The UO Foundation is committed to careful stewardship of private gifts in support of the University of Oregon.
Effective July 1, 2021, the Foundation moved to an outsourced investment management model in an effort to boost risk adjusted returns and create additional fiduciary safeguards. The relationship with Jasper Ridge Partners is managed by members of our leadership team and our Investment Committee, which consists of Foundation Trustees with strong financial and investment management skills.
Jasper Ridge Partners manages approximately $30 billion in assets for select families, endowments, foundations, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds. They have a team of over 100 investment and operations professionals managing multiclass asset and diversified portfolios, as well as tailored, asset-class specific mandates.
The UO Foundation currently manages over $2.5 billion of assets, including gifts made to endowed funds, expendable funds and deferred gifts.
Expendable Funds: Gifts to expendable funds are immediately available for spending at the request of the UO; therefore, the investment approach emphasizes preservation of capital—highest possible return with low risk.
Deferred Gifts: Deferred gifts are managed individually, rather than pooled, because each is unique in terms of payout rate and investment horizon. This strategy allows a variety of asset allocation options to be utilized to best satisfy donor needs.
Gifts to endowed funds are placed in the Villard Investment Pool (VIP), a well-diversified all-weather portfolio that is a combination of long-term core holdings and ever-changing, opportunistic (2-5 year) holdings. Since the goal is to maximize returns with a prudent level of risk, the VIP has a strong equity-like bias in asset allocation. As of June 30, 2021, the endowment reached a market value of $1.3 billion.
Growth: Capital appreciation through exposure to publicly traded and privately held global equities.
Risk Reduction: Equity market diversification, income and capital appreciation through exposure to commodity, fixed-income, and complex hedging strategies.
Inflation Protection: Equity-market diversification and long-term capital appreciation through exposure to commercial real estate, energy infrastructure, commodities, and natural resources such as timber, renewable energy, and permanent crops.
Endowment Asset Allocation
Endowment Investment Performance
— Villard Investment Pool
The endowment's performance is designed to be consistent, stable, and less dependent on any one type of investment or any one particular economic environment. Greater focus is placed on generating consistent returns measured over longer periods of time. The ultimate objective is to first protect, then perform, and finally, as a result, provide to the university.
Endowment Returns as of June 30, 2021
Policy Benchmark (Asset Weighted)
Global Equity: 50% MSCI All Country World Equity Index/50% DJCS Long/Short Equity Hedge Index; Private Capital: Burgiss Global Private Equity Index; Absolute Return: HFR Fund of Funds Composite Index; Real Assets: 50% NCREIF Townsend Blended Index/50% Mercer Illiquid Natural Resource Index; Liquidity: 90 Day U.S. Treasury Bill.
60% MSCI All Country World Equity Index / 40% Barclays US Aggregate Bonds.
Long Term Objective
CPI-U + 5%
In addition to stocks and bonds, our investment strategy includes Absolute Return, Private Equity, Real Assets and Liquidity which adds diversification and protects against bigger drawdowns.
Within our risk-adjusted return framework, our policy weighted benchmark serves our long-term objective well by providing a moderately growing distribution stream for the university while concurrently maintaining its purchasing power.
The amount of university support provided by endowed funds each year is determined according to the Board approved spending policy, currently ~4%. The Foundation spending policy is at the heart of our prudent management of private gifts. It strikes a balance between the conflicting goals of providing substantial support for current operations and preserving long-term purchasing power.