Commonfund was founded in 1971, not with a profit motivation but with a mission. That mission was to transform the investment of endowment funds through professional management with the goal of enhancing the financial resources of institutions vital to our society.
Today—after four decades—the scope of our business has expanded to provide investment solutions that serve other long-term institutional investors including pension funds and family offices.
We are committed to the deeply held belief of measuring our success by the success of our clients.
This philosophy enables Commonfund to offer thoughtfully constructed, high quality investment solutions and related services at competitive costs.
Our code of ethics permeates our entire organization, beginning with our Board of Trustees, which is composed of recognized leaders from academia, investment management and the nonprofit sector. Our officers and senior staff bring leadership, experience and strong records of accomplishment as they guide our operations and serve our clients.
At its founding, Commonfund set aside a half million dollars for research and publishing that would advance the discipline of professional investment management.
That initiative—novel at the time—has endured and broadened through time to become today’s Commonfund Institute, an arm of Commonfund dedicated to delivering institutional investment insight, professional development and the promulgation of high standards of policy and practice throughout the investment community. Among its many activities, Commonfund Institute sponsors:
- Commonfund Forum, an annual investment conference that year after year assembles leading thinkers from the worlds of investments, business, economics, academia, politics, the media and government in a marketplace of ideas and actions for the benefit of participants representing hundreds of institutions.
- The NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments® (NCSE), the largest and most comprehensive annual survey of the investment and governance policies and practices of the nation’s colleges and universities. Nearly 850 educational institutions participated in the most recent survey.
- The Commonfund Benchmarks Studies®, a series of annual nationwide surveys probing the investment and governance practices of three separate sectors: foundations, operating charities and nonprofit healthcare institutions.
- The Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), our proprietary index that, essentially, functions as a Consumer Price Index specifically adapted to the needs of educational institutions.
- Trustee Roundtables held periodically in cities throughout the country to bring together board and investment committee members to focus on contemporary issues related to investment management, finance, economics and governance.
- An in-depth publishing program that includes frequent white papers and monographs authored by internal and external subject matter experts as well as our widely read magazine, Insight for Strategic Investors.
Commonfund is a pioneering investment management organization, as it was among the early investors in international and emerging market equities, international fixed income, and a wide range of private capital programs, including domestic and global private equity, global venture capital and natural resources. We have responded to the changing needs of investors by developing solutions for institutional investors of all sizes who approach their investments from a strategic perspective. Click here to see the key attributes of strategic investing.
Our investment solutions are grounded in three innovative approaches to investment management:
Outsourced Solutions, in which we offer a range of approaches based on specific client needs, preferences and resources. For small and mid-sized institutional investors that are seeking to improve and simplify the professional management of their investment pools, we offer the Commonfund Multi-Asset Platform®. This program provides the diversification of a multi-asset, multi-manager portfolio with the ease and convenience of a Web-based portal and integrated reporting. Commonfund Strategic Solutions® is a discretionary investment management program for larger institutions. It provides professional guidance and management of an entire investment portfolio, with the entire Commonfund team serving as a client’s “outsourced CIO.
Hedge Fund Strategies, which encompass a broad range of commingled investment programs and separately managed accounts. Commonfund offers access to multiple hedge fund strategies through a full suite of fund-of-funds and separate account solutions. Fundamental to the value we add is rigorous portfolio construction, risk management and in-depth manager due diligence.
Private Capital Strategies, in which we offer clients the benefits of more than two decades of investment experience in global venture capital, U.S. private equity, global (ex-U.S.) private equity and natural resources. With a large, dedicated staff, Commonfund Capital seeks to provide the finest private capital programs by partnering with the world’s leading private equity, venture capital and natural resources managers.
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