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By Stephanie Sessa

Professional investment management is one of the main benefits of establishing an agency fund at Austin Community Foundation. At ACF, we work with world-class investment managers to maximize returns while managing risk. Nonprofits with agency funds at ACF enjoy low-cost investment options and third-party oversight of their assets. 

For several years, ACF has worked with Fiducient Advisors (formerly known as DiMeo Schneider & Associates), and they were selected through a competitive request for proposal process. Fiducient is a leading investment management and consulting firm based in Chicago with over $230 billion in assets under advisement. 

Fiducient works in partnership with the ACF Investment Committee, comprised of leaders in Austin’s finance and investment community. Together, they formulate overall investment policy, determine strategic asset allocation and choice of asset classes, hire investment managers, and monitor and evaluate investment performance. They also ensure compliance under the Texas Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (TUPMIFA) and all federal and state standards around endowment governance.  

We recognize that every organization’s situation is unique, so the Investment Committee designed four investment pool options uniquely suited to the range of objectives of our diverse fundholders, including time horizon goals and investment cost philosophy. If you are unsure of your investment pool, you can find it listed on your fund statement. You can request to change your investment pool if desired. 

  • Time Horizon – Some organizations and/or their longstanding donors desire to create a permanent endowment fund that ensures a funding stream will be sustained in perpetuity. Investment options with this long-term time horizon can take advantage of volatility in the markets and can invest in illiquid assets such as private equity, hedge funds, and real assets. Other organizations may choose to open an investment fund instead, investing additional cash on hand that is not needed in the immediate term.
  • Investment Cost Philosophy – We provide a choice between active management of your investments and passive management through indexed funds. Passive-indexed funds have become more popular in recent years, and we believe you should have an option for a low-cost investment portfolio. We also have active investment pool options for those who believe active investment managers can outperform the markets.  

You can always find quarterly investment performance report summaries created by Fiducient on ACF’s website, in addition to our most recently available audited financial statements and our Investment Policy Statement 

Investing the charitable dollars trusted to us is an important part of our work. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime by email at ssessa@austincf.org.