Thursday, September 19
Meeting Obligations in a Time of Financial Volatility and Uncertainty
None of us can see into the future. But for foundation leaders, having that unique ability would be helpful in mitigating global financial issues and trends that force them to make hard decisions about how to invest. In this opening plenary, we will address current and emerging investment themes, insights on global equity and fixed income markets, and potential areas of growth that can help position philanthropic organizations for future success. Our speakers will share current and emerging economic and financial trends in addition to strategies from the past year and how philanthropy can respond in the year ahead.
Concurrent Sessions - 10:45 am-12:00 pm
Senior staff often express concern that their investment committees are not focused enough on trends that can impact the intergenerational success of their foundation’s endowment. This session will highlight changing demographics and how the upswing in population movement to urban centers is already impacting everything from agriculture to real estate to infrastructure. The session will first frame the issues faced by endowments around investment returns vs. long-term targets, spending rate, asset allocation decisions, and governance. Then, shifting to specific areas that will be influencing the investment landscape for the coming decades, including: national and global demographics changes, continued growth of urbanization, as well as implications on infrastructure, transportation, affordable housing, agriculture, commercial real estate and impact investing.
Speakers: Kevin O'Leary, Chief Executive Officer, TIAA Endowment and Philanthropic Services; Melissa Reagen, Managing Director, Head of Americas Research, Nuveen
This session is supported by TIAA Institute.
Closing the Gap Between Intention & Action: Identifying the Barriers in Investment Manager Diversity
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 discuss the gap in intention and implementation, what challenges exist to accessing diverse investment managers, and hurdles of implementing a successful program.
Speakers: Jasmine Richards, Senior Investment Director, Cambridge Associates; Daryn Dodson, Managing Director, Illumen Capital
Moderator: Rochelle Witharana, Controller/Director of Finance, The California Wellness Foundation
Concurrent Sessions - 1:15-2:30 pm
Members of the post-Baby Boom generations are often said to have different approaches to philanthropy than their predecessors. But discussion of Next Gen philanthropic behavior rarely takes place in the first person. Join a panel of Next Gen philanthropists in a discussion of their practice as investors, donors and stewards, moderated by William Jarvis of Bank of America. Attendees will learn about the attitudes of Next Gen philanthropists toward responsible/sustainable investing practices, perpetuity, impact, and the purpose of wealth. They will also learn how Next Gen philanthropists are changing the institutions they have inherited to reflect these attitudes, as well as evolving philanthropic trends that may become mainstream as these generations assume influential roles in major philanthropic organizations.
Speakers: Mary Galeti, Executive Director, The Tecovas Foundation; Sapphira Goradia, Executive Director, The Goradia Foundation; Sara Southwood, Director of Client Engagement, 21/64
Moderator: William F. Jarvis, Managing Director, Bank of America
This session is supported by U.S.Trust
While opportunity zone legislation has provided tax incentives for individuals, it has also provided a place-based investment platform for foundations that seek to create impact in local communities. This panel will address the intent and history of opportunity zone legislation, how this translates to impact investing, the importance of community considerations, and foundation perspectives on making the decision to invest.
Speakers: Ross Baird, Founder and CEO, Blueprint Local; Fagan Harris, Venture Partner, ReThink Community/Founder and CEO of BaltimoreCorps; John Lettieri, President and CEO, Economic Innovation Group (EIG)
This session is supported by Brown Advisory
Concurrent Sessions - 2:45-3:45 pm
As classic as the Capulets and Montagues or Hatfields and McCoys, Active vs. Passive is an age-old debate gaining significant Investment Committee agenda minutes as of late. This session will cover the fundamental differences of both sides, and explore how a modern day investor budgets a place for both. Learn about creative solutions that can help keep fees low and preserve the ability to outperform the market.
Speakers: Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation; J. Alan Lenahan, CFA, CAIA, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Head of OCIO, FEG Investment Advisors
This session is supported by FEG Investment Advisors
Interest in environmentally focused investment strategies is growing. Amongst the plethora of strategies aimed at addressing climate change risk, divestment – electing not to invest in companies owning fossil fuel reserves – is a popular choice. College and University endowments were early adopters followed by some governments and state pension funds. Yet a wider range of environmentally focused investment strategies now exist to enable investors to play their part in the transition to a lower carbon economy. In this session, we analyze the options and offer our insights on which sectors climate risks will affect, and which assets will they potentially leave stranded.
Speakers: Jay Eisenhardt, Investment Product Manager - Sustainable Investing, Northern Trust Asset Management; Samuel Michalove, Director of Investments, Arizona State University Enterprise Partners & Foundation
This session is supported by Northern Trust
Concurrent Sessions - 4:00-5:00 pm
As foundations and endowments consider the best and most efficient ways to manage their portfolios, should they consider challenging the widely held belief that sophisticated endowment investing requires illiquid assets? In this session, speakers will discuss the merits of using illiquid alternative assets such as hedge funds and private equity in endowment portfolios. While the use of hedge funds and private equity is seen by many as a necessary element of any endowment portfolio, some research suggests that these investments may not produce the promised results. The experience at many conferences includes presentations on “how much” of an endowment portfolio should be invested in illiquid assets vs. “should” an endowment invest in illiquid assets at all. While some illiquid investments produce stellar returns, other sometimes overlooked liquid asset classes may provide equal or better results.
Speaker: Will Thorpe, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Mason Investment Advisory Services
This session is supported by Mason Investment Advisory Services
With recent developments in grants management technology, the smart use of these systems has become a priority for forward thinking grantmakers. When implemented effectively, this technology allows foundation staff and their partners to access critical information, put resources in the hands of grantees, and leverage and increase impact. The panelists will discuss how they branded the technology to highlight the benefit to the whole organization and led comprehensive change management activities to aid adoption and further leverage systems. This approach has resulted in positive outcomes such as increased dialogue across programs and departments, more sharing of information, greater transparency, and improved processes and learnings.
