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David Swensen, Yale Endowment Chief Who Changed the Course of Institutional Investing, Dies at 67
Through an embrace of diversification, Swensen grew university’s endowment from $1 billion in 1985 to $31.2 billion in 2020
David Swensen, shown in 2012, led Yale University’s endowment from 1985 to 2021.
PHOTO: PETER FOLEY/BLOOMBERG NEWS
By and
Updated May 6, 2021 8:01 pm ET
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David Swensen, the pioneering Yale University endowment chief who changed the course of institutional investing, died Wednesday evening. He was 67 years old.
His death was announced by Peter Salovey, the president of Yale. Mr. Swensen had undergone years of treatment for cancer.
Mr. Swensen grew Yale’s endowment from $1 billion when he started in 1985 to $31.2 billion in 2020 through an embrace of a diversified investment portfolio.
He inspired a generation of investors with his approach and groomed protégés who went on to run the endowments of major universities and foundations.
He helped transform the business of endowment management from a boring, backwater function to a prestigious and professionalized business.
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