The Most Overlooked Element of the OCIO Relationship

August 6, 2021 |
2 minute read

When properly implemented, outsourcing the investment of nonprofit assets can help institutions establish governance processes, manage a complex portfolio, and navigate operational complexity and risk management challenges.

We believe your financial partner should be an extension of your organization. Commonfund’s Outsourced Chief Investment Office (“OCIO”) program extends beyond the Investment Officer to include Investment Analysts, an Operational Servicing Team, and a Relationship Manager.

The OCIO Team develops a deep understanding of your entire organization so that they can serve as a strong partner, collaborating with you to oversee the total enterprise. We have found over many years of working with our OCIO clients that the extended services beyond investment execution are highly valued but often overlooked in the search/RFP process.

With that in mind, here are four questions that you should consider when selecting your Outsourced Chief Investment Office.

Does your OCIO partner facilitate daily operational responsibilities, freeing your staff to manage other projects and priorities?

One of our key differentiators is the high touch service we deliver to our clients. Beyond portfolio management, our outsourced operations team will work closely with your business office and deliver daily support in the areas of cashflow management, portfolio rebalancing, administration, portfolio reconciliation and accounting, investment reporting and audit support. Moreover, the team will track all capital call and distribution activity for illiquid programs and will coordinate capital call and distribution management.

Does your OCIO partner include an independent risk, legal, compliance and operations teams that conduct operational reviews and ongoing due diligence of all third-party investment managers?

Our teams perform operational reviews and due diligence and reach consensus on any issues prior to final investment manager approval. These teams also conduct ongoing manager monitoring and reviews. Importantly, as your OCIO, we review offering documents, and to help alleviate the burden on staff, complete subscription materials for new investments.

Does your OCIO partner provide complete transparency?

Portfolio transparency is an important tool to facilitate effective oversight. Commonfund recognizes how critical this component is and delivers timely reports that include: consolidated statements, detailed portfolio investment reports, financial reports, fees, and other materials. Reports are available on our client portal for convenient access. The team is available to provide information and respond to inquiries from your staff and audit teams.

Does your OCIO partner offer support during audit season?

Your OCIO team should be a resource you can lean on during this hectic time. Commonfund offers resources in support of your audit needs, including comprehensive audit report packages, consolidated financial statements, and will work directly with your auditors as needed.

These operational services delivered to your internal staff by the OCIO team are often less of a focus yet are critical elements to the success of your organization.

To learn more about Commonfund’s OCIO services click here.

Amy Harlacker


Amy Harlacker

Managing Director, Head of Operations

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