Specialist Support for Endowment and Foundation Investors 

Endowments and Foundations

Our dedicated team of endowment and foundation specialists are focused on research, advice and investment portfolio solutions addressing the specific needs of our not-for-profit clients.

Through our long standing engagement with universities, charities, professional associations and many other endowments and charitable entities, we recognise that these organisations differ from other institutional investors in a number of ways, as they have:

  • relatively long investment time horizons, but a need for annual income
  • less peer-group sensitivity
  • the ability to take advantage of tax exemptions. 

The preferred investment approach

In today’s increasingly complex investment environment, an implemented consulting model is often the preferred approach for endowment and foundation investors, as they find it difficult to commit the necessary time and resources to swiftly make and implement investment decisions amd often don’t have the size to support an in house investment team.

By enabling Trustees to spend more time focused on high level investment matters like investment objectives and strategic asset allocation while leaving the day to day operational and manager selection decisions to full time professionals an outsourced approach can potentially provide better outcomes.

Through our experience and research, we have witnessed a growing number of not-for-profit investors switching to implemented consulting from traditional consulting or a broker model. 

Tailored solutions


Our suite of specialist advice, support and tailored solutions for endowment and foundation investors includes:

  • Investment policy, objectives, risk appetite and time horizons
  • Spending policy, reserving policy and cash management
  • Governance and accountability
  • Tax-exempt investment products
  • Environmental, social and governance ratings and responsible investment advice
  • External investment manager selection and monitoring
  • Strategic asset allocation (SAA)
  • Board education

Mercer’s Investment Survey of Endowments & Foundations

Our bi-annual survey benchmarks key trends specific to endowment and foundation investors such as their investment objectives, spending policy, investment implementation and asset allocation.

The full analysis is available only to participants and the next survey opens for submissions in April 2017.

Key findings from the survey and our latest thought leadership are also presented at our annual event for not-for-profit investors.

Contact us

Find out more about how Mercer is addressing the specific needs of our not-for-profit clients.
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