ACU endowment among top performers in the nation

Posted February 15, 2013

For the last decade, Abilene Christian has benefited from one of the top performing endowments among colleges and universities in the U.S., according to the 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. ACU earned the No. 2 spot for the 10-year period ending June 30, 2012.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) 2012 survey evaluated the endowments of 831 institutions representing more than $406 billion in assets. The average rate of return among those schools reporting 10-year results (456 institutions) was 6.2 percent. ACU’s return for the same decade came in at 10.4 percent.

For all endowments with assets of more than $100 million, ACU had the highest five-year return at 5.0 percent.

"We are blessed to have a Board of Trustees that is progressive and innovative,” says Jack Rich, ACU’s chief investment officer and manager of its $312 million endowment fund. “Over the years, they have adopted a highly diversified portfolio that has approved investments in private equity, hedge funds, energy and other alternative investments."

In addition, ACU’s positive 3.2 percent return for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, is impressive considering the average one-year return for higher education endowments was a negative 0.3 percent – a disappointing performance when many analysts had hoped for better post-recession results, according to a report by InsideHigherEd.com.

"We invest for the long term and we are not overly concerned about monthly market movements,” says Rich. “Beyond that, we work with the best fund managers we can identify, who then invest on our behalf."

Rich is president of the Abilene Christian Investment Management Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the university, which manages its endowment.



 


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