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Research Note June 2017
Can College and University Endowments Do More?

Recent policy proposals assume endowments can do more to reduce the reliance on student revenue, and thus the cost of a college education. These proposals aim to shift more endowment wealth to current student beneficiaries. Our analysis shows that while well intentioned, these proposals will affect endowment and organizational stability and intergenerational equity. While endowments may be able to do more to support the enterprise and thus lower the cost of attendance, considering the implications of current policy proposals is critical, as is examining other strategies that could address current pricing concerns.
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CA Perspectives June 2017
Considerations for ESG Policy Development

The practice of sustainable investing and the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors continues to grow. Concurrently, the demand for effective investment policies that facilitate exploration and integration of sustainable investment strategies with primary portfolio objectives is also increasing. However, actually arriving at an actionable policy statement that enjoys broad support and commitment…
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CA Perspectives June 2017
Over the Long Term, Diversification Still Wins

Since 2009, US equities have outperformed every major asset class by a considerable margin, returning 14.5% a year on average. And, over the same period, a simple 70% US equity/30% bond portfolio* returned 11.4% per year, on average. These kinds of results can tempt even the savviest investors into abandoning their long-term discipline and chasing…
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Research Brief May 2017
Thought Mortality Was Dead? Considerations for Pensions Given the IRS’s Delay in Implementing RP-2014

The IRS’s somewhat unexpected decision to delay implementation of the RP-2014 mortality tables has impacted at least three separate aspects of pension plan strategy: calculating minimum contribution requirements; determining variable-rate PBGC premiums; and valuing lump-sum distributions to be paid out to terminated vested participants. This brief discusses what has changed and provides general considerations for all sponsors to weigh in the near term.
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Research Report May 2017
The Financial Performance of Real Assets Impact Investments: Introducing the Timber, Real Estate, and Infrastructure Impact Benchmarks

Within impact investing, real assets investments constitute one of the largest opportunity sets. This report presents findings from our analysis of the financial performance of 55 private real assets impact investing funds across three sectors: timber, real estate, and infrastructure. We find that risk-adjusted market rates of return are achievable in impact investing, but note that as with conventional funds, manager selection is key to success.

This report also marks the launch of the real assets impact investing financial performance benchmarks, which will track the performance of impact investing funds across the three sectors of focus and will be maintained and updated on a quarterly basis.
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Research Note April 2017
A Stronger Union: Addressing the Unique Investment Challenges of Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans

Adaptive and sophisticated strategies are necessary to serve the unique features, constraints, and needs of multiemployer plans. In this note, we explore some of the key challenges that many multiemployer plans face, discuss how to invest in light of these challenges, and provide thoughts on governance and the overall role of the investment advisor in the multiemployer context.
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Research Report April 2017
Maintaining Strategic Direction through Peaks and Valleys

An extended bull market can tempt even the savviest investors into abandoning their long-term discipline. Resisting the impulse to switch horses in the middle of the race is hard, but necessary—the most important trait of successful investors is their ability to maintain discipline in sticking to a long-term strategy during good times and bad. Diversified portfolios—structured to earn returns comparable to their rate of spending at tolerable levels of risk—have benefitted long-term investors and grown their purchasing power for decades, and we have no reason to expect a different outcome when today’s bull market inevitably corrects.
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VantagePoint April 2017
VantagePoint: Second Quarter 2017

This quarter’s edition discusses the reflationary environment, positioning in global equities, prospects for sovereign bonds (both nominal and inflation-linked), and USD strength. We also profile two strategies that can diversify portfolios without dependence on economic growth: life settlements and pharmaceutical royalties.
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Chart Book February 2017
Mission-Related Investing: Current Practices and Views of Non-Profit Investors

Investor approaches to mission-related investing (MRI) are as varied as the social and environmental outcomes they seek to achieve. This survey report explores trends in the structure and implementation of MRI programs, investor motivations and perceived challenges, and expectations for future growth in MRI investment activity, based on responses from 159 non-profit clients, 50 of which are actively making mission-related investments.
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