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Go Penn, Beat Harvard!

By Brian | August 13, 2009 | Share on Facebook

If you’re an Ivy League football or basketball fan, you’re used to the occasional news story about Penn beating up on schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. But here’s one area where you don’t often see Penn atop the standings:

The University of Pennsylvania, the Ivy League school founded by Benjamin Franklin, beat Harvard University’s endowment by choosing the right stock pickers, investing in credit strategies and boosting its Treasury bonds.

The Philadelphia university’s stocks outperformed market indexes, said Kristin Gilbertson, chief investment officer of the fund. Penn’s endowment fell 16 percent in the year ended June 30 to $5.2 billion, better than Harvard’s estimated 30 percent decline and the 26 percent loss for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, including dividends.

Penn, where endowment returns have funded 9 percent of the budget, has limited layoffs and spending cuts and will enter the school year with a balanced budget, President Amy Gutmann said this week. Investment losses at Harvard and Yale University, whose endowment declined an estimated 25 percent, have forced those universities to reduce budgets and fire workers. In the past year, endowment earnings covered more than a third of spending at Harvard and Yale, the wealthiest U.S. schools.

OK, so we’re crowing here about a 16% drop in value, but still – it could have been much worse. Way to go, Quakers!

Topics: Money Talk, University of Pennsylvania | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Go Penn, Beat Harvard!”

  1. Jeff Porten says at August 13th, 2009 at 10:23 pm :
    I smell halftime show.

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