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Trinity College's Endowment Switches Investment Managers

Commonfund will begin running Trinity's endowment in July.

  • By Alicia McElhaney

Trinity College has hired Commonfund to manage investments for the $577 million endowment, replacing Investure.

Commonfund will take over as the university's outsourced chief investment officer on July 1, Kathy Andrews, a spokesperson for Trinity, confirmed in an email Friday. Bloomberg first reported the endowment was changing investment managers.

U.S. university and college endowment funds have seen a sharp rebound in returns following back-to-back years of disappointing results, with top performers gaining more than 15 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, according to a study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund. Trinity, based in Hartford, Connecticut, returned 13.3 percent during this period, according to its annual report

Spokespeople for Investure and Commonfund didn't return phone calls seeking comment. 

Alice Handy, the founder of Investure, is retiring at the end of this year, Bloomberg reported last month. Handy founded Investure, based in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2004, a move that highlighted an emerging trend of CIOs leaving endowments and foundations to start their own outsourced-CIO firms. 

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Investure manages the investments of 12 endowments, including Trinity, according to the firm's website

The benchmark Investure uses to measure investment performance is comprised of 75 percent of the MSCI All Country World Index and 25 percent of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Treasury 7 - 10 Year Index. The benchmark, which is rebalanced monthly, returned 13.2 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30.

During the same period, Investure client Dickinson College returned 13 percent, according to a report published by the college. Middlebury College's endowment, another Investure client, had a gain of 13.8 percent  in the same fiscal year, the school said in a November announcement on its website. Smith College, which also relies on Investure for investment management, produced a 12.4 percent return for the year ended June 30, the endowment summary on its website shows.

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