Endowments & Finance Summit

September 6-7, 2018 | Washington, DC

2018 Endowments & Finance Logo 2018 Endowments & Finance Logo


Thursday, September 6

Opening Plenary - 9:15 am - 10:30 am

Harnessing the Momentum, Finding Opportunities, Building Stronger Futures 

We all wish we could predict the future. For many foundation leaders, this superpower would help them plan for and navigate global financial issues that force them to make hard choices about how to invest resources. While they don’t have a crystal ball, our panel of foundation leaders will share their strategies from the past year and how they plan to respond in the year ahead. The session will address current and emerging investment themes, insights on global equity and fixed income markets, and potential areas of growth that can help position organizations for future success.

Speakers: Stephanie Link, Managing Director & Equity Portfolio Manager, Nuveen; Juan Martinez, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation; Mary Jane Rynd, President and CEO, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Moderator: Kenneth Jones, Jr., Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Concurrent Sessions - 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Educating Your Board: The Rise of Impact / Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investing 

A board that is well-informed about its foundation’s investment objectives, strategies, and outcomes is critical. With so much attention on impact investing and ESG investment funds, the need to demystify the hype is paramount, especially since there is growing evidence that ESG factors, when integrated into investment analysis and portfolio construction, may offer investors potential long-term performance advantages. This session will feature a panel of experts who will: examine the potential risks and rewards associated with sustainable investing; offer ESG-related strategies and best practices to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive social impact; and discuss approaches to educating and guiding your board and other constituents along this journey. 

Introduction: Kevin O'Leary, CEO, Senior Managing Director, TIAA Endowment & Philanthropic Services

Speakers: Michael Kahn, Vice Chair of the Grinnell College Board of Trustees; Chris Crothers, Senior Program Officer, Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation

Moderator: Chris Carabell, Managing Director, Head of Business Strategy, TIAA Endowment and Philanthropic Services

This session is supported by TIAA Institute.

Deploying Foundation Capital in Place Based Community Investments 

Please join Northern Trust and the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta for an interactive conversation about deploying foundation capital. Learn about the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta’s experience with establishing the impact investment fund, GoATL Fund, as well as Northern Trust’s experience of deploying below market patient capital from its balance sheet. Participants will hear how investing directly in a community expands a foundation’s ability to use its community knowledge, how it can help grantees and their programs grow and become sustainable, and how fund partnerships offer a way all can participate regardless of their ability to invest directly.  

Speakers:  Deborah Kasemeyer, Managing Director, Community Development & Investments, Northern Trust; C. Mark Crosswell, Managing Director, Social Impact Strategy & The GoATL Fund, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

This session is supported by Northern Trust.

Lunch Roundtables - 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Investing with Emerging and Diverse Managers – Best Practices and Common Themes 

In a roundtable discussion, GCM Grosvenor will draw upon their nearly two decades of experience to provide insights on investing with emerging and diverse managers. Invoking real-world examples, the discussion will illustrate best practices in manager sourcing, portfolio construction, investment underwriting and risk mitigation. This session will also bring case studies to life, illustrating characteristics of top performing managers.  

Speakers: Renae Griffin, Director, GCM Grosvenor; Jason R. Howard, Partner, Private Equity Investments, GCM Grosvenor  

This session is supported by GCM Grosvenor.

The Cost of Not Hedging Foreign Currency   

Currency movements are often chalked up as a “zero sum game” and considered a wash over the long-term.  However, currency can be considered a separate risk factor warranting independent management, which if done right can reduce total portfolio risk and enhance returns. This roundtable will facilitate discussion on the many ways Foundations have evaluated this risk, educated investment committees on the landscape, and implemented viable investment solutions.  

Speakers: Shelly Heier, President and Chief Operating Officer, Verus Investments

This session is supported by Verus Investments.

