Endowment & Foundation Forum 2016

Seaport Boston Hotel & World Trade Center, Boston, MA
November 14, 2016 - November 15, 2016

110 days left

The 18th Annual Endowment and Foundation Forum will provide a forum for free exchange of ideas concerning portfolio planning and investment strategies. Rather than focusing on a particular investment style, this endowment and foundation conference will tackle issues that are most germane to nation's endowments and charitable foundations by examining critical investment topics, as well as need to align fiscal strategy with goals of a particular organization. Participants and delegates will speak on a range of issues, including necessity for non-profit governance for endowments, means of capturing alpha in a portfolio, methods of choosing money managers, and problems of ethics and liability in fiduciary planning, as well as addressing pros and cons of investing in equity, fixed income, alternative, and real estate products. By targeting industry sectors, guest speakers and participants can gain a greater understanding of how organizations can utilize and dovetail with particular investment strategies.

This conference will feature dialogue driven panel discussions led by representatives of endowments, foundations, and consulting firms. In order to maintain the educational value of our events, we prohibit any use of PowerPoint presentations during panel discussions. *Only Standalone Speakers will be allowed to use PowerPoints during their presentation. All other PowerPoint Presentations can be added to our Mobile App by submitting a PDF/PPT document to an Opal Associate. Speakers must keep in mind the educational objective of this event. Speakers will NOT be allowed to market specific products or services during presentations.*

Agenda current as of July 26, 2016

7:30am – 8:30am

Networking Continental Breakfast


7:30am – 6:30pm

Registration / Exhibit Hall / Meeting Rooms Open

Hospitality Lounge Open for 1-1 meetings

8:20am – 8:40am

Welcoming Remarks

8:30am – 9:30am

Investment Officer Roundtable: Endowments and Foundations over to $500 million

  • Current strategies in reallocation of portfolio(s).
  • Importance of complying with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (“UPMIFA”).
  • Current thoughts on Indexing vs. Active Management.
  • Investment Policy allowance for spending endowment corpus: Good or Bad?
  • What is keeping CIOs and CFOs up all night?

David Center, Senior Vice President, Fund Evaluation Group


Jeffry Haber, Controller, The Commonwealth Fund


Carolyn Weiss, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, The New York Community Trust


Craig Thomas, Managing Director, Verger Capital Management LLC


Jonathan Shear, Chief Investment Officer, University of Utah Investment Management

9:30am – 10:30am

Investing in Today’s Real Estate Markets – Sources of Risk and Return

  • Underwriting the sponsor: Because the “Who” is just as important as the “What”
  • Where is the smart money heading?
  • Cusp of another bubble? Are we getting overheated in multiple asset classes?
  • Deal Flow: How can your family office secure access to the best opportunities?
  • Real Estate Allocation as part of a well balanced portfolio
  • Do recent articles and commentaries overstate the frothiness of today’s market?
  • Investing in a rising cap-rate environment
  • Repositioning of assets as a core investment strategy
  • Repositioning in prime and urban markets
  • Repositioning in secondary markets
  • Does institutional investors’ bias towards ultra- core assets represent a buying opportunity in other areas?
  • Crowd Funding for Real Estate: Is it finally mainstream and is it a good fit of your family?
  • Where are we in the real estate cycle? How should investing strategies differ at different points in the cycle?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of investing with institutional managers vs. local managers?

Gregory A. Brothers, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, South Texas College of Law (Houston)


Maureen A. Joyce, Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, AEW Capital Management, L.P


TBA, Cortland Partners

New Alternative Investment Strategies: The Demand for a Higher Level of Portfolio Diversification and Efficiency

  • How should investors of significant wealth think about diversification today?
  • How much diversification is too much?
  • What are the benefits and pitfalls of diversification?
  • Efficient portfolios are those said to provide the greatest expected return for a given level of risk, or conversely the lowest level of risk for a given expected return.
  • How do these ‘new’ alternative investments figure into the mix? How should investors evaluate them in the context of an efficient portfolio?
  • How should investors think about alternatives in terms of their overall asset allocation?
  • How should investors evaluate/select ‘new’ alternative investments? What should they focus upon?
  • How should investors evaluate the performance of any investments they make in these alternatives?
  • What are the defining characteristics or unique risks associated with these new alternative investments?
  • What are the ‘best practices’ that you feel investors would do well to consider or adopt when sourcing or selecting ‘new’ alternative investments?

