Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Harvard says cash holdings climb to $1b

By Beth Healy, Globe Staff  |  October 20, 2010

Harvard University more than tripled its holdings in cash and US Treasuries, to $1 billion, by the end of fiscal year 2010, following sharp investment losses during the financial crisis that left the nation’s richest institution temporarily cash-strapped.

Harvard, in its annual report for the 2009-2010 year, ending June 30, said it made “significant progress’’ reshaping the university’s pool of operating funds “to be more readily available, and less susceptible to illiquidity and market fluctuations.’’ Harvard said it started to put the money in safer, shorter-term investments, starting in fiscal year 2008 and will stick with that strategy over the next year.

The university’s top financial officials said in the report that Harvard had made progress in responding to changed economic circumstances. “Nonetheless, we must continue to be vigilant in managing our finances in order to ensure that Harvard can fulfill its mission even with the continued uncertainty that surrounds us,’’ they wrote.