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Endowment Gains To $53.2 Bln Reported By Harvard, World's Wealthiest University

Endowment Gains To $53.2 Bln Reported By Harvard, World's Wealthiest University
The total endowments to Harvard University, which is identified already as the wealthiest one in the world, has increased by 34 per cent and had grown to reach $53.2 billion in the fiscal year of the institution that ended in June this year, the varsity said earlier in the week.
This large increase has been because of greater investments in private and public markets, and the just ended year was labeled as an "outstanding" year by university officials.
A moderate gain of 7.3 per cent had been reported in its endowments by Harvard for the fiscal year that ended in June 2020 which was just a few months before the global markets were sharply hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
However, the returns were lower when compared to those of other prominent endowments that invest in private equity, venture capital, and hedge funds in the manner in which Harvard does.
The gains made by Harvard would have been much greater if the institution had made the same investment in riskier assets, said N.P. Narvekar, the university's chief investment officer and chief executive of Harvard Management Company (HMC). However it would not be possible for the institution to make similar returns every year from its endowment, he also cautioned.
In the university's annual financial report, Narvekar clearly noted that much less risk with its endowment investments in its portfolio has been taken by the varsity during the last few years. 
"Put another way, given the extraordinarily strong performance of the overall markets this past year, a meaningfully higher level of portfolio risk would have increased HMC's returns dramatically," he said.
A return of 56 per cent was achieved by the endowment investments made in the year that ended June by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at $27.4 billion, while a 52 per cent return was gained by the Brown University, at $6.9 billion, the schools said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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