Client Type: Endowments & Foundations

CA Institute April 2021
Endowment Radar Study 2020: The Endowment as Ballast

While colleges and universities have faced several financial fissures due to the disruptions of COVID-19, their endowments have been a source of financial stability. Four key financial indicators tell this story: operating margins were compressed, tuition discounts grew, institutions borrowed more debt, and endowment spending was consistent. In this note, we review these financial pressures and the endowment implications that emerged in Cambridge Associates’ second annual Endowment Radar Study of private college and university finances.
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Chart Book February 2021
Sustainable and Impact Investing 2020: Insights and Perspectives

The 2020 biannual Sustainable and Impact Investing (SII) survey highlights the growth of the space over the last two years. Of the 202 survey respondents, 61% reported engaging in sustainable, ESG, and impact investing compared to 36% in 2018. Respondents use a variety of tools to implement SII in portfolios, the most popular are ESG integration and impact investing in social equity and resource efficiency & climate change.
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VantagePoint January 2021
VantagePoint: Modern Portfolio Diversification

Investors are facing a challenging period for earning what they spend and achieving adequate portfolio diversification. With most DM sovereign bond yields near or below zero, expected returns for bonds are at all-time lows and diversification qualities are constrained. In this edition of VantagePoint, we evaluate defense and diversification options to identify a modern approach to diversification in this low-yield era.
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Research Note October 2020
Endowment Spending to the Rescue?

The current health crisis is creating extraordinary financial disruptions for nonprofit enterprises, leading stakeholders to ask if the endowment can come to the rescue of revenue shortfalls and often growing costs. How should an institution evaluate this, and what are the long-term implications of boosting spending beyond policy levels? First, we consider whether it is…
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Research Note October 2020
Disruption, Liquidity Sources, and the Role of the Endowment

Nonprofit institutions have not been spared from the impact of COVID-19. In June 2020, when many endowed institutions were completing fiscal year 2020 and on the brink of a new fiscal year, we issued a survey that focused on endowment spending and other sources of liquidity for these institutions.
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Research Note September 2020
Reshaping Industry Audio Series: Sustainable Investing

In this episode, we discuss the heightened focus on sustainable investing as well as a few key trends that will have implications for investment portfolios. We also talk green-washing within the industry and how to identify asset managers who are incorporating sustainability into their investment process effectively.
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September 2020
Reshaping Industry Audio Series: The Endowment Model

In this segment, Margaret shares her thoughts on the endowment model given the COVID-19 crisis and whether she believes it’s possible for an institution to achieve a 5% real return in the current market environment. She discusses investing in industry “disruptors,” the importance of diversification, and the debate around growth vs. value.
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Research Note September 2020
Reshaping Industry Audio Series: Racial Equity Investing

In the first episode of our Reshaping Industry audio series, we tackle the evolving landscape of racial equity investing, particularly in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and talk key steps that institutional investors can take to achieve racial equity goals within their portfolios.
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CA Institute July 2020
Endowment Radar: Plotting the Role of the Endowment

There are many facets of higher education finance, and it is often challenging to describe how the endowment fits into an institution’s financial picture. Endowment Radar is a visual tool that plots the endowment’s role in the college and university business model. It focuses on four key metrics to assess the endowment’s contributions to the…
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Research Note June 2020
Hospitals Seek Liquidity to Get Through Crisis

Before COVID-19 most hospitals generated liquidity from their operating model. In our May 2020 survey of 27 hospital systems, we learned that COVID-19 has driven hospitals to search for liquidity from multiple sources, including, for some, the investment portfolio.
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