Posts by Commonfund

Governance And Policy | Videos

Implications of Increased Spending for Foundations

In this Commonfund Xchange, Commonfund Institute Executive Director, George Suttles, moderated a discussion with two leading practitioners: Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation Chief Finance and...
Responsible Investing | Articles

Commonfund Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy

Commonfund continues to be committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts throughout the organization.  The Commonfund Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Office has created a Diversity,...
Governance And Policy | Press Releases

George Suttles Named Executive Director of the Commonfund Institute — Commonfund Associate Director Allison Kaspriske Joins Institute as Director

WILTON, CT, November 16, 2020 — Commonfund, a prominent investment manager for endowments, foundations and philanthropic organizations, today announced the promotion of George Suttles to Executive...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

How to Measure Private Equity Investments

Private capital investors use a particular set of quantitative and qualitative measures to assess performance. While the standard benchmarks used for marketable securities are sometimes applied to...
Diversity | Insights Blog

Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for University & College Endowments

Commonfund and Commonfund Institute are very happy to contribute to the new report from Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), “Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for University & College...
Responsible Investing | Press Releases

Diverse Manager Portal Re-opens

WILTON, CT (August 24, 2020)— Commonfund, a prominent asset manager for endowments, foundations and public pension investors, announced today the re-opening of its online Diverse Manager Portal (“The...
Perspectives | Press Releases

Commonfund Appoints Terrence Hill, Managing Director, OCIO Business

WILTON, CT (July 30, 2020) — Commonfund, a leading asset manager for nonprofit organizations, today announced the appointment of Terrence (Terry) Hill as Managing Director, Business Development. In...
Governance And Policy | Videos

Cultural Institutions and the COVID-19 Crisis

Board members, investment committees, and senior staff are charged with the fiduciary responsibility to make informed decisions when guiding the investment activities of their organization. The...
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,...
Governance And Policy | Press Releases

AGB and Commonfund Announce New Strategic Partnership

Enhancements to resources for investment management come at critical time for endowments WASHINGTON, DC, June 4, 2020 — The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), the...
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 Equity 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;...
Governance And Policy | Videos

Stewarding Foundations Through the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has put tremendous strain on local communities across the country and foundations have been asked to rise to the challenge while endowments have declined in value due to market...
Market Commentary | Videos

An Insider's Guide to the Chinese Economy

Commonfund CEO and CIO, Mark Anson, hosted Leland Miller, CEO of China Beige Book. Mr. Miller shared his proprietary research and insights in this exclusive session for Commonfund Forum registrants....
Governance And Policy | Videos

CARES Act | Implications and Opportunities for Nonprofits

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), establishing the largest aid package in our nation’s history. The $2...
Market Commentary | Articles

Higher Ed in the Age of COVID-19

Commonfund convenes an expert panel to take on the short- and intermediate-term threats that higher education confronts in the face of a national emergency the likes of which have not been seen for...
Governance And Policy | Videos

Higher Ed in the Age of COVID-19 - A Panel Discussion

With COVID-19 exploding every expectation of normalcy in U.S. higher education, Commonfund convened a panel of experts to identify, analyze and offer potential responses to the critical challenges...
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 | Videos

Commonfund Manager Spotlight | Ardent Venture Partners

Commonfund Board Member, Michael Warren, interviews Phil Bronner of Ardent Venture Partners.  
Investment Strategy | Videos

A Global Perspective for Long-Term Equity Investors

Watch this short video on our Global Perspective for Long-Term Equity Investors. Over the past decade U.S. equities have consistently outperformed international markets, leading many investors to...
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...
Perspectives | Press Releases

Three New Members Appointed to Board of Trustees

Commonfund Appoints Three New Members to its Board of Trustees Wilton, CT, December 19, 2019 – Commonfund, a leading asset manager for nonprofit organizations, endowments, foundations and public...
Private Capital | Articles

Emerging Markets Private Equity — A Focus on China

Commonfund recently hosted a talk on evolving private capital opportunities in emerging markets. Mark Hoeing, Head of Private Equity, moderated the discussion, while Aaron Miller, Head of Venture...
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...
Outsourced CIO | Videos

