Investments and Endowments

The Investment Office is responsible for managing the College’s financial assets in accord with policies established by the Finance and Investment Committees of the Board of Regents. These policies and practices are designed to assist in meeting investment and spending objectives (see the Investment Policy link below for specific details). These assets include working capital assets, charitable trusts, and the St. Olaf College Endowment.

The College’s financial assets are held primarily in the St. Olaf Endowment, although a sizable amount of assets are invested in charitable trusts and gift annuity contracts, as well as in working capital. The Endowment includes not only permanently restricted funds, but also includes unrestricted and quasi-endowment. The Endowment supports many aspects of the life of the College, including financial aid for students, professorships and academic and co-curricular programs. Sinking funds, set aside to meet long-term debt service obligations, are included in the Endowment.

The Endowment is broadly diversified with allocations to domestic and international equities, private equity, fixed income, hedge funds and real assets.

To assist in the management of the Endowment, the Investment Committee retained the services of CornerStone Partners of Charlottesville Virginia as of January of 2018.  Northern Trust serves as custodian for the College’s Endowment assets.

The Investment Committee is responsible for setting asset allocation parameters and for advising the Finance Committee on endowment spending policies. The relationship with CornerStone is under a full discretion Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) agreement. CornerStone screens investment opportunities and has full authority and responsibility for manager hiring and firing decisions.   CornerStone meets with the Investment Committee on a quarterly basis to review investment performance of the portfolio against a peer group of colleges, and manager-specific performance against identified benchmarks.

The College has retained TIAA Kaspick to assist in the management of charitable trusts and gift annuity contracts. TIAA Kaspick provides both investment and administration management, which includes making payments to beneficiaries and the preparation of tax returns.  St. Olaf has been a client of TIAA Kaspick since 1998.

Located in Tomson Hall 130D

Mark Gelle, Assistant VP & Chief Investment Officer (507) 786-3295

John Arndt, Accounting Manager (507) 786-3659