Investments

Investments Summary

As of December 31, 2015, MacArthur's assets totaled $6.20 billion. The Foundation's investment portfolio had a return of 0.55 percent in 2015 net of investment management costs.

In its investment portfolio, the Foundation invests for the long term with the objective of earning a real rate of return, net of expenses, sufficient to fund its charitable giving and operations. The underlying principles of MacArthur's investment approach may be summarized as follows:

  • The Foundation maintains a broadly diversified portfolio with allocation to a variety of asset classes, both public and private, largely through investments in multi-investor pooled funds managed by outside investment managers that invest in underlying companies or securities.
  • The Foundation manages risk through rigorous analytical research and broad diversification.
  • The Foundation undertakes a robust due diligence process prior to investing that includes the examination and evaluation of managers’ consideration of environmental, social, and governance factors.
  • The Foundation seeks to achieve strong risk-adjusted, net investment returns over time, at a cost comparable to other institutions with similar asset allocations.

Total Assets and Rate of Return, 2006–2015*

2006 $6,178,196,933 18.04%
2007 $7,052,165,312 19.37%
2008 $5,014,059,259 -26.97%
2009 $5,237,796,061 12.26%
2010 $5,737,270,334 16.95%
2011 $5,703,076,554 4.55%
2012 $5,987,438,524 10.20%
2013 $6,323,307,217 10.77%
2014 $6,469,167,429 6.97%
2015 $6,196,280,733 0.55%

Average rate of return, 2006–2015, 6.37%

*Rate of return on investment assets only.

Impact Investments Portfolio


Since 1986, MacArthur has regularly complemented grantmaking with impact investments that directly advance program priorities and strategic initiatives.

From a Board-authorized allocation to impact investments of $500 million, as of December 31, 2015, $225.3 million was committed to impact investments, including unfunded guarantees and staged investments not yet fully disbursed.

Outstanding commitments comprise long-term, private debt investments (78 percent), private equity investments (7 percent), and guarantees (15 percent). Investments are typically $2 million to $10 million in size.

Programmatically, close to half of the portfolio currently supports organizations and financing vehicles focused on the preservation of existing affordable rental housing. The other half includes $72 million devoted to national community development loan and venture funds and commitments specifically focused on the Foundation’s hometown of Chicago. Anticipated to leverage $100 million, a $12 million “liquidity facility” was implemented in 2015 as part of a new global effort to expand and accelerate the flow of catalytic, high-impact investments for nonprofits, social enterprises, and financial intermediaries.

Learn more about MacArthur's impact investments ›