Responsible Investing | Articles

Commonfund Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy

 
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...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Study of Foundations Key Highlights 2019 [Infographic]

For the year ended December 31, 2019, participating private foundations reported an average return of 17.4 percent while participating community foundations reported an average return of 18.2 percent...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

How do you 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...
Outsourced CIO | Insights Blog

Top Ten Tips for Better RFPs

A tightly run RFP process can help ensure your organization will find an ideal investment partner to help you fulfill your organization’s mission. As the second installment of our blog series on the...
Responsible Investing | Articles

Nonprofit Leaders Spotlight | Marvin Owens, Senior Director, NAACP Economic Department

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2019 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations Released

National Study Reports Strong Investment Results in 2019 Increased Foundations’ Intermediate-Term Returns   Data from the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study Show Spending in Support of Mission...
Investment Strategy | Videos

Top Hedge Fund Investors - Ten Years Later

In July 2010, I published the book Top Hedge Fund Investors: Stories, Strategies, and Advice. My co-author and I interviewed nine leading allocators to hedge funds, including one Mark Anson, who...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Balancing Purpose, Payout, and Permanence: A Strategy Guide for Foundations

In partnership with the Council on Foundations, the National Center for Family Philanthropy has released Balancing Purpose, Payout, and Permanence: A Strategy Guide. Commonfund Institute is very...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Inflation Expectations Surge, Driving Real Interest Rates Down

Chairman Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole during the last week of August confirmed the Fed’s dovish policy stance, giving investors ample support in terms of low rates and a flexible inflation...
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...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Capturing Credit Opportunities in Times of Crisis

Key takeaways During periods of dislocation in high-quality credit, investors should  stay the course within fixed income portfolios and maintain active risk to benefit from the inevitable rebound...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Markets are Running Ahead of Economic Reality

When investors open their second quarter investment reports, many will be shocked by the magnitude of stock market gains in the second quarter. Their surprise could be voiced by a rhetorical question...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Changing the Conversation on College and University Resources

William Massy has spent his entire career at the intersection of academia and administration, as a microeconomist; professor, dean and CFO at Stanford University; author; and now, an independent...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Increasing Giving During COVID-19: Thoughts for Philanthropy

The Council on Foundations has acted to support its members, their nonprofit partners, and the people and communities hit hardest by the impacts of COVID-19 by asking members to sign a pledge of...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Five Key Points of the Investment Policy Statement

The central document guiding the management of a nonprofit institution’s endowment—essentially, the strategic plan of the investment committee—is the investment policy statement (IPS). The IPS should...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

COVID-19 and Nonprofits | Five Observations from China

Although the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. nonprofits will not be known for some time there may be something to learn from what we’re seeing in China. China was the first country to...
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 | Articles

How Can Trustees Achieve Intergenerational Equity in the Face of Rising Costs?

The Commonfund Higher Education Price Index® (HEPI) is an inflation index for colleges and universities. It has been calculated since 1983 and includes inflation data going back to 1961. Commonfund...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

10 Tips for Stewarding People Remotely

Six key words – Purpose, Policy, Process, Portfolio, People, and Perspective – form a framework for effective endowment stewardship. As trustees, investment committee members, and senior management...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Coronavirus: Five Key Questions for Nonprofit Institutions

There is no question that we are in unprecedented times and will likely remain so for longer than we anticipated even a few weeks ago. The speed at which a new reality has been imposed on all of us...
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 | Insights Blog

Study of Independent Schools Key Highlights [Infographic]

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019, independent schools reported a 5.7 percent return in endowment assets. In this infographic, we report the key highlights from the 2019 Commonfund Benchmarks...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2019 Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools Released

Independent Schools Report 5.7% Return on Endowment Assets for FY2019 Investment Results Are Lower than Previous 2 Years but at Mid-Point of 5-Year Returns; 10-Year Returns Show Sharp Increase...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Optimize Luck

Instead of just optimizing for skill, why don’t we optimize for luck? Optimize Luck originated in a group discussion I facilitated for the Investment Institute, a membership organization for...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

