East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is entrusted with the investment management of its funds and with carrying out the grantmaking wishes of its donors in the best interests of East Tennessee’s communities. Because ETF expects to operate in perpetuity, wise investment of its funds is essential to ETF’s mission. To that end, the Board of Directors has adopted an investment policy and appoints an Investment Committee to oversee the process and select and monitor investment managers.

The Basics of Long-Term Endowment Investing

ETF seeks through its investment policy to maintain or increase the real value of the endowment principal and its distributions over the long-term while funding current needs at an appropriate level. To carry out this mission, the Investment Committee has established investment objectives and offensive and defensive market strategies employing equity, fixed income, cash and non-traditional investments as appropriate. ETF’s investment priorities are:

  • Preservation of principal
  • Moderate growth in principal to offset the effects of inflation
  • Sufficient income commensurate with safety of principal and current program needs

Investment Pools

ETF has adopted a policy of investing funds in commingled management pools. This pooling of investments supports closer supervision of the investment portfolio and makes available to the ETF’s individual funds, regardless of size, the advantages of participation in a diversified portfolio of investments.

  • Created and managed as a long-term investment option, ETF’s long-term commingled fund is the default investment pool for endowed funds. It may also be an appropriate option for quasi and non-endowed funds with a time-horizon for grants that is longer than five years.
  • ETF’s short-term commingled pool is the investment pool for non-endowed funds. Funds in this pool are in secure investments and are limited to bank accounts, U.S. treasuries, and certificates of deposit.

Investment Committee Members

  • Richard Dapaah (committee chair), Head of Business and Corporate Development, Sparkz
  • John Apperson, CAIA, HF Capital
  • Veenita Bisaria, Investment and Risk Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority Retirement System
  • Grant Boyd, Senior Vice President, The Trust Company
  • Ted Flickinger, Retired Executive Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Martin & Company
  • Larry Mauldin, Retired President and CEO, Suntrust Bank of East Tennessee
  • Rip Mecherle, Chief Investment Officer, University of Tennessee System

Investment Alliance Program

In 2003, ETF created the Investment Alliance Program. The purpose of this program is to increase charitable giving in East Tennessee through a cooperative partnership between ETF and investment management firms. Donors who wish to establish an endowed charitable fund in excess of $1 million are welcome to suggest to the ETF’s Investment Committee that the assets be managed by the investment firm or manager they prefer. ETF would then begin a formal business relationship with qualified Investment Alliance partners.

For Additional Information About ETF’s Investments:

  • Contact us to request more information such as our quarterly investment returns.
  • Click here to read our Endowment Investing FAQs.
  • Read our complete Investment Policies with appendices
    • The total return concept and our spending rate can be reviewed in Appendix A
    • Target asset allocation for the long-term commingled fund can be reviewed in Appendix B
    • Investment Alliance Program can be reviewed in Appendix C