As of the end of June, the fund was valued at $50.9 billion.
The Harvard University Foundation has reported negative returns for the first time since 2016.
The Ivy League school fund posted an ROI of -1.8% in fiscal year 2022, according to the annual report released Thursday by the Harvard Management Company.
Its total value for the fiscal year ended June 30 was $50.9 billion, up from $53.2 billion in 2021.
The last time Harvard’s fund turned negative was in 2016, when it lost 2% of its investment, according to The Harvard Crimson.
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Harvard Management Company CEO N. P. Narvekar cited several factors that negatively impacted the fund this fiscal year, including “poor performance in global stock markets during the year,” which he said had “the most significant impact.” ”
“The S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, Nasdaq Small Cap and ACWI—the benchmarks for domestic and global equities—were down 11%, 23%, 27% and 16%, respectively,” he said.
He cited two other factors: FY 2022 was not a “strong benchmark relative year” and the firm was not investing in non-renewables.
“A number of institutional investors have invested in the traditional energy sector either through equities or through commodity futures, which has significantly increased their overall profits,” writes Narvekar.
“HMC was not involved in these returns given the university’s commitment to combating the effects of climate change, supporting sustainable solutions, and achieving our stated zero emissions goals.”
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In 2020, Harvard Management Company pledged to bring donations to zero in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Narvekar also noted in the letter that private fund managers may not have “yet tagged their portfolios to reflect general market conditions,” leading Harvard Management Company to “be cautious about projected returns on private portfolios.” According to the CEO, Harvard’s “strongest performers” were its “private portfolios of venture capital, buyouts, and real estate.”
“We expect these estimates to be materially adjusted at the end of the current calendar year as investment managers review their portfolios,” he said. “Under existing venture portfolio accounting rules, investment managers typically use the most recent funding round to evaluate investments.”
In 2022, donations to Harvard’s annual operating budget totaled more than $2.1 billion, according to Harvard Management Company.
At the end of fiscal year 2021, the university’s fund was worth $53.2 billion when it generated a 33.6% return.
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