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Episode 60 – How Nonprofit Leaders Can Think Long-Term To Better Manage Your Money And Your Organization With David Nierenberg



Effective leadership and good governance can help maximize your mission but requires strategic, long-term thinking in a world increasingly focused on the short term. 

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with David Nierenberg, director of The National World War II Museum, where he also chairs the investment committee. They explore ways to improve nonprofit leadership and governance and discuss key considerations for investment committee members today.

You will learn:

  • How nonprofits can continue to advance their mission during uncertain market and economic conditions
  • What David has seen work well for nonprofit boards and investment committees
  • The current and future outlook regarding ESG and DEI
  • Insights into asset allocation based on current market conditions (including alternative investments)
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts) | David Nierenberg on LinkedIn | “Churchill: Walking with Destiny” by Andrew Roberts | “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl | “The Old Man and The Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

About Our Guest:

David Nierenberg wears many hats, including being a Director for The National World War II Museum in New Orleans and Chair of its investment committee.  He is also the longest-serving member of the Washington State Investment Board, which for the past two decades has been a top-performing state pension fund, priding itself on being transparent and ethical. David is Chair of The Ira Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School, a world leader in corporate governance. In addition, David estimates he has 200 “man-years” of service on public companies, private companies, government, and not-for-profit boards, which involved him in dozens of strategic plans, CEO searches, and the like. His volunteer efforts for investment committees are vast and span all sizes, from $15MM portfolios to over $200 billion portfolios. David attended Yale for both his undergraduate and law degrees. He and his wife Patricia were named Philanthropists of the Year in Southwest Washington.


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Episode 59 – First Quarterly Quick Take of 2023: Important Investment Updates with Brad Long



A lot has happened in the first quarter of 2023. Continued market volatility, rising interest rates, and the hottest topic right now — the banking debacle!

In the first Quarterly Quick Take of 2023, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis are back with Brad Long, CFA®, partner and deputy chief investment officer at Fiducient Advisors. They address top stories on the markets and the economy, including their practical portfolio implications.

You will learn:

  • Three key factors expected to influence endowments and portfolios in 2023
  • What is driving volatility in stocks, bonds, and alternative investments
  • How nonprofit leaders, endowment committees, and other investors can navigate current market volatility
  • Insights into the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank debacle
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts) | 2023 Outlook – Goodbye TINA (There is No Alternative) | Webcast: 2023 Essential Economic Update | Three Top Financial Challenges Facing the Nonprofit Sector – Fiducient (fiducientadvisors.com) | Five Investing Paradoxes Impacting Nonprofits and Endowments – Fiducient (fiducientadvisors.com) | Plain English with Derek Thompson: “The SVB Debacle: The Biggest Myths, the Out-of-Control Blame Game, and the Worst Takes”

About Our Guest:

Brad Long joined Fiducient Advisors in 2012. He is chair of the firm’s Investment Committee and a member of the firm’s Discretionary Committee, Research Forum, Capital Markets Team and Mission-Aligned Investing Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Brad worked in various research capacities at Citigroup and Wells Fargo in New York. He received a BA in Finance and Minor in Economics from The University of Colorado and is a CFA® charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Chicago and CFA Institute. Additionally, he is active with Greenhouse Scholars, a nonprofit providing financial and personal support to under-resourced college students. In his free time, Brad loves cooking and spending time with his wife and young sons.


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Episode 58 – True or False? Answering Key Investment Questions For Nonprofit Leaders



Is ESG here to stay? Will active investing have its turn in the sun? Can international markets finally outperform domestic markets? Does cryptocurrency belong in an endowment portfolio?

These are common investment-related questions that nonprofit leaders and people overseeing endowments might have.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis answer the above questions and more. They also share Fiducient Advisors’ outlook for 2023 and beyond.

You will learn:

  • What is driving the growth of ESG investing despite political backlash and greenwashing
  • Valuable insights into active vs. passive investing and domestic vs. international markets
  • Why cryptocurrency might not become an integral part of an endowment portfolio
  • The importance of portfolio diversification
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts) | US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment | US SIF 2022 Trends Report


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Episode 57 – How Nonprofits Can Add “Sustainability” to Your Endowment With Dr. Troy Hammond



As part of your ESG goals, you might be screening certain investments before adding them to your endowment’s portfolio.

If you want to amplify your impact, adding a “sustainability fund” might help.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Dr. Troy Hammond, a scientist, business leader, and entrepreneur who served as North Central College’s president for nearly 10 years until July 2022. Troy shares actionable strategies for effective endowment management and mission-aligned investing.

