By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
Oct 3 (Reuters) - Columbia University said on Thursday that
its endowment posted an 11.5 percent investment return during
the 2013 fiscal year, making it the latest Ivy League school to
report double-digit gains as stock markets rallied.
Columbia, which counts President Barack Obama, singer Art
Garfunkel and hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb among its alumni,
said its endowment stood at $8.2 billion on June 30, the end of
its fiscal year.
The gain marks a dramatic improvement from fiscal 2012, when
Columbia, located in Upper Manhattan, reported an investment
increase of 2.3 percent. Most of the nation's top colleges and
universities reported weak return last year.
But with stock markets rallying as the global economy picked
up some speed, many Ivy League schools reported double-digit
returns this year. Public markets and private markets both
contributed to gains, officials at several schools said.
The University of Pennsylvania reported the strongest
returns so far, with a return of 14.4 percent on its endowment.
which grew to $7.7 billion from $6.8 billion a year earlier.
Yale, whose endowment has nearly doubled in size in the last
decade to $20.8 billion, reported a 12.5 percent investment
return. Harvard, the world's richest university with a $32.7
billion endowment, earned an 11.3 percent return.
As a group, foundations and endowments posted a one-year
median return of 11.28 percent for the 12 months ended June 30,
Wilshire Associates said in a report.
Many of these universities rely on top hedge-fund managers
to help deliver returns, and their investment gains and choices
are closely watched by the investment community for clues about