WUIMC developed a broad set of governance principles and processes to ensure the highest professional standards of investment management and oversight.
The following principles outline the values shared by WUIMC:
- Be Effective Fiduciaries. WUIMC serves the university’s mission by building and managing a perpetual endowment. This requires a thorough understanding of fiduciary responsibilities, the university’s mission, and the importance of prudently investing the university’s assets. Fiduciary responsibilities include the duty of care (making decisions that are financially, ethically, and legally sound) and loyalty (avoiding conflicts of interests and acting in the best interests of the university).
- Be Ethical Stewards. WUIMC follows the highest business ethics standards and expects the same from its external investment partners and the management of companies in which they invest. Ethical considerations must be a component of all due diligence, research, and investment decisions. WUIMC does not seek to profit from the violation of basic human rights and dignity, abusive or oppressive labor practices, gross pollution or environmental destruction, or any form of bribery and corruption.
- Be Accountable. Well-articulated governance and decision-making processes foster disciplined portfolio management and transparency. Success must be defined by observable metrics and failures must facilitate reflection and learning.
- Make Intelligent and Insightful Risk Decisions. WUIMC believes partnering with specialized external investment managers is the most effective implementation strategy to meet investment and diversification objectives. Investing should strike a balance between adequate diversification and concentrated exposure in high-conviction ideas with vigilant risk management harmonizing both goals. A holistic approach to risk management requires a fundamental understanding of the characteristics and behavior of all underlying investments.
- Take a Long-Term View. The university’s long-term orientation and perpetual life is the bedrock of a competitive investment advantage and affords greater tolerance for near-term volatility, higher levels of illiquidity, and opportunistic investments. WUIMC is willing to take calculated risks and innovate in the long-term best interests of the university.
- Commitment to Diversity. The university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is an integral element of the path forward. The university and WUIMC are committed to building both a diverse and inclusive investment organization and roster of partners. To accomplish its goals, WUIMC must draw on talents, thoughts, and experience of diverse and inclusive teams and partnerships. Continual evaluation is necessary to ensure WUIMC is not fostering or enabling institutional constraints, limitations, and/or biases.
- Learn Continuously and Adapt to Changing Conditions. A strong investment culture focused on collaboration, exploration, and innovation facilitates a rigorous and repeatable process. It is important to always pursue best practices and stay informed of current trends regarding endowment fund management.