(Updates with Cornell University data in 11th paragraph.)
May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Princeton University paid four of its endowment managers a combined $9.2 million in 2013, a 46 percent increase from a year earlier and four times the increase Harvard University paid its top investors.
Andrew Golden, the president of Princeton University Investment Co., the company known as Princo that manages the school’s $18.2 billion endowment, collected $3.9 million in total compensation last year. The 55-year-old’s remuneration included a 94 percent increase in retirement and deferred compensation and a 48 percent jump in bonus pay, according to the university’s latest tax return.
“It’s easy to whack these guys,” Charles Skorina, founder of a San Francisco-based executive search firm specializing in investment management, said by phone. “It looks big in percentage terms, but it’s a basis point or two compared to the endowment.”
The endowment returned 11.7 percent last year, matching the average return posted by endowments greater than $1 billion, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute’s 2013 endowment study.
Martin Mbugua, a spokesman for the Princeton, New Jersey- based university, declined to provide the endowment’s 3- and 5- year returns. The filing listed $1 million in compensation reported as deferred in a prior tax form for Golden, who has managed the endowment for 19 years.
“When you look at a specific year, you’re looking at an amount from a previous year and the amount earned that year,” Mbugua said. “A very significant part is double counted.”
Princo Managing Director Jonathan Erickson collected $2.8 million in total compensation, up 53 percent from fiscal year 2012 and the largest annual increase among the endowment managers.
The six highest-paid managers at Harvard Management Co., the nation’s largest and oldest endowment, made $32.8 million last year, an 11 percent increase over 2012. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based university’s top earner was Andy Wiltshire, head of alternative assets, who collected $7.9 million. Jane Mendillo, the 55-year-old president and chief executive officer of the fund, made $4.8 million.
Drew Faust, Harvard’s president and CEO, received $1.04 million, a 16 percent increase from the year earlier. Princeton’s President, Shirley Tilghman, was paid $979,636, up 5 percent.
At Brown University, the top four managers were paid $4.6 million in 2013, up 40 percent from the prior year. The $2.6 billion endowment, the smallest of Ivy League schools, was led for 12 years by Cynthia Frost, who retired at the end of 2012. She collected $2.1 million during her last six months, including a bonus that ballooned 254 percent to $1.5 million. The tax documents credited her with $988,151 previously reported as deferred compensation.
Cornell University’s Albert Edwards was appointed chief investment officer in May 2012. His compensation increased 90 percent, mostly in the form of bonus money, which more than doubled to $825,000. His base pay rose 38 percent to $494,146. Cornell’s endowment, last reported at $5.3 billion, returned 11.4 percent in 2013, an improvement from its 0.1 percent return in 2012.
Yale University and Dartmouth College didn’t respond to requests for tax documents.
The number of presidents at public universities who made at least $1 million increased to nine from four during the 2012-2013 school year, according to a report by the Chronicle of Higher Education released Sunday. The Institute for Policy Studies published a report on Sunday that revealed that the public universities with the highest executive compensation also tend to have the fastest growth in student debt and use of lower-paid adjunct faculty.
--With assistance from John Lauerman and Michael McDonald in Boston.