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Winning the Endowment Fund

The envelope just arrived on your desk. A prominent endowment fund just sent you a request for proposal. This is a huge opportunity to land a premiere client and could lead to a boatload of business from board members and associates of the organization.

So here’s the plan: let’s separate yourself from the competition by exhibiting your skills as a risk manager. Here are the steps to take:

1. Request a face-to-face meeting with the endowment’s Investment Policy Committee (IPC). You want to put a face to your name and a face-to-face interaction makes the meeting more personal. This will also add a layer of trust to your involvement with the IPC.

2. Walk the IPC through the Riskalyze risk questionnaire, with the help of a projector or large screen in a conference room. Take this step like you would with any other client, only this time on the big screen instead of in a one-to-one setting. 

3. Ask the IPC to confirm the “comfort zone” presented at the end of the completed risk questionnaire. Retake the questionnaire if needed, after adjusting the devastation amount, until the committee comes to a consensus on the comfort zone. 

4. In your proposal, build a target portfolio using a mix of existing holdings and new investments as you see fit. Adjust the allocations until the portfolio’s Risk Number fits the IPC’s.

5. Present a proposal to the IPC that is perfectly aligned with their risk tolerance and expectations. Demonstrate that you understand how best to manage their institutional risk while driving positive returns.

6. Sign the paperwork and bring on this amazing new client!


By the way, don’t forget to shake hands with each IPC member after the meeting, and offer to do the same risk tolerance and portfolio review for them personally. That’s the power of multiplication at work.