Harvard University and Yale University, the wealthiest U.S. schools, got about 30 percent poorer in the past year as their endowments lost more money on investments than less-affluent schools.Harvard’s fund declined to $26 billion in the year ended June 30, led by a 27.3 percent loss on investments and $1.7 billion in distributions, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, university said yesterday in a report. Yale’s endowment fell to about $16 billion, prompting the New Haven, Connecticut, school to cut $150 million annually in spending through fiscal 2014.The Ivy League rivals had both outperformed the average for U.S. colleges in the past decade by increasing holdings of private equity and hedge funds. Those same investments contributed to outsized losses last year, compared with the median decline of 17 percent by endowments and foundations managing more than $1 billion in assets, according to Hilarie Green, a managing director at Wilshire Associates, an investment-consulting firm in Santa Monica, California.
By Gillian Wee, Sept 11, 2009, Bloomberg

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