The University of Chicago’s endowment finished fiscal year 2014 with a market value of $7.55 billion, including $1 billion of Medical Center endowment and $81 million of Marine Biological Laboratory endowment. Ninety-six percent of the endowment is invested in the Total Return Investment Pool (TRIP). TRIP’s return, net of outside management fees, was +12.7 percent for the fiscal year. Investment returns generated $893 million to the endowment during fiscal year 2014. The average compounded investment result for the University over the last five years is a 12.6 percent gain; the average over the last 10 years is a 9.6 percent gain; and the annualized return over the past 20 years is 11.2 percent. Each of these gains compares favorably to the market-based, policy-weighted strategic benchmarks used by the University for these periods.
Over the same time periods, TRIP returns have been in line with the median returns of the University’s peer universe, even as the University has implemented a lower risk profile, relative to peer allocations, since the financial crisis (see figure 1). The University and its Trustees have selected a lower risk endowment strategy as part of its total enterprise, long-range planning strategy in pursuit of academic eminence.
The endowment has recovered strongly since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 to a new high in market value. The investment returns earned by TRIP have added $3.6 billion in value to the endowment since the financial crisis and have funded $1.96 billion in payouts to the University and its affiliates in the same period. Over the past two decades, the endowment has grown from $1.4 billion to its current level of $7.55 billion and has been boosted by solid investment returns, generous alumni support, and prudent spending (see figure 2). TRIP’s results reflect positive returns from equities, private markets, and bonds, together with strong performance by the University's investment managers. The endowment continues to be invested in a diverse range of asset classes and strategies.