Peter Gerlings, Senior Vice President, Implemented Investment Consulting, Segal Rogerscasey

10:30am -11:00am

Networking Refreshment Break

Sponsored By:
Sterling Foundation Management

11:00am -12:00pm

Investing in Private Equity / Venture Capital

  • Asset Management: How can PE funds extract better returns with better management?
  • With more firms and capital chasing large the same or fewer deals, is now a good time to invest in PE? Does size matter? Will large outperform small? The opposite is true historically in public markets.
  • Where are the best opportunities in Private Equity and Venture now?
  • Tech Venture’s obsession with Unicorns: a viable strategy or attempt to justify fund sizes?
  • Who will be the natural buyers for the large illiquid asset portfolios of the mega PE firms, Blackstone, Apollo, Carlyle, etc. now that banks are out and sovereigns and pensions are investors in those funds?

S. Michael Sury, Chairman, INDORUS Holdings LLP (SFO)


John Haggerty, Managing Principal and Director of Private Markets, Meketa Investment Group

Opportunities within the Fixed Income and Credit Strategies

  • Today’s shift from targeting growth returns to returns through reliability
  • Where are the opportunities during the upcoming 24 months
  • Where the credit markets have transformed since the recession and what they look like today
  • How to decipher between funds and direct holdings and what are the risks between the two

Betsy Palmer, Chair, Investment Committee, Mt. Holyoke College


Tom Ball, Chief Investment Officer, Asper Foundation

12:00pm -12:20pm

TBA, Sterling Foundation Management

12:20pm -12:40pm


12:40pm – 1:00pm


1:00pm – 2:15pm

Networking Luncheon

2:15pm – 2:45pm

Keynote Presenter:


Supervisory Special Agent David Chaves, Senior Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

2:45pm – 3:15pm

Investing in the Evolving Real Asset & Energy Market:

This panel will examine the real assets and energy markets including, timber, precious metals, land mitigation, and oil and gas exploration.

  • Is there a magic strategy which will provide steady stable returns that outperform traditional equities?
  • Which strategies should families consider within the energy/hard asset space?
  • How can we identify managers who will diversify returns from mainstream portfolios without adding additional risk to the portfolio?

Abigail Laufer, CEO, Ferguson Family Office (SFO)


Sean Ruhmann, Partner, Director of Real Assets Research, NEPC


TBA, Tortoise Capital Advisors

Investment Opportunities in Hedge Fund Strategies

  • Why have hedge funds, in general, been struggling to perform?
  • How have due diligence methods changed over the past year?
  • What specific hedge fund strategy/sector is positioned to outperform in the next few quarters? Which should be avoided?
  • Should families consider “alternative or smart” beta strategies?
  • Have fund terms (e.g., fees, gates, liquidity) been more flexible? Should they be? How can families negotiate the best deals?

Jim Schnorf, Investment Committee, Eastern Illinois University Foundation


Chris Solarz, Managing Director, Cliffwater LLC

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Impact Investing 2.0: Investing with Value and Purpose

  • Investing is Habitual as much as Analytical
  • UN PRI – Responsible Investor Movement
  • Portfolio Approach and Asset Allocation – We aren’t trying to do anything different than traditional space
  • Impact Investing – Long term consequences of what we should have been doing all along
  • PRI (Program Related Investments) – Direct investing for specific impact and how you actually make it happen
  • Risk Management – The academics side, opportunity exists, a way to address biggest problems we face globally
  • Why Shareholder Engagement must be part of the solution and you should demand as an investor
  • We will give you concrete examples in renewable energy, health, education and more across asset classes
  • Engaging the Next Generation – Not if but when and doing it in a in meaningful way

Karen Florez, Manager of Investments, Minneapolis Foundation Investment Partnership


Norm Nabham, Managing Director-Director of Foundation and Non-Profit Consulting, GrayStone Consulting


John Schaetzl, Senior Advisor, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Bruce Kahn, Portfolio Manager, Sustainable Insight Capital Management

Katherine St. Onge, Senior Officer, Investor Relations, Calvert Social Investment Foundation

A forward looking approach to Equity Investing: Where are we headed from here?

