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ELCA Foundation Announces Partnership with Fund Evaluation Group LLC

​CHICAGO — The ELCA Foundation is pleased to announce a new partnership with the investment consulting firm Fund Evaluation Group LLC (FEG).

Previously, the Foundation worked with Graystone Consulting to provide reporting and oversight of three core portfolios — the Ministry Growth Fund, Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Trusts. The decision to switch providers was driven mainly by a desire to enhance the service model; what has historically been research-based, objective consulting will now follow an outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) model, aimed at building and maintaining portfolios that will specifically meet the ELCA’s goals.

“Following an extensive search analyzing the services of a variety of investment consulting firms, we are excited to begin our work with FEG,” said Annette Shoemaker, interim president and CEO, ELCA Foundation. “Given the complexities of the markets and the fiduciary responsibility the Foundation maintains for so many ELCA organizations and ministries, we believe that utilizing an outsourced chief investment officer alongside traditional investment consulting services will not only provide increased oversight of our gift pools going forward but introduce us to new investment strategies and vehicles. FEG brings years of foundation experience to our team, and we look forward to working with the firm.”  

In the traditional investment consulting model the consultant provides advice and guidance on managing assets but the final investment choices lie with the Foundation’s Investment Committee. In an OCIO model the consultant will make investment decisions in line with the committee’s strategic guidance, providing daily supervision to the portfolios. This, in turn, will provide additional management and faster decision-making for the donation investments.

The FEG partnership will not disrupt the existing investments held with Portico Benefit Services, which will remain a vital investment adviser within the Ministry Growth Fund. Portico invests in a manner consistent with the faith and teachings of the ELCA. FEG will complement these existing funds with sophisticated alternative strategies common among larger, institutional investors like the Foundation, such as private equity, private debt, private real assets and other alternative strategies. FEG will further monitor and manage the risks of the entire portfolio, helping to ensure that no unintended risks are taken and driving growth of the portfolio.

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,700 worshipping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. The ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

About the ELCA Foundation
The ELCA Foundation, a separately incorporated ministry of the ELCA, holds and manages endowment assets; offers pooled investment services for the ELCA and its related congregations, synods, agencies and institutions; and provides planned giving programs that support the mission and ministry of the ELCA.
 

About FEG
FEG is a 100%-employee-owned, full-service investment advisory firm—one of the largest independent advisory firms in the U.S., with more than 30 years’ experience and approximately $70 billion in assets under advisement. FEG specializes in working with nonprofit organizations, which comprise 94% of FEG’s OCIO clients.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder
773-380-2877
Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org

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