Queen's Endowment

Investing in Queen's, investing in people

The Queen's Endowment is an investment pool composed of funds that have been designated to university Endowment accounts. Donations received by the university are invested in the Queen's Endowment and each year certain amounts are withdrawn according to the Spending Policy. These annual withdrawals fund scholarships, academic chairs, book funds, lectureships, as well as a diverse range of university programs.

Subject to levels of risks acceptable under a "prudent portfolio" approach to investing funds of this nature, the primary objective of the Pooled Endowment Fund is to maximize risk adjusted returns in furtherance of two competing goals; the goal of releasing substantial income to support current operations and the goal of preserving the purchasing power of assets for future generations.

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Queen's PEF Spending Policy and Unitization Backgrounder

Endowment Overview

Graph of stock performance

External Investment Managers

Global Equities TD Asset Management Inc.
Global Equities (Low Carbon) TD Asset Management Inc.
Emerging Market Equities Connor, Clark & Lunn
  Ninety One
US Small-Cap Equities Fisher Investments
Fixed Income BlackRock Inc.
  Pacific Investment Management Company LLC
  TD Asset Management Inc.
Private Equity* 17Capital LLP
  TorQuest
Real Estate OMERS (Oxford Properties)
TD Greystone
Infrastructure Brookfield
  OMERS Infrastructure
  Pattern Energy

*Managers of legacy private equity investments are not shown.

Student on Convocation Day

Annual Returns (before fees)

Year Mar-31 Jun-30 Sept-30 Dec-31
2024 14.9%      
2023 0.1% 12.8% 11.6% 12.9%
2022 8.6% -4.9% -6.8% -6.5%
2021 29.1% 23.4% 19.3% 16.5%
2020 -3.9% 3.9% 7.2% 11.4%
2019 6.3% 5.3% 4.8% 13.1%
2018 6.0% 7.7% 7.9% -0.2%
2017 12.1% 10.2% 8.0% 9.6%
2016 2.0% 5.0% 10.0% 8.1%
2015 14.2% 10.5% 8.1% 8.6%
2014 16.1% 18.7% 15.3% 11.6%
2013 13.2% 16.0% 16.2% 20.5%
2012 3.4% 1.7% 14.6% 12.3%
2011 10.6% 16.7% 0.1% 0.2%
2010 24.4% 7.8% 7.0% 9.4%
2009 -21.9% -15.0% 2.9% 15.5%
2008 -3.4% -4.6% -14.4% -21.5%
2007 12.2% 17.0% 12.1% 3.3%
2006 12.7% 6.5% 8.3% 14.8%

Asset Allocation and Market Value


 

The Queen's Endowment is well diversified across individual securities, asset classes, and geographies. The table below outlines the Strategic Policy Asset Mix for the fund. 

Asset Class Asset Mix Asset Mix Range
Equities (including Private Equity) 65% 45% - 75%
Fixed Income & Absolute Return 13% 0% - 40%
Real Assets 20% 0% - 30%
Cash and Short Term Investments 2% 0% - 20%

The Investment Committee recommends the Strategic Policy Asset Mix to the Board of Trustees. The Strategic Policy Asset Mix is the long-term mix of assets that has been judged to be optimal for the Queen's Endowment. Based on its medium-term outlook, the Investment Committee employs a Target Asset Mix that falls within the Strategic Asset Mix Ranges. The Department of Investment Services monitors the actual asset allocation and rebalances the portfolio to the Target Asset Mix as required.

See a full report of the assets held within the Queen's Endowment.

Market Value of the Endowment, as of April 30, 2024, after distributions

The Investment Committee is responsible for establishing the spending policy for the Queen's Endowment, which is detailed in Section 5.7 of the fund's Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures:

The current policy has been approved by the Board of Trustees. The objective of the spending policy is to release substantial income while preserving the purchasing power of the assets for future generations.

The spending rule for Queen's attempts to achieve these objectives by using a long-term spending rate of 4.0% per annum combined with a smoothing rule that adjusts spending gradually to changes in endowment market value. The amount released under the spending rule is based on a 70% weight applied to the previous year's spending adjusted for inflation and a 30% weight applied to the amount that would have been spent using 4.0% per annum of current endowment market value. The spending formula includes a spending cap at 4.5% and a spending floor at 3.5%.

