Case Study
Endowment uses eVestment solution to meet its investment objectives

University endowment finds the best managers for their stakeholders and holds them accountable

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Selecting the best managers and holding them accountable

Freed-Hardeman University Endowment was looking for a user-friendly solution to conduct their due diligence and facilitate reporting. Jay Satterfield, Chief Investment Officer for the endowment, said that originally, he acted as a consultant for the university, which then recruited him to work in-house.

Once on board, one of his main goals was to reduce overall cost, and he began evaluating different solutions to help with due diligence and reporting. The current system was “very cumbersome, very slow, very onerous to put together a report or make modifications,” Satterfield said. “We relatively quickly began looking at what other resources were available to us. One of the firms we worked with mentioned eVestment as an option to look at and we liked the solution and the service.”

Satterfield said he uses eVestment to put together official reports, both monthly to his internal group, and quarterly to the endowment board of trustees. “I like to look at modern portfolio theory statistics, standard deviations, etc., just to see how my portfolio is modeling against various parts of the market.”

He said he also primarily looks at his existing managers and how they’re performing, as well as composite performance of his total portfolio. “I also look to see what the manager reports versus our actual performance to see what kind of variances that we’re having. That helps me realize if I need to chat with that manager and find out what’s going on. I try to get a feel how they are performing. I’ll screen against other managers and see if there are any trends there.”

“eVestment is a top firm to consider, not just because they have the fanciest charts, but because they are able to talk through intelligently what it is you are trying to get done.”

The best tools to make the right decisions for stakeholders

Satterfield estimated that he saves about 30-40 percent of his time since using eVestment’s analytical tools. “From a time standpoint, it’s hugely more efficient.” Freed-Hardeman originally was on the desktop-based platform, but the endowment has since migrated to eVestment’s web-based platform.

“The online system has been very user-friendly and very reactive, which I appreciate,” Satterfield said. “I can change things on the fly and not have to wait five minutes for it to update everything. It’s been a much better solution.”

“The amount of data available is good because I’m looking at multiple sources of investment performance. It makes a lot of the information available earlier. Because of the ease and speed of which I can access the information, it allows me to be a little more real-time with my reports.”

“I’ve been very impressed with the service people’s ability to walk through a solution, and they’ve been very helpful and extremely responsive, so that is meaningful to us. They’re great – zero complaints there. If I’m not able to get someone on the phone right then, they get back to me very quickly so I’m not sitting here for two or three hours waiting. Very impressed, very good service.”

Satterfield appreciated that client service was sensitive to his time constraints: “They seem to be very willing to be creative to find a report or put some information in the system. They see if something works and then show me how to put the pieces together.”

“In a short sentence, I’d say eVestment is a top firm to consider, not just because they have the fanciest charts, but because they are able to talk through intelligently what it is you are trying to get done. Being able to implement various scenarios for compliance with fiduciary and operational management has provided significant enhancement to our communications, both internally and externally.”

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