Talk to any University of Notre Dame alumni, and theyre sure to mention religion and football. Er, make that football and religion. Next you may hear about the honest and hardworking culture of the Midwest. That conservatism and fierce loyalty to their alma mater, the largest Catholic university in the U.S., has been part of the winning formula behind Notre Dames annualized endowment performance record of just under 10 percent over the past decade. It might also be one reason the Indiana university was able to avoid the liquidity issues that got other schools knuckles whacked in 2008.
Notre Dame CIO Scott Malpass, 47, says one of his basic tenets of endowment investing is having values-based principles. Weve always had a conservative financial philosophy, explains Malpass, Notre Dame class of 1984. We take a longer view than many other colleges and universities, which is reflected in tight budgeting controls and building policies, among other things.