You will learn:

  • Three reasons why renewable energy projects fail (despite having a positive return potential)
  • How a “sustainability fund” can provide long-term steady income yield
  • Ways to improve endowment governance and align all stakeholders
  • Troy’s best advice to set nonprofit leaders up for future success
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Dr. Troy Hammond | North Central College | TEDx Talks: Sustainability: Why Universities Can Lead by Example With Dr. Troy Hammond | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts) | “Social Enterprise 2.0: The OWP Difference” by Mike Hamel | “Powering Social Enterprise with Profit and Purpose: The Tandem Hybrid” by Scott Boyer, Jeremy Gudauskas and Mike Hamel

About Our Guest:

A scientist, business leader and entrepreneur, Dr. Troy D. Hammond brought visionary leadership to North Central College over his nearly 10 years as president. Hammond launched his presidency with the bold Brilliant Future Campaign, a $150 million fundraising initiative—the most ambitious capital campaign in the College’s history—which brought sweeping physical changes to campus. He also created the Cardinal Sustainability Fund, which led to significant LED lighting and solar projects across campus. During Hammond’s tenure, several Cardinal athletic programs soared to new heights, including the College’s first-ever football national championship in 2019 and multiple national championships in other sports.

Prior to joining North Central, Hammond was at McKinsey & Company, a global leader in management consulting, where he became an associate principal. He then joined Plextronics, Inc., helping raise substantial venture and strategic capital and growing the technology company into a global leader in printed electronics. During this time, he also served as an adjunct professor of business at Milligan College.

 


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Episode 56 – Markets And More -Quarterly Quick Take: Key Market Updates with Brad Long



2022 was a challenging year for investors, primarily due to high volatility, severe market drawdowns, and increased Fed intervention.

But what should investors consider moving forward in 2023 and beyond?

Find out in this episode, as Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brad Long, CFA®, partner and deputy chief investment officer at Fiducient Advisors. They provide recent market updates and future outlook for US and international markets.

You will learn:

  • Three key themes investors should keep in mind when planning for 2023
  • Navigating the bumpy path to inflation moderation and a potential bear market bottom
  • Fiducient’s capital market assumptions (stocks, bonds, and alternative assets)
  • Insights into return expectations and portfolio implications
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts) | 2023 Outlook – Goodbye TINA (There is No Alternative)

About Our Guest:

Brad Long joined Fiducient Advisors in 2012. He is chair of the firm’s Investment Committee and a member of the firm’s Discretionary Committee, Research Forum, Capital Markets Team and Mission-Aligned Investing Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Brad worked in various research capacities at Citigroup and Wells Fargo in New York. He received a BA in Finance and Minor in Economics from The University of Colorado and is a CFA® charterholder and member of the CFA Society of Chicago and CFA Institute. Additionally, he is active with Greenhouse Scholars, a nonprofit providing financial and personal support to under-resourced college students. In his free time, Brad loves cooking and spending time with his wife and young sons.


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Episode 55 – A Leader’s Guide to Organization-Wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging With Karen Paulson



Being part of a diverse organization does not guarantee everyone feels valued and welcome. It’s crucial to simultaneously and intentionally focus on equity, inclusion and belonging.

Moreover, DEIB is not only the right thing to do, but research shows it can also produce better outcomes.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Karen Paulson, partner and senior consultant at Fiducient Advisors, who also chairs the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee. Karen provides meaningful insights and inspiration to all stewards looking to advance their DEIB objectives.

You will learn:

  • Macro trends in the DEIB space, especially in the investment management industry
  • Various DEIB initiatives at Fiducient — and the three primary pillars that support these initiatives
  • How organizational leaders can develop diverse talent and an inclusive culture
  • Best practices to create DEIB awareness and align boards and committees
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Karen Paulson | Email Karen | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts) | Year Up | National Black MBA Association® | National Association of Black Accountants | Women’s Association of Venture and Equity | Women Investment Professionals | Chicago Financial Women | Institutional Investing Diversity Cooperative

About Our Guest:

As a Partner and Senior Consultant, Karen services institutional clients, including 401(k) and tax-exempt retirement plans and nonprofit endowments and foundations, by providing advice and counsel on all areas of fund oversight including policy, asset allocation, manager research, portfolio structure, portfolio rebalancing, performance monitoring and overall investment policy. Karen is chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee and is a member of the firm’s Defined Contribution Strategic Oversight Committee, Mission-Aligned Investing Committee and Employee Engagement Team. Karen co-founded Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC in 2006, which combined with Fiducient Advisors in 2020.


