Nonprofit Fund Sponsors Market Concerns Hit Homeland
November 6, 2012
Responses to a recent Mercer Hammond survey highlight that decision makers at 80 of the nation’s nonprofit funds are more concerned with weatherproofing their portfolios against macroeconomic U.S. concerns than the debt crisis across the pond.
The survey, which was conducted during the Oct. 9 Mercer Hammond Non-Profit Client Conference in St. Louis, Mo., highlights that 58% of the fiduciaries and board members that represent endowments, foundations, nonprofit healthcare and large private wealth funds felt that “the largest single investment risk” was “overreaction to short term events.” Such events as “the continued political and fiscal gridlock in the U.S. [were listed] as the number one concern in the global markets.”
In the Nov. 5 announcement, the second tier risk marker was associated with “assuming that the future will be much like the past.”
Russ LaMore, a partner at Mercer Hammond and the firm’s national segment leader for foundations, said that “risk management is a major focus of nonprofit organizations.”
“Fiduciaries are closely monitoring the global economic environment,” LaMore said in the Monday statement. “But respondents also believe that it’s important not to overreact to the daily noise of alarmist headlines or transitory events.”
Additionally, the survey’s findings hinted that about half of the respondents’ “largest concern” was the fear of loosing capital when investing. Also, overall market volatility was penned as the top ranked second worry by the participants.
“Board members of nonprofit organizations feel a particular responsibility toward maintaining programs, whether that is preserving teaching staff in the case of a university, social programs of a charitable institution, or debt service for a hospital building program, Chris Adkerson, a firm principal and leader for the endowment charge.
Previously, on Oct. 9, Mercer Partner and Global Relations Director Charles Salmans had confirmed the LaMore and Adkerson promotions to IMMP. At the time, he noted that the decision “reflects an organizational change to better defined responsibilities,”
At the start of the 2011, Mercer acquired the St. Louis-based firm Hammond Associates due to the prospects that the new combination would create a “new leader in investment consulting for endowments, foundations and the private wealth and health care markets.”
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