Managing endowments entails balancing the competing needs of providing for current payout and long term preservation of principal. To address these goals, the portfolio is constructed to reflect the global nature of investment opportunities and to seek diversification by strategy, asset type, and geography.
The portfolio is primarily invested by engaging third party investment managers who bring specialized expertise in a diverse set of strategies. This approach enables Berkeley to benefit from a talented cadre of managers in a way that would not be possible to replicate with in-house teams. Selecting those managers involves both qualitative and quantitative factors, many of which are summarized here.
Diversification comes from the differing behavior of assets under different market conditions. As such, the portfolio’s asset allocation is designed to capture these different behaviors and is not as focused on traditional asset class labels. As a part of a recent update to our Investment Policy Statement, we also drafted a supporting narrative for those who would want a deeper dive into how our values, approach, and organizational structure come together to reach our goal of supporting Berkeley’s students, faculty and programs.
The diversifying category continues to be built out, and will come closer to targets as appropriate opportunities are identified.
Endowment investing is most notable for its perpetual time horizon and the portfolio is invested with that in mind. As such, long term results are more important than those from any single year.
Exposures and investment results are published annually by the UC Regents and that report is available here.