Your Video Guide to Investment Outsourcing

Watch this short video on investment outsourcing by Keith Luke as he discusses the growth of the outsourced-CIO industry and steps for institutions to take when implementing an outsourced CIO.  
Private Capital | Insights Blog

Three Considerations for Your Private Equity Structure

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...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Outsourcing: Writing Your RFP

Once an institution decides to pursue the outsourced CIO or investment office option, it usually leads to the creation of a request for proposal, or RFP.  Considering that the outsourced model is a...
Investment Strategy | Press Releases

Commonfund Launches Diverse Manager Portal

Commonfund Launches Diverse Manager Portal to Broaden Client Access to Diverse Investment Talent Wilton, CT, September 10, 2019 — Commonfund, a prominent asset manager for endowments, foundations and...
Investment Strategy | Articles

An Investor’s Private Equity Guide

Commonfund recently hosted a panel discussion focused on the current state of private equity and venture capital, with an emphasis on the investor’s perspective of the industry today. The three...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2018 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations Released

National Foundation Study Reports Negative Investment Returns for 2018; Spending Rates Steady, Donations to Community Foundations Mixed Data from the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study Generally...
Private Capital | Videos

Commonfund Spotlight: Private Equity Market

Commonfund head of private equity, Mark Hoeing, will discuss views of the private equity market and share research insights into portfolio construction.  
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...
Private Capital | Press Releases

Commonfund Capital Appoints Head of Beijing Investment Office

Commonfund Capital Appoints Xiaonan Tian as Associate Director and Head of Beijing Investment Office Wilton, CT June 25, 2019 – Commonfund Capital, the private capital subsidiary of Commonfund,...
Investment Strategy | Videos

CIO Roundtable: The Past, Present and Future of Endowment Investing

Fiduciaries of nonprofit organizations are entrusted with fulfilling the missions of their organizations in large part through effective stewardship of financial assets. In the 50 years since the...
Perspectives | Press Releases

Commonfund Institute Announces First 2019 HEPI Estimate at 2.6%

More frequent forecasts are first of several planned HEPI enhancements Institute will unveil in 2019 Wilton, CT, May 14, 2019 – Commonfund Institute today announced that the first 2019 estimate for...
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...
Private Capital | Press Releases

Commonfund Capital Closes 2nd Secondaries Fund at $450M

Commitments More than Double Capital Raised for Inaugural Secondaries Fund in 2016 Wilton, CT, May 7, 2019 – Commonfund Capital today announced the closing of its second secondaries fund, Commonfund...
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...
Diversity | Articles

Dynamic Workforce = Dynamic Portfolios

The Surprising Outcomes When Diverse Groups and Homogeneous Groups Tackle the Same Problem In late 2018, Commonfund established a Diversity Office with the objective of benefiting from the strengths...
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...
Market Commentary | Articles

The Global Economy and the Return of Risk

How to think about tariffs, deficits, valuations, leverage, growth and other issues What signals should institutions be mindful of as they make portfolio decisions in the current environment? A panel...
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 | Press Releases

Majority of Investors Expect Bull Market to End

Nonprofit Investors Anticipate Weakening Consumer Confidence to Cause End of Bull Market, Commonfund Survey Finds Majority of Endowments, Foundations Expect Bull Market to End Within 2 Years Wilton,...
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...
Investment Strategy | Videos

Playing to Win

In this Forum 2019 general session, Commonfund experts share research into much of the conventional wisdom around institutional portfolio management, with some surprising results into which...
Market Commentary | Videos

Welcome Address and Overview | Forum 2019

Mark Anson, Commonfund Chief Executive Officer and CIO opens Forum 2019 with welcome remarks and a review of the global economy. Download the slides in this presentation.   
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 equity 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...
Private Capital | Press Releases

Commonfund Appoints Managing Director for Consultant Relations

Wilton, CT, November 28, 2018 – Commonfund Capital, the private capital subsidiary of Commonfund, announced today that its investment team has expanded with the appointment of Jay Teevan as Managing...
Diversity | Press Releases

