Endowments and foundations
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Endowments and Foundations

We understand the challenges that endowments and foundations face, particularly the need to achieve spending targets in today’s low-return environment. To help, we offer a full range of investment strategies across public and private markets, as well as a leading outsourced CIO (OCIO) platform.
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How we partner with endowments and foundations to help them reach their goals

Re-thinking portfolio construction
Re-thinking portfolio construction
The rules of active management are changing. We help E&Fs understand their true sources of risk and return, how their managers fit together, and how to increase efficiency.
Optimizing private markets allocations
Optimizing private markets allocations
As the risk/return tradeoff in private markets has become increasingly asymmetric, we believe E&Fs need to take new approaches to illiquid assets to generate consistency.
Focusing on sustainability
Focusing on sustainability
We believe that sustainable investing offers a return advantage that allows E&Fs to seek greater alignment between their portfolios and their organizational missions.

Investment strategies designed to help endowments and foundations achieve their objectives

Our dedicated endowments and foundations team leverages the depth and breadth of BlackRock to deliver investment solutions that are aligned with E&F priorities. From re-thinking portfolio construction to optimizing private markets allocations to focusing on sustainability, our E&F clients use BlackRock’s full spectrum of public and private markets strategies to help reach their goals.

With rates at historic lows, it's hard for traditional fixed income investments to earn the income you need. In this video I'll walk through 3 ways to analyze your portfolio to help improve yield with similar risk

Hi and welcome to Quick Insights. I'm Calvin Yu, head of the Client Insight Unit at BlackRock. In this series, we talk about common challenges investors face and insights to help achieve the desired outcome.

So how can we pick up more yield with the same risk?

We've been getting this question a lot, and recently a client asked for ideas to help meet their income needs.

This client had a few objectives:

Achieve income to meet cash disbursements with low-moderate risk.

In this case, a big drawdown could severely impact the client's operations.

Maintain liquidity to support payments

Invest primarily in fixed income, but had flexibility to invest in alternatives and equities as well

We'll walk through this specific case study, but what's interesting is we can use the same framework to analyze different objectives as well

The first thing was looking at the yields and risks of different fixed income sectors. We also look at efficiencies from a yield per unit of risk perspective. You can see areas like securitized and high yield look more efficient than core FI. In this situation, the client was mostly invested in core fixed income. We proposed breaking out this allocation and diversifying across a broader set of sectors, which improved the yield by almost 100 bps, while risk increased moderately. It led to a more efficient outcome and the yield per unit of risk improved from 0.58 to 0.77.

Now the fixed income and credit markets are very dynamic. If you rank the performance of the sectors each year, the rankings are constantly changing. HY was the best sector in 2016, but it was also the worst the year before. The dispersion can be very high.

The ability to leverage our market expertise, analytics, and platform to navigate the dynamic landscape was important to this client.

The second thing we look at is how the new fixed income portfolio impacted the total portfolio's returns and risks. So here, we illustrated different reallocations across fixed income, equities and alternatives. And as we reallocated to more risky assets, the returns improved, but risk increased, forming a frontier. The interesting thing is the new portfolios were more efficient, and had better returns per unit of risk compared to the current portfolio.

The devil's always in the details, particularly when it comes to risk.

It's important to look at the drivers of risk and how the portfolio would do in downside scenarios. And so the third thing we look at was how these portfolios may perform under stress scenarios. We outlined some scenarios here, we can customize other scenarios that you may be focused on as well. In the end, we partnered closely with this client; they implemented one of these portfolios, and were able to better meet their income needs with similar levels of risk.

So if you want to learn more different ways to help improve yield in your portfolio, reach out to your BlackRock relationship manager.

Thanks for watching and I'll see you with the next Insight

Dedicated portfolio analysis for endowments & foundations

BlackRock’s Client Insight Unit (CIU) can help endowments & foundations develop solutions reflective of their core investment philosophy. CIU recently worked with one foundation to find sources of income by analyzing yield, risk and portfolio impact under different stress scenarios.

BlackRock’s latest insights for endowment and foundation investors

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Meet our endowments and foundations team

With regional offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, BlackRock’s dedicated endowments and foundations team serves as a central point of contact for investment and risk management.

Lili Forouraghi, CFA
Managing Director, Head of Endowment and Foundations
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Ned Rosenman
Managing Director, Head of OCIO for Endowments and Foundations, Healthcare, and Family Offices
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Willie Alford
Managing Director, Endowments and Foundations
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Contact our dedicated Endowment and Foundations Team
Get in touch with BlackRock to discover how we partner with Endowments and Foundations for institutional investment and risk management solutions across asset classes.
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Common questions from endowments and foundations

  • BlackRock is a fiduciary to endowment and foundation clients. Our team offers institutionally scaled investment services that range from single mandates to multi-asset solutions to OCIO partnerships; tailored portfolio analytics leveraging Aladdin technology and market insights provided through research reports and investment forums.

    • Endowments: Endowments or endowment funds, are investment portfolios established to support the overall missions and financial health of nonprofit organizations, such as educational, cultural and healthcare institutions. These institutions often depend on donations to source their endowments and rely on the earnings from their investments to fund their operations. At BlackRock, we support both public and private endowments.
    • Foundations: Foundations are nonprofit corporations that support a variety of charitable organizations, such as academic institutions, churches and hospitals. While many foundations support these charitable organizations through grant-giving, some foundations engage directly in their own charitable programs or activities. Our team serves both public and private foundations including community foundations.
    • Community foundations: Community foundations are nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the economic and social wellbeing of individuals in a defined local geographic area. These foundations operate with clearly defined missions and are integral to the support of a broad range of charitable interests spanning education, arts, healthcare and the environment.
  • Yes, the BlackRock Educational Academy was launched in 2013 with the objective of facilitating the training needs of BlackRock’s institutional clients. Contact us to learn about the BlackRock Educational Academy.

  • We offer a variety of events – including calls, workshops, forums and conferences – that allow endowment and foundation professionals to engage in debate around topical issues and to make better informed investment decisions. Contact us to learn about events for endowments and foundations.

  • We have a comprehensive, $330B alternatives platform that seeks to deliver outperformance with true partnership.  We offer endowment and foundation clients access to high-quality opportunities across private equity, hedge funds, private credit, real estate, infrastructure and multi-alternative solutions. Global reach across private and public markets powers our sourcing, and industry-leading technology delivers improved transparency on investments.

  • Our purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. In pursuit of this, we have embedded a focus on long-term sustainability across the entirety of our business. From integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into our investment processes to creating positive social impact by serving communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, we are dedicated to helping clients, employees, shareholders and communities achieve long-term, financial well-being.