Common Fund Losses Minimal Johns Hopkins's share of the losses racked up by a rogue trader for the Common Fund is very small relative to its total investments and will cause no significant problems, the university said. The problem will result only in a reduction in the earnings--which remain very positive--on a small portion of the university's investments, spokesman Dennis O'Shea said. "The Hopkins losses in this are far less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the university's total investments, an amount on the order of what you could lose on paper on just an average down day in the stock market," O'Shea said. The Common Fund is, essentially, a series of more than 25 mutual funds that invest nearly $20 billion on behalf of hundreds of colleges and universities. It reported in early July that a trader for one of its hired investment managers had failed to follow required procedures for hedging his investments, and had lost $128 million. Only a small portion of Hopkins's $1 billion in investments --from the endowment, benefit plans and operating cash--is in the Common Fund, treasurer William Snow said. Of the Hopkins money in the Common Fund, most is not in funds affected by the trader's actions, he said. Despite the losses, the three affected funds that do have Hopkins money are now reporting returns from the first 11 months of their fiscal year ranging from 13.8 percent for a stock fund to 6.9 percent for a cash fund. Snow said the university has invested in the Common Fund since the early 1970s, with "very good results." The Common Fund said the trader's actions had come to light during a re-examination of its internal controls.
Go to Gazette Homepage