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University of Oregon Foundation Endowment Fund

Name: University of Oregon Foundation

Assets Under Management: $879 Million (Source: University of Oregon Foundation on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: 2013 Audited Financial Report – University of Oregon Foundation

Portfolio Insights: “The University of Oregon Foundation (Foundation) was established to provide support for the private fundraising efforts of the University of Oregon (University) and to manage privately donated funds.

The private fundraising efforts of the University result in the Foundation receiving contributions for the benefit of the University. Such contributions include endowments to be invested in perpetuity which provide student scholarships, faculty and research support, and other student, academic and operational support from investment returns, as well as contributions to be used currently for those same purposes and additionally for facilities and equipment. Fundraising efforts also result in the creation of charitable trusts and gift annuities. When the trusts and annuities mature, the remainder interests are available for the designated purposes as current-use or endowment gifts. The Foundation is the trustee for substantially all of the charitable remainder trusts. The Foundation also receives unrestricted contributions that can be used for Foundation activities.” (Source)

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Top University of Oregon Foundation Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Jay Namyet, chief investment officer of the University of Oregon Foundation, says the investments are legally sound and prudent. The UO Foundation manages various investments for the University, which total roughly $600 million.

“These aren’t bank accounts,” Namyet said. “It’s unfortunate that there is the kind of scrutiny coming out of the legislature related to these, because it makes one think that there’s a nefarious reason for these to exist, when really there’s a quite fundamental reason.”

The reason is that a university’s investments typically aren’t taxed because it is considered a non-profit organization. But some of its investments, which could be compared to mutual funds in that they have various investments within them, earn profits that would be considered taxable. (Source)

2) The Foundation’s nearly $795 million of investable assets includes gifts made to endowed funds, expendable funds and deferred gifts. Gifts to expendable funds are immediately available for spending at the request of the University, therefore, the investment approach emphasizes preservation of capital: highest possible return with low risk. Deferred gifts are managed individually, rather than pooled, because each is unique in terms of payout rate and investment horizon. This strategy allows a variety of asset allocation options to be utilized to best satisfy donor needs.

Gifts to endowed funds are placed in the Willamette Investment Pool, a well diversified all-weather portfolio that is a combination of long-term core holdings and ever-changing, opportunistic (2-5 year) holdings. Since the goal is to maximize returns with a prudent level of risk, the Pool has a strong equity-like bias in asset allocation. (Source)

3) University of Oregon Foundation President Paul Weinhold announced today that the University of Oregon endowment has reached its highest market value, climbing to $600 million.

The University of Oregon Foundation is a non-profit corporation in charge of distributing private gifts to achieve the University of Oregon’s mission. According to Board Chair Jon Anderson, the peak in the endowment fund will allow students, faculty, and staff to obtain stable financial support for generations to come.

The University of Oregon Foundation was placed in the 16th percentile of more than 800 universities with a 13.8 percent annual rate of return. The endowment closed fiscal year 2013 at $553 million and got top-quarter returns in the National Association of College and Business Officers rankings. (Source)

4) Jun 25, 1997 – University of Oregon Foundation, Eugene, is considering adding more alternative investments and is reviewing its strategic asset allocation.

The foundation is looking into hedge funds, LBOs, oil and gas investments or an emerging markets mandate. The $200 million fund now has 16.5% in alternatives and has the leeway to allocate up to 20% of the portfolio to the asset class. Any changes that may be made may take from one to three years to be implemented, said Peter Rothschild, chairman of the investment committee. The board is scheduled to meet again in October.

The Province of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, is rewriting its pension fund investment policy statement, said Harold Parker, investments officer. (Source)

5) With a little more than a year to completion, Campaign Oregon: Transforming Lives, the University of Oregon’s fundraising initiative, has passed the $500 million mark toward a goal of $600 million for student and faculty support, programs and facilities, UO President Dave Frohnmayer announced today. “Because of our generous donors, the University of Oregon is increasing student access, boosting recruitment and retention of top faculty members, enhancing academic programs and building 21st-century learning spaces across campus,” Frohnmayer said. “In short, private gifts are enabling the university to move to a new level of distinction among its peers.” Frohnmayer reported another milestone in the university’s fundraising history: The University of Oregon Foundation, which receives, invests and disburses private gifts made to the university, announced this week that its total endowment has exceeded a market value of $400 million for the first time. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson