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MIT’s endowment posts fourth-best returns

A doctoral student read outside a building at the MIT campus.Michael Dwyer/AP/file 2007/Associated Press

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.

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.


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 Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.