Business & Tech

MIT’s endowment posts fourth-best returns

FILE - In this April 22, 2007 file photo, a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reads outside a building at the Cambridge, Mass. campus. MIT is announcing a pilot graduate program and students will take the first part entirely through MOOCs (massive open online courses). Under the plan, students will pay a fee to get course credit, basically taking classes for a fraction of an MIT tuition. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Michael Dwyer/AP/file 2007

A doctoral student read outside a building at the MIT campus.

MIT posted the fourth-best investment return last year of the nation’s top 25 endowments, with a slight 0.8 percent gain.

Its 10-year return of 8.3 percent puts it near the very top of the pack, according to a report Thursday in the Skorina Letter, a publication produced by a San Francisco consulting firm.

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The report comes the day after Harvard University’s endowment announced a huge restructuring, with plans to lay off half its staff of 230 and to stop most of its in-house management of hedge funds.

The numbers show why, with a 2 percent loss in the year that ended June 30, and a 5.7 percent annualized return over a decade that puts it behind the rest of the Ivy Leagues other than Cornell University. Cornell’s $6.1 billion endowment, much smaller than Harvard’s $35.7 billion fund, had a 5.2 percent gain over 10 years.

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Harvard’s new chief executive, N.P. “Narv” Narvekar, came from the Columbia University endowment, which posted a 0.9 percent loss last year but ranks among the best schools over 10 years, at 8.1 percent.

In the newsletter, Charles Skorina said Harvard “will look a lot like Columbia under Mr. Narvekar.”

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