Harvard Hired The Wrong Endowment Chief

Damn you, David Swensen!
Where David Swensen's secrets are housed. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yale-scroll-and-key.jpg

Where David Swensen's secrets are housed.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yale-scroll-and-key.jpg

At least, it hired the wrong endowment chief if its chief goal is to beat Yale. Which it should be, since Yale remains the very best at making its money make more money.

For the fiscal year ended June 2016, Yale’s endowment generated a 3.4% return – the best in the Ivy League by far – by avoiding the carnage in commodities and emerging markets and by limiting its exposure to hedge funds.

Of course, the man who makes that happen, David Swensen, who’s run Yale’s endowment for 31 years, probably wasn’t available. And the man Harvard picked to turn things around, Columbia’s Narv Narvekar, is something of a Swensen acolyte. Alas, he can’t even come close to replicating Swensen’s secret New Haven sauce.

Yale also had the largest positive selection return – returns that can’t be explained by other factors, according to Markov. Yale clocked in at 0.22 percent, Columbia at 0.14 percent, and Princeton at 0.09 percent.

Can Anyone Beat David Swensen? [Institutional Investor]