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Endowments and Foundations

Columbia returns 9% for fiscal year

Columbia University, New York, reported Wednesday that its endowment returned a net 9% for the fiscal year ended June 30, compared to a return of 13.7% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.

Endowment assets grew to $10.9 billion for the 12 months ended June 30, up 8.7% from the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, according to a university news release.

"While strong in absolute terms, the endowment slightly trailed benchmarks for the university's target asset allocation, which includes significant allocations to diversifying investments uncorrelated to equity markets," the news release said. The news release didn't identify the benchmarks, and Robert Hornsby, a university spokesman, declined to comment on the benchmarks, asset allocation or asset performance.

The endowment's return "reflects the normal one-quarter lag in private equity and real asset valuations," the news release said.

The university posted annualized 10-year returns of 8%, said the news release, which didn't provide information on three-year, five-year or other historical returns.

"Strong and steady investment performance across market and economic cycles is essential to sustaining our world-class scholarship, teaching, research and patient care," said Lee C. Bollinger, the university president, in the news release.