  • Are International equities attractive on an absolute or relative basis?
  • What is the opportunity set for stock pickers vs. passive indexes?
  • What is the state of the equity market?
  • What is the outlook for the future of equities?

Howard Cooper, CEO, Cooper Family Office (SFO)


Phil Morgan, Chief Investment Officer, Earlham College

4:30pm – 4:45pm

Networking Refreshment Break


4:45pm – 5:30pm

Philanthropy: Best Practices to use when planning for Major Gifts and Planned Giving

  • How can specific gift instruments drive the growth of endowments?
  • Are donors motivated by life income instruments to make gifts?
  • What are donors seeking when they use these gift instruments toward endowments from the fiscal stewardship perspective? Focus on use for purpose or on security?
  • Are donors scrutinizing performance of the gift as well as the institution’s endowment performance?
  • Do organizations and institutions view donors similar to investors and what information do these donor-investors demand today?

Tami Kesselman, Founder & CEO, SolveForGood


James Higgins, Chief Investment Officer, Randolph Foundation


James Gifford, Senior Fellow, Initiative for Responsible Investment, Harvard University


TBA, Foundation Source

Investing in Growth: New Strategies for Investing in Emerging and Frontier Markets

  • Which emerging markets provide the best current opportunities and why?
  • Are there ways to invest in emerging markets while moderating risk?
  • What should I look for when selecting an Emerging Markets manager?
  • We invested in Emerging Markets Private Equity pre-financial crisis and still haven’t gotten our capital returned.
  • Why should we double down now?
  • Should I invest in EM via passive or active vehicles?
  • What approach makes sense, GEM portfolios or a collection of country/regional specialists?
  • What are the pros/cons of investing in EM via private equity?

David Plants, Chief Investment Officer, Grace Cottage Foundation


Oliver Fratzscher, Chief Executive Officer, EM Leaders LLC


Ben Stoddard, Senior Investment Analyst, Virginia Tech Foundation

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Knowing When to Make Your Move: Managing Volatility & Risk to Maximize Investment Returns

  • Risk? What Risk? Risk is more than volatility.
  • Net under the High Wire? Protecting portfolios against volatility.
  • No, Wait, I Can MAKE Trading? Investing in volatility.
  • I Am Carnac the Magnificent? Prognosis for markets, near and longer-term.

Brian Dana, Principal, Meketa Investment Group


Amy Hirsch, Chief Executive Officer, Paradigm Consulting Services, LLC


Peter J. Klein, President, CFA, Claire Friedlander Family Foundation


Renato Alessandro Iregui, Principal, Raire Family Office (SFO)

Practical Tools to Improve Foundation and Endowment Governance and Foster Financial Health

  • Importance of investment beliefs;  facilitating board members to a shared set of beliefs
  • Governance & Decision making “dashboards”:  focus board on highest order tasks and decisions
  • Risk Management approaches & frameworks
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest (real & perceived): approaches?
  • Board composition: “portfolio of viewpoints”, continuity vs. new perspectives
  • Governance scorecards/benchmarking
  • Enterprise risk management: looking at risk across multiple pools (e.g. endowment/foundation, retirement pools, insurance pools)

Cathy Konicki, Managing Partner, NEPC, LLC


Gary Gordon, Treasurer, Albuquerque Academy


Mark Bodden, Executive Director, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation


Thomas Tritton, Chair, Board of Trustees, Ohio Wesleyan University


Mimi Lord, Ph.D, CFA, CFP, Senior Vice President & Director of Economic & Market Analysis, Spero-Smith Investment Advisers, Inc.

