Surdna Foundation 2013 Annual Report
Finances > Investment Philosophy

Investment Philosophy

As of June 30, 2013, Surdna Foundation’s assets totaled $943 million. Our investment portfolio had a return of 11.7% in fiscal 2013 net of investment management fees, which was 1.8% above our benchmark return. The annualized trailing return over the last 10 years was 9.1%, or 2.5% above our benchmark return of 6.6%. So for each of the last 10 years, the endowment (on average) outperformed its benchmark by 2.5%.

Surdna Foundation is a long-term and disciplined investor with the objective of earning a real rate of return, net of expenses, sufficient to fund current program needs and administrative support, while maintaining the purchasing power of the endowment. Surdna’s strong performance is due to maintaining a diversified asset allocation, regular rebalancing, and seeking out and investing with the highest performing and proven investment managers possible.

In 2013, Surdna created a Program-Related Investment (PRI) Fund to provide capital at below-market rates to further our charitable mission through a percentage of the endowment (2%). PRIs are typically loans, and loan guarantees, and can be thought of as a cross between traditional mission-focused grants and disciplined financial debt investments. PRIs may be used to augment grant awards with below-market interest rate loans or guarantees when there is an opportunity to increase impact and or scale. Surdna also invests in financial intermediaries like Community Development Financial Institutions who accelerate access to capital and other resources to those in underserved markets, in coordination with the foundation’s program lines of work.