billion.

Douglas Gorence, president of the foundation’s investment advisers, said the University has a more diverse investment portfolio than the average school. Although universities with less diverse portfolios may see higher returns, more careful universities will invest in many areas, said William Jarvis, managing director of the Commonfund Institute. The Commonfund Institute, a national firm that manages investments for nearly 1,500 institutions including the University, collaborated with the National Association of College and University Business Officers in a study that found international investments had the lowest returns in fiscal year 2012. (Source)

4) Congratulations to The University of Minnesota Foundation! The Foundation, advances the University’s mission of teaching, research, and outreach to the community by raising and managing private dollars for scholarships, world-class faculty, leading-edge research, new facilities, and academic programs on all five campuses of the University of Minnesota.  They recently responded to NEPC’s Endowment & Foundation Practice Group Q2 2014 Survey and won the quarterly drawing. (Source)

5) Intercollegiate Athletics continues to undertake a critical initiative to eventually endow all student-athlete scholarships. While the overall performance of our teams ranks among the best in the nation, we are still in the lower half of the Big Ten in scholarship endowment. While great strides have been made over the past several years, and the number of our endowments has increased, we do not have the same consistent endowment income as other Big Ten schools. This remains an important effort for us as we strive to be in the top half of the Big Ten.

Endowment gifts are invested and a portion of the return is used each year to support the designated program. Your gift can permanently endow a variety of student-athlete scholarships and tuition awards. Gifts of $50,000 or greater may be pledged over five years. Pledge payments will count towards annual fund levels during the year they are made. Your support can secure the future A gift to Forever Gold and the Golden Gopher Fund will help support continued excellence and opportunities for University of Minnesota student-athletes. An endowment gift represents a significant investment in the future. An investment that enables us to attract great students and give them the resources to achieve success both in competition and in the classroom. (Source)

 

About Richard C. Wilson