Endowments & Finance Summit

September 19-20, 2019 | Washington, DC

2019 Endowments & Finance Logo 2019 Endowments & Finance Logo

Concurrent Sessions

Check back here often for updates.

Demographics, Urbanization and the Impact on Foundation Investments

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.

This session is supported by TIAA Institute

Three Ways of Looking at Next Gen Philanthropists

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.

This session is supported by U.S.Trust

Knowledge is Power: Insights from the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Foundations

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.

Investments Approach to Climate Change Risks

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.

This session is supported by Northern Trust

Reinventing a Classic: To Be Active or Passive?

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.

This session is supported by FEG Investment Advisors

Creating Place-Based Impact through Opportunity Zones

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.

This session is supported by Brown Advisory

Are Hedge Funds and Private Equity Necessary for Your Portfolio? The Answer May Surprise You

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.

This session is supported by Mason Investment Advisory Services

Tax and Legislative Update for Your Organization

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.

This session is supported by Moss Adams

Exploring and Understanding Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) Services for Foundations

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.

This session is supported by TIAA Institute

What's Holding you Back? Getting your Impact Investing Mojo Working

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.