Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation preserves and protects your investments and charitable intentions forever. When you establish an endowment through BTCF, your gift continues to grow and benefit your community now and in the future. The pooled resources of BTCF’s many donors gives you access to a highly diversified portfolio with world-class money managers who would not otherwise be available to you.

As stewards of the charitable resources entrusted to us, BTCF works to manage your investments guided by our nationally recognized Investment Committee – A group of board and community members with deep institutional investment experience. The Committee employs the top Investment Managers in each class.

Investment Strategy

BTCF’s investment strategy [PDF, 153KB] is to maximize return while preserving capital and liquidity, producing consistent and stable growth with low to moderate risk. Our goal is to grow your endowment so that you can grant more to the causes you care about.

Investment Pools & Performance

End of Year Market Review [PDF]

March Market Review [PDF]

POOL  Q4 2017
  Primary Managed Pool 4.0  17.2  17.2  8.1  8.9  7.6  6.0  $133M
Managed Pool Benchmark* 3.6  15.3  15.3  6.8  7.9  7.0  4.5 N/A
  Socially Responsible Pool 3.9  12.5  12.5  6.8  10.0  7.7  N/A  $8.4M
  Income Pool 0.4  4.2  4.2  2.2  1.7  3.0  4.5  $0.49M
  Minimum Risk Pool 0.2  0.5  0.5  0.2  0.1  0.1  0.3  $3.0M

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s primary managed investment pool appreciated 4.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing year-to-date performance to 17.2% and outperforming the policy benchmark* by 190 basis points (bps). Long-term, risk-adjusted results remain favorable, leading the benchmark over all standard trailing time periods ended December 31, which indicates complimentary asset allocation and solid manager performance. Since inception in August 1999, the portfolio has generated an annualized return of 6.9%, outperforming a traditional global blend of assets (65% MSCI AC World Index / 35% Barclays Global Aggregate Index) by approximately 180 bps per year with substantially less volatility. In addition, the portfolio’s performance remained in the top quartile among its peer community foundations.

Over the latest quarter, global equity markets continued to perform well. The weaker dollar boosted returns abroad and emerging markets outpaced developed equities, particularly boosted by strong gains in China and Korea. In fixed income markets, U.S. Treasury yields were modestly higher and the yield curve flattened as the Fed raised the federal funds rate for the third time in 2017 to 1.25‐1.5%. Despite the Fed’s ongoing reduction in its balance sheet, interest rate volatility has remained subdued as policy actions have been widely expected. In currencies, the dollar weakened versus the euro and British pound as market participants anticipate a less accommodative policy stance from the European Central Bank, and in the fourth quarter, the Bank of England raised interest rates by 25 basis points.

During this period, the foundation’s portfolio benefited from its global equity exposure, which was just over 65% of total assets. Domestic equities led the performance posting strong quarterly returns of 6.5%, and surpassing the Russell 3000 Index by 20 bps. Non‐U.S. developed equities advanced by 4.0% for the latest quarter, keeping pace with the MSCI EAFE Index return of 4.2%. In fixed income investments, representing almost 7% of assets, returns were modest as yields moved slightly higher. The quarterly gain in fixed income was 0.5% versus the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index of 0.4%. While global public equities have led performance for the fourth quarter and year‐to-date, the foundation has experienced favorable returns in its private equity and hedge fund investments as well. In 2017, the foundation’s private equity investments, approximately 6% of assets, returned 16.7%. Hedge funds exposures, approximately 23% of assets, have gained 9.9% for the calendar year, ahead of the HFRI Fund of Funds Composite return of 7.7% for same period.

The foundation’s portfolio remains highly diversified and has been built for a variety of market conditions, in an effort to generate long-term growth in excess of inflation and spending needs. While mindful of the market environment, the investment committee remains committed to the long-term, strategic management of portfolio assets, making modest adjustments to the asset allocation and underlying managers when necessary. The portfolio is highly liquid and well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they are identified. Total assets in the managed pool exceeded $132.9 million at December 31, 2017, with a distribution of 59.6% global public equity, 6.6% global private equity, 23.4% flexible capital, 6.7% global fixed income and 3.8% liquid capital.

For more information on the foundation’s investment performance and managers, please contact Vice President for Finance and Administration A. J. Pietrantone by email or at 413-229-0370.

*The Managed Pool benchmark is calculated as a weighted average of standard financial industry indices in each asset class and appropriate to individual managers based on objectives.

Managed Pool Current Performance [PDF]

6.0% 10-year average annual return* / 8.9% 5-year annual return*

Created for the bulk of our funds’ assets and structured on the premise that a bias toward quality equity investments will ensure the best total return over time, although it may be more volatile over the short-term. Average annual investment manager fees total 1%.

*Net of investment manager fees

View a description of the asset mix.

SRI Pool Current Performance [PDF]

7.7% 7-year average annual return* / 10.0% 5-year annual return*

Created in March 2009 for those individuals or organizations that want fund assets invested with an environmental, social and governance screen, and are willing to forgo annual return potential in certain market segments of the broader economy, that may or may not affect total return. The average annual investment management fee is 0.37% and the allocation is 60% equities and 40% fixed income and cash equivalents.

*Net of investment manager fee

Income Pool Current Performance [PDF]

4.5% 10-year average annual return* / 1.7% 5-year annual return*

Appropriate for funds where minimizing risk and not being subject to short-term equity volatility is important. This pool does not take advantage of potential long-term equity growth. The average annual investment management fee is 0.46% and the allocation is 100% fixed income and cash equivalents.

*Net of investment manager fee

Minimum Risk Pool Current Performance [PDF]

0.3% 10-year average annual return* / 0.1% 5-year annual return* 

Accommodates funds that are generally short term in nature and are focused on investment of capital with minimal risk. The return fluctuates with daily money market rates. The investment management fee is 0.0% for this Pool.

*Net of investment manager fee

About This Photo
About This Photo
Columbia County, NY. Photo by David Lee

Investment Policies & Forms