May 25, 2016

U of L low on endowment return list

The Louisville Cardinal News

By Olivia Krauth–

U of L has one of the lowest returns amounts in Kentucky public higher education, according to five years’ worth of data examined by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

The story, released today, showed U of L’s $730.5 million endowment receives an average 3-year return of 5.1 percent, and an average 5-year return of 5.2 percent. The return figures put U of L at the ninth spot on the list of 11. The endowment itself was the second largest, behind the University of Kentucky’s $1.05 billion.

U of L bested Bellarmine University and Western Kentucky University. WKU’s College Heights Foundation topped the list with a 5-year return of 7.35 percent.

U of L did not provide how much it pays its 104 fund managers. The U of L foundation’s CFO, Jason Tomlinson, told KyCIR, “Those 104 managers move funds in and out of a multitude of investments with varying fee structures.” A former Kentucky Retirement Systems trustee quoted in the original story said the public and donors should be concerned by this.

The story comes a few months after ULF announced in a March 7th meeting that the foundation had lost $66.2 million. Director of Investments and Financial Management Michael Kramer said the decrease was due to spending on university needs and bad market investments.

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