Harvard Endowment Up 23% for Fiscal Year Ended in June

August 21, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Harvard University's endowment fund stood at $34.9 billion for the fiscal year ended in June powered by a 23% return, the Wall Street Journal reported.

class=”times”> The fund’s increase for the year was driven by emerging market stocks, real estate, and private equity gains that amounted to $5.7 billion. The emerging market equities were the endowment’s top performer, returning 44%, while real estate and private equity investments both returned more than 30%.

class=”times”> The total value of all assets managed by Harvard Management Co., including staff pensions, trusts and other related accounts, grew to $41 billion from $33.7 billion, according to the Journal.

class=”times”> The Harvard fund suffered a setback last month when it lost about 1% of its total assets following the collapse of Sowood Capital Management, a Boston-based hedge fund in which it was invested (See MA Pension, Harvard Feel Loss from Hedge Fund Collapse ). The hedge fund was founded by Jeffrey Larson, who controlled Harvard’s foreign stock holdings until 2004.

class=”times”> The fund also showed a meager 0.4% gain for July, despite its losses from the Sowood’s fall.

class=”times”> Harvard’s endowment has an average annual return of 18.4% over five years, compared to a return of 13.8% for the Trust Universe Comparison Service, a widely-used endowment benchmark, according to the Journal.