How to Optimize your Investment Committee Governance Practices   

Changes in the investment landscape over the last decade have made investing more complex and challenging than ever.  Consequently, the task of board members has never been more important.  Endowment growth is essential for the fulfillment of the missions of private and community foundations and good governance is essential to achieve that growth.  Too often the importance of sound investment governance is overlooked, and this neglect compounds the risks inherent to investing. Nikki Kraus, co-author Endowment Management for Higher Education and Managing Director at Strategic Investment Group, will provide practical, straightforward recommendations for successful investment committee governance.   

Speakers: Nikki Wellman Kraus, Managing Director, Global Head of Client Development, Strategic Investment Group

Community Foundation Roundtable: DAFs and Asset-Centric Measurement   

Join a Community Foundation roundtable during lunch at the Endowment and Finance Summit to hear a brief update from the Council, and then time to share your viewpoints about how to counter growing DAF-critiques and explore how we can implement strategies for success for all community foundations. We will also introduce our plans to host a Community Foundation Executive Roundtable in October and again in 2019, where we look to explore how to utilize metrics that are not asset-centric, but reflective of the competitive advantages unique to community foundations and discuss the importance of our sector and our institutions. 

Speakers: Suzanne Friday, Senior Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs, Council on Foundations; Hadar Susskind, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Council on Foundations 

Learning Labs - 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Meeting the Governance Fiduciary Gap

Many non-profit organizations rely heavily on their investment portfolio(s). The vast majority of endowments and foundations do not employ in-house investment expertise and rely on volunteer Investment Committees (ICs). Lack of dedicated resources is even more challenging because of the changing investment and regulatory landscape which has led to an expertise (or “fiduciary”) gap. Non-profit organizations can benefit from a dependable and repeatable governing process to navigate the fiduciary landscape. This Learning Lab will highlight tools and processes to create an inclusive, collaborative investment committee culture and discuss important elements of creating an Investment Policy Statement to stand the test of time.

Speakers:  Heather Myers, Partner, Non-profit Practice Leader, Aon; Sheila Noonan, Partner, Non-profit Practice Leadership team/ OCIO, Aon; Christopher Hanak, Acting Chief Investment Officer, Group Health Foundation

This session is supported by Aon.

Tax Update: Deep Dive Into Tax Reform and Recent IRS News and Guidance

Join us as we take a deeper dive into tax reform and discuss the impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to your foundation. We will highlight recent IRS updates and hot topics, including a focus on: tax reform legislation; including changes to everything from fringe benefits and compensation to individual, business, and international provisions that may affect your foundation and its investments. This session will also examine recent IRS news and guidance regarding program-related and mission-related investments, donor advised funds, and foreign grants.

Speakers:  Wendy Campos, Partner and Tax Leader, Foundations and Exempt Organizations, Moss Adams LLP; Elizabeth Dollar, Partner and National Practice Leader, Not-for-Profit, Moss Adams LLP

This session is supported by Moss Adams. 

From Idea to Impact

This interactive panel will follow the experience of a community foundation through its process of committing to and implementing an impact investing strategy. The panel will address: a) early ideas and inspiration, b) engaging key stakeholders, c) building consensus, d) designing investment policy, e) due diligence and research, f) implementation and expectation for return. In addition to the investment process overall, the panel will address the importance of a joint vision with staff, board members, donor perspectives, and investment committee members. Looking forward, the panel will discuss opportunities for collaboration with other investors and funders both locally and more broadly. Lastly, the panel will address key lessons learned in the process and their commitment to knowledge-sharing of best practices with other similarly positioned foundations.

Speakers:  Brigid Peterson, Endowments & Foundations Advisor, Brown Advisory; Patti Chandler, CPA , Vice President Finance & Administration, Baltimore Community Foundation; Beth Bafford, Director of Investments, Calvert Foundation

This session is supported by Brown Advisory. 

Concurrent Sessions - 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Responsive Investing – How to Turn a Daunting Task into a Double Bottom Line 

As donors demand socially responsible investment options from community foundations and charitable organizations, nonprofits have felt increasing pressure to understand the impact investment landscape and piece together solutions. For many, the task of building an ESG or MRI investment portfolio seems daunting, and staff and their Boards find themselves lost in transitioning from theory to practical implementation. FEG Senior Vice President Tim O’Donnell will be joined by a nonprofit CFO in a session where they will walk through how they collaborated to turn demand into reality, and also create responsive solutions that brought in additional value for the endowment’s portfolio. 

Speakers:  Tim O’Donnell, Senior Vice President, FEG Financial Advisors; Ginny Quick, outgoing CFO Sierra Club Foundation/ Financial Management Consultant

This session is supported by FEG Investment Advisors.

Emerging Majorities: The Future Evolution of Investment Practice for Foundations 

It is well known millennials tend to have views on investment practice and fiduciary duty that differ significantly from previous generations. Similarly, as an increasing proportion of women take charge of their own financial affairs, their investment preferences may differ from those that have traditionally prevailed. How will the priorities of these groups come to be reflected in the investment practices and governance processes of foundations? In this session an expert panel of practitioners from leading foundations will shine a light on how, in realistic terms, the views of wealthy millennials and women may come to be heard — and, eventually be regarded as “common sense” — in foundation investments. Participants will also learn about recent legal and regulatory developments that are modifying previously-held fiduciary standards, as well as a possible timeline for more general adoption by foundations of the recognized investment priorities of wealthy millennials and women. 

Speakers: Dianne C. Bailey, Esq., Managing Director, U.S. Trust; Nancie Suzuki, Executive Director, Richard and Nancy Marriott Foundations; Nina Weissberg, Vice President and Secretary, Weissberg Foundation 

Moderator: William F. Jarvis, Managing Director, U.S. Trust

This session is supported by U.S. Trust

Friday, September 7

Concurrent Sessions - 8:30 am - 9:45 am

Knowledge is Power: Insights from the Commonfund Benchmark Studies 

Nonprofit boards and investment committees are charged with the fiduciary responsibility to make informed decisions when guiding the investment activities of their organization. Since the early 2000s, the Commonfund Benchmarks Studies, including the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations® and the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments ®, have been the acknowledged authority on the investment practices of private and community foundations, operating charities, US educational institutions, and healthcare organizations. In this session, senior representatives from Commonfund and practitioners from foundations will share important and actionable insights from the studies to help inform your decisions on investment and governance practices. 

Speakers: Ann Casey, Vice President, Finance and Operations, Madison Community Foundation; Maria A. Falvo, President & CEO, American Savings Foundation; Steven C. Snyder, Managing Director, Head of Relationship Management, Commonfund 

Moderator: Cathleen Rittereiser, Executive Director, Commonfund Institute

Finding the Right Fit – Running an Effective Provider Search 

When it’s time for you to evaluate your current investment provider, do you dust off your tried and true RFP questions from your last search? It’s likely a lot has changed since your last search, including the provider landscape, the market environment, and even your organization’s leadership and goals. In this interactive session, Angie Santo-Walter from Russell Investments will provide attendees with insight into how to run an effective search, including a discussion on trends across the industry, how to prep your team for the search, what questions to ask in your request for proposal, and how to effectively evaluate the finalists so you have the know-how to make an informed choice about which provider will help push your organization forward.  

Speakers: Nanci Morris, Founder & Managing Partner, Kidderbrook Group; Angie Santo-Walter, Director, Non-profits and Healthcare Systems, Russell Investments

This session is supported by Russell Investments.

Concurrent Sessions - 10:00 am - 11:15 am

Investment Manager Diversity: Where Are We Now & Why? 

Given investors' stated desire for a more diverse and inclusive society, and academic research showing the value of diversity in decision making, you would expect that the number of minority and women-owned asset managers would be growing. That is not the case. Many in the industry believe that minority and women-owned firms face several unique hurdles including structural barriers to receiving material investment allocations, lack of visibility to some investors and greater intolerance of failure than non-diverse managers. This session will to discuss the extent to which this may be undermining the growth of diverse asset managers, what other challenges exist to accessing diverse investment managers, and revisit the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 2017 report which analyzed MWBE firms in the U.S. asset management industry with newly incorporated data.   

