Forum 2021

March 8 & 9, 2021 | Virtual Event

Commonfund Forum – March 8 & 9, 2021 – Virtual Event

In response to this year’s pandemic surrounding COVID-19, Commonfund Forum 2021 will be held virtually. As always, the program will be designed to address the challenges that are specific to your institutions today, with an agenda packed with timely topics and recognized and accomplished speakers. In addition, we will continue to provide opportunities to engage and network with colleagues through messaging, chat, video conferencing and zoom room discussion groups.

Registration opens in February 2021.

What is Commonfund Forum?

Commonfund Forum 2021 is the must-attend annual conference for institutional investors. The conference delivers timely information, thoughtful analysis and unique perspectives.  Each year, Commonfund builds an agenda focused on important themes that drive strategic policy decisions for institutional investors.  Discussions reveal secular trends and cyclical opportunities to help you support and sustain the obligations and mission of your organization.  This year, our program will be entirely virtual allowing attendees the flexibility to attend live sessions as well as on-demand content.

Who can Attend?

Commonfund Forum is open to trustees, senior staff and investment professionals at eligible educational institutions, foundations and charities, pension funds, insurance companies, family offices, and healthcare organizations.

Why should you attend Commonfund Forum?

Forum focuses on what really matters to long-term institutional investors.  We offer wisdom and perspective from seasoned practitioners, headline-making thought leaders, and the opportunity for networking with peers from institutions like yours.

Commonfund Forum enables you to:

Invest

Attending Forum is an investment in yourself and the mission of your organization.

Learn

Immerse yourself in an environment of professional peers and industry thought-leaders.

Transform

Gain insight and knowledge that leads to open discussions on stewardship and investment policy best practices.

Execute

Put it into action – return to your organization with transformational ideas to support your mission.

How to attend?

Registration opens February 2021. More details to come.  

Commonfund Forum – March 8 & 9, 2021 – Virtual Event

In response to this year’s pandemic surrounding COVID-19, Commonfund Forum 2021 will be held virtually. As always, the program will be designed to address the challenges that are specific to your institutions today, with an agenda packed with timely topics and recognized and accomplished speakers. In addition, we will continue to provide opportunities to engage and network with colleagues through messaging, chat, videoconferencing and zoom room discussion groups.

Registration opens in January 2021.

What is Commonfund Forum?

Commonfund Forum 2021 is the must-attend annual conference for institutional investors. The conference delivers timely information, thoughtful analysis and unique perspectives.  Each year, Commonfund builds an agenda focused on important themes that drive strategic policy decisions for institutional investors.  Discussions reveal secular trends and cyclical opportunities to help you support and sustain the obligations and mission of your organization.  This year, our program will be entirely virtual allowing attendees the flexibility to attend live sessions as well as on-demand content.

Who can Attend?

Commonfund Forum is open to trustees, senior staff and investment professionals at eligible educational institutions, foundations and charities, pension funds, insurance companies, family offices, and healthcare organizations.

Why should you attend Commonfund Forum?

Forum focuses on what really matters to long-term institutional investors.  We offer wisdom and perspective from seasoned practitioners, headline-making thought leaders, and the opportunity for face-to-face networking with peers from institutions like yours.

Commonfund Forum enables you to:

Invest

Attending Forum is an investment in yourself and the mission of your organization.

Learn

Immerse yourself in an environment of professional peers and industry thought-leaders.

Transform

Gain insight and knowledge that leads to open discussions on stewardship and investment policy best practices.

Execute

Put it into action – return to your organization with transformational ideas to support your mission.

How to attend?

Registration opens February 2021. More details to come.  

About

About Commonfund Forum

Now in its 23rd year, Commonfund Forum continues to provide institutional investors with timely information, thoughtful analysis and unique perspectives – all from recognized experts in the worlds of investment management, economics, business and finance, government, academia, and the media.

About Commonfund

For more than 50 years, Commonfund has been a leader in providing investment solutions to nonprofit institutions, and more recently a breadth of alternative investment strategies to other institutional investors, including family offices and public pension funds.

