Public Annual Meeting Report, October 24, 2015
Jeffrey Benjamin, Treasurer
The financial results of the Society for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2015, exhibited red ink. At fiscal year-end, our portfolio was valued at $36.6 million, down from $38.8 million at September 30, 2014. The $2.2 million reduction was caused by $1.5 million of withdrawals to meet operating expenses, and $700,000 from portfolio losses.
The ANS endowment is being advised by LVW, whose principal is Lori van Dusen. The performance of the investment portfolio for fiscal year 2015 was negative 2%, but this compared favorably with the policy index blend, which was down 4.1% over the same time period. Though peer data is not yet available through September, the portfolio ranked near the top quartile when compared to a peer universe of Endowments and Foundations. Importantly, the portfolio experiences a lower level of volatility, and therefore also compares very favorably on a risk adjusted basis. The portfolio currently is allocated 62% to equities; 35% to various forms of fixed income; and 3.5% to real assets / commodities. The Finance Committee meets regularly with LVW and is pursuing a strategy to increase the endowment in order to more adequately fund the ongoing operating expenses of the Society.
Our Trustees, Fellows, Sage and Regular members have contributed generously through special donations that were over and above their dues. Total contributions for the fiscal year were $1.03 million, coming from approximately 266 of our 1,450 members. Our Gala raised an additional $35,476.
These gifts play a critical role in the Society’s ability to function. However, it is evident that, in addition to enhancing the return earned on our investments, we must increasingly count on our already generous and committed members and supporters.
With respect to our endowment, I am pleased to report that Dr. Howard Minners has generously given $100,000, toward a European Curatorial position, which amount is being partially matched by another ANS member. This endowment fund currently stands at $200,000. The particular endowment for the Executive Director’s Chair has been launched, and currently stands at $453,700. Many thanks to the Trustees who have made contributions to the Executive Director’s Chair.
I would like to thank my fellow Trustees on the Finance and Investment Committees for their stewardship of The Society’s endowment.