Dartmouth's Endowment Earns 19.2 Percent in 2014

Dartmouth’s endowment earned an investment return of 19.2 percent for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, outperforming a general 60 percent equity/40 percent bond benchmark which returned 15.3 percent for the same period. As of June 30, 2014, the endowment stood at $4.5 billion.

Pamela L. Peedin ’89, Tuck ’98, Dartmouth’s chief investment officer, says, “We are pleased with the fiscal year return, but continue to remain focused on building a portfolio that will yield superior returns for Dartmouth over the long-term. Strong equity markets drove endowment returns, but the portfolio benefited particularly from excellent performance within private asset classes. Dartmouth’s performance is attributable in large part to the world-class investment managers with whom we partner.”

Dartmouth’s endowment has generated an average annualized return of 11.7 percent for the 20 years ending June 30, 2014, outperforming the 9.8 percent average annualized return for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index and the 7.1 percent return of a general 60 percent equity/40 percent bond benchmark return over the same period. For all standard time periods, (1, 3, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years), Dartmouth’s average annualized returns rank in the top quartile of Endowments and Foundations as represented by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (TUCS).

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Trustee Richard H. Kimball ’78, chair of the Board’s Investment Committee, says, “This strong investment result for Dartmouth, combined with robust inflows from gifts such as this year’s record $100 million gift to endowment, supports President Hanlon’s bold vision for Dartmouth in a tangible way.”

As of June 30, 2014, the endowment was valued at $4.5 billion, reflecting an increase of $735 million over the previous end-of-year value. The increase reflected net investment gains of $778 million and new gifts and transfers of $146 million, offset by distributions of $189 million to support Dartmouth programs. Dartmouth’s endowment funds more than 20 percent of the annual operating budget.

Commencing in fiscal year 2014, Dartmouth extended its accounting close deadline in response to industry-wide improvements in the timeliness of receiving valuations from private investment managers. This change allows Dartmouth to improve the accuracy of reporting estimated values at fiscal year-end.

During this year of transition, a one-time previously unreported gain of $60 million from June 30, 2013, is included in the $778 million of net investment gain. The stated 19.2 percent investment return excludes the $60 million in order to best reflect performance attributable to the July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014, time period. Including the $60 million gain, Dartmouth's investment return for fiscal year 2014 was 21.0 percent, reflecting the actual growth of the endowment value since last reported at June 30, 2013.