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Princeton hires MIT capital manager to lead its $34.1 billion endowment


Princeton University announced Vincent Tuohey, the new head of its $34.1 billion endowment, succeeding Andrew Golden, who will retire in June after nearly 30 years leading Princeton University Management Co.

Tuohey had been at the MIT Foundation since 2010, helping find and manage investments as well as explore opportunities in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America. He earned a bachelor's degree and an MBA from Harvard University and served in the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2006, earning the Bronze Star while deployed to Iraq.


Tuohey joins Princeton fund at a difficult time for some of the largest endowments. The richest schools in the United States are now carrying out sophisticated investment operations that include private equity, private credit and strategies of tangible assets such as real estate, silver and gold, which go beyond the traditional “60% stocks / 40% traditional bonuses strategies.

In the year that ended in June, the S&P 500 index gained 18%, while the eight Ivy League schools returned an average of just 2.1%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Venture capital, which has boosted the performance of many endowments over the past decade, dragged down returns over the past year at schools like MIT and Princeton, whose investments lost 2.9% and 1.7%, respectively, placing them among the last of the best universities in the country. Last year was a terrible year for that "asset class" given that startups suffer a lot during recessive economic cycles and especially in a high interest environment since they depend on lines of credit. That is why that segment suffered a lot, affecting performance for the year.

Tuohey said he was looking forward to taking on the new role and “collaborating with Princo’s enviable list of investment partners”.


-MIT's $23.5 billion endowment is among the richest in U.S. higher education and until two years ago was among the top endowments based on 10-year performance.

-Princeton, the richest American university in terms of endowment per student, depends on its endowment to operate the university. The fund's earnings represent approximately two-thirds of net operating income and 70% of the college student financial aid budget.

-Andrew Golden, who joined Princo in 1995, grew the Princeton fund from about $3.5 billion, generating an average annual return of 10.5% over the past two decades.

Source: Bloomberg. By: Janet Lorin


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