Dartmouth College Endowment Drops 4 Percent for 2016

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/24/2016 2:38:00 PM
Modified: 9/25/2016 11:21:00 AM

Hanover — Investment losses of $100 million and distributions to support operations of $209 million drove a 4 percent decline in the value of Dartmouth College’s endowment, which was $4.5 billion when fiscal year 2016 ended on June 30, the college announced on Friday.

The distributions and a 1.9 percent investment loss were offset by $119 million in gifts, the college said.

In fiscal year 2015, the college tapped the endowment for $214 million, which was replenished by $46 million in gifts and a $350 million gain on its investments.

The endowment represents the wealth accumulated by Dartmouth from gifts and support. Each year a portion of those assets is used to pay for academic and student programs and other operating expenses.

Dartmouth was the fourth of the eight Ivy League universities to disclose the performance of its endowment during the most recent fiscal year, according to Bloomberg. Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania also reported endowment declines, but Yale University had a 3.4 percent gain.

“The endowment was not immune from turbulent global markets,” Pamela Peedin, Dartmouth’s Boston-based chief investment officer, said in a college news release. “Despite overall weak absolute results, we did see impressive relative returns from some managers who were able to capitalize on opportunities resulting from the volatility.”

Dartmouth does not typically identify its outside managers and their individual performance, but in a separate disclosure required by New Hampshire nonprofit law, it reported on Friday that the college’s Board of Trustees had approved an investment of $35 million in a venture capital fund operated by Greylock Partners.

That disclosure was required because William Helman, the chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees, is a partner at Greylock.

The college’s portfolio is overseen by a committee that includes trustees and others with financial expertise.

“We position the portfolio and the institution to be prepared for investment volatility in the short term to ensure that we are maximizing our opportunity for exceptional long-term risk-adjusted results,” Trustee Richard Kimball, who is chairman of the committee, said in a news release.

In the past, the college has disclosed investments in funds run by Technology Crossover Ventures, a venture capital firm at which Kimball is a partner.

Dartmouth’s news release noted that the endowment’s three-, five- and 10-year investment returns of 8.7 percent, 8.8 percent and 7.2 percent had exceeded the benchmark MSCI All Country World Index. That index showed returns of 6.6 percent, 6 percent and 4.8 percent over those respective periods.

Rick Jurgens can be reached at rjurgens@vnews.com or 603-727-3229. Staff writer Rob Wolfe contributed to this story.


The value of the Dartmouth College endowment declined 4 percent during fiscal 2016, while the return on investments was minus 1.9 percent, the college disclosed Friday. An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the percentage decline in the endowment’s value.

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