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The financial challenges facing Australian universities - and how to manage them

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Today universities are fighting for sustainable funding. They’re dealing with a changed economic environment. And they’re under pressure to optimise investment processes. In a new paper, Perpetual Private and Laminar Capital draw on sector research to explore these financial challenges – and the solutions.

In Investing in uncertain times: Insights into university investment decision making, we look at how Australian universities are making investment decisions, where and how they seek advice and what their focus areas are for the next 1-3 years – drawing on survey responses from universities across Australia.

It’s designed to give university leaders and their financial teams a clear view of the issues – and a line to the solutions – with findings also relevant for the broader not-for-profit sector. Here’s a snapshot.

Inflation is disrupting the investment landscape

Looking forward there are many factors that suggest the next ten years will not mirror the last. Interest rates have been pushed higher and there are still decades of quantitative easing left to unwind. This will impact companies differently which will have a knock-on effect on investment returns. It is therefore important for all investors to review their strategies and ensure they remain fit for purpose. 

Slow progress on process

Too many universities have inefficient and risky investment management processes (“spreadsheet risk”) particularly when it relates to cash holdings – a significant part of any university’s balance sheet. They also need to make big decisions on investment implementation, inhouse vs outsourced and how to deliver on their communities’ ESG expectations.


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Investing in uncertain times: Insights into university investment decision making

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Whether your focus is on investment, cash management or fundraising you can get help from Perpetual via phone on 1800 631 381, email or submitting a form online.

Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo) ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. You should consider, with a financial or another advisor, whether the information is suitable for your circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. Any reference to the Perpetual Group means Perpetual Limited, ABN 86 000 431 827, and its subsidiaries. No company in the Perpetual Group guarantees the performance of any fund or the return of any investor’s capital. To view the Perpetual Private Financial Services Guide, please click here.