Diversity | Insights Blog

Diversity and Inclusion: Ways to Make a Change

Across the United States, citizens are gathering to protest the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery; each of these individuals fell victim to police brutality and racial...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Balancing Risk and Return

Risk surrounds us, and for investment fiduciaries it is inescapable if meaningful real returns are to be sought. While risk and return constitute the axes upon which investment portfolios are built,...
Diversity | Insights Blog

In Remembrance

The senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently, George Floyd have once again brought the scourge of racism to the forefront of our nation’s conscience. For many Americans,...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Seven Ways to Diversify Your Private Capital Portfolio

A strong private capital program requires consistent, diversified investing over time. It is also necessary to have— or obtain externally— resources for research and due diligence before you invest;...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

How to Select a Private Equity Manager

Are you are considering investing directly with a private equity manager? If you opt to go direct, you will be tasked with selecting, managing and disposing the assets entirely on your own. It may be...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Integrating ESG into Private Equity Portfolios

Many investors today, particularly nonprofits, are seeking to align their investment portfolio with the mission of their organization. Commonfund is a signatory to the PRI and as part of our...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Commonfund Forum Goes Global

During the week of October 14th, 2019 Commonfund Institute hosted our first Forum outside of the United States in Tokyo, Japan. We were honored to be joined by many leading Japanese institutional...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Three Ways to Structure Your Private Capital Portfolio

This is the third blog in a private capital series based on our guide, “Succeed in Private Capital Investing”.  You can see the previous blog here. Having determined the size of your private capital...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Building a Private Equity Allocation

Building a private capital allocation that makes a difference to your portfolio takes time and dedication. The first step is deciding to make a meaningful allocation to private capital. Then, to...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Taking a Fresh Look at Spending Models

Investors have limited control over the returns their portfolios generate. They have more control over their spending. That doesn’t make it easy. Compared to some earlier periods, volatility in the...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | U.S. Jobs Machine Keeps Cranking

This month we turn our attention to the economy and, specifically, employment. As investors contemplate when this historically long period of economic growth might end, employment trends are one of...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

A sit-down with Richard Fisher

As a follow-on to the Commonfund Forum 2019 panel discussion, The Global Economy and the Return of Risk, Richard Fisher, former President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas,  further...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Private Market Investing vs Public Market Investing, What’s the Big Difference?

The first step of successful private market investing is to learn what private capital is, what its risks and rewards are, and how it differs from public market investing. Private capital provides...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Commonfund Forum 2019 Attendee Statistics [Infographic]

Commonfund recently hosted its 21st annual Commonfund Forum in Orlando, Florida. The event brought together institutional investors to engage in a two-day conference to explore cyclical trends and...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | One Reason Investors Are Feeling Uneasy

Investors of all types, including those that represent institutions, are clearly feeling more uneasy than they have in years. It isn’t just the spike in stock market volatility that buffeted...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

5 Steps to Success in Private Capital Investing

Investors participate in private capital markets for two main reasons: to pursue increased investment return and to add portfolio diversification. Even well-informed investors who are experienced in...
Responsible Investing | Insights Blog

Identifying an “E” Factor

Over the past year the Commonfund investment teams have undertaken research to identify and isolate a new factor associated with the environmental sustainability of a stock (or a portfolio of...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

A Cost-Effective Approach to Hedge Fund Allocations: Part 2

Let’s start with a quick recap of Part 1 of this story, which can be boiled down to three main points:  Investors often spend too much for market beta, paying “2 and 20” for hedge funds that deliver...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

A Cost-Effective Approach to Hedge Fund Allocations: Part 1

At the risk of beating a dead horse, hedge funds are not an asset class.  This is especially true in the way in which Commonfund selects and constructs its hedge fund portfolios: focusing...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Equity Portfolio Construction – Through a Risk Factor Lens

At Commonfund, we aim to build multi-manager, active risk equity portfolios with a clear objective of consistent outperformance versus passive policy benchmarks. Our approach is to take intentional...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

How Much Beta is in Your Equity Portfolio?

Leveling the Field in the “Tug of War” Between Active and Passive… Active Equity Manager Universal Objective: Outperform the Passive Alternative It’s undeniable that every active equity manager’s...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Commonfund Forum 2017 Attendee Statistics [Infographic]

We recently hosted our 19th annual Commonfund Forum in San Antonio Texas. The event brought together institutional investors to engage in a three-day conference to explore cyclical trends and...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Long-Term Trends for Long-Term Investors

Nonprofit institutions have the distinct advantage of having the longest time horizon of any investors – often perpetuity.  This affords an opportunity to consider investments based on secular trends...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

What do the Cable Television and Hedge Fund Industries Have in Common?

These industries may seem an odd pairing, but both are in the midst of a disruption-led, industry-wide rationalization process. The two industries share in common a historically evolved “bundling”...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Private Credit Opportunities – Direct Lending to U.S. Middle Market Companies

Much has been made of the challenges endowment, foundation and nonprofit investors face in achieving a CPI+ five percent return target. One way to improve the probability of attaining this goal is to...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

A False Sense of Diversification?

As we have undergone the process of re-underwriting all of Commonfund’s equity managers and funds over the last 6 months, we have tackled anew the age old question of how many funds does one...
Outsourced CIO | Insights Blog

The Billion Dollar Dilemma - What is the Right Governance Model for your Institution?

Finding the right investment governance model for your institution isn’t about size. In the hyper-competitive world of endowment management, something curious happens when the word used to describe...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Bridging the Gap: Carbon and Fiduciary Responsibility

Most institutional investor discussions and actions regarding global warming have been at two ends of the spectrum: either divest from fossil fuels entirely or remain fully invested. A better...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Six Key Questions To Ask OCIO Providers

“Outsourced CIO” (or OCIO) is a term that might not be familiar to many. In the past it has been defined as a traditional consulting model in which the process of interviewing potential investment...
Risk Management | Insights Blog

The Curious Case of Risk Exposures in Diversified Portfolios

Our research at Commonfund has found that a 70/30 stock/bond portfolio  has north of 99 percent of its risk, as measured by standard deviation, allocated to equities. Thus, portfolio risk typically...
Risk Management | Insights Blog

Defining Risk For Your Organization

Merriam-Webster’s defines risk as the “possibility of loss or injury.” The financial profession — borrowing from Modern Portfolio Theory — uses the standard deviation of a portfolio’s returns to...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

ESG: What is it?

Generally speaking, Environmental Social and Governance, or ESG for short, is used to describe a group of characteristics that can have a material impact on the long-term success of a company and,...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Straight Talk About Private Equity

For reasons unknown, many investors assume that private equity may have lost its edge as a key allocation for their portfolios. This perception, however, may not align with reality. By taking a...