Commonfund Launches Diversity Office

Wilton, CT, November 15, 2018 – Commonfund, a prominent asset manager for endowments, foundations and public pension investors, announced today the launch of its Diversity Office (“The Office”). By...
Governance And Policy | Videos

Commonfund Partner Spotlight | Widener University

Commonfund Managing Director and Head of Strategic Solutions, Tim Yates, interviews Dr. Julie Wollman, President of Widener University. In this wide-ranging discussion Dr. Wollman describes how...
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...
Private Capital | Press Releases

Commonfund Capital Closes 12th Venture Capital Fund at $432M

Commonfund Capital Closes 12th Venture Capital Fund at $432M Wilton, CT, October 5, 2018 – Commonfund Capital today announced the closing of its 12th venture capital fund, Commonfund Capital Venture...
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...
Perspectives | Press Releases

Commonfund Leadership Changes

Commonfund Appoints Mark Anson Chief Executive Officer Deborah Spalding and Kristofer Kwait appointed Deputy CIOs  Wilton, CT, June 7, 2018 – Commonfund, an asset manager for endowments, foundations...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

Rust College

Rust College: Where tomorrow’s leaders are students today In the wake of the Civil War, Rust College was founded in 1866 to provide an education for newly-freed slaves. Located in Holly Springs,...
Private Capital | Articles

Private Capital: Key to Unlocking Growth in Emerging Markets

After a turbulent period, emerging markets have delivered double-digit returns in recent years. Private investments in emerging markets offer a way to diversify beyond the public markets and, in...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

Flagler College

Energetic youth in ‘America’s oldest city’. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental U.S., having been founded in 1565. Flagler College is...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

Missouri Baptist Foundation

Managing investments for missions, ministries and churches. The Missouri Baptist Foundation (MBF) has a noble calling: to support and strengthen the good work of the show me state's ministries,...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

University of the Virgin Islands

  These Buccaneers pursue a different treasure. There was a time when pirates plied the waters of the Caribbean in the pursuit of gold and other treasure. The Buccaneers mascot of the University of...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

The Sky's No Limit. It doesn't issue public weather forecasts, but it tracks weather around the globe. It isn't the national hurricane center, but it studies hurricanes as well as other extreme...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

They dig plants at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Hundreds of thousands of plant species are scattered all over the earth, but if the plant world had a headquarters it might be the Fort Worth, Texas home of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

The Lincoln University

Founded in 1854, The Lincoln University is the nation's oldest degree-granting institutions for persons of African descent. Lincoln is committed to maintaining a nurturing and stimulating environment...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

Western Washington University

Active minds changing lives. Right-sized, well balanced, with an extensive range of strong academic programs and some enlightening stats that speak to all of it: Western Washington University (WWU)...
Perspectives | Press Releases

Survey Finds Investors Remain Cautiously Optimistic

Nonprofit Investors Believe Trade Wars and Protectionism Pose Greatest Threat to the Global Economy, Finds Commonfund Survey Endowments, Foundations Remain Cautiously Optimistic on Achieving...
Investment Strategy | Videos

Commonfund Manager Spotlight | Brightwood Capital Advisors

Commonfund's Caroline Greer interviews Sengal Selassie, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Brightwood Capital Advisors in this Commonfund Manager Spotlight.  
Investment Strategy | Videos

Evolving Asset Allocation and Policy Portfolios

In this Forum 2018 general session, Commonfund experts share research findings and techniques we employ to help investors understand not just the characteristics of their portfolio in isolation but...
Private Capital | Articles

What’s the Difference? Time-Weighted Return vs. Internal Rate of Return

Investors often ask about the difference between time-weighted return (“TWR”) and internal rate of return (“IRR”). In general, TWR is used by the investment industry to measure the performance of...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

Northampton Community College Foundation

The dictionary defines a foundation as “an underlying base or support.” Of course, there’s another type of foundation, defined as “funds given for the support of an institution.” Northampton...
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 | Videos

