Message from the CIO


Jonathan Shear

Over the years the University of Utah received numerous endowed gifts covering the spectrum of academic and health science disciplines from generous donors. Each was invested separately at the discretion of the dean—usually in fixed income assets only. In 1990 the University chose to combine the separate endowments and form the Endowment Pool.

As of June 30, 2016 the Endowment Pool totals over $760 million in assets, having grown from $247 million since 2002. Endowment Pool growth is driven by three key factors: a) donor gifts, b) investment returns, c) conservative spending policies. Over the years all three have contributed to the Pool’s growth and success. While the Pool continues to meet its objectives, investment returns have been volatile. With today’s economic hardships most states are experiencing funding challenges. Our ten-year goal is to double the size of the total endowment from $1 billion to $2 billion, and we recognize that continual support of private donors will be critically important to meeting that goal.

With our entrance into the PAC 12, we are now competing both on and off the field with some of the elite universities in the country. The fund is currently undergoing a gradual shift in asset allocation from marketable global equities and global fixed income to private equity and debt, real assets and diversifying strategies. This will allow the Endowment Pool to be competitive with PAC-12 returns on a fiscal year basis and over the long term. Many of our peers have more resources and larger endowments than the U. However, we hope to continue to narrow that gap through prudent investment management and generous support of alumni and friends of the University.

Thank you for taking time to visit our web site! Whether you are a friend of the University, an interested constituent, or a prospective investment manager, I hope you find our website helpful and informative.

Go Utes!

Jonathan L. Shear, CFA