As a consequence of the smoothing rule, the spending payout has a lower volatility than that of the overall fund.

The Spending Policy will be reviewed annually by the Investment Committee.

The spending formula has two implications. First, by incorporating the previous year's spending, the rule eliminates large fluctuations and so enables the university to plan for its operating budget needs. Second, by adjusting spending toward a long-term rate of 4.0% of endowment market values, the rule ensures that spending levels will be sensitive to fluctuating endowment market value levels, providing stability in long-term purchasing power.

The endowment fund's payout is set annually based on the prior calendar year's ending market value. The payout for the 2024/2025 fiscal year is 16.78 cents per unit, implying a spending rate of 4.0%:

(70% x 2023/24's payout x (1 + Inflation rate)) + (30% x Long-term spending rate x December 31, 2023 unit value) 

(70% x 16.31 cents x (1 + 2.6%)) + (30% x 4.0% x $4.2211) = 16.78 cents

Over the past decade, the payout has ranged between 9.73 and 16.31 cents per unit, implying a spending rate between 3.4% - 4.2%.

The Queen's Endowment operates in a similar manner to a mutual fund. The value of a unit is determined by dividing the total current market value of the fund by the number of units outstanding. This value is calculated monthly by the Department of Financial Services and will increase or decrease according to investment performance.

Donations received by Queen's are unitized at the end of each month at the prevailing unit value. Income is then credited to the donor-specified cause based on the number of units held and the current dividend rate, as established by the Investment Committee.

Queen's Endowment Unit Value

The monthly value of a Queen’s Endowment fund unit is shown below.

Date Unit Value
April 30, 2024 4.3494
March 31, 2024 4.4349
February 29, 2024 4.3607
January 31, 2024 4.2364
December 31, 2023 4.2211
November 30, 2023 4.1373
October 31, 2023 3.9491
September 30, 2023 4.0070
August 31, 2023 4.1375
July 31, 2023 4.1986
June 30, 2023 4.1324
May 31, 2023 4.0324
April 30, 2023 4.0602
March 31, 2023 4.0375
February 28, 2023 4.0127
January 31, 2023 4.0518
December 31, 2022 3.9096
November 30, 2022 4.0337
October 31, 2022 3.8680
September 30, 2022 3.7546
August 31, 2022 3.9280
July 31, 2022 3.9896
June 30, 2022 3.8354
May 31, 2022 4.0212
April 30, 2022 4.0302
March 31, 2022 4.2175
February 28, 2022 4.1933
January 31, 2022 4.2483
December 31, 2021 4.3723
November 30, 2021 4.2773
October 31, 2021 4.2815
September 30, 2021 4.2060
August 31, 2021 4.2692
July 31, 2021 4.2212
June 30, 2021 4.2044
May 31, 2021 4.1171
April 30, 2021 4.0944
March 31, 2021 4.0400
February 28, 2021 3.9581
January 31, 2021 3.8945
December 31, 2020 3.9040
November 30, 2020 3.8272
October 31, 2020 3.6030
September 30, 2020 3.6712
August 31, 2020 3.7102
July 31, 2020 3.6351
June 30, 2020 3.5506
May 31, 2020 3.5381
April 30, 2020 3.4628
March 31, 2020 3.2648
February 29, 2020 3.5354
January 31, 2020 3.6621
December 31, 2019 3.6566
November 30, 2019 3.6400
October 31, 2019 3.5783
September 30, 2019 3.5729
August 31, 2019 3.5491
July 31, 2019 3.5647
June 30, 2019 3.5627
May 31, 2019 3.5110
April 30, 2019 3.5780

An amount is withdrawn annually from the Queen's Endowment fund to recover a portion of the internal administrative expenses relating to endowment management. This year, $2,117,000 is being withdrawn for this purpose, which amounts to approximately 0.13% of the Queen's Endowment's total assets. This amount is exclusive of fees related to external investment management. Current combined investment and administrative annual expenses are approximately 0.38% of total assets, plus HST. This figure excludes fees for our private equity investments, the returns for which are reported net of fees.