Investments Assets

The Foundation uses two methods for the ongoing management of its investment assets; an investment portfolio designed to earn a financial return sufficient to support a substantial, stable level of grantmaking and related operating activeity over the planning horizon; and an impact investments portfolio dedicated to the advancement of the Foundation's program and philanthropic purposes.

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Investment Portfolio

As of December 31, 2016, MacArthur's assets totaled $6.28 billion. The Foundation's investment portfolio had a return of 7.20 percent in 2016 net of investment management costs.

  • 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.

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Total Assets and Rate of Return, 2007–2016*

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%
2016 $6,283,078,077 7.20%

Average rate of return, 2007–2016, 5.35%

*Rate of return on investment assets only.

*Returns for 2016 are estimated returns based on information currently available to the foundation. A portion of the foundation's assets are invested in private partnerships. Final returns for many of those partnerships are reported to the foundation over the course of the first six months of the year (2017) following the reporting year (2016). The foundation may not therefore have all final numbers for 2016 until close to the end of the second quarter in 2017. Based on the information the foundation has available it does not believe, however, the final returns will be materially different than what is currently indicated. The foundation will post final returns when all information is received.

Impact Investments Portfolio

Since 1986, MacArthur has complemented grantmaking with impact investments that directly advance program priorities and strategic initiatives, and to increase capital for the social sector generally.

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.

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