Foundation Investments Rate Highly Among Peer Groups

The Columbus Jewish Foundation’s unrestricted investments performed better last year than most of its peers.

The Foundation’s 12 month investment returns exceeded those of Jewish foundations in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Miami, where performance ranged from 10.8% to 17.3%.

For the 2013 calendar year, the Columbus Jewish Foundation’s net return on its unrestricted investment portfolio was 18.3%.   The five year annualized net return was 14%.

Of the five other cities, only Baltimore outperformed Columbus on its five year returns, surpassing it by 50 basis points, or ½%.  The others cities’ annualized performance since 2008 ranged from 9.2% to 11%.

Columbus Jewish Foundation investment policy and objectives are set by an investment committee, chaired by Robert Keidan, which reports to the Foundation board.  The funds are invested by SEI Investments, a fund manager of managers based in Philadelphia.    Said Keidan, “The Investment Committee has a long term horizon for endowment holdings and focuses on the process rather than short term performance to meet the Foundation’s long term investment goals.”

Asset allocations in the Foundation’s permanent endowment portfolio include US Equities, International Equities, Fixed Assets, Alternative Investments, and Real Estate.   To protect against possible market corrections, the Foundation has a “spending immunization fund” with readily accessible cash for withdrawals that that can be used in lieu of equities during volatile periods.

Investment Committee Chair Robert Keidan is the president and founder of Keidan Financial Consultants. Other members of the Foundation’s Investment Committee are Alan Acker, Seth Becker, Mark Coffey, Randy Hansell, Barry Igdaloff, Charles Loeb, Michael Rothstein, Nevada Smith and Reid Wasserstrom.

The Columbus Jewish Foundation permits local agencies and synagogues to participate in its endowment investment portfolio.  According to Foundation CFO Tammy Fitzpatrick, the benefits include a menu of asset allocation choices, indexing and benchmarking, measurable performance-tracking, risk reduction through diversification, cost economies, and efficient reporting.  Thirty six organizations and programs with endowments have custodial fund arrangements with the Foundation.

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