About Commonfund Institute

Commonfund Institute houses the education and research activities of Commonfund and provides the entire community of long-term investors with investment information and professional development programs.

About Commonfund Forum

Now in its 23rd year, Commonfund Forum continues to provide institutional investors with timely information, thoughtful analysis and unique perspectives – all from recognized experts in the worlds of investment management, economics, business and finance, government, academia, and the media.

About Commonfund

For more than 50 years, Commonfund has been a leader in providing investment solutions to nonprofit institutions, and more recently a breadth of alternative investment strategies to other institutional investors, including family offices and public pension funds.

About Commonfund Institute

Commonfund Institute houses the education and research activities of Commonfund and provides the entire community of long-term investors with investment information and professional development programs.

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Virtual Event Commences
On-Demand Sessions, Networking, Private Meetings, Commonfund Info Booths and more.
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Welcome Address
Mark Anson, PhD, CFA, CAIA, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Navigating the Global Economy
Equity markets continue to chug along despite the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, powered by a small group of growth stocks. Government budgets around the world are strained to the breaking point as they attempt to support their economies and populations through the crisis with fiscal stimulus. Interest rates remain at record lows with investors now anticipating the Fed and other central bank’s policy moves in 2021. With this backdrop, our panel of experts will share their expectations for the coming year and beyond, helping fiduciaries understand where there are risks and opportunities for long-term for long-term investors.
Panelists: Kris Kwait, co-CIO, Commonfund Asset Management; Adam S. Posen, President, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Grant Thornton
Moderator: Allison Schrager, PhD, Author, Economist and Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM
A Fireside Chat with Darren Walker: From Generosity to Justice
Keynote speaker and Ford Foundation President, Darren Walker, will share his bold vision for the future of philanthropy. Since his arrival in 2013, Mr. Walker has transformed the venerable Foundation, refocusing its considerable resources and influence on moving philanthropy from generosity – helping someone in need, to justice – solving the problems that created the need. That task requires humility, moral courage, and an unwavering commitment to democratic values and institutions. Mr. Walker will challenge and embolden attendees to consider the ways in which their organization can be a tool for achieving economic, social, and political justice.
Speaker: Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
Interviewed by: Dr. David A. Thomas, President, Morehouse College and Commonfund Trustee

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Platform Open to Attendees
On-Demand Sessions, Networking, Private Meetings, Commonfund Business Booths and more.
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Infinite Challenges, Endless Opportunities, Finite Resources: Revisiting the Role of Your Endowment
Board members, trustees and others that have oversight of endowed portfolios have well-documented fiduciary duties that govern how they carry out those responsibilities. In times of relative calm, discharging those duties is (hopefully) straightforward. Today, many nonprofits face the prospect of transformational change, both in their operations and more broadly in the fulfillment of their missions. In response, many have questioned the role of the endowment in responding to crises or other existential threats. This has led to comprehensive reviews of investment objectives, risk tolerances, levels of illiquidity, spending policies, ESG and impact investing and approaches to diversity, equity and inclusion. In this session, our panel of experts will share a framework for approaching these all-important issues and share their experiences engaging their organizations in revisiting the role of their endowment.
Panelists: TBA
Moderator:Timothy T. Yates, Jr., President and CEO, Commonfund Asset Management
2:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Spotlight on Co-Investments
Speakers: Additional speakers TBA
Moderator: Peter M. Burns, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonfund Capital
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Fareed Zakaria: 10 Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World
COVID-19 is speeding up history, but how? What is the shape of the world to come?

