Time for Endowments to Better Assess Risk When Making Portfolio Strategy Decisions, Says New RiskFirst Report

Assessing both risk and returns together is crucial for effective portfolio management according to RiskFirsts new report, A new approach to setting endowment and foundation investment strategy. The report concludes that risk should be assessed just as performance is and that, taken together, this could aid the design of an optimal portfolio geared to a specific E&Fs characteristics, goals and objectives.

Simon Robinson, Head of Product Management, RiskFirst, explains: Currently, the success paradigm for E&Fs is heavily based upon performance relative to comparable institutions, as highlighted by published performance league tables. But is beating comparable institutions, or even Yale, really the best objective for all? Where does ˜risk fit in to the success paradigm, and how do we determine ˜risk?

With a lack of available statistics on E&F risk in the market, RiskFirst examined the population of endowments modeled on its technology platform, PFaroe, over recent years, and proposes a methodology for the incorporation of objective risk measures into the determination of E&F portfolio strategies “ defining a new way of looking at risk that is more specific to the institution.

Matthew Seymour, CEO of RiskFirst, says: Technology is allowing E&Fs to define a framework for risk that reflects the objectives and risk tolerances of the E&Fs sponsoring organization. For CIOs and consultants, leveraging todays technology through appropriate risk software tools empowers the optimization of performance within quantifiable risk parameters.


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About RiskFirst

RiskFirst is a financial technology company providing modern technology solutions to Asset Owners, Consultants, Insurers and Asset Managers to help grow and improve their business. Its core product PFaroe is web-based, available anytime and anywhere, and allows users to evaluate risk from multiple perspectives and to perform real-time scenario stress testing. Initially targeted to defined benefit pension plans, it is now the market leader in the UK and the US. Over 2,500 plans with more than $1tn in assets are now modeled on the PFaroe platform. RiskFirst has also recently launched a global fixed income attribution solution, which recognizes the differing objectives, timeframes and opportunity set of each user.

For more information please go to www.riskfirst.com.

Anna Sharrock
London: +44 7811 758964