Profile of Yale’s David Swensen: Money Man on a Mission

Great profile of Yale’s David Swensen in the Sunday NY Times. Almost certainly among the best portfolio managers alive, Yale’s Swensen has turned in consistent best-in-class returns managing Yale’s endowment — 22% in 2006 alone — despite it growing from $1.3-billion to more than $18-billion in recent years.

At the same time, he has turned down much better pay packages than Yale’s 1.3-million. The Times makes much of this, that Swensen sees himself as a man on a noble mission, doing a kind of public service. Whatever your feeling about his essential nobility, the piece is still highly worthwhile.

From a venture capital perspective, Swensen was among the first major endowment managers to really go aggressively into private equity. He has a great reputation as a talent-picker, so if you are able to get Yale to commit to your venture fund, you can pretty much assure yourself of an avalanche of diligence-free other money.

A related aside: You should also read Yale’s annual endowment report when you have a moment. It’s readable, insightful, and generally important yearly investment reading. The following chart compares Yale’s portfolio allocation to those of its peers, and there are some very material differences:

Related posts:

  1. David Rocker Profile
  2. Harvard vs. Yale in the Endowment Wars
  3. David Swensen’s Private Equity Imprimatur
  4. Another Endowment Manager Bites the Dust
  5. Stanford MBAs Get Mo’ Money

Comments

  1. Mal Williams says:

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    Thanks, Mal Williams