Finances &

The 2015/2016 INSEAD budget has been balanced with revenues of €220 million, which makes INSEAD one of the largest business schools in the world.

This year, Degree Programmes — including the MBA, Global Executive MBA, Tsinghua-­INSEAD Executive MBA, Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change and Master in Finance — financed 43% of the budget (versus 41% in 2014/2015).

During 2015/2016, INSEAD Executive Education programme revenues have been stable. As such, INSEAD remains one of the world’s largest providers of such programmes among business schools. Moreover, only two years after the launch of Customised Online Programmes, nearly 10,000 employees worldwide have participated in these programmes.

The cash flow has been very positive, especially thanks to capitalised gifts received just after the completion of the expansion of the Asia campus in early 2015, and thanks to anticipated payments coming from growth expected at the beginning of the 2016/2017 academic year.

We have reinforced our investments in academic pursuits, programme initiatives, the Advancement department, and Information Technology. A masterplan to upgrade our historical Europe campus has been designed; the timeline for its implementation will be decided in 2017.

Finally, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, we have received a record number of pledges. In the coming years, these gifts will have a major impact in supporting our important development initiatives and the realisation of the long-­term vision for INSEAD.

Eric Ponsonnet - Director General of Administration
Bracket Eric Ponsonnet
Director General of Administration


As a not-for-profit institution with entities in various countries, INSEAD is not required to publish consolidated accounts, but all its statutory accounts are audited. A governance structure has been implemented with several committees of the Board of Directors responsible for Audit, Finance and Risk, Endowment Management and Remuneration. The following financial indicators are directly extracted from audited combined accounts based on IFRS accounting standards.

In €'000 2016 2015 2014
Total Income 219,895 210,465 201,007
Operating cash flow 5,505 9,733 14,360
Cash flow from endowment (transfer to operations) 8,057 6,606 6,238
Net cash flow from Financing (2,775) (1,448) (1,351)
Net cash flow used in investing (1,261) (17,223) (17,841)
Interest paid (1,816) (2,347) (2,287)
Changes in working capital and exchange losses/gains 7,044 (814) 8,361
Cash flow 14,754 -5,493 7,481
Cash at year end 67,629 52,875 58,368
Endowment at beginning of the year 189,660 174,164 160,950
Donations received, net 4,700 3,585 2,041
Gains and losses from investment activities (327) 18,517 17,411
Transfer to operations (8,057) (6,606) (6,238)
Endowment at year end 185,976 189,660 174,164
Endowment performance rate -0.2% 10.6% 10.8%
Spending rate 4.5% 4.0% 4.0%

2016 Revenues

2016 Expenditures

Investing INSEAD’s

INSEAD’s €186 million endowment supports the school’s mission and provides a source of funds to build its competitive advantage. It allows the school to plan, sustain and invest in faculty chairs, research projects, programmes, scholarships and facilities.

Managed by the Endowment Management Committee, the INSEAD endowment has been advised by Partners Capital since 2007. Partners Capital has managed the €175m investment portfolio since 2012, with a further €11m invested in directly held property, cash and other assets. The endowment remains well positioned for both capital preservation and long-term capital appreciation through a diversified investment strategy.

The core tenets of the strategy remain: (1) to manage the portfolio to deliver long-term absolute returns, (2) to diversify the portfolio across multiple asset classes, (3) to select the most skilled asset managers within each asset class and (4) to take into account ethical, social and governance issues when deciding on investments.

The endowment remains broadly diversified across a variety of asset classes including traditional allocations to equities and corporate credit, and alternative allocations including hedge funds and private market strategies such as private equity, private debt and real estate.

INSEAD’s Long Term Strategic Asset Allocation Target has a 38% allocation to private market strategies including private equity, real estate and private debt. This large allocation takes advantage of the school’s long-term time horizon to access the illiquidity premium inherent in these strategies.

The portfolio is currently overweight credit at the expense of European government bonds. The credit portfolio ranges from short duration high yield bonds to non-traditional strategies such as peer-to-peer lending.

From March 2007 to the end of August 2016, the investment portfolio returned +41.5% (cumulatively) after deduction of fees and expenses. This represents +8.9% cumulative outperformance versus the INSEAD Composite Benchmark, a custom benchmark adopted by the Endowment Management Committee.

Investment Portfolio 2015/2016

In the academic year 2015/2016, the INSEAD investment portfolio declined -­0.4% compared to the benchmark’s return of +5.3%. This represents a partial giveback of the exceptional +11.2% outperformance of the portfolio in 2015. The portfolio’s lag versus the benchmark was due to the performance of the underlying active managers, primarily in Q1 2016, which proved to be a challenging environment for actively-managed strategies.

The speed and severity of the reversion in Q1 2016 was extreme. We took the opportunity to re-evaluate each of the underlying positions in the portfolio, which, for the most part, reinforced our conviction in those investments. In many cases, we were pleased to see the managers using the bout of volatility in early 2016 to size up their higher conviction positions.

After serving on the Endowment Management Committee for many years, I assumed the role of chair in 2016 when Rémy Best stepped down to focus on other INSEAD initiatives. It was with great pride that I accepted the appointment. I thank all donors for their kind contributions which have been pivotal to the growth of the endowment assets which, in turn, is of paramount importance to the future success of INSEAD.

Mirjam Staub-­Bisang
Bracket Mirjam Staub-­Bisang
Chair, INSEAD Endowment Management Committee

TOTAL ASSETS OF THE ENDOWMENT (August 2002 – August 2016)


Academic Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Cumulative
(Mar 07 – Aug 16)
INSEAD investment portfolio return1 +2.4% -3.0% -11.8% +6.6% +5.4% +8.7% +7.4% +11.5% +10.9% -0.4% +41.5%
INSEAD endowment return2 +2.2% -1.9% -11.2% +5.7% +4.7% +7.8% +7.0% +10.8% +10.6% -0.2% +39.2%
INSEAD Composite Benchmark3 +1.8% -2.0% -13.6% +4.0% +8.3% +6.4% +9.1% +12.0% -0.3% +5.3% +32.6%

Note: The academic year starts on 1 September and finishes on 31 August. This is reflected in the table above. For example, the year labelled 2016 reflects performance from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016. The year labelled 2007 includes only 1 March 2007 to 31 August 2007.

1 INSEAD Investment Portfolio consists of the portfolio managed by Partners Capital.

2 The INSEAD Endowment consists of both the portfolio managed by Partners Capital and all others assets including direct property, cash and other assets.

3 The INSEAD Composite Benchmark is a custom benchmark comprised of asset class indices (e.g. MSCI World NR LC for the equity allocation or State Street Private Equity Index for the private equity allocation) and weighted to reflect the long-term strategic asset allocation adopted by the committee.