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University of Pittsburgh Endowment Fund

Name: University of Pittsburgh Office of Finance

Assets Under Management:  $3 Billion (Source: University of Pittsburgh 2014)

Annual Report:  University of Pittsburgh’s Endowment Investments

Portfolio Insights: “The University of Pittsburgh’s endowment investments are reported at fair value. The fair value of direct University holdings in publicly traded securities is based upon quoted market prices. The fair value of all other investments, which consist of indirect holdings in both privately and publicly traded assets, is determined using net asset value (NAV) per share or unit of interest. Used as a practical expedient for the estimated fair value, NAV per share or its equivalent is provided by the fund manager and reviewed by the University. Indirect holdings of private assets primarily consist of University interests in funds investing in nonmarketable alternatives, real assets, and/or distressed securities, whereas indirect holdings of publicly traded assets primarily consist of University interests in marketable alternatives or other commingled funds.

Nonmarketable alternatives are private equity or equity-like holdings, such as mezzanine and subordinated debt interests, in venture, buyout, or recapitalized companies or properties. Real assets are physical assets, or financial assets associated with such physical assets, whose income streams and/or fair values tend to rise with inflation; they include real estate, natural resources, commodities, and other hard assets. Marketable alternatives consist of distressed debt and hedging strategies, including event-driven hedging strategies, such as merger or credit arbitrage, and value-driven hedging strategies, such as long/short, market neutral, and other hedging strategies.” (Source)

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Top University of Pittsburgh Endowment Fund (OOF) Headlines:

1) Feb 8, 2011 – The University of Pittsburgh’s endowment is the 28th-largest among all public and private universities in the United States, a new report shows.

Pitt’s endowment, valued at $2.03 billion last year, was up 10.6 percent from $1.8 billion in 2009.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers, in partnership with the Commonfund Institute, analyzed the 2010 market value of the funds for the study.

Leading the list of 865 institutions of higher education was Harvard University, with a 2010 endowment fund of $27.6 billion. (Source)

2) While most university endowments returned flat results last year, Pitt outpaced the national average with returns of 2.7 percent.

In addition, the endowment grew 3.6 percent to stand at nearly $2.62 billion at the end of fiscal year 2012, up from almost $2.53 billion at the end of FY11.

That increase placed Pitt’s endowment at No. 25 among more than 800 schools ranked in the recently released 2012 National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)-Commonfund Study of Endowments. Last year, Pitt’s endowment was 26th-largest in the annual survey.

Growth in the endowment reflects the impact of investment gains and losses, donors’ gifts and contributions, withdrawals and management and investment fees.

Arthur G. Ramicone, Pitt’s chief financial officer, attributed the growth in Pitt’s endowment mainly to gifts and transfers. In addition to response to the “Building Our Future Together” campaign, which surpassed its $2 billion fundraising goal in 2012 (see Oct. 25 University Times), Ramicone said the University moved some of its own money — for instance, through schools setting up endowments and the University moving money from operating investments in search of better returns. (Source)

3) Amy Krueger Marsh is Treasurer&Chief Investment Officer of the University of Pittsburgh.  Ms. Marsh joined the University of Pittsburgh as Treasurer in 1999 and added the position of Chief Investment Officer in 2006.  She is responsible for management and oversight of the University’s financial assets and liabilities, including the University’s endowment and operating funds, its tax-exempt bond issues and note program, and its daily cash management.  From 1983 to 1999, Ms. Marsh was a commercial banker with Mellon Financial Corporation, where she held various management, marketing and lending positions in corporate banking, structured finance and capital markets.  Prior to joining Mellon, Ms. Marsh was a manager with AT&T Long Lines in Chicago.  She received her M.M. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University in 1981 and her A.B. from Wittenberg University in 1978. (Source)

4) This year, 28 scholarships were awarded to students from the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration, as well as four research grants to doctoral students of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. These scholarships are provided by a generous gift from University of Pittsburgh alumnus David Berg (BBA ’57), through the David Berg Foundation.

Supported by the David Berg Family Endowment Fund, these scholarships are administered through the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership within the School of Business.  They support undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral  students on the Oakland campus while they devote themselves to completing an academic program or conducting a project related to the use of ethics to solve problems in the business world as they exist today or in the future.

Students must submit an application regarding their academic program or involvement in a project relating to ethics, as well as a letter of recommendation. Scholarships are then awarded to qualified applicants on a basis of merit. (Source)

5) The University of Pittsburgh, whose endowment grew in value by 13.7 percent, continues to have the city’s largest university endowment. Its worth stood at $2,975,896,000 up from $2,618,436,000 the previous year, placing it 26th largest in the study. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson