Endowments & foundations Change brings opportunity 

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Canadian endowments, foundations and not-for-profits investment survey results

Throughout the last decade, endowments & foundations (E&Fs) have enjoyed favourable market returns across virtually all asset classes, driven generally by buoyant equity markets and underpinned by ultra-accommodative monetary policy. Even in light of these positive results, E&Fs are concerned about the future, higher expected inflation rates, lower expected returns and uncertain future donations. These are all putting pressure on the capability of E&Fs to meet your mission statement. In addition, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors and impact investing considerations are driving changes to the implementation of the strategic asset mix.

See how your peers have, and are reacting to these challenges.

Key Findings

  • Investment policy asset allocation:
    • When compared to the 2012 survey, respondents showed a slight reduction in allocations to both fixed income (from 33.2% to 30.1%) and public equities (from 57.3% to 53.6%) in favour of real assets/alternative investments.
  • Spending policy:
    • Almost 40% of respondents indicated spending between 4% and 4.5%, with just over 20% of respondents maintaining a spending policy in excess of 4.5%.
  • ESG and responsible investing policy:
    • 60% of respondents have a formal policy regarding the incorporation of ESG considerations in investment decision-making processes, which is almost double that of the 2012 survey.
  • Reviewing your strategic asset mix starts with:
    • A clear understanding of the exposure of your portfolio to inflation and associated risks.
    • Assessment of the gap between expected return and your spending policy.

Interested in more?

Read our investment survey results of Canadian endowments, foundations, and not-for-profit investors. Find out how you compare to industry peers and the emerging trends that are shaping investment decision making.

Contact your Mercer investment consultant today to discuss the latest investment trends, challenges and potential solutions.

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