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Investment Office Overview

The Investment Office manages both endowment and university assets of approximately $2.1 billion. The Endowment serves as a key source of funding to the University each year, providing for scholarships, academic programs, and faculty endowed chairs.

The Endowment is a long-term perpetual asset. Its role is to provide financial support to the benefit of both the current generation and future generations of Lehigh students. Therefore, the investment program maintains a long-term focus.

Good stewardship of this asset is of the highest importance, which is why the Endowment is managed by an Investment Office and overseen by an Investment Subcommittee of the Board of Trustees. The Investment Subcommittee, a group of alumni investment professionals, sets investment policy in keeping with Lehigh's long-term goals and objectives. The Investment Office is responsible for carrying out investment policy by investing the portfolio in a globally diversified mix of external managers, including equity, fixed income, hedge funds, private equity, and real assets.

Learn more about Lehigh’s Investment Office team

Objectives

The principal financial objective of the investment program is to preserve and, if possible, enhance the real purchasing power of the Endowment principal in order to ensure the University's financial future. The Endowment must strike a balance between the preservation of principal in real terms for perpetuity and support of the University's current operating needs.

In order to achieve the financial objectives of the investment program, the investment goal of the Endowment is to generate a real return of 5% annualized (net of inflation) over the long run. The 5% real return goal is expected to allow the University to grow the principal of the Endowment in order to support future generations' needs, and to maintain its current spending objective which supports near-term University operations. It is understood that the asset allocation of the Endowment will be the primary driver of its performance over time. The Finance Committee and Investment Subcommittee set the asset allocation policy that is expected to achieve the 5% real return investment objective. While the Finance Committee and Investment Subcommittee set the asset allocation policy, the Investment Office is responsible for the implementation of the policy and the day to day management of the Endowment.

The Endowment will transfer to the University's Operating Fund annually 5% of the twelve quarters moving average market value of the Endowment. On a per unit basis, the transfer will result in a minimum and maximum annual increase of -2% and 5%, respectively.

Asset Allocation and Performance

Asset allocation is generally the primary driver of investment returns and risk over time; therefore, asset allocation policy is of central importance to the Endowment. 
Learn more about Asset Allocation
View Portfolio Performance
View the latest Endowment Report

Governance

The University Bylaws provide that one of the general powers of the Board of Trustees is to oversee the management of the University's Endowment and investments. The Board has delegated endowment management responsibility to its Finance Committee.
Learn more about Governance and endowment management

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Giving

Lehigh is a community comprising passionately committed individuals who care deeply about the future of the university and our students. The enduring generosity of Lehigh faculty, staff, students and alumni will strengthen Lehigh for generations to come.