Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., more than tripled its cash holdings to $1 billion over two years as it suffered record losses in the global financial crisis.
Harvard increased the amount of cash, U.S. Treasuries and other easy-to-sell assets it holds from $300 million in June 2008 and put less of its operating funds in its $27.6 billion endowment, according to its annual report. The university lost $1.8 billion of the operating funds last year because much of the money was invested in the endowment, which dropped a record 27%.
“Significant progress was made in transitioning the investment profile of the university’s pooled operating funds to be more readily available and less susceptible to illiquidity and market fluctuations,” university officials said in the report.
Harvard expects to “maintain or further increase” cash holdings this fiscal year, it said in its annual report. The university also has cash in its endowment, which is run by Harvard Management Co., and had a combined $4 billion of so-called internal liquidity as of June 30, it said.
Harvard officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.