Surprise Redux--Endowments Underperformed the 60/40 Benchmark After All

10 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2021

Date Written: September 1, 2020


Recently, a paper, “Surprise, Endowments Have Significantly Outperformed the 60/40 Benchmark” was written by Dr. Hossein Kazemi—a professor of finance at Isenberg School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a senior advisor to the CAIA Association—and jointly produced with CAIA.1 In it, Dr. Kazemi attempts to assuage any concern endowment managers and their advisors may have due to papers such as Hammond (2020a and 2020b) and Ennis (2020a and 2020b). In so doing, he provides two false hopes—first, that endowments have “significantly outperformed the 60/40 benchmark” as evidenced by their outperformance of a global 60/40 mix, and second, that alternative investments have provided endowments with additional returns. Unfortunately, relative to the average and smaller endowments, neither assertion is accurate. His conclusion that “endowment managers deserve a raise”, suggests endowments should simply continue their past practices. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Keywords: endowments, 60/40, performance, 60/40 benchmark,asset allocation, alternatives

JEL Classification: E

Suggested Citation

Hammond, Dennis R., Surprise Redux--Endowments Underperformed the 60/40 Benchmark After All (September 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Dennis R. Hammond (Contact Author)

Veriti Management ( email )

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Suite 1110
Boston, MA FL 3340102110
United States
3142231116 (Phone)
33401 (Fax)

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