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University of Wisconsin Foundation Endowment Fund

Name: University of Wisconsin Foundation

Assets Under Management: $2.191 Billion (Source: University of Wisconsin Foundation on 12/31/2013)

Annual Report:  Endowments at the University of Wisconsin Foundation

Portfolio Insights: “A cornerstone of private giving throughout the history of higher education, endowments are based on initial gifts of substantial size that in turn provide annual earnings generated by investment. Endowments serve not only as dependable and relatively predictable resources to help meet new or recurring expenses as they arise, they also are sustained in perpetuity. They are gifts that truly last forever.

Endowments held by the University of Wisconsin Foundation are managed as long-term investments. The Foundation’s individual endowment accounts are all pooled and invested as one portfolio.

The Foundation’s endowment pool operates much like a mutual fund. Each endowed gift owns a number of units in the pool. The number of units each fund owns is determined by the value of those units at the time of investment. To preserve the endowment’s value for perpetuity, it is invested to provide both spendable income and long-term appreciation of the principal (although depreciation is possible).” (Source)

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Top University of Wisconsin Foundation Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) The University of Wisconsin Foundation’s endowment for UW-Madison grew 20.7 percent to a total of $1.87 billion from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, according to a report released this week.

Data gathered for 823 U.S. colleges and universities showed endowments gained an average of 19.2 percent in the 2011 fiscal year, according to the report released by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute. That’s up from an average 11.9 percent gain in 2010 and an average 18.7 percent drop in 2009.

The UW Foundation has the 34th largest endowment nationally, according to the report.

The percent change reflects the net impact of withdrawals for institutional operations and capital expenses, payment for endowment management and investment fees, additions from donor gifts and other contributions, and investment gains or losses. (Source)

2) Even in the midst of harsh economic times, the University of Wisconsin Foundation’s endowment grew 20.7 percent during the year, a certain percentage of which will be given to departments across campus. An annual survey conducted by the National Association of College and University Business Officers found the foundation’s endowment grew between the fiscal year 2010 and 2011. The jump slightly surpassed the national average of 19.2 percent growth and increased UW’s endowment pool from $1.55 billion to $1.87 billion. UW Foundation President Mike Knetter said the growth is “better than average” in terms of annual market returns and cited various ways this increase can positively impact the UW campus. Each year, the university is allowed 4.5 percent of the market value to allocate as it sees fit, he said. (Source)

3) The UW Foundation’s endowment portfolio is invested in such a way that a stream of income can be distributed each year (currently set at 4.5% of the endowment balance), cover expenses charged to the endowment (currently 1%) and still grow the remaining principal enough to keep up with inflation. The endowment portfolio currently has a long-term expected rate of return of 7.75%. (Source)

4) Feb 2, 2012 – A new report says the endowment of the University of Wisconsin Foundation was worth $1.9 billion last year, a 21 percent increase over its 2010 value.

The report is from NACUBO, the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

The UW Foundation ranks 34th on the list. The foundation is the university’s private, nonprofit fundraising and gift-giving organization.

Other Wisconsin institutions that made the list include the Medical College of Wisconsin Inc. at No. 150. The report says its 2011 endowment was $488 million, up 19 percent from in 2010. (Source)

5) Julie Van Cleave, the former lead manager of the $5 billion, Bronze-rated Oppenheimer Capital Appreciation Fund, will join the University of Wisconsin Foundation investment team. Van Cleave, currently a member of the foundation’s board of directors and its investment committee, will step down from the board to assume the position of chief investment officer on July 15. Current CIO Tom Olson will become CIO-private markets to allow for greater focus on a critical component of the endowment portfolio. “The addition of Julie Van Cleave will add a wealth of knowledge and public market investment experience to our team, which will enable us to better serve our donors and the university,” says Michael M. Knetter, president and CEO. “This is another important step as we take more responsibility internally for investment strategy and performance, commensurate with the growth in our assets under management. We have been patiently waiting for the right person and we are thrilled that Julie is willing to join our team.” (Source)

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