In past years, endowment and foundation (E&F) portfolios benefited from strong equity markets, and philanthropic giving has fully recovered from the decline experienced during the financial crisis in 2008–2009. Expectations of slow growth and changing monetary policy will most likely lead to higher volatility, and as such, committees will revisit their investment and risk management strategies and shift their focus to finding alternative sources of alpha. Indeed thus far into 2016, equity market volatility has increased on uncertainty around global growth, commodity volatility and central bank policy. To help E&Fs think through these issues, Mercer has identified key priorities for consideration in the year ahead, encompassing both nearer-term market-related risks and longer-term governance-focused enhancements.
At the turn of the year, it is desirable to assess one’s strategies, policies and practices. We’ll be addressing a variety of important issues and will challenge conventional thinking around intermediate-term and long-term portfolio positioning. The topics will provide alternative points of view for your committee as you consider your specific balance between risk control and pursuit of returns necessary to meet your objectives in a changing market environment.
Investment Committee Members, Staff, CIOs, Family Offices
Kenneth Shimberg, Mercer’s Chief Investment Officer, Endowments & Foundations
Travis Pruit, Mercer’s CFA US Business Leader, Not-for-Profit Outsourced CIO