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Distance Learning
Distance Learning

OD: A Challenge for Endowments: Maintaining Liquidity in Today’s Markets

Recorded: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 1:30 PM ET


After more than a decade in which increasing commitments to non-traditional assets produced better endowment returns and greater capacity for institutional spending, the 2008 market meltdown highlighted the previously hidden liquidity challenge. 

How can endowments better deal with the unwanted effects of portfolios with non-traditional assets when correlations go toward one at the same time liquidity dries up?  Should they hold fewer non-traditional assets, establish a larger liquid portfolio, or change the “contract” with the parent institution?  Endowments may wish to consider all these things, but before taking more drastic action, it is important to understand the nature of the liquidity challenge and steps that may help to anticipate and better plan for future contingencies.

This webinar on the liquidity challenge will examine the sources of the liquidity challenge, including changes in the global financial system, principal-agent pressures, and historical portfolio practices that exacerbate the problem.  This will include a discussion of the variability of correlations (or what we will explain as “beta variance”) in non-traditional portfolios compared with more traditional portfolios and how that relates to portfolio liquidity.

What You Will Learn:

  • Gain a better understanding of the evolution of the endowment model and the intended and unintended consequences of the move toward non-traditional assets. 
  • Find out how to manage beta variance and liquidity, not just analytically, but through including liquidity considerations in the investment process and the investment oversight process, including the roles and responsibilities of investment managers and investment committees.
  • Discover the nature of the liquidity challenge and steps that may help to anticipate and better plan for future contingencies.

Who Should Participate?

  • Investment Officers
  • Comptrollers
  • Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Business Officers

Meet the Presenters:

  • Brett Hammond, Chief Investment Strategist, TIAA-CREF
  • Jonathan Shear, Associate Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, University of Utah

Course Information:

  • Course Level: Intermediate
  • Length: 100 minutes
  • Prerequisites: none


Member Site Fee: $0.00
Non-Member Site Fee: $49.00


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