__Endowment grows at market average__
The College’s endowment grew 19.2 percent in the 2006 to 2007 fiscal year, from $491.7 million to $585.9 million — the largest growth since 2000. Chair of the William and Mary Foundation Howard Busbee said that the investment trust grew 19.5 percent.
The investment trust includes only the endowment funds invested in assets and does not count funds acquired as gifts or funds paid out from the endowment to be spent. In the 2005 to 2006 fiscal year, the investment trust grew 13.7 percent.
p. “As stewards of these important funds, the William and Mary Foundation takes a great deal of pride in this exceptional rate of return,” Busbee said in a College press release. “As a result of this investment performance, all of the important programs and priorities of the College will be even stronger in the long term.”
p. In an interview during a break at the Board of Visitors meeting yesterday, Busbee said the increased rate of return results from two decisions of the foundation: moving assets away from pure stocks and bonds and into partnership investments and hiring a chief investment officer, Brian Hiestand, who Busbee says brings additional expertise to the foundation.
p. According to Bloomberg.com, foundations with endowments of more than $1 billion grew 18.1 percent during the 2006 to 2007 fiscal year. Over that time period, the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index grew 20.6 percent, including dividends.
p. According to the press release, the total endowment growth results from new contributions to the endowment, growth in the investment trust, growth in the funds held in trust by others and increases in the College’s real estate holdings.
p. “Thanks to a sophisticated investment strategy and the heartening support of alumni and friends of the College over the past fiscal year, this is terrific news for all who love this College,” President Gene Nichol said in the press release. “This growth in our endowment will continue to cement the long-term financial health of this historic institution for generations to come.”