Investment Office

Brown publicly reports its endowment value and investment return based on the value at the close of each fiscal year, June 30. At the close of FY 2019, the value of the endowment and other managed assets stood at $4.2 billion.

The primary expectation of the endowment’s investment performance is that it exceed the spending rate plus inflation, thereby maintaining the purchasing power of the endowment for future Brown scholars. The graph below depicts the endowment’s performance since the inception of the Investment Office in 2001.

Endowment Value Since Investment Office Inception

$0$500$1,000$1,500$2,000$2,500$3,000$3,500$4,000$4,500’01’02’03’04’05’06’07’08’09’10’11’12’13’14’15’16’17’18’19ValueYear

Evaluating Brown Endowment Performance

The Brown Investment Office evaluates endowment performance in three ways:

  1. Is the endowment achieving its primary mandate of preserving both value and purchasing power after spending?
  2. Is the endowment matching or exceeding the performance of broad measures of the equity and debt markets?
  3. Is the endowment keeping pace with peer institutions that pursue similar mandates with similar resources?

Each of these comparisons is made over appropriate time horizons, as the management of the endowment is guided by a dual mandate to protect and prudently grow its value over the long term.

Over a trailing 20-year period, the endowment’s annualized return of 8.6% has outpaced the required return of spending plus inflation, as well as the 5.9% annualized return of the S&P 500 Index over the same time period. Over trailing 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year periods, the endowment’s return places it in the top quartile of college and university peers, according to data maintained by Cambridge Associates.

Annual Reporting

The endowment’s performance is reported annually in three documents released by the University:

Annual report released by the Investment Office detailing fiscal year investment performance and contributing factors
Report from the Office of the President showcasing performance in the context of the University budget, fundraising performance and stewardship of Brown’s financial resources to contribute to the programmatic activities of the institution