Institutions

Fiduciary responsibility requires more than generous hearts and hands — a good head is needed when minding an institution’s investments.

It is our bias that most institutions are under-served and over-charged. Following are the tenets of how we approach relationships with endowments and foundations:

Discovery ~ Fiduciary duty begins with engaging in rigorous dialogue about what is desired versus what is realistic. Sample topics include:

  • Sustainability: Are investment returns needed to cover operating expenses?
  • Alignment: Must investment returns be consistent with your institution’s mission?
  • Volatility: Could a significant market downtown cause a change in your institution’s mission?
  • Rebalancing: Are there limits to owning specific securities?

 

Investment Policy Statement ~ The cornerstone of managing investments is an Investment Policy Statement (IPS). Think of it as the working contract between board members and the investment firm hired to manage money.

Investment Management Fees & Embedded Expenses ~ As transparency becomes the norm in endowments and foundations — driven by the disclosures required by the expanded IRS Form 990 — board members are expected to understand the total cost that their institution pays for investment management. This is simply part of the fiduciary duty. We are dedicated to helping you understand and assess the total cost.

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