Punching above their weight: The Skorina Top 20 Midsize Endowments

Top 20 Midsize Endowments, Three-Year Annualized Returns (2010-2012):

 

Endowment

Chief Investment Officer/Dir of Investments

 2012

(US $000) (NCSE)

 3-Yr

Rtn%

1

University of Iowa Fdn

Bethea, Jim (DOI)

$695,017

13.45

2

Baylor College of Medicine

Walker, William D. 

$789,997

13.10

NA

Princeton University

Golden, Andrew

$16,954,128

12.96

3

Carnegie Mellon University

Kennedy, Charles A.

$987,054

12.95

4

Carnegie Institution of Washington

Pimenov, Michael (DOI)

$794,882

12.81

5

Colorado College

[Committee]

$533,206

12.71

6

Denison University 

Gorrilla, Adele

$645,851

12.41

7

Colby College

O'Donnell, Hugh

$599,557

12.40

8

Middlebury College

Investure

$879,690

12.34

9

Wesleyan University

Martin, Anne

$600,529

12.30

10

University of Louisville Fdn

Kramer, Michael D. (DOI)

$726,244

11.91

11

Vassar College

Dahnert, Stephen (DOI)

$804,912

11.70

12

Saint Louis University

Whitworth, Gary

$852,842

11.65

13

Claremont McKenna College

Floyd, James J.

$520,583

11.62

NA

Yale University

Swensen, David F. 

$19,344,600

11.60

14

Bowdoin College

Volent, Paula

$902,364

11.44

15

Davidson College

Jacobson, Raymond A.

$511,393

11.40

NA

NACUBO (All) 75th Percentile

 

 

11.30

16

University of Cincinnati

Scheer, Karl

$976,814

11.17

17

University System of Md Fdn

Gallo, Sam 

$812,871

11.03

18

Principia Corporation, The

Berner, Howard E.

$607,953

11.00

19

Carleton College

Matz, Jason

$645,654

10.75

20

Syracuse University

outsourced to Mercer

$940,056

10.70

NA

Harvard University

Mendillo, Jane

$30,345,375

10.42

 

NACUBO ($500mil-$1bil) Mean

 

 

10.20

 

NACUBO (All) Mean

 

 

10.20

 

NACUBO (All) 25th Percentile

 

 

9.10

CIOs appointed after Jul 2009: 01 Bethea, Jim: May 2010 - Present 03 Kennedy, C.A.: April 2010 - Present Predecessor: E. J. Grefenstette: July 2007 - Mar2010 07 O'Donnell, Hugh: Aug 2012 - Present Predecessor: Douglas E. Reinhardt: July 2007 – Aug 2012 09 Martin, Anne: Aug 2010 - Present Predecessor: Thomas Kannam: July 2007 – Oct 2009 10 Kramer, Michael (DOI): 2010 - Present 16 Scheer, Karl: Sept 2011 - Present Predecessor: Thomas Croft: July 2007 – July 2011 17 Gallo, Sam: June 2012 - Present Predecessor: Michael Barry: July 2007 – June 2011

Investment Committee Chairs: Cooper Union: John C. Michaelson Colorado College: Eben S. Moulton Mount Holyoke College: Betsy Palmer University of Iowa Fdn: Catherine Zaharis Trinity University: Peter S. Kraus

Clash of the Titans: NCSE vs SSME:

The NCSE (NACUBO Commonfund Study of Endowments) reported 73 endowments between $500 million and $1 billion for the 2012 fiscal year. Our top 20 lists are constructed from a 60-item subset of the NCSE. We call it (muted fanfare) SSME: the Skorina Study of Midsize Endowments. It contains about 80% of the NCSE midsize cohort.

The "missing funds" are those for which we couldn't obtain official return figures and/or could not even make plausible estimates. Most of them are public colleges whose financial statements are per Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards and which do not house most of their endowment funds in satellite private foundations. It is possible that one of more of them had returns that should have put them in one of our top 20 lists. If so, we regret the omission, and can only gently suggest that they could have avoided this fate by disclosing their returns in some more prominent way.

We used estimated returns in some cases to make an initial ranking. Those estimates, based on FASB-standard financial statements and/or IRS Form 990 filings, are only approximations, but good enough to let us separate the sheep from the goats. The high performers (corresponding roughly to the top quartile) were further scrutinized and confirmed by correspondence with the schools. The returns in our top 20 lists are all either official three-year/five-year numbers, or were annualized by us from official year-by-year numbers, which yields virtually the same result.

We have a little more about our methodology in an appendix at the end of this letter.

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