Investment Committee

St. Olaf College Board of Regents

Investment Committee

Committee Charter


The Investment Committee  assists the Board of Regents  in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for the prudent and effective investment of the endowment, formulates investment policies, and oversees management of the endowment.

Roles and Responsibilities

The committee is responsible for the endowment, the charitable gift annuity pool and charitable trust funds, and other investment assets of the college.  The committee is responsible for monitoring investment results, overseeing compliance with the investment policies, and adjusting policies as needed due to changes in the environment or needs of the college.  However, the committee is not responsible for overseeing or monitoring any matters related to the performance of assets held under any employee benefit plan subject to ERISA, and the committee will serve only in a settlor, and not fiduciary, capacity with respect to any such plan.

Policy oversight:

  • Establish, review and update the investment policy statement and establish investment strategies regarding asset classes, asset allocation ranges and investment guidelines.
  • Oversee the adoption of appropriate risk management policies and procedures to manage, to the extent possible, market, liquidity, operational, credit and other investment and asset management risks.

Implementation oversight:

  • Retain qualified investment management consultants, managers, and custodians as are necessary.
  • Develop investment guidelines for investment managers, standards against which manager performance will be measured, and a schedule for conducting manager evaluations.
  • Monitor the management of the endowment by reviewing written reports from investment staff/consultants and discussions with investment staff/consultants that focus on the primary determinants of returns, including asset allocation and investment strategy.

Performance evaluation:

  • Review overall investment program performance based on a comparison of actual returns with return objectives, and with such other benchmarks as the Board or committee may select. The evaluation will take into account compliance with investment policies and guidelines and risk levels.

Board communication:

  • Understand the relationship betwen the operating budget, the endowment spending policy, and the investment policy.   Review the spending allocation methodology.  If the Investment Committee’s review should determine that the spending methodology be adjusted, then the Investment Committee will make a recommendation to the Finance Committee regarding payout levels.  Finance Committee and Investment Committee will make a joint recommendation regarding spending rate for the full Board’s consideration and approval. Regularly report on investment performance and changes in investments to the Board.
  • Consult with the Audit Committee to ascertain that, to the extent possible, the custodian, brokerage and investment manager accounts have been appropriately examined and reconciled.
  • In its settlor capacity, receive the Retirement Plan Administration Committee’s (RPAC) annual report and forward it to the Board.

Other duties:

  • Carry out other such duties within the scope of its primary purpose or as the Board may delegate.


The committee shall consist of no more than nine members, including ex-officio members.  The Chair of the Board of Regents and the President of the College shall be ex officio voting members of the Committee.  The committee chair, the committee vice-chair, and at least one other member of the committee shall be Regents appointed by the Chair of the Board of Regents.  The committee may include up to four non-Regent members appointed by the Chair of the Board of Regents, so long as a majority of the committee members are Regents.    Non-Regent members of the committee shall serve a minimum of three (3) years.  Committee members should have investment, business or endowment expertise.  Each committee member shall annually sign a Conflicts of Interest Statement.

The Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and the Chief Investment Officer, shall serve as non-voting staff liaisons to the committee.

Meetings and Reporting

The committee normally shall meet at least four times per year, at such times and places as the committee shall determine.    Members may participate in any meeting of the committee by means of conference telephone or other form of remote communication that enables persons not physically present in the same location to communicate with each other on a substantially simultaneous basis.  A quorum of any meeting of the committee shall consist of a majority of its members for the purpose of taking any action other than adjourning the meeting.  If a quorum of committee members is not present, a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting.

The committee chair, in collaboration with the staff liaisons, shall be responsible for establishing the agendas for the meetings.  The staff liaisons shall provide the agenda and any other relevant materials to committee members in advance of each meeting.   The committee shall maintain minutes of all its actions and communicate them promptly to the full Board of Regents.

Review of Charter

This charter shall be reviewed regularly by the committee, and any proposed changes shall be submitted to the Nominating and Governance Committee for review and approval.  The Nominating and Governance Committee shall refer significant changes to the full Board of Regents for review and approval.

Approved August 2019