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Harvard's endowment up to $29.2 billion

BOSTON --Harvard University said Tuesday its endowment rose by 16.7 percent to $29.2 billion in its latest fiscal year, extending its longtime growth despite recent changes in management.

The endowment's value at the end of June, the end of its fiscal year, compares with $25.9 billion in mid-2005.

Harvard depends on its endowment -- a combination of about 11,000 individual funds -- for a large portion of its annual expenses. In the 2006 fiscal year, nearly a third of its operating budget, or more than $930 million, came from the university's endowment.

Last year, Harvard named Mohamed El-Erian, a specialist in emerging market debt, as CEO of Harvard Management Co. El-Erian succeeded Jack Meyer, who helped dramatically grow Harvard's endowment from $4.7 billion in 1990.

"Notwithstanding some of the challenges associated with its current transition phase, HMC's efforts at adding value continued to draw successfully on both internal and external expertise," El-Erian said in a news release.

A study released in January by the National Association of College and University Business Officers ranked Harvard as the richest university in the nation, far outpacing second-place Yale, which had a $15.2 billion endowment.

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