Washington State University Foundation, Pullman, hired Hammond Associates as the $210 million fund's first investment consultant. The university's investment committee will meet with Hammond in August to start implementing the foundation's new asset allocation, adopted earlier this year, and manager searches will follow later this year, said Steve Schauble, vice president for finance.
The new asset allocation increases alternative investments to 20%, up from 5% (invested in private equity) and adds a 10% allocation to inflation-hedged assets, said Mr. Schauble. The foundation's first investment in hedge funds as well as an increase in private equity investments likely will result from the change. The fund's trustees are not considering real estate, because as a land-grant university, WSU has ample real estate within its holdings, Mr. Schauble said. The inflation-hedged investment likely will be made in gold and precious metals, timber, commodities and other hard assets.