2020 Investor Survey: Private Markets Sentiment

For the third year in a row, Commonfund Capital conducted a year-end annual survey of institutional investors to gauge their sentiment about private market investments. Survey responses totaled 267...
Market Commentary | Insights Blog

Chart of the Month | Election Year Market Trends

As we enter the 12th year of economic expansion since the Great Financial Crisis, investors continue to wonder whether 2020 will be the year when equity markets finally experience a correction....
Perspectives | Press Releases

2019 HEPI Report Released

Inflation for U.S. higher education institutions rises 2.5% in fiscal 2019 WILTON, CT, December 23, 2019 – Data from the annual Commonfund Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) show that inflation for...
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...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Purpose: What is an Endowment?

A critically important asset for many nonprofit organizations is their endowment, sometimes referred to by a different name such as long-term investment fund. So important is this pool of financial...
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...
Diversity | Articles

Diversity and Inclusion on Nonprofit Boards is Effective Stewardship

Many institutions recognize the need for diversity and inclusion on their boards and investment committees. Diverse and inclusive boards can make more effective decisions, design and deliver...
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...
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 | Insights Blog

Study of Foundations Key Highlights [Infographic]

For the year ended December 31, 2018, participating private foundations reported an average return of -5.3 percent while participating community foundations reported an average return of -3.5 percent...
Investment Strategy | Articles

An Investor’s Guide to Private Equity Today

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...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Recession – Maybe This Time is Different

The July Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting signaled the end of central bank rate normalization with the first rate cut in more than a decade. The last time the FOMC cut rates was in...
Diversity | Insights Blog

Commonfund Hosts Girls Who Invest at NYC Event

Girls Who Invest (GWI) is an organization focused on bringing more women into the field of asset management, a goal that Commonfund strongly supports. Every year, GWI invites rising juniors into...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

The Case for Using the Higher Education Price Index® (HEPI) to Define Inflation for Colleges

When calculating return targets for an endowment portfolio, a conventional piece of the equation is often the Consumer Price Index (CPI). CPI plus 5% is the common short-hand formula for institutions...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Investment Manager Fees Part II: Creating Alignment

In Part I of this blog series, “Investment Manager Fees: Out of Sight, Out of Mind”, we discussed our approach to determining the value of an asset manager and how we might calculate a fair price for...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Nonprofit Hospitals - Big Business in Nonprofit Clothing?

In the last few months, high profile nonprofit institutions have come under intense scrutiny for ethical dilemmas pertaining to the stewardship of resources meant to support mission. This is Part Two...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Summer Reading from the Stewardship Academy Faculty

As the last week of June approaches, investment stewards begin to prepare for summer – a time for relaxing, reflecting, and reading. We asked faculty members from the Investment Stewardship Academy,...
Diversity | Insights Blog

Museums and Cultural Institutions: To Accept or Not to Accept, That Is the Question

In the last few months, high profile nonprofit institutions have come under intense scrutiny for ethical dilemmas pertaining to the stewardship of resources meant to support mission. In a three-part...
Responsible Investing | Insights Blog

Commonfund Forum: A Carbon Neutral Event in 2019

In just two years Commonfund will celebrate its 50th anniversary as a non-profit investment manager for educational endowments, foundations and other tax-exempt investors. Throughout those almost...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Investment Manager Fees: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

One of the most pressing questions facing fiduciaries is that of investment management fees. We think it is a healthy and necessary discussion, as even small fees can have a big impact on performance...
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...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Surprising Stewardship Lessons from the Miracle on the Hudson

“When you’ve suffered a complete loss of engine thrust over the largest city in America, you must act quickly and independently to address the developing situation. But, you must also trust in the...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Donor Advised Funds: Changing the Philanthropic Landscape for Higher Education

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are the fastest growing giving vehicle in philanthropy. The Council on Foundations defines DAFs as: “A type of charitable giving fund that is established by a donor with an...
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...
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...
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...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Study of Independent Schools Key Findings [Infographic]

