The+Money+Management+Gospel+of+Yale’s+Endowment+Guru+-+The+New+York+Times

The+Money+Management+Gospel+of+Yale’s+Endowment+Guru+-+The+New+York+Times

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11/26/16, 4(00 PM The Money Management Gospel of Yaleʼs Endowment Guru - The New York Times Page 1 of 9 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/06/business/the-money-management-gospel-of-yales-endowment-guru.html?_r=0 http://nyti.ms/2eaLzsP BUSINESS DAY The Money Management Gospel of Yale’s Endowment Guru By GERALDINE FABRIKANT NOV. 5, 2016 As he has done for decades, once a week David F. Swensen convenes his staff — including his cadre of apprentices — for a morning-long meeting among the Gothic revival flourishes and crenelations of the Yale University campus to debate investment ideas. Mr. Swensen, 62, runs the school’s $25.4 billion endowment, one of the largest in the country. Usually he is joined by his intellectual sparring partner, Dean Takahashi, his senior director. It amounts to an internship in the world of managing a university’s billions — and the young analysts have a front-row seat. “It was like watching a 70-year-old married couple go at it in full force,” recalled Andrew Golden, who was one of those Swensen acolytes in the 1980s. But forget what you think about internships and fetching doughnuts for the bosses. The meetings are supposed to be a crucible of ideas, and the analysts — some of whom stay in the positions for years — recalled bringing their own proposals in the early days, and having to defend them or face the music. “It could be jarring to have your own view shredded by them,” Mr. Golden said. As for Mr. Swensen, it’s an environment that brings together two things he loves: thinking about investments and teaching other people how to think about them. “They are twin passions of mine,” he said during a recent interview in his sun-filled
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11/26/16, 4(00 PM The Money Management Gospel of Yaleʼs Endowment Guru - The New York Times Page 2 of 9 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/06/business/the-money-management-gospel-of-yales-endowment-guru.html?_r=0 corner office at the endowment’s headquarters on Yale’s New Haven campus. Certainly no school has incubated as many endowment managers as Yale. Mr. Swensen is legendary in the rarefied world of endowment management. He has pioneered an investment strategy that expanded Yale’s portfolio from a plain-vanilla mix of stocks and bonds to substantial holdings in real estate, private equity and venture capital, along with other alternatives. Until then, the typical endowment was far more conservative. And through his graduates, his investment style has spread to the nation’s prominent schools and foundations. Today, Mr. Swensen and former protégés oversee nearly $100 billion in endowment money for schools including M.I.T., Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Princeton (which Mr. Golden manages). Other alumni are running the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and working at the YMCA Retirement Fund and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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