Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2006 (Revised December 2007)

The Vanderbilt University Endowment (2006)

by Andre F. Perold and William T. Spitz


As with many modern-day large pools of capital, the Vanderbilt University endowment is significantly invested in alternative assets such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate, and natural resources. The endowment's investment committee chair is attempting to understand the complexity of the portfolio and the risks that might be present. How should the risks of these sophisticated strategies be measured? And, in particular, what risks is the endowment exposed to by virtue of the many types of leverage inherent in alternative investment strategies. Finally, did the institution have sufficient resources to manage such a portfolio, and was the investment committee providing sufficient oversight.

Keywords: Higher Education; Asset Management; Financial Management; Financial Strategy; Investment Portfolio; Risk Management;


Perold, Andre F., and William T. Spitz. "The Vanderbilt University Endowment (2006)." Harvard Business School Case 207-062, December 2006. (Revised December 2007.)