Speakers: Danielle Beyer, Chief Executive Officer, New America Alliance (NAA); Robert L. Greene, President & CEO, National Association of Investment Companies; Olivier Kamanda, Director of Learning and Impact Strategy, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation; Jason Lamin, Founder and CEO, Lenox Park Solutions

ModeratorJuan Martinez, VP/CFO & Treasurer, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation

Investors Engaging with Companies on Sustainability 

Investors, foundations, and endowments have been leaders supporting the important push to build standardized, transparent ESG reporting into best practices for companies — and it is having a material impact. According to the Governance & Accountability Institute, sustainability reporting by companies in the S&P 500 rose dramatically from 2011, when roughly 20% of companies published reports, to 85% of companies reporting in 2017. This panel will discuss how this added transparency can help scale sustainable investing to maximize impact, and how investors and companies are evolving to evaluate the added opportunities and risks associated with sustainable business practices.  

Speakers: Noelle Laing, Managing Director, Cambridge Associates; Dave Stangis, Vice President Corporate Responsibility,  Chief Sustainability Officer, The Campbell Soup Company, Janine Guillot, Director of Capital Markets Policy and Outreach, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board “SASB”

This session is supported by Breckenridge Capital Advisors.

Learning Labs - 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Crypto-Philanthropy: Strategically Leveraging Cryptocurrency as Charitable Contributions 

Over the last two years, the rapid rise and fall of financial value for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum has increased the number of people owning and trading crypto-currencies. Some crypto-wealth holders want to charitably donate digital assets and are looking for non-profits, foundation, and donor-advised funds that accept digital currencies. However, developing the internal policies and procedures to effectively accept these digital currencies can be a challenge for non-profit and philanthropic institutions. Join this panel to hear directly from philanthropic leaders who have waded into the waters of cryptocurrencies. They will highlight opportunities and share lessons learned for foundations looking to leverage cryptocurrencies, to help you develop smart and effective policies, effectively calculate risk, leverage technology platforms, and think strategically about how you accept cryptocurrencies as charitable gifts.

Speakers: Gil Nusbaum, General Counsel, National Philanthropic Trust; Christine Searson, Vice President of Finance, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations

Foundation Enterprise Risk Management Reviews

During this learning lab, you’ll learn how foundations are engaging their boards and staff in reviewing and evaluating risk management across the organization.  You’ll leave with a practical guide to how your foundation can conduct a review that will strengthen your risk management practices and build your board’s understanding of your operations.

Speakers: Karla Jones-Weber, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines; Kevin K. Murphy, President, Berks County Community Foundation

FASB Accounting Rules Update for Foundations  

Over the next few years, every foundation will need to comply with new accounting standards.  The most recent of these – ASU 2018-08 – is designed to clarify the scope and the accounting guidance for contributions received and contributions made.  This session will address the implications of this new ASU on accounting for grants and the determination of conditional grants for foundations, as well as revisiting the other new standards that foundations are now beginning to implement.  

Speakers: Ian Benjamin, Partner, RSM US LLP; Patti Chandler, CPA , Vice President Finance & Administration, Baltimore Community Foundation

This session is supported by RSM US LLP.

Closing Plenary - 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Serving the Public Good: Exploring Relationships between Public Policy and the Charitable Sector 

Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.

The complexity of today’s political, economic, and social challenges require new thinking about how to mobilize capital effectively to improve communities around the country. As the landscape in charitable giving shifts and the scrutiny of endowed philanthropy increases, organizations within the sector need to be able to create innovative solutions to ever-changing situations. Experts from top economic thinktanks and foundation leaders will discuss the future of philanthropy, highlighting key policy implications and anticipated outcomes of changes in charitable giving. 

Speakers: Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Shanaysha M. Sauls, President & CEO, Baltimore Community Foundation; C. Eugene Steuerle, Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher chair, Urban Institute

ModeratorBruce McNamer, President and CEO, Greater Washington Community Foundation