University Investment Trust (endowment fund)
The University Investment Trust (endowment fund) is a permanent fund, comprised primarily of gifts from donors, established to support specific purposes.
Purpose of the endowment
The University Investment Trust (endowment fund) is a permanent fund established to support specific purposes at the University of Manitoba. Each year, a portion of the investment return is used to support current year programs and therefore contributes to the quality of teaching, student accessibility, research, athletics, and public service at the university.
Each individual endowed account is pooled for investment purposes and tracked using unit accounting, similar to a mutual fund. The unitized pool is referred to as the University Investment Trust (“UIT”), and the use of a pooled fund concept ensures new gifts purchase units and receives a pro-rata share of earnings while existing account holders maintain their equitable ownership in the pool. The pooled fund concept also allows all endowment account holders to take advantage of the diversification benefits available to large institutional investors like the University of Manitoba.
The endowment is managed by the Trust Investment Committee (the Committee), which is an advisory committee to the Board of Governors, and as such makes recommendations on all matters related to the investment and distribution of endowment assets. Members of the Committee are appointed under the authority of the Board, and are accountable to the Board through the Finance, Administration and Human Resources Committee. The Committee establishes guidelines for investing assets and is responsible for hiring and reviewing investment managers. This includes establishing the investment mandates for each asset class and the review of performance for each mandate, as well as the overall portfolio, to ensure the goals and objectives of the endowment are being achieved.
The endowment fund is comprised primarily of gifts from donors to provide long-term funding for designated purposes. Donors generally specify a particular purpose for their gifts, creating endowments that fund faculty and school support (30 per cent), student awards (40 per cent), chairs and professorships (15 per cent), research (five per cent), library support (three per cent) and various other areas (seven per cent). The annual distributions from the endowment fund provide for this support, with $35.5 million being allocated for the current year, and a total of $154 million allocated over the past five years.
Governance and management of funds
The University of Manitoba
Management of trust and endowment funds
A Trust Investment Committee was established many years ago and has general authority over the investment of the assets of the Trust and Endowment Fund. This includes the investments of the University Investment Trust (the “UIT”) and the Specific Trusts. Members of the Trust Investment Committee are appointed under the authority of the Board of Governors. The Board’s power includes the power to ensure the investment of University money based on prudent person principles. The Finance, Administration and Human Resources Committee is a Board Committee established under the Board of Governors, and this Committee makes recommendations to the Board on the general investment policy and the management of University investments.
The Trust Investment Committee is accountable to the Board of Governors through the Finance, Administration, and Human Resources Committee. The Chair of the Trust Investment Committee is Vice President (Administration), who also is a non-voting member of the Finance, Administration and Human Resources Committee.
Current membership of the Trust Investment Committee
University Staff and Members of the Board of Governors
- Naomi Andrew, Vice-President Administration, Chair
- Michael Benarroch, President and Vice Chancellor
- Carla Buchanan, Director, Financial Reporting
- Robin Campbell, Director, Investments
- Michael Emslie, CFO and Comptroller
- Kathryn Lee, Board of Governors
- Stephanie Levene, Associate VP, Alumni and Donor Relations
- Lance McKinley, Treasurer
- Graeme Hay, CIO, Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund
- Elizabeth Marr, retired investment professional
- Zoe Richardson, investment professional
Resource Member (non-voting)
- Jesse Paradis, Manager, Treasury
Investment policy statement
The Investment Policy Statement (IPS) (PDF) is the governing document of the Committee, and all content and changes to the IPS are done through approval by the Board of Governors. The current IPS was approved by the Board on March 28, 2023. The IPS covers: roles and responsibilities; investment objective; time horizon; risk tolerance; asset allocation; rebalancing guidelines; spending policy; selection and retention for investment managers; strategic investment guidelines and constraints; and conflict of interest.
The endowment fund is a permanent fund established to support specific purposes at the University of Manitoba. Each year, a portion of the investment return is used to support current year programs and therefore contributes to the quality of teaching, student accessibility, research, athletics, and public service at the university. The fund is currently comprised of over 2,600 individual accounts, each with a specific purpose.
Each individual endowed account is pooled for investment purposes and tracked with unit accounting, similar to a mutual fund. The unitized pool is referred to as the University Investment Trust (UIT), and the use of a pooled fund concept ensures new gifts purchase units and receive a pro-rata share of earnings while existing account holders maintain their equitable ownership in the pool. The pooled fund concept also allows all endowment account holders to take advantage of the diversification benefits available to large institutional investors like the University of Manitoba.
The basic investment objective of the UIT is to provide a total investment return (income plus capital appreciation) necessary to meet annual spending requirements and to preserve, in real dollar terms, the capital of the UIT. This objective is achieved by ensuring that the annual distribution of income for spending purposes does not exceed the real rate of return (total investment return less inflation) over a period of years. To ensure that this is the case, the spending policy is subject to an annual re-evaluation by the Vice-President (Administration) on the advice of the Committee. Growth in capital, as opposed to preservation of capital, is made possible in two ways. When beneficiary faculties and schools, libraries and support units choose to spend less than their annual distribution, their unspent funds remain as part of their endowment. Further, if the real rate of return exceeds spending over the long term, real growth in capital is experienced. When a beneficiary unit spends less than its allocation, unspent funds are automatically capitalized to the endowment accounts at the end of each year.
Annualized Investment Performance, in $CAD
As of March 31, 2023
|Fund||1 year||3 years||5 years|
|Total Portfolio Benchmark||1.1%||12.4%||8.1%|
|Canadian Bonds Benchmark||-2.4%||-2.5%||0.6%|
|Canadian Equities Benchmark||-5.2%||18%||8.8%|
|U.S. Equities Benchmark||0.0%||16.8%||12.3%|
|International Equities Benchmark||6.9%||11.3%||4.5%|
|Canadian Real Estate||1.6%||6.0%||7.0%|
|Canadian Real Estate Benchmark||2.8%||7.5%||7.0%|
Asset mix and Targets
As of March 31, 2023
|Canadian Real Estate||15.2%||13.0%|
As of March 31, 2023
University Investment Trust
|Canadian Fixed Income||Cidel Asset Management|
TD Asset Management
RBC Philips Hager North
Burgundy Asset Management
MFS Investment Management
Wellington Management Company
Aristotle Capital Management
|Canadian Real Estate||GWL Realty Advisors|
|Infrastructure||Brookfield Asset Management|
|Impact Investments||Brookfield Asset Management|
Specific trusts and capital trusts
|Canadian Fixed Income and Cash Equivalents||BMO Nesbitt Burns|
Canadian Fixed Income, Canadian and Foreign Equities
The specific trusts
The Specific and Capital Trust Funds are funds that are invested outside of the UIT. The stated purpose of these funds has a shorter time frame, so that investments tend to be more liquid, shorter duration fixed income instruments. At the end of March 31, 2023, these funds had a market value of $57.6 million.