By Jerry Love, LBF Communications
ALEXANDRIA – Trustees for the Louisiana Baptist Foundation held their regular quarterly meeting July 28 at the Louisiana Baptist Building in Alexandria.
During the morning Investment Committee meeting, the report on the assets under management showed a slight decrease of approximately 0.36 percent during the second quarter.
Assets held by the LBF totaled $173,681,670.51 as of June 30, 2015, which is an increase of $4.37 million for the year to date.
Jim Prince, chairman of the Investment Committee, presented the performance report for the portfolios managed by the Foundation.
The returns for the major components of the LBF portfolio for Q2 of 2015 are as follows: Short Term Fund: 0.48 percent Annualized Yield; Fixed Income Fund: 0.40 percent Total Return and Equity Fund: 2.50 percent Total Return.
The Group Investment Fund which is comprised of the segments above returned 1.29 percent year to date.
Lee Morris and Susan Taylor from Graystone Consulting were present for the meeting. Morris led a review of the individual managers, noting their performance with respect to the particular sector in which they invest.
He stated no changes were recommended for the current group of managers.
“The LBF portfolio is well diversified,” Morris commented as he discussed the overall investment environment. Graystone is continuing to encourage a global strategy for equities to take advantage of the overall positive performance of the European and Japanese markets in particular.
“Graystone currently prefers equity investments over fixed income and active management over passive management,” Morris added.
In other business, LBF Executive Director Wayne Taylor, during the Investment Committee, noted Requests For Proposal (RFP’s) had been delivered to six different consulting firms including Graystone.
The Board made the decision to send the RFP’s earlier this year as a matter of due diligence to ensure the Foundation continues to receive the high level of professional service that Graystone has provided over the years.
The RFP’s will be reviewed in the early fall with a decision to be made at the October board meeting. Any change would be implemented by year-end.
The Operating Committee was updated on the current budget and approved the financial statements. Taylor also reminded the board that Requests for Proposal would be sent out for the LBF Auditor.
Similar to the RFP’s for the investment consultant, the RFP’s for an audit firm is a matter of due diligence by the trustees. Payne Moore and Herrington, LLC, of Alexandria has been the auditing firm for many years and has provided excellent service.
Also during the Operating Committee, Rebecca Nation of Payne, Moore and Herrington delivered the annual audit to the Board. She reviewed the report and stated no material errors or corrections were noted and the firm issued an unmodified (clean) opinion of the Foundation’s financial positions and statements.
During the afternoon, trustees heard reports from the Investment and Operating Committees.
Also, Board chairman Mark Evans (Broadmoor Baptist Church, Shreveport) reiterated several accomplishments and changes implemented by the trustees and staff to maintain transparency and accountability as well as provide better service to Louisiana Baptists.
Evans noted the following achievements that have occurred or are in progress:
— The ongoing commitment to “social screening” of the investment portfolio by avoiding investments in companies that are engaged in business contrary to Baptist beliefs.
— Implementing a formal review process for the Executive Director.
— Extending Requests for Proposal of services for investment consultant and auditor.
— Accounting software upgrade.
— And Reinvesting assets owned by the Foundation for better stewardship.
The 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.
To learn more about the work and ministry of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation, to see a list of current Trustees or to review investment returns for the LBF managed funds, go to www.LBFinfo.org.
The next scheduled meeting is Oct. 27.