Schools participating in the Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools (CSIS) for the 2018 fiscal year reported an average return (net of fees) on their endowment assets of 7.4 percent. The...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2018 Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools (CSIS) Released

Commonfund Study of Independent Schools Reports 7.4% Return on Endowment Assets for FY2018 Investment Result Is Lower Compared to Previous Year, but Long-Term Returns Generally Improve WILTON, CT,...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2018 HEPI Report Released

Inflation for U.S. Higher Education Institutions Rises 2.8% in Fiscal 2018 WILTON, CT, December 10, 2018 – Data from the annual Commonfund Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) show that inflation for...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

7 Major Findings - Commonfund Benchmarks Study of Healthcare Organizations

Fifty-six healthcare organizations participated in the 2016–2017 Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Healthcare Organizations. These organizations reported an average investable asset pool of $2.1...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2017 CSHO Study of Healthcare Organizations Released

Organizations Participating in Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations Report Mixed Long-Term Results 13.2% Investment Return for 2017 Is Highest for Healthcare...
Perspectives | Press Releases

2017 CCSF Study of Foundations Released

National Foundation Study Shows Investment Returns Rose in 2017; Spending Rates Mixed, Gift-Giving Increased for Community Foundations Data from the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study (CCSF)...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

The Four P’s of Investment Decisions: Lessons from the Commonfund Institute

Three days after becoming Executive Director of the Commonfund Institute, I found myself at Yale University in New Haven giving welcoming remarks at our annual educational program.  Although I will...
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...
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 | Insights Blog

Investing in Diversity

At Commonfund, we scour the globe to find investment managers that we believe have the ability to consistently produce excess returns (alpha) over and beyond their benchmark. But alpha alone is not...
Diversity | Insights Blog

10 Key Takeaways from Commonfund Forum 2018

Commonfund recently hosted its 20th annual Commonfund Forum in Orlando, Florida. The event brought together 400 institutional investors from the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Forum 2018 Attendee Statistics [Infographic]

We recently hosted our 20th annual Commonfund Forum in Orlando Florida. The event brought together institutional investors to engage in a two-day conference to explore cyclical trends and tactical...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Key Findings from 2017 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments [Infographic]

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, educational endowments reported a 12.2 percent return as the 10-Year return fell to 4.6 percent. In this infographic, we report the top findings from the 2017...
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...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Despite Strong FY2017, Endowments Report Decline in Ten-Year Return

Despite 12.2 percent return for FY2017, educational endowments report a decline in their 10-Year return while large institutions lead increase in effective spending rate Data gathered from 809 U.S....
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

When Leaks Turn into Floods: Challenges Facing Higher Education

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 the...
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...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Tax Reform: CPI Plus More

It was another taxing weekend (literally) at Commonfund as we digested 1,097 pages of the conference agreement for the tax reform bill (the “Tax Act”) and its implications for our country and for the...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

The Tax Man Cometh (And Not Just for the Ivies)

UPDATE: Since this blog was published there have been further developments related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Please see our post Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: CPI Plus More for our latest thinking....
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...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

On Complacency | Why Risk Management Always Matters

Like nearly everything in the financial markets, risk is cyclical.  History repeats itself.  The echoes of past crises are always heard in present ones, yet new crises are rarely predicted and not...
Investment Strategy | Articles

Hedge Fund Land: An Expensive Amusement Park?

In a series of articles, we have addressed two recent investment “fatigues” experienced by institutional investors: Active vs. Passive; and Global (ACWI) vs. US benchmarks.  In this article, we...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Key Findings from 2016 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations [Infographic]

For the fiscal year ended December 30, 2016, participating private foundations reported an average return of 6.4 percent while participating community foundations reported an average return of 7.3...
Risk Management | Insights Blog

WannaCry? WannaRun, WannaHide! Managing Cybersecurity Risk

Over the last year there has been no shortage of things to keep investors, asset managers, and risk managers concerned. Despite these exogenous shocks most equity markets have continued to shake off...
Investment Strategy | Insights Blog

