Syracuse University's $1.85 billion endowment returned a net 8.6% for the fiscal year ended June 30, said Scott Kemp, treasurer for the Syracuse, N.Y.-based university.
For the three and 10 years ended June 30, the endowment fund returned an annualized net 11.3% and 8.1%, respectively.
The endowment fund returned a net -2.1% for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022.
For the most recent fiscal year, Syracuse posted the third-highest return among the 39 college and university endowments whose returns have been tracked by Pensions & Investments as of Nov. 8. The median return is 4.4%.
Kemp attributed much of the outperformance to its public equities portfolio.
He said the portfolio's allocation to global long-only equities is 37%, which captured "roughly 85% of the broad equity market's rally in the fiscal year. The portfolio's public equity allocation maintained an overweight to the U.S. and an underweight to emerging markets during the period."
For the year ended June 30, domestic equities experienced a dramatic rally, with the Russell 3000 index returning 19%, an extraordinary improvement over the previous year's return of -13.9%.
Kemp also said the portfolio benefited from a 13% allocation to absolute-return funds allocated across merger arbitrage, market neutral and other diversifying strategies, and keeping its fixed-income allocation down to a low 3% of assets. He said those asset classes returned 4.2% and -2.3%, respectively.
Kemp also noted that buyouts and venture capital returned 6.8% and 1.1%, respectively, for the fiscal year ended June 30. He said the total allocation to private markets is 30%, with venture capital making up about 25% of that total. Buyouts makes up 48% of the private markets allocation, he said.
Kemp did not provide benchmark information; Total asset allocation and asset class returns were not available.
Partners Capital is the endowment's outsourced chief investment officer.