May 4, 2011

Endowment Climbs 19.3 Percent to $5.28 Billion

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The University announced Wednesday that its endowment climbed 19.3 percent in fiscal year 2011 as of April 30, its second consecutive annual gain.

According to A.J. Edwards, interim chief investment officer, the endowment is currently valued at $5.28 billion, an increase from its $4.4 billion level on June 30, 2010.

“The endowment continues to generate strong performance,” Edwards stated via email.

Edwards ascribed the endowment’s gains to Cornell’s investment practices. “This performance can be attributed to asset allocation as well as good manager selection,” he said.

Although the current figure is sharply higher than the endowment’s $3.9 billion low point in the midst of the financial crisis, it is below its pre-recession record.

“We are once again approaching the high water mark of $5.8 billion reached at the end of FY2008,” Edwards said.

The 2011 fiscal year ends June 30, and the annual gross total will be reported in the fall.

Most peer institutions do not post quarterly totals. Their numbers will be known at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

The two-year double-digit growth — the endowment posted a 12.6 percent gain in fiscal year 2010 — comes as administrators are looking to alleviate budgetary and financial pressures on campus.

Original Author: Max Schindler