Lenin once said, "There are decades when nothing happens and weeks when decades happen." This is one of those times when history has sped up. CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria helps us to understand the nature of a post-pandemic world: the political, social, technological, and economic consequences that may take years to unfold. Based on his New York Times best-selling book, Fareed will present ten "lessons," covering topics from natural and biological risks to the rise of "digital life" to an emerging bipolar world order, helping attendees to begin thinking beyond the immediate effects of COVID-19. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and, while urgent and timely, is sure to become an enduring reflection on life in the early twenty-first century.
Fareed Zakaria, Host of Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN Worldwide

Closing Remarks from Mark Anson, PhD, CFA, CAIA, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund

30 Minutes
Tools for Creating Effective Strategic Policy
Commonfund has worked with nonprofit investors for 50 years. Over that time, we have developed a set of proprietary tools and data to assist boards and investment committees in their quest to create strategic policies that are based in rigorous analysis and intentionally designed with their unique needs in mind. In this interactive session, we will share real-life examples of some of the tools, discuss their design and intended outcomes.
Presenters: Anthony Peretore, CFA, CAIA, Managing Director, Commonfund Asset Management; Steve Gasparini, Associate, Commonfund Asset Management
45 Minutes
Insights on Open Private Capital Programs
As institutional investors seek long-term growth in an uncertain global equity market, the importance of allocations to private capital strategies is heightened. This in-depth session by the investment team of Commonfund Capital will provide insights on what’s compelling, what’s not and what’s new across the spectrum of private investments. The team will also share the details on the new private capital programs currently being raised (available for existing and new investors) and the distinct point of view that will guide each of these programs.
Presenters: Commonfund Capital Managing Directors
30 Minutes
Investing in ESG and Sustainability
ESG and environmentally sustainable investments are increasingly capturing the attention of the institutional investment community. Historically, we saw more conversation and less broad investment action. However, we believe this is changing and in this session three of our senior investors will share how we are working with investors to help them to, 1) gain clarity around ESG implementation and responsible investing to ensure alignment with the mission and goals of their organization, and 2) explore specific strategies where we see compelling opportunities today across both the public and private markets. Our objective is to share actionable ideas that fiduciaries can bring back to their boards and investment committees to advance their adoption of responsible investing.
Speakers: Ethan J. Levine, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital; Deborah Spalding, CFA, co-Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund Asset Management
Moderator: Daniel Connell, Director, Commonfund Capital
45 Minutes
Emerging Markets Private Capital
Looking for growth, institutional investors have long included emerging market exposures as part of their portfolios. Recently, investors are not only looking for growth but are looking for the best ways to capture risk-adjusted returns net of fees. In this session we will focus on what some investors increasingly believe to be the ultimate in hands-on active management, what skilled private capital managers can bring to portfolio companies in select emerging markets around the world.
Presenters: TBD
45 Minutes
Promoting Gender Equity in Leadership Roles
Dr. McElhaney is on faculty as a Distinguished Teaching Fellow and the Founding Director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Inclusion (EGAL) at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Center for Gender, Equity and Leadership, launched in November 2017, educates equity fluent leaders to ignite and accelerate change. She helped develop this leadership concept and teaches it across the country and globe. Equity fluent leaders understand the value of different lived experiences and courageously use their power to address barriers, increase access, and drive change for positive impact. In this session, Dr. McElhaney will share her research in the area of equal pay, conscious inclusion, equity fluent leadership, and value-creating strategies of diversity and inclusion.
Featured Speaker: Kellie A. McElhaney, PhD, Founding Director, Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership | Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Moderator: Caroline Greer, CIM®, Managing Director, Commonfund Asset Management, and member of Commonfund Diversity and Inclusion Office
45 Minutes
Loonshots: How to Nurture Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
In his instant Wall Street Journal best-selling book Loonshots, Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about innovation and group dynamics, challenging everything we thought we knew about radical breakthroughs. In this talk based on his book—which Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman calls “Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world”—Bahcall shows how we can stoke innovation, create better leaders, and support Loonshots: the imperfect but ingenious ideas that have the potential to change the world.
Author: Safi Bahcall, PhD, Award-Winning Biotech Entrepreneur, Author of Loonshots
Interviewed by: Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune and Best-selling Author

Featured Presenters

Check out Forum Spotlights to watch videos of past featured speakers and read articles on event highlights and panel discussions.

View Forum Spotlight Library now.

FAQs

There is no registration fee.

Participation at Commonfund Forum is by invitation only and is limited to senior representatives of institutions such as endowments, foundations, pension funds, operating charities, healthcare organizations and other select nonprofit, tax exempt institutions. Commonfund Forum is not open to investment managers in keeping with the educational nature of the conference.