The Absent Superpower

In this Commonfund Forum 2017 Spotlight, geopolitical strategist and author Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the...
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...
Perspectives | Videos

No More Gatekeepers

In this Commonfund Forum Spotlight, founder of DonorsChoose.org Charles Best shares how as a 24-year-old teacher at a Bronx high school, he created a model of giving hailed as "the future of...
Perspectives | Videos

Monkeynomics

In this Commonfund Forum 2017 Spotlight, Dr. Laurie Santos demonstrates that primates have much to teach us about our own economic decision-making. Both monkeys and humans know a bargain when they...
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...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

Center for Natural Lands Management

These words—to protect, preserve and defend—come from the oath of office sworn by the President of the United States. At the Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM), they refer to an unwritten but...
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...
Investor Spotlight | Articles

The William Penn Foundation

Fast Philly facts: The city is the site of the first library, hospital, medical school, stock exchange and zoo in the U.S. It’s the only World Heritage City in the U.S. William Penn founded the city...
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...
| Articles

What’s Next for Cash Investors?

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...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Ideas for Next Gen Energy Investing

Advances in alternative energy technologies promise to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Largely, however, they remain just that—a promise. So, where are the opportunities to invest in...
Governance And Policy | Articles

The Big Picture: Integrating Investments, Finance and Development

Most things function a lot better when all the moving parts work together—nonprofit institutions included. The synergies afforded by collaboration across organizational boundaries may be the most...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Asset Allocation with Private Equity

Reprinted from Volume 17, Number 1, 2016 of The Journal of Investment Consulting by Mark J.P. Anson Private assets such as private equity and venture capital have long been a thorn in the side of...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Emerging Markets: Balancing Risk and Reward

Investors poured $2 trillion into emerging economies between 2009 and 2014. Then prices for a basket of commodities fell—dragging crude oil down to levels not seen in a decade and dashing investors’...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Rethinking Risk and Diversification

Asset allocation is still the foundation on which better risk-adjusted returns are built. But asset allocation has changed, along with all the associated tools for pursuing return and managing risk....
Perspectives | Videos

The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education to “anyone, anywhere” in the world. A former hedge fund analyst with degrees from...
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...
Responsible Investing | Articles

Impact Investing: Balancing the best of responsibility & opportunity

Impact investing is showing growth around the world. According to the most recent J.P. Morgan/Global Impact Investing Network Impact Investor Survey, the number of institutional investors engaging in...
Perspectives | Articles

Working capital: challenge and opportunity

On campus, the thinking about operating asset management is changing with the times. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, liquidity was the primary concern on university...
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,...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Evolving Challenges in Nonprofit Governance

Commonfund recently convened an expert panel moderated by Myra Drucker (standing, left), Chair of the Board, TrustedPeer Inc. and former chair of the Commonfund Board of Trustees. The roundtable...
Responsible Investing | Articles

ESG: Sharpening the Point

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are a topic for active discussion in board rooms. Here’s an update on Commonfund’s thoughts and actions and how ESG may relate to you. In general,...
Outsourced CIO | Articles

Nonstop Nonprofit-Dedicated OCIO

Why an OCIO that's dedicated to serving nonprofits may be preferable to a general practitioner As the OCIO model has evolved and expanded in recent years, a number of financial providers have entered...
Risk Management | Articles

Risk: The Fuel that Generates Portfolio Returns

Risk management: the process of harnessing risk in pursuit of better investment returns In a broad sense, how should nonprofit institutional investors think about investment risk and risk management?...
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...
Investment Strategy | Articles

6 Keys to Choosing the Right Outsourced CIO

Today, few OCIOs that serve nonprofits are total institutional partners. Six questions can help you find one who takes a holistic approach. Not long ago, the definition and scope of an “Outsourced...
Responsible Investing | Articles

ESG and Your Institution: Doing Well by Doing Good

Investing according to environmental, social and governance principles is maturing into a distinct discipline. Robust research results dispute the conventional wisdom about performance trade-offs. If...