Yale CIO David Swensen awarded Frankel Fiduciary Prize

The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard has awarded its 2015 Frankel Fiduciary Prize to David Swensen ’80 Ph.D., Yale’s chief investment officer (CIO).

David Swensen

The prize was established in 2013 to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the preservation and advancement of fiduciary principles in public life. It is named in honor of Professor Tamar Frankel of the Boston University School of Law

“Simply put, David Swensen is the best financial steward of our times,” said Andrew Golden, president of the Princeton University Investment Company and a member of the Frankel Fiduciary Prize Nominating Committee. “He has always fought hard and well for his client’s interest. He has trained a generation of endowment and foundation fiduciaries, inspiring them to seek the same standards and selfless goals. And in his partnership with dozens of investment firms, he has helped foster legions of investors who themselves always think first of how to do right by their clients. He values the honor of being a fiduciary over pursuit of maximum personal wealth.”

 As CIO, Swensen oversees $23.9 billion in endowment and related assets for the university. The 30-year Yale return for the period ending June 30, 2015 is 13.9%. The S&P 500 returned 10.7% over the same period.

In April the Wall Street Journal featured Swensen in an article titled “Universities Look to Yale for Investment Managers.” The article noted: “The demand for Yale University talent within the endowment world is a product of the success of David Swensen, manager of Yale’s money for the last three decades. Mr. Swensen has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most savvy investors with an unconventional approach that favors hedge funds and private equity over stocks and bonds.”

Frankel Prize will be awarded on Sept. 18 at Boston University during a luncheon featuring a conversation with The Baupost Group president and CEO, Seth Klarman.

The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard it is a non-profit formed in Virginia to benefit investors and society by advancing fiduciary principles through research, education and advocacy. 

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