Active Fee Management: Notes from the Front Lines

Few topics get investors’ attention as much as fees.  We wouldn’t be human if we all didn’t want to know, in detail, how much something costs.  In the world of investing, fees are an even more...
Investment Strategy | Articles

The Misperception of Illiquid Investments

With many market participants expecting low nominal returns across traditional asset classes in the coming years, the challenge of structuring a portfolio to achieve CPI +5%, or long-term purchasing...
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

Key Findings from NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments [Infographic]

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, educational endowments reported a -1.9 percent return as the 10-Year return fell to 5.0 percent. In this infographic, we report the top findings from the 2016...
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...
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...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

10 Key Takeaways from Commonfund Forum 2017

Commonfund recently hosted its 19th annual Commonfund Forum in San Antonio Texas.  The event brought together about 450 institutional investors from the U.S, Puerto Rico and Canada to engage in a...
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...
Perspectives | Insights Blog

Constraints Faced by Healthcare Endowments

As a result of the evolving landscape of the healthcare industry, organizations are increasingly being shaped by pressures affecting both the revenue and expense sides of the income statement. On one...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

How Does Board Structure Affect Performance?

The structure of a board has an important influence on its effectiveness, and being cognizant of these matters is essential to improving a board’s performance. In this article, we’ll discuss four...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Fiduciary Responsibility: A Board’s Purpose and Roles

Excellent boards are made, not born. Achieving excellence in board governance requires success in four crucial areas: capable leadership, a sound organizational structure, attention to fiduciary...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Where Did Our Operating Income Go?

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,...
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...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Five Laws that Led to Uniformity in Nonprofit Governance

With each state having its own court system, uniformity among the states did not exist. While there was agreement on basic common-law trust principles, variations still emerged. As the American...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

A Framework for Nonprofit Governance

Two important laws enacted in the last 15 years have had an impact far beyond the intent of their original authors, causing major, if little-noticed, changes in nonprofit governance. The...
Responsible Investing | Insights Blog

Responsible Investing for Foundations

Commonfund and the Council on Foundations are thrilled to announce the release of the 2016 Council on Foundations – Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing. It is the largest and most detailed...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

Operating Charity Implements a Risk-Based Investment Policy

An operating charity in the Northeast is in the process of implementing a risk-based investment policy for its $30 million endowment. The organization’s seven-member Investment Committee includes...
Responsible Investing | Insights Blog

Responsible Investing: Terminology and Background

The terms socially-responsible investing (SRI), mission-related investing, impact investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing – all frequently grouped under the heading of...
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...
Governance And Policy | Insights Blog

What is an OCIO?

Outsourced investment management, once primarily a solution for small institutions with limited resources, is now used by a broad range of long-term investors. When properly implemented, outsourcing...
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...
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...
Responsible Investing | Insights Blog

Sample Investment Policy Statement Rider for Responsible Investing

A number of clients and prospects have asked how their Investment Policy Statement (IPS) can be amended to accommodate responsible investing strategies. In response, we have prepared a rider which...
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...
Outsourced CIO | Insights Blog

5 Things to Consider When Choosing an OCIO

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. The...
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...
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

Multi-Asset Investing: Form Follows Function

The design axiom captures the purpose of multi-asset investing Interest in multi-asset investing is growing and the inflows confirm it: Institutional assets committed to multi-asset investing are...
Perspectives | Articles

Smart money, crowded trades?

For investors building multi-manager portfolios, a look at an alternative hedge fund beta. Approaches to stock selection vary widely across the hedge fund universe, even among managers practicing the...
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,...
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 | 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,...
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 | Insights Blog

10 Point Checklist to Get Governance Right

The regulatory and legislative landscape continues to become more rigorous for nonprofit organizations. In an atmosphere of increasing calls for accountability, boards and senior staff need to take...
Private Capital | Insights Blog

How liquid are Private Capital Investments?

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, institutional investors were rightfully concerned about the liquidity profiles of their long term portfolios. Although markets have recovered substantially...
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...
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....