Georg Cejnek, Richard Franz, Otto Randl and Neal Stoughton
There is significant interest in how university endowments manage money and perform, and an emerging strand of finance research specializes in this growing area. The purpose of this paper is to survey and review the state-of-the-art in this field. We classify papers into four areas. (1) asset allocation, where we discuss the main theoretical framework and the relevant observations both across time and types of endowment; (2) performance, where (risk-adjusted) performance is discussed and distinguished by type and size of endowment; (3) spending, where the relation to the classical views and theoretical literature is reviewed as well as what university endowments do in practice; and (4) organization, where governance structure and the investment policy statement are discussed. We find that the modern framework for theoretical and empirical analyses can provide a very useful perspective for understanding the role of endowments. Nonetheless we highlight areas where more work remains to be done.