UL Lafayette Foundation outsources investments to Cambridge

  • PE portfolio is 6 pct
  • CA Capital to build diversified alternatives portfolio
  • Prefers midcap and lower-mid-cap PE funds

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation has turned over investment management of its $170 million portfolio to Cambridge Associates’ outsourced CIO group.

“Managing a complex portfolio, generating high returns for their private market portfolios and access to good managers are some reasons midsized institutional investors are outsourcing their investment portfolios,” said Max Senter, chief investment officer with the group, called CA Capital Management. Senter will lead the team serving UL Lafayette Foundation.

UL Lafayette Foundation’s portfolio is composed of public equities, bonds, mutual funds and alternatives like private equity and hedge funds. The foundation added PE to its portfolio in 2012.

Currently, 6 percent of its portfolio is in PE and another 5 percent is committed, Colette Billeaud, chief financial officer at UL Lafayette Foundation, said.

The PE investments are through limited partnerships. These included Siguler GuffTrueBridge Capital PartnersEmerald Hill Capital Partners and Coller Capital, the foundation’s Form 990 for 2016 showed.

CA Capital honors the funds-of-funds in an endowment’s portfolio but prefers to invest directly in private equity funds, Senter said. It aims to build a diversified portfolio, which typically includes growth, venture, distressed and buyouts opportunities for its clients, Senter said.

His firm prefers midcap and lower-mid-cap PE funds for their operating efficiencies, Senter said.

Appointing an outsourced CIO makes sense for an endowment the size of University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation, said Charles Skorina of Charles Skorina & Co, who helps recruit board members, CIOs and other personnel for institutional investors and financial institutions.

“Because of the small fund size, these midsized institutions often don’t get access to good quality private equity managers,” Skorina said.

Outsourcing the investment portfolio also reduces personnel costs, Skorina said.

“With an outsourced investment manager, the foundation will outsource the various relationships with lawyers, advisers and others,” Skorina said.

CA Capital Management manages the investment portfolios of Louisiana State UniversityLewis & Clark and San Francisco State University Foundation, among others. It also manages the impact investments of National Geographic Society.