6:30pm – 7:30pm

Networking Cocktail Reception

Join us and unwind with fellow industry professionals for refreshments during our last networking break of the day.


7:00am – 8:15am

Networking Continental Breakfast


7:00am – 12:30pm

Registration / Exhibit Hall / Meeting Rooms Open

Hospitality Lounge Open for 1-1 meetings

7:50am – 8:00am

Welcoming Remarks

8:00am – 9:00am

Investment Officer Roundtable: Endowments and Foundations up to $500 million

  • Current strategies in reallocation of portfolio(s).
  • Importance of complying with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (“UPMIFA”).
  • Current thoughts on Indexing vs. Active Management.
  • Investment Policy allowance for spending endowment corpus: Good or Bad?
  • What is keeping CIOs and CFOs up all night?

Frank Williams, Executive Director of Foundation, Southern University at Shreveport Foundation


Rosemary Sagar, CFA, CIO, Kingdon Foundation


Thomas Donahoe, CIO and Executive Director, Homeland Foundation, Inc.


Benedict Leca, Executive Director, Redwood Library and Athenaeum


Miguel Leonardo, Associate Director, Finance and Investments, The Heritage Foundation

9:00am – 9:45am

Investing for the Future: Sustainable Investing and ESG


Kyle Johnson, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Cambridge Associates


Stephen Viederman, Finance Committee, Christopher Reynolds Foundation


Carol Jeppesen, Senior US Network Manager, United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment


Georges Dyer, Principal, Intentional Endowments Network

9:45am - 10:15am

Industry 4.0 – Our Next Stage of Opportunity

Keynote Speaker

Keith Kaplan, CEO and Co-Founder, Tesla Foundation

10:15am - 10:30am

Networking Refreshment Break

10:30am -11:00am



Gary Salberg, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, California State University - Chico

11:00am -11:45am

Manager Sourcing: Choosing your investment managers & distinguishing between luck and skill.

  • What should investors look for in managers?
  • What is the role of a consultant?
  • Evaluation: Investment process and operations. Red flags. New vs. established managers– what key things should be monitored?
  • Which strategies have been benefiting portfolios and where to look in the upcoming year?
  • What key factors separate managers from each other in the selection process
  • Methods for reviewing and evaluating a manager’s portfolio returns, return related measures and performance attribution to determine if a manager is in-line with benchmarks and performance expectations.

Howard Nochumson, Executive Director, Washington Square Health Foundation


Russ Kamp, Managing Partner, Kamp Consulting Solutions, LLC


Andrew Parillo, President & Founder, Newport Capital Advisers, Inc.

11:45am -12:30pm

Investment Outsourcing vs Insourcing: What are the limits?

This session will focus on the difference(s) between delegating investment management authority to a specific money manager (s), as opposed to total “investment portfolio outsourcing".  It will specifically focus on the pros and cons of delegating total portfolio investment management authority for small-staffed foundations and family endowments.


Thomas Heck, Chief Investment Officer, Ball State University Foundation


Poorvi Parekh, Director of Outsourced Investments, Canterbury Consulting

12:30pm - 1:15pm

Consultant Q & A:

  • What is the status of the endowment model?  How has it changed? Are there new approaches to managing an endowment or a foundation?
  • What are endowments and foundations doing to meet their goals and objectives in a challenging market environment?
  • How do endowments and foundations assess the impact of asset allocation and spending on the overall operating budget?
  • What are the trends with endowments and foundations as it relates to alternative assets?  Are endowments and foundations maintaining or increasing their exposures to private equity, real assets and hedge funds?
  • What are we as consultants recommending to our endowment and foundation clients with regard to asset allocation and tactical opportunities?
  • Has the role of the consultant changed when dealing with endowments and foundations?

