The Foundation’s Investment Policy Statement provides both a strategic and tactical allocation among various asset classes. The long term strategic asset allocation is 65% in equities and 35% in fixed income and cash. This strategic allocation is further delineated in equities by domestic large cap, small and mid cap, international developed, and emerging markets. The fixed income is delineated by high grade (or core), high yield and international.
Recognizing the inevitability of short-term market fluctuations, the tactical allocation provides a range within which managers may allocate funds. For example, the strategic allocation for equities is 65%. The tactical allocation is 75%-45%. Currently, the Foundation’s endowment is invested approximately 55% in equities and 45% in fixed income and cash. The allocation of the portfolio is monitored quarterly to ensure adherence to policy.
Following are selected benchmark indices used in comparing performance within and among ECCF’s investment managers: S&P 500, Russell 2500 Index, MSCI EAFE Index, MSCI Emerging Market Index, Barclays Aggregated Bond (formerly Lehman) and Merrill Lynch High Yield Index. Also used are customized blends of these benchmarks reflective of the portfolio diversification.
A copy of ECCF's complete Investment Policy Statement is available upon request.
ECCF has established arrangements regarding money management and custodianship with the following investment firms. They are required to be responsive to the Foundation’s investment policy.
Current Investment Managers
- Bank of America U.S. Trust
- Cambridge Appleton Partners
- NBW Capital
- Needham Advisory Corporation
The above firms were selected in a formal proposal process, open to all worthy investment firms every three years. Their performances are reviewed quarterly by the Investment Committee, and more frequently if needed. The Foundation’s selection of leading national firms provides local donors with access to state-of-the-art services and global expertise. In addition, exemplary Essex County firms are included at the Board’s discretion if all selection parameters are satisfied.
Evaluation of investment managers’ performance will be based on comparison results achieved against absolute and relative return objectives. The Investment Committee reserves the right to evaluate and make any necessary changes regarding the Investment Managers.
Other Investment Managers
With ECCF's approval, newly donated assets may in some cases be invested through an investment manager recommended by the donor. However, each investment manager serves at the pleasure of ECCF Board of Trustees. Assets must be managed in accordance with policies and objectives adopted by the Investment Committee.