Responsible Investing | Articles

Viewpoint | Responsible Investing: Evolution, Not Resolution

In recent years, responsible investing has received mounting levels of attention from all quarters of the investment management field, from institutional investors large and small to global asset...
Perspectives | Articles

Viewpoint: Actions Speak Louder than Data

In this Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations viewpoint, it's about analyzing and interpreting the data we've collected. What do they tell us? What trends are emerging? How are...
Perspectives | Articles

Viewpoint: Looking Back, Moving Forward - A Decade of Insight from CSIS

Fiscal 2009 was an epochal year. In March, the stock market decline wrought by the financial crisis and Great Recession reached its nadir as investors sensed the worst had passed. With the turn in...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Viewpoint: The Long of It

Endowments, like the organizations they support, are generally intended to operate in perpetuity. To accomplish this goal, those responsible for endowments—trustees or directors—make decisions based...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Viewpoint: The Gift of (Relative) Calm

The calamities known as the financial crisis and Great Recession are now a decade in the past. But far from fading into history, the memories remain fresh. And we are reminded of those days regularly...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Diversity and Emerging Managers

The benefits of diversity are widely recognized in the work place and among educational institutions and other nonprofits. Yet, the concept of investment management firms that are minority owned and...
Responsible Investing | Articles

ESG Investing Becomes Mainstream

The subject of ESG, or investing in accord with environmental, social and governance principles, arose in several sessions at Commonfund Forum 2018. One session, in particular, was devoted to the...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Viewpoint: Being Objective

Every year, the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments® (NCSE) reports new data—on investment returns, asset allocation, risk management, donations and gifts, and much more. But some data points are...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Governance Best Practices: How Does Your Board Measure Up?

Since our founding in 1971, a core element of the Commonfund mission has been to provide insights on a broad range of governance, policy and investment challenges. An engaged governing board is...
Responsible Investing | Articles

Viewpoint: Increased Responsibility

Introduction In recent years, growing attention has been paid to the use by endowed institutions of so-called responsible investing practices. The three main practices — environmental, social and...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Not So Free: Implications of New York’s Excelsior Scholarships

Key Insights While opening opportunity to many New York families, the recently enacted Excelsior Scholarship Program will likely stress the financial resources of small private colleges and...
Perspectives | Articles

Viewpoint: Counting the Cost

How much does investment management cost? Fiduciaries, donors and stakeholders at endowed institutions have a strong interest in finding a good answer to this question, particularly in this era of...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Viewpoint: A Firmer Foundation

How long is the long term? A year ago, private and community foundations appeared to many observers to have recovered from the losses suffered in the 2008–09 global financial crisis. Double-digit...
Perspectives | Articles

Viewpoint: Seven Years On

How long is the long term? A year ago, endowments appeared to many observers to have recovered from the losses suffered in the 2008-09 global financial crisis. Double-digit investment returns had...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Viewpoint: Changing Our Minds

It is often said that we live in a world of change, but it is surprising how slowly that change can occur. Seven years after the onset of the Great Recession, many business school students are still...
Outsourced CIO | Articles

Of Apples, Oranges and Onions: Assessing OCIO Performance and Fees

Nearly all CFOs and investment committees consider it. And more than ever are acting upon it: investigating the possibility of an Outsourced CIO (OCIO) to manage their institution’s investments. When...
Risk Management | Articles

Greenhouse Effect

Investment returns of less well-diversified portfolios have flourished in the accommodative market environment created by central banks. But what will happen when rates rise? In the last five years,...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Viewpoint: A Different Kind of Climate Change

How have cultural, religious and social service institutions’ investment portfolios changed in response to the financial and market environment that has prevailed over the last several years? While...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Long-Term Care

Facing cost pressures and a new regulatory regime, healthcare organizations — especially those in the small and mid-sized range — should consider adopting the principles of the endowment model....