The University of Chicago endowment ended the year at $7.1 billion as of June 30, 2016, following a negative 1.9 percent return on investments for the preceding year as global stock markets declined by 5.3 percent. This performance was above the negative 2.9 percent median return of peer endowments.
Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Mark Schmid said investment returns have added $4 billion in net value to the endowment since the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, driven by a 9.5 percent average return.
The average compounded investment result for the University over the past five years was a 5.7 percent gain; the average over the past 10 years was a 6.3 percent gain; and the return over the past 20 years was 9.6 percent. Each compares favorably to the market-based, strategic benchmarks used by the University for these periods.
Over the past two decades, the endowment has grown from $1.1 billion to its current level of $7.1 billion. Annual endowment figures reflect the net impact of fundraising, investment performance and endowment payout, which contributes to the University’s operating budget.
“We view investments as an important part of an integrated approach to the University’s fiscal health,” Schmid said. “Working closely with the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee and Financial Planning Committee, as well as University leadership, we continue to believe this integrated approach will best support the University’s mission in all types of market conditions on a long-term basis.”