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University of Washington Endowment Fund

Name: University of Washington Endowment

Assets Under Management:  $2.3 Billion (Source: University of Washington on 7/30/ 2013)

Annual Report:  University of Washington’s 2013 Consolidated Endowment Fund Report

Portfolio Insights: “As the University of Washington’s schools and units expand, and as our faculty and students continue to excel in scholarship and research, the University must meet the cost of innovation. Distributions from endowments make that possible. Endowments provide the University with a competitive edge and help enhance the quality of the University of Washington experience.

Ahypothetical gift of $100,000 invested on July 1, 1993 would have provided $180,964 in total campus support over the past 20 years. At the end of this same period, the endowment’s ending market value, net of these distributions, would be $204,916. Had this gift been invested in a blend of stock and bond indices, it would only have a market value of $135,689 while providing the same percentage payout.

Generous donor support, coupled with investment returns, resulted in the growth of endowment distributions over the past decade. The impact on students, faculty and programs has been substantial with $747 million distributed over the past 10 years
touching every part of campus. The majority of endowments benefit specific departments and programs. Approximately 80% are restricted to the donor’s designated purpose and the remaining 20% consists primarily of long-term operating monies invested by policy in the CEF.” (Source)

Our team, the Endowment Fund Association (EFA) and is the #1 community and most visited website dedicated to endowment fund professionals.  We provide endowment funds with buy-side co-investment and direct investment deal origination services, outsourced chief investment officer selection help,  and also provide Endowment 500 research and Endowment Database Solutions.

Top University of Washington Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) More than 150 years ago, the University of Washington’s endowment began with its first permanent gift, the Metropolitan Tract, which consists of 10 acres in the center of downtown Seattle. Forty years later, in 1905, the University received its first cash endowed gift of $400, the Philo Sherman Bennett Endowed Prize. This endowment, as well as the bulk of the University’s endowments, invests in the Consolidated Endowment Fund (CEF). Though distinct in purpose or restriction, endowed funds are commingled in the CEF and tracked with unit accounting much like a large mutual fund. Endowed gifts are exchanged for units that represent a claim on a portion of the entire CEF. Since the initial cash gift, the value of the CEF has grown to $2.1 billion as of 6/30/2012. (Source)

2) Permanent funding through endowments is critical to advancing the University of Washington Athletic Department’s promise of providing our student-athletes with every resource necessary to achieve their athletic and academic goals.

In 2013-14, scholarship costs for Husky student-athletes will exceed $10 million. Our current endowments will pay out just 16% of the scholarship bill, leaving the UW Athletic Department to cover the remaining cost. As tuition continues to rise, donor support through endowments is imperative to competing with the elite teams in the country. Often, the difference between an average program and one that excels nationally is a fully funded endowment. The cost to fully fund all Husky student-athlete scholarships is approximately $200 million. Our ability to attract champions is highly dependent upon a significant and sustainable endowment fund. (Source)

3) Amid the financial gloom of the past three years, one part of the University of Washington has rebounded: Growth of the UW’s endowment fund has outpaced those of Harvard, Yale and other giant schools. The value of the university’s consolidated endowment fund rose to $2.14 billion on June 30 at the end of the third quarter of 2011’s fiscal year, the latest number available, up 10 percent from a year earlier. That follows an 11 percent rise in 2010.

Like many investment pools, the UW endowment has bounced back since it lost 23 percent of its value during the financial crisis. Financial experts say the investment team that handles the UW endowment is one of the most sophisticated in the nation, and the fund’s growth in recent years has sharply outpaced much bigger funds. (Source)

4) “The intent of this act is to clarify provisions governing disclosure of information related to University of Washington endowment investments, and thereby improve the university’s ability to maximize the performance of its endowment portfolio. For endowment investments in privately managed funds, this act requires disclosure of the names of the funds, the amounts invested in the funds, and quarterly performance results for the endowment’s portfolio of investments in such funds. These disclosures are intended to provide the public with information about the overall performance of the privately managed endowment investments, while prohibiting disclosure of proprietary information that could result in loss to the endowment or to persons who provide the proprietary information.” (Source)

5) Elise Hebb joined Madrona in 2007 as director of investor relations. “When I was managing the venture capital portfolio for the University of Washington endowment, I invested in 15 venture capital firms and looked at hundreds of others. While there is no absolute formula you can look at that will tell which firms will be successful and which won’t, you begin to start recognizing certain patterns and behaviors that are similar across many of the best firms in the country. Madrona has all of those characteristics.” (Source)


About Richard C. Wilson