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Episode 54 – Four Action Items To Combat Market Volatility and Uncertainty



The traditional 60/40 stock/bond portfolio is on pace for its worst performance in 80 years and Treasury bonds might register their worst performance in 200 years! Investor anxiety seems to be rising in lock-step with interest rates.

All this contributes to a high level of uncertainty for those who oversee endowments and foundations.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis help investment committees (or any nonprofit leader overseeing investments) combat market uncertainty through four key action items.

You will learn the following:

  • Why good stewards need to separate today’s news from the noise
  • Important considerations regarding expected investment returns moving forward
  • Insights into alternative asset classes, especially in light of higher interest rates
  • An important step in ESG investing that many organizations are overlooking
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Insights by Fiducient Advisors (Research, Blogs, Podcasts)


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Episode 53 – The Secret Sauce for High-Performing Nonprofit Organizations with Jeffery Perry



High-performing organizations are characterized by strong leadership, a clear goal, and strategic investments.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Jeffery Perry, founder & CEO of Lead Mandates LLC. They discuss the major drivers of success for high-performing organizations (especially nonprofits).

You will learn the following:

  • The importance of having a clear sense of purpose for your organization
  • Evolution in asset allocation strategies and endowment management
  • The key to authentic ESG investing (and the impact of the “peanut butter approach”)
  • Personal leadership insights for nonprofit leaders
  • And more!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | Jeffery Perry on LinkedIn | Lead Mandates LLC | “Authentic ESG—Not Whac-A-Mole nor Peanut Butter” by Jeffery Perry | “Great Resignation Refocused as Great Reengagement” by Jeffery Perry | “At Your Side for The Rough Ride” by Bob DiMeo

About Jeffery Perry:

Jeff is the Founder & CEO of Lead Mandates LLC, an advisory firm that helps organizations improve business and leadership performance. He is a global strategic business advisor with relevant experience that spans 20 years combined as partner at Ernst & Young LLP (EY) and A.T. Kearney. He is a highly skilled and passionate leader in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), integrations, divestitures, and business transformations, linking strategy to purpose-led leadership and execution.

Jeff is a member of corporate and non-profit boards including: Board Director, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS); Independent Director (Trustee), Equitable Funds; Board of Trustees Chair, Babson College; Board Chair, Chicago Children’s Museum; Former Board Chair, INROADS Inc.; Board Director, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Chicago Chapter; Board Director, Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association; Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council of Board Chairs. In addition, he is included in Savoy Magazine 2021 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors and Financial Times Agenda Diversity 100.  

Jeff received his B.S. in Marketing/Quantitative Methods, with high distinction, from Babson College and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


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Episode 52 – Third Quarterly Quick Take of 2022: Key Market Updates with Brad Long



With continued market volatility, a rising US dollar, and upcoming midterm elections, it’s time for our third Quarterly Quick Take of 2022.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Brad Long, CFA®, partner and deputy chief investment officer at Fiducient Advisors. They discuss timely market and economic updates, including important portfolio implications for investors.

You will learn:

  • The deception of bear market rallies (and why you should beware)
  • The impact of a strengthening US dollar, and what it might mean for your endowment
  • Little-known benefits of high interest rates 
  • How investors can avoid “recency bias” while planning for the future
  • And more!

Tune in for timely market updates as we enter the final quarter of 2022!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Devon Francis | BRAD LONG BIO | Brad Long on LinkedIn | Fiducient Advisors Insights (Research, Blog, and Podcasts)


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Episode 51 – Hedge Funds Revisited With Anthony Novara



Some investment committees are reluctant to own alternative investments because they don’t understand the space well.

Or perhaps they are intimidated due to the complexity and cost.

In this episode, Bob DiMeo and Devon Francis speak with Anthony Novara, CFA®, research director of Fiducient Advisors’ marketable alternatives group. They demystify hedge fund investing and its role in effective portfolio management, especially amidst high market volatility.

You will learn:

  • Five primary strategies used in hedge funds investing
  • Major pros and cons of hedge funds for endowments and foundations
  • Fund of funds — how they work, fee structures, and investment benefits
  • Why the notion “hedge funds are inherently riskier” may not always true
  • And more!

Tune in to learn how to navigate hedge funds and other forms of alternative investments!

Resources: Email the Stewards | Fiducient Advisors | Bob DiMeo | Anthony Novara on LinkedIn | Anthony Novara BIO | Nonprofits and Private Equity With Matt Kaminski (Ep. 29)