Endowment, foundation index considered

A leading investment research group is contemplating the development of an index to track the performance of endowments, foundations and pension plans.

Morningstar says it will seek input from the three industry groups before developing a database that would provide information on performance, expenses, risk and holdings.

The database would be free and voluntary, and participating organizations would receive periodic reports comparing their standings along various measures to those of their peers.

“We hope everyone involved with pension plans and nonprofits will step forward and support transparency,” Steve Deutsch, Morningstar’s head of development for institutional investment data, says in a statement.

“If institutions readily agree to provide us with basic information on their performance and holdings we will be able to offer a valuable resource to compare and benchmark performance of plans and nonprofits to their peers and to other portfolios,” he said.

The information would be of use to various stakeholders, the company says, including taxpayers, donors, trustees and administrators.

Morningstar is asking pension plans, endowments and foundations to complete an online form by June 29 regarding their willingness and ability to provide monthly performance data.

The company says it will consult with interested organizations to determine the viability of such a database.

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