The University of Auckland Endowment Fund

Can we... create a legacy which will enable us to flourish in perpetuity?

What is the Endowment Fund?

All the world’s great universities have significant endowments that allow them to flourish and grow. They provide both the ballast to survive storms and the engine to drive important research and teaching missions regardless of prevailing, but possibly short lived, fashions or state funding models.

Donors to the great universities know their endowment gifts will be used to attract the best possible researchers and teachers who will attract ambitious students, work on pressing problems, and develop new knowledge. That is why the donors to Oxford, to Harvard, to Cambridge, to Stanford and to the other great universities of the world respond so strongly to their appeals for endowment funding.  

The University of Auckland Endowment Fund (“the Fund”) is a special fund established by Roger France, a former Chancellor of the University, and his wife Julie, which aims to create, over time, a substantial endowment, the distributable income from which can be used for the general advancement of the University.

What will the Endowment Fund support?

The terms of the Fund are designed to ensure that all donations will ultimately “make a difference” to the University. Specifically, the distributable income from the Fund:

can only be applied to projects or purposes which: constitute incremental initiatives that the University would not otherwise be able to undertake; and which the University could not fund from its normal operations; and cannot be used to fund normal operating expenditures the University should be able to finance from its own resources.

To which donors is the Endowment Fund best suited?

It is envisaged that the Fund will have particular appeal to Donors who:

  • understand the huge value, autonomy and flexibility for the University in having access to the income from a substantial permanent endowment; and
  • do not have a specific project or purpose in mind and are happy to support the University in general; or
  • are leaving a gift to the University in their wills and recognise that, while a particular purpose or project may have appeal at the date of signing their will, by the time the legacy gift is received that may no longer be the case because that purpose or project may no longer exist or may no longer deserve or need funding.

How is the Endowment Fund Administered?

The “distributable income” (the total returns of the Fund after preserving the capital value of all donations in real terms) will be available for distribution to the University on receipt of a request by the Vice-Chancellor to the Foundation supported by formal confirmation from the Council of the University that the proposed project or purpose is consistent with the terms of the Fund.

The Fund will be administered by The University of Auckland Foundation, in conjunction with the University. The University undertakes that 100% of your gift as well as any accrued net investment income together with any capital gains will go to the Fund. No administration fee will be charged by the University or the Foundation.

The Fund will be invested in, and allocated its share of, the Foundation’s Endowment Investment Pool which is structured for long-term growth while also allowing for the investment returns over and above inflation to be distributed. In order to achieve their investment objectives, the Trustees have established a formal asset allocation policy, which is described in more detail in the "Publications" section of the UOA Foundation website.

The Foundation, apart from term deposits with New Zealand banks, makes no direct purchases of securities in its Endowment Investment Pool. Instead, it invests in a number of commingled funds, both managed and passive, on the advice of its external investment consultants Cambridge Associates. All of the investment managers with whom the Foundation is invested are signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

An annual statement of the returns and distributions from the Fund will be made available to any Donor to the Fund, or his/her executor(s), on request.   

Founding Donor Profile – Roger France

The University of Auckland Endowment Fund was established by Founding Donor Roger France and his wife, Julie. Roger is one of New Zealand’s most well regarded corporate advisors and company directors and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016 in recognition of his services to business.

Roger was Chancellor of the University of Auckland during the public phase of the “Leading the Way” Campaign. That experience inspired him to look further afield for funding models which would help New Zealand’s premier university grow and prosper.

Describing his vision, Roger said:

“Great universities need to have the financial capacity to invest in new opportunities and challenges as they arise. In my opinion, a substantial and unrestricted endowment fund is the essential missing link in the University’s current funding arrangements

My vision is that this will, over time, accumulate to the point where the income it generates will be available to fund major investments in people, infrastructure and other strategic initiatives that will truly make a difference for the University of Auckland. I encourage others to join me in making this vision a reality.”

For more information, contact:

Mark Bentley, Director, Alumni Relations and Development