Business & Tech

Stanford endowment joins long list of college funds doing poorly

The Stanford University endowment posted a 0.4 percent loss on its investments for fiscal 2016, underperforming some large rivals but doing better than Harvard University’s 2.0 percent loss.

Last week, Yale University said it had a 3.4 percent gain for the year ended June 30.

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The median return for foundations and endowments tracked by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service was negative 0.3 percent.

Harvard is the the largest university endowment, with $35.7 billion in assets. Harvard president Drew Faust said the “disappointing” investment return would “constrain our budgets,’’ according to the Harvard Crimson.

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Harvard Management Co. is seeking a new chief executive after the departure this summer of Stephen Blyth after a short, year-and-a-half stint. The endowment manager is under pressure to boost performance; Blyth had said it needed to produce at least a 5 percent return annually to meet its obligations to Harvard’s annual operating budget.

Despite last year’s loss, Stanford’s endowment increased in value by 0.8 percent to $22.4 billion, the school said, thanks to fundraising and gifts.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.
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