By Jerry Love, LBF Communications
ALEXANDRIA (LBM) – The election of new officers, updates on investments and the approval of the 2018 budget highlighted the final quarterly meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees, Oct. 24.
Members also learned about almost $600,000 in new deferred donations benefiting Louisiana Baptists’ ministries, as well as steps taken with regard to its fixed income portfolio to protect against potential rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
E.L. Paulk, chairman of the investment committee, and Lee Morris and Susan Taylor, both of Graystone Consulting, updated trustees about the management of LBF’s funds and gave a general overview of market conditions.
In his remarks, Morris described the equity markets as “having a very good year.” The Foundation equity portfolios are doing well in light of the market’s upward push, he said, adding that international equities are performing better than the domestic markets as was predicted earlier in the year.
Other issues he addressed:
— Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Committee projects that equities will continue to outperform fixed income securities.
— All parts of the LBF portfolio are in compliance with investment policy
— The LBF fixed income portfolio has sufficient positions in floating rate preferred stocks and convertible bonds to hedge against upticks in Federal Reserve interest rates anticipated before year end and in 2018.
— The allocations to master limited partnerships, infrastructure and covered calls also are performing well and adding value at both the performance and diversification level.
Chuck Murray, LBF controller, reported that assets under management, as of Sept. 30, were valued at $167,117,474.
Investment returns for the major components of the LBF portfolio, as of Sept. 30, were reviewed by Paulk, who reported the following data:
— Short Term Fund: 0.85% Annualized Yield
— Group Investment Fund, comprised of various market sectors: 9.21% total return year-to-date.
— Diversified Income Fund, conservative income-oriented fund: 2.70% total return year-to-date.
The Operating Committee, chaired by John Carroll, received a report on the current budget from Murray. He said even though revenue was slightly behind expectations, expenses continued to be held in check, resulting in a positive bottom line for the year to date.
Murray also presented the 2018 operating budget, which was approved by the committee and includes funding to add a new employee who would assist with promotion of the Foundation’s work.
Jerry Love, planned giving director, reported gift activity has increased in the past several months. Two endowments provided by churches, totaling approximately $124,500, combined with gifts from couples and individuals through estate plans should result in over $600,000 in future bequests to churches and ministry organizations, he said.
During the afternoon, Trustee Vice President Steve Crosby led a review of the information presented by the Investment and Operating Committees in earlier sessions, and the Board subsequently approved the recommendation from the Operating Committee to approve the 2018 Budget without discussion.
Officers elected to serve for 2018 are Crosby, member, Summer Grove Baptist Church, Shreveport, president; Stewart Holloway, pastor, First Baptist Church, Pineville, vice president; and, Polly Brinker, member, The Gathering Place, Pineville, secretary.
The Louisiana Baptist Foundation was established in 1944 to encourage and assist individuals with gifts in support of Louisiana Baptist churches and ministries, as well as provide asset management for the churches and institutions affiliated with the LBC.
The next LBF trustee meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2018.
To learn more about the work and ministry of the Foundation, to review investment returns for its managed funds, or to see a list of current trustees, go to www.LBFinfo.org.