Speaker: Christopher Percopo, Director of Grants Management and Information, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust; Ingrid Rasmussen, Chief Operating Officer, Unbound Philanthropy
Moderator: Nicholas Schiavo, Chief Financial Officer, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Friday, September 20
Concurrent Sessions - 9:00-10:00 am
Over the last year, the US Department of the Treasury, Congress, and the IRS introduced important tax updates that have implications for many tax-exempt organizations. This session will address major changes—such as tax reform and congressional guidance—and their potential effects on your foundation. Additional key topics will be explored, including the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Fiscal Year 2019 focus area, priority guidance plan update, pending legislation affecting the tax-exempt sector, tax reform guidance relating to taxable fringe benefits, unrelated business income silos, and excess compensation excise tax.
Speakers: Wendy Campos, Partner and Tax Leader, Foundations and Exempt Organizations, Moss Adams; Elizabeth Dollar, Partner and National Practice Leader, Not-for-Profit, Moss Adams
This session is supported by Moss Adams
For many foundations, working with an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) offers the opportunity to hire an experienced team with access to a broad array of investment options, comprehensive risk management tools and additional resources for governance and oversight of their endowment. OCIO as a solution has grown significantly over the last 10 years, both in number of providers as well as the breadth of services. This session will review the competitive landscape, discuss considerations when evaluating providers and highlight best practices for bringing your investment committee, board and other key constituents along in exploring an OCIO model. This interactive session will provide valuable grounding to those foundations considering this service, as well as greater context for those already using an OCIO provider.
Speakers: Nanci Morris, Founder & Managing Partner, Kidderbrook Group; Janet Miller, Executive Director, Abell Foundation; Mike Nolan, Trustee, Abell Foundation
This session is supported by TIAA Institute
Concurrent Sessions - 10:15-11:15 am
Foundation boards and investment committees are charged with the fiduciary responsibility to make informed decisions when guiding the investment activities of their organization. The Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations is considered an authority on the investment practices of private and community foundations. In this session, senior representatives from Commonfund and practitioners from foundations will share important and actionable insights from the Fiscal Year 2018 study to help inform your decisions on investment and governance practices.
Speakers: Holly A. Mayer, Board of Trustees; Asst. Secretary; Chair of the Investment Committee, York County Community Foundation; Steven C. Snyder, Managing Director, Head of Relationship Management, Commonfund
Moderator: Cathleen Rittereiser, Executive Director, Commonfund Institute
It seems that foundations of various types and sizes are interested in impact investing, but many are hesitant to start. Possibly it’s skepticism from the board or executives. Perhaps it’s concern of conceding return for impact. Conceivably it’s the belief that the organization has too few investable assets. This session will focus on starting small and addressing barriers. We’ll explore real and diverse experiences, sharing how folks kick-started their impact investing mojo.
Speakers: Sonja Velez, Chief Financial Officer, San Francisco Foundation; Dan Magder, Founder & CEO, Center Creek Capital Group / Center Creek Homes
Moderator: Christopher Crothers, Senior Program Officer, Jessie Ball duPont Fund
Concurrent Sessions - 11:30 am-12:30 pm
An effective investment committee is critical to the success of your investment program. Unfortunately, not every board, staff, and investment committee have clear guidelines in place to help ensure that they are recruiting, and then subsequently training, the right individuals for the job. We often see committee’s base their recruiting decisions solely on an individual’s investment knowledge or relationship with the organization – which can sometimes lead to undesired behaviors such as decision-making bias or group think. And, recruiting is just the first step in building a strong investment committee. Once you have the right team in place, it’s critical to train them so they understand the goals your organization is trying to achieve and are then able to effectively serve as a fiduciary for your organization. In this session, we’ll talk through some of the most common pitfalls we see when recruiting and training investment committee members and how to avoid them.
Speaker: Angie Santo-Walter, Director, Non-profits and Healthcare Systems, Russell Investments
This session is supported by Russell Investments
Over the next few years, every foundation will need to comply with new accounting standards. In this session we will identify new and proposed FASB Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs) and effective dates, and gain a deeper understanding of the new standards. This session will also discuss which new standards apply to you, and under what circumstances. Lastly, we will discuss implementation considerations, challenges, and approaches for foundations.
Speakers: Sarah Reichling, Principal, CLA; Jennifer Tingley, Principal, National Foundation Practice Leader, CLA
Let's Talk Solutions: Really Putting the Nation's Finances on a Sustainable Track
Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.
National fiscal sustainability is critical to realizing the nation's aspirations and tackling the challenges that chart the course toward an equitable future for all. However, by any measure, we are on a fiscal trajectory that is unsustainable. The growth of the federal debt threatens to crowd out investments in our future such as education, infrastructure, health care, and research and development, and will continue to reduce the resources available for the programs that support the most vulnerable Americans. The good news is that solutions do exist!
Earlier this summer, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's 2019 Solutions Initiative: Charting a Sustainable Future brought together leading policy organizations from across the political spectrum and asked them to put forward comprehensive plans to set America on a more sustainable fiscal path, i.e. less national debt, stronger economic growth, and enhanced economic opportunity. Our closing plenary will feature a conversation with a selection of these fiscal policy innovators from the left to the right who will describe their formula for putting the nation's fiscal house in order for the next 30 years.
Be part of this important national conversation as we lead up to the 2020 election!
Speakers: William Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center; Thea Lee, President, Economic Policy Institute; Brian Riedl, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Moderator: Susan Tanaka, Senior Policy Advisor, Peter G. Peterson Foundation