NEW YORK, NY, September 9, 2021 – The Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) today announced its selection of Bivium Capital and WestFuller Advisors as its new Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO). Bivium Capital and WestFuller Advisors are Black owned and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) led.
“Our primary goal is to continue our journey to maximize all of our assets for societal impact,” said Rey Ramsey, NCF trustee, member of the investment committee, and interim CEO. “In opening the door to Bivium and WestFuller, we know that we open other doors that can no longer remain shut.”
Bivium Capital, which has operated for nearly 20 years, focuses on values-aligned investing and sourcing diverse, emerging managers. WestFuller Advisors, which has operated for more than 10 years, provides bespoke investment solutions for families and institutions seeking meaningful social impact and financial returns. Collectively, the firms have close to $2.5 billion in assets under advisement, excluding NCF’s nearly $500 million endowment. The partnership is augmented by Beacon Rose Partners, a real estate investment-management and advisory firm with an inclusive, community-driven lens.
“NCF’s desire for a ‘total enterprise approach’ will be our firms’ North Star,” said WestFuller Advisors Managing Director and Co-founder Ian Fuller. “We have an opportunity to build a world-class portfolio that not only maximizes financial and impact returns for NCF but also demonstrates what’s possible when you invest for long-term, systemic change.”
“Most foundations consider impact and financial returns separately,” said Bivium Chief Investment Strategist Kai Hong. “But NCF has an integrated framework that will allow us to use mission as the lens through which we assess all factors – risk, return, liquidity, and impact –when making investment decisions. It’s leading-edge work.”
In 2018, NCF became the largest foundation to commit to move 100 percent of its assets into mission-aligned investments. NCF’s new partnership with Bivium Capital and WestFuller Advisors will allow it to advance that journey. Together, they will foster an inclusive investing process; make more investments that directly advance racial, economic, and environmental justice; and design impact reports that improve accountability and reflect the foundation’s theory of change. “We can’t solve the big problems at the core of our mission by following the same playbook that helped create those problems in the first place,” said Bob Bancroft, NCF’s Vice President of Finance and Mission Investing. “Institutions like ours can flip the script and develop a more integrated approach to impact.”
“NCF is serious about allocating capital differently – using a different lens, backing new kinds of opportunities, and serving the needs of a broader range of beneficiaries,” said Bivium President and CEO Lawrence Bancroft. “We will use our diverse networks to open up the aperture of investment options for NCF.”
“Having worked in this industry for decades, it’s incredibly meaningful to partner with an organization like NCF that walks its values in everything it does. I acknowledge NCF for having the intention to cause ripples throughout the foundation world in ways that foster better outcomes for investors and society alike,” said WestFuller Co-founder and Managing Director Lola C. West.
“Reverend Jesse Jackson talks about how baseball became better when Ernie Banks, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and other great players joined it,” said John Rogers, former NCF investment committee member and founder of Ariel Investments, the first Black-owned mutual fund in the U.S. “When investors start to open the gates and work with diverse managers, they’ll discover – just like they did in baseball – that there’s plenty of exceptional players out there ready to transform the game.”
About Nathan Cummings Foundation
The Nathan Cummings Foundation is a multigenerational family foundation, rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice and working to create a more just, vibrant, sustainable, and democratic society. The foundation has four areas of focus: advancing racial and economic justice; transitioning to an inclusive clean economy; activating corporate and political accountability; and building solidarity through voice, creativity, and culture. Its commitment to 100 percent mission-aligned investing flows from Nathan Cummings’s anchoring ethos that “nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.”
About Bivium-WestFuller and Beacon Rose
Bivium, WestFuller and Beacon Rose are partnered to provide Outsourced Chief Investment Officer services, providing sustainable, responsible, and impact-focused advisory solutions for today’s leading foundations, nonprofits, university endowments, and family offices. Helmed by one of the most diverse leadership teams in the OCIO ecosystem, the group advises with a commitment to community engagement; diversity, equity and inclusion; and social and climate justice. Their collaboration represents a new class of values-centered investment advisory – guiding with deep institutional-investment expertise, a commitment to enduring systemic change, and diverse leadership that creates long-term value.
Source: Nathan Cummings Foundation