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Aalto University endowment funded university operations with 15 million in 2018

The purpose of the Aalto University endowment and its long-term strategy is to generate additional funding for top quality research and education.
Aalto-yliopisto_Aino Huovio
Photo: Aalto University/ Aino Huovio

The average return of the Aalto University endowment portfolio since its inception has been 3.9% per annum, net of fees. In 2018 the total return net of fees of the endowment was -6.0%. The market value of the endowment portfolio was EUR 983 million (EUR 1 052 million 31.12.2017). Of the cumulated real return of the endowment portfolio, a spending of EUR 15 million was used to fund the university operations. The portfolio grew due to growth in Tenure Track fund, whichenables new tenure track recruitments.

At the end of 2018, 37 (44) % of the endowment portfolio was invested in fixed income, 52 (52) % in equities and 11 (4) % in alternative risk. Allocation to alternative risk was increased in line with the endowment strategy. 

Throughout 2018, the market volatility increased due to worries on interest rate hikes, political risks and threat of trade war. Nearly all asset classes had negative return in line with the equity markets. The Aalto endowment portfolio risk was managed by keeping relatively high cash allocation and low interest rate sensitivity. 

The biggest positive return contributors were currency risk and investments in private equity programme that was launched in 2017. Investments in European and Emerging Market equities weighed on portfolio return. Market neutral alternative risk suffered from weak performance of trend following and systematic risk premia strategies. During the market turbulence in December, both alternative risk and interest rate risk performed positively.

 

Allocation 31.12.2018

Return 2018

Annual return since inception (05/2010)

Risk free

17.9%

-0.1%

0.9%

Interest rate risk

4.6%

0.9%

2.3% 

Credit risk

14.4%

-3.4%

3.3%

Equity risk

51.7%

-8.1%

6.7%

Alternative risk

11.4%

-8.6%

-0.5%

Aalto Endowment Portfolio

100%

-5.9%

3.9%

Figures not audited.

Additional information: 
Head of Investments Kati Eriksson
Aalto University 
+358 40 563 6110
[email protected]

 

 

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