The need for guidance for investment committees is overdue. In the U.S. market alone, there are well over 100,000 asset pools of all sizes that have long-term investment objectives. Their assets total more than $14.6 trillion, counting only endowments of universities and colleges, foundations, and the 1,000 largest retirement funds. Perhaps half a million people sit on their boards of directors, and another half a million of people, who are not members of the boards, sit on their investment committees. While there are many investment committees that achieve the advantage of good governance, a great many have no clear understanding of how they should function.
In an effort to provide guidance, the Greenwich Roundtable's education committee has just published a white paper, Best Governance Practices for Investment Committees. The paper addresses the long-term investment needs — from megafunds to very small funds — of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, endowments, insurance companies, charitable organizations and other asset owners. It includes 29 real-world case studies of committees that were particularly effective and committees that might have been more effective if they had applied best practices.