Money offshore: What the Paradise Papers reveal about Duke’s endowment

Recent revelations from the Paradise Papers have shed light on investments and investment tools used by Duke University’s endowment. 

The New York Times reported that as recently as 2015, Duke owned shares in Ferrous Resources, an iron mining company in Brazil. The report indicated that investment funds connected to Duke held more than two million shares in the company. 

At a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility Tuesday evening, its chair—Lawrence Baxter, William B. McGuire professor of the practice of law—said that Duke has owned an “extremely small” stake in Ferrous Resources since 2007 and has been declining since.

According to the New York Times report, Duke is also one of many universities using so-called offshore “blocker corporations” as part of its investment practices to avoid paying taxes on certain investments. 

Ferrous Resources

Ferrous Resources is involved in mining operations in Minas Gerais, a state known for its iron-ore mining in Brazil.


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