Students and faculty of universities seldom think much about the investment portfolios that their schools put together, but that’s all starting to change. Many institutions of higher learning have realized that they need to adapt to changing market conditions, and that means that they’re putting together smart portfolios designed to help grow their endowments. Several of these stories are making national news headlines.
Duke University Investment Diversification
Duke was recently in the headlines for setting up a pair of investment vehicles that plan to pump money into startup companies. While these have traditionally been considered extremely risky investments, they’ve also been associated with handsome rewards for those who play them correctly.
The Duke Angel Network focuses on new companies that were created by students, alumni, staff and faculty of Duke University. The institution currently has around $3 million set aside for the investment diversification program.
Clarkson University Plans Socially Responsible Investments
Clarkson University recently committed a $5 million cash fund to socially responsible investments. The university is targeting companies that have products in line with the school’s values, and they plan to avoid investing in any company that they see as having a delirious influence on society.
Clarkson has made many wise investments, and the school has opted to reach out to Aperio Group to help them plan the investment package. The school already seems to own shares in large companies like Microsoft. While some financial analysts feel that large firms like this won’t make investors brilliant returns, others will argue that they represent financial stability that will keep funds solvent even in times of economic downturn.
Princeton University Investment Company
Princenton has an entire organization set aside to manage the school’s investments, and they have some brilliant minds on the board of it.Pete Briger currently serves on the board of this firm, and he has plenty of experience to back it up. When the college was looking for someone to manage the organization, they wanted to ensure that they were in good hands.
Briger serves on the boards of the Global Fund for Children and the Hospital for Special Surgery. He is a member of Council on Foreign Relations, and he even spent 15 years working at Goldman Sachs.
Princeton is an example of a school that’s reaching out to financial expertise that’s present in other industries. Other colleges might soon start to follow this example. Briger is notably a graduate of the university, and schools might soon start to look toward their alumni as a source of financial acumen.
Amherst College Invests in Green Funds
Amherst College has a long-term financial policy that’s similar to the plan that Clarkson University has put into play. The college is starting to put more money in firms that deal with industries they consider to be friendly toward the environment. Green technology businesses are a hot commodity right now, and Amherst’s financial planners have expressed an interest in proving that the faculty wants the college’s investment portfolio to mirror student interest in protecting the environment.
This might also prove to be an investment in public relations. Schools that have responsible investment portfolios might be able to increase their image in the public eye, which is sometimes even more valuable than money.
Sinclair Community College Focuses on Traditional Investments
Colleges have traditionally invested in land and their own facilities, which can be used as equity to borrow against. That’s what financial planners at Sinclair Community College have stressed. They’ve recently elected to invest $32 million in a new Dayton Campus expansion. A giant $25 million chunk of this money will be put toward constructing a new science facility.