Tree and foilage on campus

Creating the future together

Endowment Report
2020 / 2021

Thank you for your investment in the University of Waterloo. In this report, you’ll find stories that demonstrate the profound impact made by endowed gifts like yours. We are grateful for both your generosity and your trust. Together we will seek to create equitable and prosperous futures for our students, our communities and our world.


In 2020-2021, over 776  individually named endowment funds generated $11,720,032  million to support vital resources, including scholarships, funding for research, chairs and professorships, and more.

19 new endowments were established in 2020/21.



Market value Yellow box

Market Value as at April 30, 2021. The value at which investments in the endowment
pool could be sold in the open market.


Black boxBook value

Book Value, as at April 30, 2021. The value of all contributions and capitalized earnings that have been deposited into the endowment principal.


Investing for our future

As the fiduciary responsible for the investment of the endowment funds, the University has a duty to manage the fi nancial risks and opportunities associated with climate change to fulfill its risk-adjusted return objectives. As a result, the University set aspirational goals to reduce the carbon footprint of our endowment investment portfolios by 50 per cent by the year 2030 and achieve full carbon neutrality by 2040. To that end, the Board of Governors endorsed the recommendations of a Responsible Investment Advisory Group (RIAG) in June 2021.

Read more about the RIAG’s recommendations:
Through these actions, we will align our investment practices with our teaching, research and operational efforts and further our efforts to build a sustainable and habitable world.

Endowment Fund Management

Waterloo’s Endowment is invested with a long-term view and a priority to protect and grow the endowment to ensure a stable source of funding in perpetuity. The University pursues a thoughtful implementation of investment strategies and vigilant risk management in achieving these objectives. The Finance and Investment Committee exercises general oversight of the financial affairs of the University and reviews the portfolio and performance of the fund managers. The committee reports to the Board of Governors, recommending changes as required.

Portfolio Asset Mix

The Finance and Investment Committee reviews and approves the asset mix. The benchmark asset allocation was updated during the year to provide a higher allocation of assets to global equity (decreasing allocations to Canadian equity and fixed income), after a strategic asset allocation review by the Finance and Investment Committee.

Benchmark Allocation with asset class







The permitted ranges are:

  • Cash or Equivalent - 0-2%
  • Fixed Income - 20-40%
  • Canadian Equity - 0-20%
  • Global Equity - 50-70%
  • Total Equity - 60-75%

Growth in Waterloo's Endowment

Book and Market values of the endowment for 2020/21

Book Value $398.4M
Market Value $478.1M

Endowment chart 2020/21


Endowment Fund Returns

The endowment fund total return for the year ending April 30, 2021, was 16.15% and the annualized total return for the five years ending April 30, 2021 was 8.61%.

The total return includes both realized returns (interest, dividends, market value gains/losses earned through investment transactions) and unrealized returns (market value increases/decreases in existing investment holdings.)

For more information about endowment management and spending policy at the University of Waterloo, please visit our FAQ.

Asset Managers

  • University of Waterloo
  • Fiera Capital Corporation
  • Phillips Hager & North Investment Services (a division of RBC Global Asset Management)
  • TD Asset Management
  • Walter Scott & Partners Ltd. (a division of BNY Mellon Investment Management)

Our stories:

Jack Scott

Three generations of support for Waterloo students

Jack Scott helped found the University of Waterloo. Through the generosity of his daughter and grandson, his legacy continues.

Woman looking up steps

Helping students overcome health challenges

Support from two Waterloo Math alumni helps students overcome disabilities and serious illness — and pursue their dreams.