Commonfund is the sole sponsor of Commonfund Forum, consistent with our mission to enhance the financial resources of our client community through the sharing of best practices.

Participants are generally senior investment staff or Board overseers of long-term asset pools. Institutions include endowments, foundations, plan sponsors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, healthcare organizations and a broad range of other nonprofit, tax-exempt institutions. Forum content is oriented toward sophisticated investors.

Our goal is to provide attendees with a broad range of perspectives on a host of topics. We accordingly invite speakers who represent divergent points of view and we encourage lively debate. Past Forum speakers include world leaders, top academics, government officials, widely-known investment strategists and more.

The Commonfund Forum 2021 virtual program does not qualify for continuing professional education credits (CPE).

There is no registration fee.

Participation at Commonfund Forum is by invitation only and is limited to senior representatives of institutions such as endowments, foundations, pension funds, operating charities, healthcare organizations and other select nonprofit, tax exempt institutions. Commonfund Forum is not open to investment managers in keeping with the educational nature of the conference.

Commonfund is the sole sponsor of Commonfund Forum, consistent with our mission to enhance the financial resources of our client community through the sharing of best practices.

Participants are generally senior investment staff or Board overseers of long-term asset pools. Institutions include endowments, foundations, plan sponsors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, healthcare organizations and a broad range of other nonprofit, tax-exempt institutions. Forum content is oriented toward sophisticated investors.

Our goal is to provide attendees with a broad range of perspectives on a host of topics. We accordingly invite speakers who represent divergent points of view and we encourage lively debate. Past Forum speakers include world leaders, top academics, government officials, widely-known investment strategists and more.

The Commonfund Forum 2021 virtual program does not qualify for continuing professional education credits (CPE).

No, there will not be a Forum event in October 2021. Please see the Forum calendar below:

  • 2022 – March 17-19 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2023 – February 12-14 – Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 2024 – March 10-12 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2025 – March 9-11 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2022 – March 17-19 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2023 – February 12-14 – Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 2024 – March 10-12 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2025 – March 9-11 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida

There is no registration fee.

Participation at Commonfund Forum is by invitation only and is limited to senior representatives of institutions such as endowments, foundations, pension funds, operating charities, healthcare organizations and other select nonprofit, tax exempt institutions. Commonfund Forum is not open to investment managers in keeping with the educational nature of the conference.

Commonfund is the sole sponsor of Commonfund Forum, consistent with our mission to enhance the financial resources of our client community through the sharing of best practices.

Participants are generally senior investment staff or Board overseers of long-term asset pools. Institutions include endowments, foundations, plan sponsors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, healthcare organizations and a broad range of other nonprofit, tax-exempt institutions. Forum content is oriented toward sophisticated investors.

Our goal is to provide attendees with a broad range of perspectives on a host of topics. We accordingly invite speakers who represent divergent points of view and we encourage lively debate. Past Forum speakers include world leaders, top academics, government officials, widely-known investment strategists and more.

The Commonfund Forum 2021 virtual program does not qualify for continuing professional education credits (CPE).

No, there will not be a Forum event in October 2021. Please see the Forum calendar below:

  • 2022 – March 17-19 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2023 – February 12-14 – Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 2024 – March 10-12 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2025 – March 9-11 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2022 – March 17-19 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2023 – February 12-14 – Waldorf Astoria Boca Beach Club, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 2024 – March 10-12 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida
  • 2025 – March 9-11 – J.W. Marriott, Orlando, Florida

Contact

Contact

Connect

Address: 15 Old Danbury Rd. Wilton, CT 06897

Phone: 203-563-5000

Forum Hotline: 888-811-3803 (9am-5pm ET)

Email: Forum@commonfund.org

Contact

Connect

Address: 15 Old Danbury Rd. Wilton, CT 06897

Phone: 203-563-5000

Forum Hotline: 888-811-3803 (9am-5pm ET)

Email: Forum@commonfund.org

© Copyright - Commonfund Forum 2021