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Harvard's largest-in-the-nation endowment surpasses $53B; Brown sees 50% returns

Published: 10/15/2021 6:00:02 AM
Modified: 10/15/2021 6:00:11 AM

Harvard, already the nation’s wealthiest university, grew its endowment to more than $53 billion in the latest fiscal year, the Ivy League school reported in its annual financial report released Thursday. The $11.3 billion in growth over the previous fiscal year was driven by a 33.6% return on its investments.

N.P. “Narv” Narvekar, CEO of Harvard Management Co., which manages the endowment, said public and private equity markets drove what he called “tremendous returns.”

“Public and private markets both continued their strong performance, which allowed the endowment to not only increase its distribution to the university, but also continue to grow during this critical time when pandemic-related financial pressures challenge all of higher education,” Narvekar wrote in his report.

The university used $2 billion in endowment returns during the year to fund its operating budget.

Harvard ended the fiscal year June 30 with a $283 million operational surplus.

Brown University’s endowment generated a more than 50% return during the most recently completed fiscal year to increase to $6.9 billion, the Ivy League school announced Thursday. Strong financial markets that boosted results for many universities drove Brown’s returns, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Jane Dietze said in a statement.

The appreciation of 51.5% generated investment returns of $2.4 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The endowment provided $194 million for student scholarships, scientific research and other strategic priorities during the fiscal year, or about 15% of the total operating budget. Brown’s endowment is a collection of charitable gifts designated by donors to be spent for specific purposes and invested by the university.

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