Over many decades, Smith’s investment portfolio was primarily allocated to traditional equity and fixed income strategies. In the 1990s, the college began allocating an increasing share of the portfolio to less liquid investments strategies including private partnerships and alternative equities. By 2003, the need for oversight of these strategies had expanded significantly, and the Investment Committee and Board of Trustees began considering opportunities to collaborate with like institutions to create a shared investment office. Later that year, committee members met with Alice Handy regarding her interest in starting Investure, and in early 2004 Investure was launched, serving Smith and one other institutional client.
Located in Charlottesville, Va., Investure serves as the consortial investment office for Smith College, Barnard College, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Colonial Williamsburg, The Commonwealth Fund, Dickinson College, the Henry Luce Foundation, Houston Endowment, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Middlebury College, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Trinity College and the University of Tulsa, managing over $10 billion in assets. Investure is a recognized leader in the endowment and foundation investment management industry, having pioneered the full-service outsourced investment office model. Participating in a pool of this size provides Smith with extraordinarily broad diversification and access to investment opportunities that would generally not be accessible to the endowment.
Under this arrangement, Smith’s investment committee retains its fiduciary responsibility for the endowment; approves all changes to asset allocation and policy guidelines; and reviews performance regularly, just as it did before. The addition of a fully developed, highly innovative team of professionals at Investure has freed the committee to function at a more strategic level.
Investure is charged with the responsibility for developing, implementing, and administering the Investment Policy. Financial professionals of the partner institutions collaborate regularly on audit, legal, financial trusteeship and accounting matters. The depth of staffing at Investure and at ExOfficio — Investure’s outsourced accounting function — provides a heightened level of oversight and confidence in an era of public concern about alternative investment valuations and due diligence.
For more information on Investure, please visit their Web site at investure.com.