Endowment Fund

Mission & Strategy

The Mission

The mission of the University of Minnesota's Office of Investments & Banking is to provide stewardship of the University's investment assets. Primarily this includes managing the University's $1.4 billion Endowment, which in turn supports, in perpetuity, the organization's academic programs and ultimately benefits both current and future generations. This mission requires an expected long-term return that exceeds the sum of the annual rate of spending and University inflation. To pursue this goal, the Endowment maintains a growth-biased portfolio and seeks to partner with best-in-class investment management firms across a diverse set of asset categories.

The Strategy

The investment objective of the Endowment is to achieve a return consistent with a level of risk that is appropriate for the University. Given the marginal impact of the Endowment's current spending rate relative to the University's annual operating budget, the Office of Investments & Banking pursues a higher risk/return strategy than many of its peers. Much of this risk allocation arises through Venture Capital investments that make up a significant portion of the portfolio. But overall the Endowment seeks to achieve higher returns through private funds structures across all of its asset allocation categories. The long-term strategic objective of the Endowment is to target the portfolio's exposure to illiquid assets of approximately 50 percent in normal market environments.

The Endowment invests in a broad array of assets, including global stocks, US Treasury bonds, real estate, natural resources, private equities, private debt, hedge funds, and many other strategies. The Office of Investments & Banking achieves exposure to these categories by almost exclusively selecting and engaging external managers, but has the ability to make selective co-investments through existing manager relationships.