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Commonfund Institute Announces Endowment Institute Investment Seminars in China and Japan

Leading academics and practitioners to discuss investment policy, portfolio management and governance issues for trustees and investment officers of higher education and other nonprofits in Beijing and Tokyo

WILTON, CT, October 22, 2012 – Commonfund Institute today announced that to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of its Endowment Institute seminars, the organization will co-host two institutes for the first time in Tokyo and Beijing this Fall. Commonfund Institute Beijing 2012 will be held on October 30-31 at Tsinghua University. The Tokyo Endowment Institute 2012 will be held on November 6 at the Upper House Members’ Building of the Japanese Parliament.

Begun in 1993, the Endowment Institute is an intensive seminar for trustees, senior investment and financial officers for higher education and other nonprofit organizations. Endowment Institutes are taught by leading academics and practitioners with a curriculum focused on investment policy, portfolio management and governance issues, demonstrating how academic theory leads to real-world practice. Participants analyze investment theories and concepts to learn how to best manage their assets and discover practical applications to their own endowments. 
“We are very pleased to announce the Endowment Institute’s sessions in Japan and China,” said John S. Griswold, Executive Director, Commonfund Institute. “The growing size and importance of Japan’s and China’s higher education and nonprofit communities has created the need for leading-edge endowment and investment management best practices, which we will share with endowment professionals in Asia as we do in the United States.”

The Beijing and Tokyo institutes will be taught in English with simultaneous translations. Beijing will feature Verne Sedlacek, President and CEO of Commonfund, on “Global Investment Practices and China’s Prospects” to be held at the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management with professors and students participating. Tokyo will feature Verne Sedlacek and Jiro Kokuryo, Professor at Keio University, on “Global Best Practices to Achieve Financial Strength.” Both institutes also include sessions led by other senior Commonfund executives.

The next U.S. Endowment Institute will be held July 14-19, 2013 at Yale School of Management in New Haven, CT. Past Endowment Institute faculty have included:

  • Charley Ellis, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Former Chair, Yale Investment Committee
  • Doug Breeden, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Jane Mendillo, Harvard Management Co.
  • Frank Kurre, Grant Thornton
  • Elroy Dimson, London Business School
  • Arnie Wood, Martingale Asset Management
  • Will Goetzmann, Yale School of Management
  • Leon Metzger, Yale School of Management
  • Geert Rouwenhorst, Yale School of Management 
  • Verne Sedlacek, President and CEO, Commonfund
  • Tom Hyatt, SNR Denton
  • Michael Strauss, Chief Economist and Chief Investment Strategist, Commonfund

Some of the key topics discussed at Endowment Institutes include:

  • Portfolio liquidity
  • Portfolio theory
  • Asset allocation 
  • Spending policy
  • Using derivatives in endowment portfolios
  • Maintaining intergenerational equity
  • Manager due diligence
  • Risk management
  • Current economic conditions
  • The role of hedge funds
  • Governance and fiduciary duty

Full registration information is available here

About Commonfund Institute
Commonfund Institute houses the education and research activities of Commonfund and provides the entire community of long-term investors with investment information and professional development programs. Commonfund Institute is dedicated to the advancement of investment knowledge and the promotion of best practices in financial management. In addition to the Commonfund Benchmarks Studies, Commonfund Institute teams with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) to produce the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE) and provides a wide variety of resources, including conferences, seminars and roundtables on topics such as endowments and treasury management; proprietary and third-party research and publications, including the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI); and events such as the annual Commonfund Forum and Commonfund Endowment Institute.


About Commonfund
Founded in 1971, Commonfund is an institutional investment firm serving nonprofit institutions, pension funds and other leading institutional investors offering a broad range of investment solutions in traditional and alternative strategies.  Directly or through its subsidiaries¬ Commonfund Capital and Commonfund Asset Management Company¬ Commonfund manages $24 billion for 1,400 clients. Commonfund, together with its subsidiary companion organizations, offers more than 30 different investment programs. All securities are distributed through Commonfund Securities, Inc., a member of FINRA.