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University of Utah Endowment Fund

Name: University of Utah

Assets Under Management: $691 Million (Source: University of Utah on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: University of Utah’s Endowment Pool Investment Update

Portfolio Insights: “Global equities improved from their sluggish performance during Q1. Robust earnings, manufacturing, housing and employment data helped offset the negative GDP revision from Q1. US equity markets rose 5.2%, ending the quarter near an all-time high. European equities rose for the fourth consecutive quarter even as record high unemployment, declining consumer confidence, and low inflation persisted. Global bonds returned 2.5% as yields declined in part due to concerns about a slowdown in China’s growth rate.

The Endowment Pool had a positive second quarter (ending June 30, 2014) returning 3.1% for the period. For the 2014 Fiscal year to date ending June 30, the Endowment returned 12.3%.” (Source)

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Top University of Utah Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) University of Utah, Salt Lake City, is searching for an investment consultant for its $900 million endowment, said an RFP on the university’s procurement website. Additional information, including whether there is an incumbent consultant, could not be learned by press time.

The endowment has an asset allocation of 49% global public equities; 29% global fixed income; 8% hedge funds; 3% each to private equity, venture capital, private real estate and natural resources combined, and cash; and 2% “other non-marketable investments.”

The RFP is available on the university’s purchasing website. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. MST on Nov. 25. A hiring date was not disclosed. The contract is expected to start in the first quarter of 2015, the RFP said. (Source)

2) The University of Utah has incorporated sustainability into its master plan, and the President’s Sustainability Advisory Board supports efforts across campus. The university employs four full-time staff in the Office of Sustainability, and six other personnel devote a portion of their time to sustainability projects. Utah uses several mechanisms to finance campus sustainability, including a student green fee and a utilities efficiency fund. (Source)

3) Former University of Utah football star Steve Smith – now an all-pro receiver for the Carolina Panthers – and his wife Angie have pledged a $250,000 gift to the Utah athletics department to endow a scholarship for a wide receiver. Smith becomes the first Ute football player, and the second current professional athlete, to endow an athletics scholarship at his alma mater. Former Ute All-America basketball player and current Philadelphia 76er Andre Miller created an endowed scholarship that bears his name for the Ute basketball program in April 2006. (Source)

4) The University of Utah has recently formed a fund similar to the Social Choice Fund at Brown, Harvard, and other universities. Donors to the University can choose for their money to be invested in the Social Choice Pool. The Social Choice Pool strictly regulates where money is invested, avoiding companies in the industries of tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, military weapons, and nuclear power industries. However, in addition to excluding certain industries based on these specific criteria, they also evaluate industries for aspects such as community relations, corporate governance, workforce diversity, employee relations, environmental stewardship, human rights, and product safety. (Source)

5) About three years ago the University of Utah, at the initiative of the student government and in coordination with the President’s Office, instituted a $3 “Student Fee Study Abroad Scholarship Fee”, which all students pay with their tuition each term. The fee goes into an account managed by my office, the funds from which we disperse, through a committee composed of students and faculty, three times a year to students on a random selection basis. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson