Against the backdrop of financial tumult and political change, the Board of Trustees of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation met in regular session on Jan.30 at the Baptist Building.
ALEXANDRIA – Against the backdrop of financial tumult and political change, the Board of Trustees of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation met in regular session on Jan.30 at the Baptist Building.
Because of the routine quarterly meetings and the electronic media updates provided by Foundation staff between meetings, the Trustees were greeted with no surprises.
The Board welcomed Cornelius Tilton as a new trustee. Tilton is pastor of Irish Channel Christian Fellowship in New Orleans. In addition to his duties as pastor, Tilton has a solid background in administration and also serves on civic committees for the city of New Orleans.
The Board was presented with several reports including the total assets under management of $125,367,000. Investment income paid to Baptist causes and ministries in 2008 from Foundation accounts was more than $5,140,000.
During the morning hours, the Investment Committee of the Board heard a presentation from Lee Morris, senior vice president of institutional investments at Citigroup. Morris serves as investment consultant to the Foundation and has been in close contact with Executive Director Wayne Taylor throughout the recent period of economic uncertainty.
Morris was able to display graphically to the Board that, although the investment returns have suffered over the past several months, the returns for the Foundation are on par with other similar groups.
He reviewed the current performance of each investment manager serving the Foundation accounts as well as each manager’s long-term performance.
The good news shared with the Trustees was that each manager currently employed by Citigroup for the Foundation has a strong long-term performance record. All the managers have exceeded their respective benchmarks over the last 10-year period.
Despite current market conditions, Citigroup recommended that no manager changes be made at this time. The performance of each manager is monitored on an ongoing basis and any need for change would be immediately reported to the Foundation staff and trustees.
The Investment Committee reviewed the current asset allocation of investments and voted to rebalance the portfolio, shifting money from equity and alternative investments to more fixed income investments.
This was done to reduce the exposure to the equity market and be in position to take advantage of what is believed to be a strengthening bond market.
In other action, the Investment Committee reviewed the accounting procedures and policies regarding the Short Term Fund to ensure its continued strength and stability during this turbulent economic period. The Short Term Fund is a savings account open to churches and entities associated with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. At the end of 2008 there were 445 churches and other ministry organizations with accounts in the Short Term Fund.
The Operating Committee reviewed the budget for 2009 and heard recommendations from Wayne Taylor and Barbara Bell, Controller and Accountant for the Foundation, on reducing the projected expenditures for the year.
The suggested changes reduced the overall budget by approximately $22,650 for the coming year.
Taylor explained the changes were a matter of being frugal and keeping an eye on spending in light of potential reduced income to the Foundation.
All matters discussed in the morning committee meetings were presented to the full Board in the afternoon session.
The recommendations brought by the Investment Committee and Operating Committee were approved unanimously. No other business was presented. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for April 28.