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UW Foundation

Investments

One of the primary missions of the University of Wyoming Foundation is to exercise superior stewardship of the gifts entrusted to the university. The assets managed by the foundation have grown significantly over the years allowing donors to support an expanding number of students, faculty, facilities, and academic programs—even at times when other universities have had to cut back.

To further this mission, the UW Foundation established an internal investment team in early 2019 to direct investment policy. Philip Treick joined the organization as chief investment officer and Brady Goyn joined as an investment analyst. Together, they represent the start of a new era for the foundation. In conjunction with the UW Foundation Board of Directors Investment Committee and investment advisor Meketa Investment Group, the investment operation for the UW Foundation is building on past success to ensure an even brighter future.

The UW Foundation investment team has established three investment goals in FY 2019— reduce portfolio complexity, reduce fees, and increase long-term compounded returns. Every day starts with attention to these three goals.

Reduced Portfolio Complexity – To reduce portfolio complexity, the investment team must identify strategies within the overall portfolio that negate other strategies. If unintended, the consequence of this could be that potentially large portions of the overall fund are unproductive. For example, one strategy positioned to profit from increasing interest rates may be offset by another strategy designed to benefit from decreasing interest rates. The investment team is actively communicating with the fund managers to identify these hidden contradictions. In baseball parlance, it’s an unforced error to cancel out the performance of a well-defined, well-executed strategy by not staying on top of fund manager correlation.

Reduced Fees – Fees are within our control. Some things are not. The investment team can position the fund for an expected interest rate move or an increase in the price of oil—maybe even a change in value of the dollar—but success requires a correct prediction. A reduction in fees falls right to the bottom line so no prediction is needed.

Increased Long-term Compounded Returns – The investment business is unique in that by reducing two inputs—complexity and fees—the investment team can increase the output of long-term compounded returns. Great returns begin with identifying talented investment managers who are charging reasonable fees for great performance and ends with making sure these results are unencumbered by unintended off -setting strategies.

Investment Allocation

The pace of change faced by investors continues to accelerate. Negative interest rates, trade wars, and modern monetary theory are just a few changes competing for investors’ attention. The UW Foundation maintains a widely diversified portfolio. Over the coming few years, an increasing amount of capital will be allocated to private investments including leveraged buyouts, venture capital, and real assets. Our ability to think broadly and creatively about change and how to position the foundation to the benefit of the University of Wyoming will dictate our success going forward.

The market value of the investments as of June 30, 2019, increased to $535.5 million, earning 5.7% net of all fees. This is up from $514.3 million on June 30, 2018.

But, at the end of the year, the bottom line is not the whole story. This number does not include the many services the UW Foundation provides—such as estate planning and reconnecting the alumni and friends of Wyoming with their university—nor the ways that the foundation actively stewards donors' contributions before they become endowments, including pledges, short-term investments, and real estate.

 

 

 

Contact Us

University of Wyoming Foundation

222 S 22nd Street

Laramie, WY 82070

Phone: 307-766-6300

Toll Free: 1-888-831-7795

Fax: 307-766-4045

Email: foundation@uwyo.edu

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