Oxford and Cambridge endowments comprise funds generally regarded as for the long term, and which fundamentally underpin and sustain the operation of the institutions at their desired level of activity. Oxbridge institutions have collectively embraced major change over the last few years by implementing total return investment strategies. They have simultaneously made the shift from spending policies that encouraged income generating investments towards establishing sensible spending rules that freed up asset allocation decisions. Such changes in investment approaches have consequences in terms of determining appropriate governance, choice of assets, identifying skilled managers, monitoring their performance, understanding the sources of value-addition and cost analysis, and setting many other aspects of endowment policy. As such transitions take a long time to implement, many of the institutions are in the process of managing that change.
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