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Many individuals and institutions have a long-term focus, and invest funds for the benefit of future generations. Their strategy should reflect their long horizon. University endowments are one of the oldest classes of institutional investor, and I will present the first study of the management of these endowments over the very long term. Employing a 120-year record of the approach followed by 12 major US universities, I will examine their preferences for risky assets, document their big strategic moves into equities and later into alternatives, analyse how they invested around crisis periods, and consider the extent to which they exploited their long-horizon advantage. I will show that, on average, endowments have exhibited a countercyclical investment pattern, particularly increasing their allocation to equities after the onset of a crisis. The research is joint with my Cambridge colleagues, Dr David Chambers and Dr Chara Kaffe, and is forthcoming in Financial Analysts Journal.
Speaker: Professor Elroy Dimson
Elroy Dimson is a Professor of Finance and Research Director at Cambridge Judge Business School. He is co-founder and chairman of Cambridge University’s Centre for Endowment Asset Management, and a Bye-Fellow of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. Elroy’s research focuses on long-horizon asset management and responsible investing, and his recent publications are on active ownership, investment management, endowment strategy, ESG investing and financial history. He chairs the Advisory and Policy Boards of FTSE Russell, and until 2016 he chaired the Strategy Council of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. Elroy has been an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries since 2002
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Introduction from the IFoA President
|17:00 – 17:10|
Lecture from Professor Elroy Dimson
|17:10 – 17:55|
|17:55 – 18:25|
Closing remarks from the IFoA President
|18:25 – 18:30|
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