A Century of Service. Giving for Good.

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The St. Louis Community Foundation offers a selection of investments that are carefully constructed and diversified to maximize return and minimize volatility.

 

Our investments are designed to meet a range of philanthropic goals and time horizons. Investments are monitored regularly by the Community Foundation’s experienced investment committee, investment consultants, and staff.

Two Organizations

The Community Foundation is really two organizations, a Missouri not-for-profit corporation and a Missouri trust, and investment vehicles are different for each. The determining factor in setting up a fund with either organization is the inclination of the donor and time horizon for the assets; the service we provide is the same.

St. Louis Community Foundation, Inc., our not-for-profit corporation, offers a choice of investment options to accommodate donors’ varied grantmaking patterns, including a customized investment platform provided for donors with large funds (further details below). We also offer separate American Fund investment pools that are overseen by our investment committee. Donors may select one investment pool and may change the investment allocation at any time. The Community Foundation’s five primary investment strategies are:

Investment Pool

   Investment Pool Description

Growth

Diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, 75% equity and 25% fixed income. Seeks long-term growth of principal over current income

Balanced

Balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds, 50% equity and 50% fixed income. Seeks a balance between growth of principal and current income over the long term

Wealth Preservation

Portfolio of short and intermediate-term bonds, 75% fixed income and 25% equity. Seeks to preserve capital and provide current income with the potential for modest growth in principal

Money Market

Portfolio of short-term, high quality securities, 100% cash equivalents.  Seeks to provide immediate income from which grants may be made over the short term

Social Responsibility

For funds with a focus on social and corporate responsibility

 

Customized Investment Management

At the request of a donor, the Community Foundation may engage an investment advisor outside of the investment options available through our trust or corporate form. The Community Foundation’s staff and investment committee use the following criteria to approve the hiring of a special investment advisor:

Fund SizeThe fund, or combination of funds consolidated for investment purposes, must be of sufficient size to enable diversification in accordance with the Community Foundation investment policy, to ensure efficiency in management, and to minimize management expenses. Generally, a fund or a combination of funds consolidated for investment purposes in excess of $500,000 are considered for management outside the Community Foundation’s primary investment pools. Exceptions to this minimum will be considered based on the likelihood of the donor’s relationship maturing with the Community Foundation to exceed these minimums over time or through an irrevocable testamentary commitment.
Established FirmThe investment advisor must be a firm or a person affiliated with a firm with sufficient capitalization, insurance, assets under management, management oversight, and experience to demonstrate his or her/its capability to serve as an investment advisor.
Private Benefit to the DonorAll relationships (personal and professional) between the donor and the donor’s extended family with the investment advisor and/or the advisor’s firm must be disclosed for evaluation regarding compliance with federal tax law rules addressing private inurement and private benefit and/or any other applicable federal or state law.
Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management

The investment advisor and/or the advisor’s firm must have experience overseeing the investment of assets in various asset classes and across various investment styles. The Foundation will provide the advisor the Foundation’s investment policy as guidance. The advisor, in general, shall provide the following information regarding proposed investment approaches:

  • Description of investment philosophy and strategies
  • Description of investment styles used
  • Investment performance statistics over 1-,3-,5, and 10-year time horizons, as available, with comparable benchmarks
  • Identification of the individual making investment decision
  • Primary sources of investment research information
Reporting

The investment advisor and/or the advisor’s firm must provide the Community Foundation monthly account statements and provide account information to consultants engaged by the Community Foundation to monitor investment performance.

Fees

All investment advisory and/or investment management fees must be disclosed, and the investment advisor and/or the advisor’s firm must offer fair market, competitive pricing with the application of any discounts the investment advisor and/or the advisor’s firm would offer any client with a similar size account and relationship.

Investment fees vary based on the particular investment advisor chosen to implement the strategy and the specific strategy selected. The Community Foundation passes through the investment management fees incurred by that fund’s investment pool on a monthly basis at cost. The Community Foundation also recoups a modest fee across all 400+ funds to offset costs associated with our outside investment management services.

Investment Advisor Compensation from American Funds

Most new funds are invested in one of the Community Foundation’s American Funds investment pools. In partnership with the client’s financial advisor, American Funds offer 12b-1 compensation for new assets placed in AF Wealth Preservation, AF Balanced, or AF Growth pools.

  • Initial Commission: Dealers are paid an initial commission of 0.25% on NAV purchases. Commissions are based on cumulative investments over the life of the account with no adjustment for redemptions, transfers, or market declines. It is paid on a quarterly basis (0.075% NAV/Quarter) and arrives via the investment advisor’s standard commission pay program.
  • Trailing Commission: Thirteen months and later, the investment advisor receives an annual service fee of 0.25% for her/his work.
  • Note: Due to the current low return in money market funds the Annual Service Fee has been suspended for the American Funds Money Market Fund.

American Funds requires the following information in order to have an investment advisor be named as the Advisor of Record:

  • Advisor’s name
    Advisor’s branch office address
    Phone, fax number & email address
    Rep number
    Branch manager
    Branch office number
    Broker-dealer name
    Broker Dealer Address

St. Louis Community Foundation is a Missouri Charitable Trust. Each fund is held in trust with a bank trustee.

Funds established using the charitable trust are invested by institutional trustees selected by the donor from our list of trustees. While the trustee bank has investment responsibility, the investment performance is monitored by our staff and reviewed by the investment committee on a regular basis.

St. Louis Community Foundation Inc. and St. Louis Community Foundation, a Missouri Charitable Trust, share a board and staff as they operate as one entity.

To utilize the Trust format, specific agreements are necessary and are not available online. Contact Christine Burghoff, 314-880-4967.

If you need any additional financial information or if you have any questions regarding investment options, fees, and performance, please contact our CFO & Vice President, Dwight Canning, 314-880-4969.

 

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St. Louis Community Foundation

#2 Oak Knoll Park, St. Louis, MO 63105
tel 314-588-8200, fax 314-588-8088
info@stlouisgives.org