ASU Foundation closes successful fiscal year

<p>The ASU Foundation (ASUF) closed the 2006-2007 fiscal year with a 28 percent increase in core gift revenue, considerable growth in total and net assets, and overall investment performance that surpassed custom benchmarks.</p><separator></separator><p>Gift revenue totaled $104 million in support of ASU’s teaching, research and outreach missions, which represents a 28 percent increase over last year. This growth was accompanied by an impressive increase in the value of the foundation’s total and net assets.</p><separator></separator><p>The largest single component of the foundation’s assets is the endowment supporting ASU, a collection of investments and funds managed by the foundation.</p><separator></separator><p>Last year, the endowment provided an investment return of 19.1 percent. Its value as of June 30 was $476.1 million, up nearly 21 percent from $395 million on June 30, 2006. In three years, the value of the endowment has nearly doubled since June 30, 2004, when it stood at $248 million.</p><separator></separator><p>In addition to the endowment, the foundation’s total assets also include real estate values from properties like the ASU Fulton Center and the ASU Brickyard. The net assets are adjusted to reflect outstanding debt for these properties.</p><separator></separator><p>“Our asset value has risen steadily over the past four years,” says Judy Van Gorden, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the ASU Foundation. “That’s good for the university and the foundation, because rating agencies use asset value as one of the factors for determining the financial strength of an institution. Our steady increase in assets reflects the positive impact of the real estate ventures the foundation has pursued in recent years, as well as our investment strategies.”</p><separator></separator><p>Four years ago, the foundation hired Cambridge Associates, an investment consultant that assists the foundation’s investment committee in strategically fulfilling the foundation’s fiduciary responsibilities.</p><separator></separator><p>“Since hiring Cambridge, we have restructured our investment programs and noticed investment performance that has done very well against our custom benchmarks,” Van Gorden says. “That progress continues with valuable recommendations we receive from Cambridge about asset allocation, investment manager selection, investment monitoring and performance evaluation. I believe that the foundation has all of the elements of a solid investment program.”</p>