Amanda Keiffer, Assistant Executive Director, Lock Haven University Foundation


Richard VanKuren, Managing Partner, LVW Advisors


Jason Taylor, Senior Consultant, Verus Investments


Larry Eckman, Senior Vice President, Segal Rogerscasey


Andre Abrantes, Investing Managing Director, Cambridge Associates

1:15 pm

Closing Remarks

Seaport Boston Hotel & World Trade Center
Seaport Lane, Boston, MA 02210, USA

Standard $295
*Prices exclude taxes. Room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 14.45%) and fees which include a $1.00 per room, per night Service Fee and a $2.00 per room, per night Hotel Fee.
  • Rooms are available only to those participants who are registered conference attendees.
  • The name on the form will be the name of the guest room.
  • Rooms are allocated on a first come first serve basis. Room types/rates are subject to availability.
  • Rooms will not be guaranteed without a credit card.

Registration Pricing

Earlybird Rate I (expires 8/31/16) Earlybird Rate II (expires 10/15/16) Standard Rate
Asset Managers & Service Providers $1,995 $2,395 $2,695
*** Family Offices (Single/Multi), Endowment, Foundation, Non-Discretionary Consultant, and Hospital/Healthcare Fund Complimentary* Complimentary* Complimentary*

*** These include: organizations that are solely investing on their own behalf in alternatives and do not sell any alternative investment products or services to clients including; sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, private clients and treasury.

*Subject to Opal Group's approval. Eligibility will be verified.

Sponsorship, Exhibition & Speaking Opportunities 212.532.9898 info@opalgroup.net

Presented by

Supervisory Special Agent David Chaves
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Presented by

Keith Kaplan, CEO and Co-Founder, Tesla Foundation

  • New Investment Styles and Strategies
  • Challenges facing Endowments and Foundations
  • Asset Allocation: Identifying the appropriate asset classes for your portfolio
  • Hedge Funds
  • Risk Management
  • Fixed Income and Credit Markets
  • New Wave of Alternative Strategies
  • Equity Investing
  • Private Equity Investing
  • Impact Investing
  • Governance Insights-Making Complicated Issues
  • Simple for Trustees and Fiduciaries
  • Real Estate
  • Real Assets
  • Philanthropy and Program Related Investments
  • Emerging and Frontier Markets
  • Sustainable investing and fiduciary duty
  • CIO Outsourcing
  • The Changing Landscape for Endowments & Foundations
  • and many more!
  • The GAFM Global Academy of Finance & Management™ is the world's fastest growing professional society with approximately 50,000 members in over 150 countries hosting and accrediting certification training worldwide and offering exclusive board certified designations to candidates who meet the highest professional standards and assessment criteria.

    The GAFM will grant full annual CE (7.5 Credits for 1 day, 15 Credits for 2 days) for those who attend this conference.

  • CWM™ Chartered Wealth Manager®
    MFP™ Master Financial Planner®
    AFA™ Accredited Financial Analyst®
    CTEP™ Chartered Trust and Estate Planner®
    CITA™ Certified International Tax Analyst™

  • * All certification courses available directly online from an accredited law school program


  • Endowments
  • Foundations
  • Consultants
  • Attorneys
  • Financial Planners
  • Accountants
  • Hedge Funds
  • Fund of Funds
  • Real Estate Managers
  • Equity Managers
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Private Equity
  • Insurance Companies
  • Broker Dealers
  • Industry Service Providers
  • Alternative Investment Managers


Chart I: Institutional Investors/Consultants vs. Money Managers and Service Providers

    Chart II: Institutional Investors/Consultants

      This event was clear, pertinent, and to the point. I will return regularly. Thank you for assembling the talent and topics. Mark Virello

      Chief Financial Officer, Laboure College

      Opal presented an efficient, well organized endowment conference that covered the issues that higher education professionals are facing on a daily basis. This was my first Opal conference and I will be eager to see the agenda for next year. Scott Tochtermna

      Endowment Portfolio Analyst, Messiah College

      A wonderful opportunity to share ideas and learn. Stephen Viederman

      Finance Committee, Christopher Reynolds Foundation

      We enjoyed the independent perspective provided by actual E&F investors and others in the space that invest in private equity. Ben Stoddard

      Senior Investment Analyst, Virginia Tech Foundation