Penn State Receives Investment Award
At its June 9, 2016 awards presentation for Foundations and Endowments, held in Boston, the Investor Intelligence Network honored Penn State’s Office of Investment Management with the Endowment of the Year award —a recognition that signifies the Investment Office’s track record of successful investing of the University’s endowment assets.
According to the Investor Intelligence Network website, “The Investor Intelligence Awards were created to recognize the most outstanding and innovative Corporate and Public Plan sponsors and Endowments and Foundations in North America.”
David Branigan, chief executive officer for Penn State’s Office of Investment Management, and John Pomeroy, chief investment officer for the office, along with investment professionals Sonali Dalal, Ying Hosler, and Angelique Sellers, were named as recipients of the award.
Branigan, as CEO of the University’s $3.7 billion endowment, has helped deliver a ten-year average annual return of nearly 8 percent. About 35 percent of the $80 to $85 million in annual spending from the endowment is earmarked for student aid-related purposes such as scholarships and fellowships. Another large portion is allocated to faculty for chairs and professorships, and the balance goes to various endowed programs.
Branigan attributes successful investing to “diversity, innovative thinking, and a willingness to question everything.” He also notes that all three investment professionals, along with Pomeroy, have been designated as Charted Financial Analysts (CFA).
Pomeroy has served as CIO for Penn State’s Office of Investment Management for 15 years. During his tenure, the endowment has grown significantly, from $1 billion to $3.7 billion. Pomeroy ascribes the team’s success to a spirit of free thinking, debate, and creativity. “It’s a willingness to be different,” he says. “Everyone on our team thinks outside the box. One of the most valuable traits of an investment professional is being skeptical.”