University of Chicago on Tuesday said its endowment's investments returned 19% in the year ended June 30, beating Yale University's 8.9% gain and Harvard's 11% increase.
The endowment was valued at $5.54 billion as of June 30, the school said in an e-mailed statement. The fund stood at $5.09 billion the previous year, Steve Kloehn, a spokesman for the university, said in a telephone interview.
The fund was buoyed by “a broad recovery of bond and equity markets, strategic changes in the university's approach to investments and strong performance by the university's investment managers,” the school said in the statement. Investments plunged 22% in the prior year.
The endowment had an average annual return of 5.5% for the 10 years ended June 30, trailing the 7% gain of Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard and the 8.9% increase of Yale, New Haven, Conn.
In June 2009, the university named Mark Schmid as vice president and chief investment officer. He previously oversaw $65 billion in retirement assets for Boeing Co., Chicago.
Institutional funds, including public and corporate pensions, endowments and foundations, returned a median of 13% in the past year, according to Wilshire Associates, whose Trust Universe Comparison Service tracks 1,300 funds and $3 trillion in assets. The S&P 500 gained 12% in the year ended June 30.
Yale's endowment fund was valued at $16.7 billion as of June 30, while Harvard reported $27.4 billion in its fund.