By Jerry Love, LBF Communications
Louisiana Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees met for their second quarterly meeting of the year at the Louisiana Baptist Building, April 26, 2016, with the morning dedicated to meetings by the investment committee and operating committee and the afternoon spent in general session by the entire body to consider committee reports and other business.
Jim Prince, trustee from Lafayette, chaired the morning investment committee meeting, which included a report by Barbara Bell, certified public accountant and controller for the Foundation.
She reviewed the account holdings for the first quarter of the year, stating assets under management as of March 31, 2016, were $167,840,414.05, an increase of approximately $3.4 million since the end of 2015.
Bell explained the increase as a result of strong deposit activity.
Investment returns for the major components of the LBF portfolio were reviewed by Jim Prince, who gave the following information as the official data calculated for the end of the quarter March 31, 2016:
Short Term Fund: 0.55% Annualized Yield
Fixed Income Fund: 2.11% Total Return
Equity Fund: -0.51% Total Return
The Group Investment Fund which is comprised of various market sectors reflected a -0.05% total return year to date.
Lee Morris, an investment consultant from Graystone Consulting, also spoke, noting the “different world” which now defines investment opportunities.
Morris said the market assumptions of his firm’s global investment committee expect that average growth over the next seven year period will be less than the historical average, and that Graystone will be looking for opportunities to enhance income from value oriented companies and other types of investments, such as preferred stock, to maintain healthy total returns for the Foundation.
The investment committee approved policies for the Convertible Securities Fund and the Managed Futures Fund. Both funds were added to diversify the overall portfolio of the LBF.
John Carroll of Columbia, Louisiana, chaired the operating committee, offering that a review of the operating budget reflected a reasonable surplus for the first quarter – revenue was ahead of expectations while expenses were lower than budgeted so far this year.
Jerry Love, planned giving director, reported on several new gifts received in the first quarter, including proceeds from two estates.
He said these gifts would benefit missions offerings and a local resort ministry in Louisiana.
Love also reported on the “Give a Gift” promotional strategy implemented in February.
The Foundation works with the Louisiana Baptist Message to promote a $1,000 giveaway each month in 2016.
The promotional allows an individual – selected at random from entries by Louisiana Baptists – to direct this money from the Foundation to a Louisiana Baptist ministry.
The first two recipients were reported to be FBC Mandeville and FBC Lake Providence.
The operating committee also heard from Executive Director Wayne Taylor regarding the development of a statement of faith and religious purpose.
Taylor committed to continue seeking legal counsel in forging this statement and its incorporation with existing policies of the Foundation.
Board President Julian Johnston, of Calhoun, gave overviews of the information presented in both committee meetings, and trustees approved a recommendation regarding investment policies for the two newly created funds.
In his executive director’s report, Taylor gave an update on the proposed implementation of a new accounting system, Stellar iPhi, with trustees granting approval to move forward, pending a positive review of the contract by legal counsel.
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.
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 meeting for the Louisiana Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees is scheduled for July 26.