White Papers & Articles

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

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Mar 19, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

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 the equity market, the seeds were sown for the bull market that continued to and through fiscal 2018. Thus, 10 years on, it is useful to look back on the period that began in FY2009 to understand the trends that can be discerned from a decade of data based on the Commonfund Study of Independent Schools (CSIS).

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Year-End Update and 2019 Investment Outlook

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson on Jan 2, 2019

Topic: Market Commentary

As we bid farewell to 2018 and head into 2019, I am pleased to provide you with an update on developments at Commonfund as well as our perspective on the markets and investing. Our roots as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the financial interests of institutional investors provides...

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Viewpoint:
The Long of It

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Sep 17, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge

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 not on myopic thinking or daily machinations in the financial markets, but on the unique...

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Viewpoint: The Gift of (Relative) Calm

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Aug 16, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge

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 (headline from a recent New York Times: “Biggest Banks Easily Pass Fed Stress Test").

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Inaugural Corporate Responsibility Report and 2018 Mid-Year Letter

Posted by Mark J.P. Anson, Commonfund on Jul 12, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Responsible Investing

We are pleased to share with you our inaugural Corporate Responsibility Report. Since our founding in 1971, Commonfund has pursued a singular mission – to enhance the financial resources of our clients by delivering exceptional performance, service and insight. Beyond our focus on investment excellence . . .

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Diversity and Emerging Managers

Posted by Commonfund Institute on May 21, 2018

Topic: Investment Strategy | Responsible Investing

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 operated lags, partly because of the challenge of attracting investors’ capital . . .

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Inflation Expectations are Rising. How Can Investors Protect Portfolios?

Posted by Ivo C. Nenin, Kristofer Kwait on May 14, 2018

Topic: Investment Strategy | Real Assets

In March, capital markets entered their tenth year of post-crisis recovery. For diversified portfolios, these have been some of the most profitable times, characterized by strong returns, positive correlations between equities and bonds and robust illiquidity premiums from private programs . . .

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ESG Investing Becomes Mainstream

Posted by Commonfund Institute on May 4, 2018

Topic: Responsible Investing

Can a sustainability strategy be tied to better financial outcomes? 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 ongoing evolution of responsible investing, with a focus on ESG.

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Private Capital: Key to Unlocking Growth in Emerging Markets

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Apr 25, 2018

Topic: Private Capital

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 general, have also been a source of strong returns...

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Viewpoint:
Being Objective

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Feb 22, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge

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 relatively static. In this Viewpoint we will dive deeper into long-term return objectives and the investment policies that support the objectives of the endowment.

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