If I could make only one request of this year’s report, it would be to show benchmark information, both for the endowment as a whole and for each major category.
Here is Harvard’s report (pdf). Note:
The endowment portfolio earned an investment return of 11.0% for the year and was valued at $27.4 billion as of June 30, 2010. The return for the year was 160 bps above the return that would have been earned by our Policy Portfolio benchmark.
If Harvard can report a return for its benchmark, then so can Williams.
If Harvard can report the returns of the major components of the endowment relative to their benchmarks, both over this year and the last 10 years, then so can Williams.
There is no excuse for Williams to be less transparent than our peer institutions. What do we have to hide?