Operating Assets

When Leaks Turn into Floods:
Challenges Facing Higher Education

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr. on Jan 19, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Operating Assets | Outsourced Investing | Risk Management

2017’s tax legislation is the latest in a growing list of challenges facing higher education. The new excise taxes on endowment earnings of the largest private universities, coupled with...

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Spending Policy: Is Yours Ready for the Next Downturn?

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr. on Nov 7, 2017

Topic: Governance and Policy | Investment Strategy | Operating Assets | Outsourced Investing

In most Investment Policy Statements there is often a reference to two important, but conflicting, objectives: one, to preserve the purchasing power of the long-term portfolio in real terms, and two, to provide a stable. predictable and hopefully growing source of income to the institution that the long-term portfolio supports. Why the conflict? Because in order to generate returns that will sustain real purchasing power in perpetuity, the portfolio must be exposed to risk which often means volatility and thus potential instability or unpredictability in the income stream...

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The Crowded Liquidity Trade

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Apr 10, 2017

Topic: Fixed Income | Investment Strategy | Operating Assets

Over the past few months, we have seen a massive shift of investor assets from prime to government money market funds in response to post-crisis regulatory amendments that have been years in the making. Surprisingly, the market reaction happened quickly and dramatically, even though the changes were widely known. In October 2016, SEC rule amendments were implemented to prevent the possibility of cash investments, specifically prime money market mutual funds, from “breaking the buck” and resulting in liquidity panics in the future.

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Five Takeaways from Treasury Symposium 2017

Posted by Commonfund on Feb 23, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Industry Knowledge | Operating Assets

Treasury Symposium 2017 was held in New Orleans earlier this month. 285 senior financial officers from over 100 large universities participated in the strategic discussions. Once again, the takeaways from the three-day Symposium were thought-provoking as well as cautionary for the higher education industry.

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Bridging the Budgetary Gap: Where Did Our Operating Income Go?

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Sep 15, 2016

Topic: Industry Knowledge | Operating Assets

Treasury managers face a new challenge to an old problem. Their institutions historically have relied on operating investment income to provide a necessary influx to operating budgets. Prior to 2008, risk free or minimal risk investments provided support for operations with returns that are currently unimaginable.

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Where Did Our Operating Income Go?

Posted by Ryan Driscoll, Michael Strauss on Sep 15, 2016

Topic: Fixed Income | Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge | Operating Assets

Treasury managers face a new challenge to an old problem. Their institutions historically have relied on operating income to provide a necessary influx to operating budgets. Prior to 2008, risk free or minimal risk investments provided support for operations with returns that are currently unimaginable. The concept of a risk-free instrument yielding anything significantly above 0% in the future does not take into account the post crisis world of capital markets, specifically cash markets. So, the world of five percent cash returns is gone, and has little chance of re-emerging. This leaves a shortfall in how treasury managers balance budgets and fund capital initiatives going forward.

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Opportunities Arise for Liquidity Investors

Posted by Commonfund on Aug 19, 2016

Topic: Market Commentary | Operating Assets

For the last several months, significant asset flows have moved from institutional to government-only money market funds in anticipation of new regulations. On October 14, 2016 regulations will finally go into effect for non-government institutional money market funds, with the highlighted feature being the shift from a fixed $1 transaction share price to a floating NAV. These portfolios will be priced using the market-based value of the actual portfolio holdings, out to four decimals. This means that Endowments, Foundations, and other businesses that manage operating cash will no longer be able to hold funds in stable fixed $1.00 share price institutional money market accounts.

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What’s Next for Cash Investors?

Posted by Commonfund on Jun 7, 2016

Topic: Operating Assets

In the static low-rate environment of recent years, it seemed as though there was no “what’s next” for cash. Today, that has changed, as there are major forces reshaping the regulatory and interest rate regimes.

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Download Commonfund’s Sample Operating Asset Policy and Guidelines

Posted by Commonfund on Oct 22, 2015

Topic: Governance and Policy | Operating Assets

Commonfund has developed a sample Operating Asset Investment Policy based on best practices in cash investment management. Download your copy today.

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Managing Operating Assets: Part II
Market Environment

Posted by Commonfund on Aug 13, 2015

Topic: Fixed Income | Operating Assets

In our last article, we discussed the changing structure of liquidity products available to investors. Now, we will revisit the topic and take a look at events that could potentially impact the short-term investment markets over the next 12 to 18 months.

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