2018 Annual Review: Finance

  • A chart of the RBF's endowment value from 2016 through 2018.
    In 2018, a generous gift from the estate of David Rockefeller raised the Rockefeller Brothers Fund endowment from approximately $960 million to over $1.2 billion.

Investment Performance

In September 2018, a generous gift from the estate of David Rockefeller raised the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) endowment from approximately $960 million to over $1.2 billion. The substantial growth in the Fund’s endowment capital with this gift from David Rockefeller will significantly increase the RBF’s annual grants budget to support sustainable development, peacebuilding, and vibrant and inclusive democracy.

The Fund’s investment portfolio finished the year at $1.13 billion, down from its historic high of $1.2 billion in September 2018. As a result of the market slide in December 2018, the Fund experienced a negative net annual performance of -0.82 percent.

Mission-Aligned Investments

Each year, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is required by law to distribute five percent of its endowment for charitable purposes. Given the enormous and complex challenges facing today’s increasingly interdependent world, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has worked over the last decade to align the remaining 95 percent of its financial portfolio with its programmatic interests in democratic practice, peacebuilding, and sustainable development.

The Fund’s Mission-Aligned Investment Efforts include divestment from fossil fuels; impact investments; investing using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria; and leveraging shareholder voting rights.

The RBF's investments are categorized as traditional, screened-divest, ESG, impact, and cash.

Impact Investments as of June 2019
Investments Initial Commitment Amount Committed Asset Class Geographic Focus Description Mission Alignment
Generation Climate Solutions Fund II October 2014 $15,000,000 Private Capital North America and Europe Enhanced resource productivity/reduced pollution, waste, and emissions Sustainable Development
Turner Multifamily Impact Fund April 2015 $20,000,000 Real Assets United States Workforce housing Broad mission
Elevar Equity III June 2015 $12,500,000 Private Assets India and Latin America Services for underserved communities Broad mission
Sustainable Asset Fund (Vision Ridge) August 2015 $20,000,000 Real Assets United States Resource optimization across water, agriculture, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transportation Sustainable Development
New Energy Capital Infrastructure Credit Fund February 2016 $20,000,000 Real Assets United States Renewable energy development Sustainable Development
Mainstream Renewable Power Africa Holdings Limited (MPRAH) July 2016 $12,500,000 Private Capital Africa Expanding renewable power supplies across Africa Sustainable Development
ARCH Venture Fund IX, L.P./ARCH Venture Fund IX Overage, L.P. November 2017 $5,000,000 Private Capital North America Identify and capitalize on early-stage venture capital opportunities that arise from the convergence of advanced breakthroughs in life sciences, physical sciences, and information sciences Broad mission
Sustainable Asset Fund II (Vision Ridge) February 2018 $12,500,000 Real Assets United States Resource optimization across water, agriculture, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transportation Sustainable Development
Ambienta III May 2018 $14,000,000 ◊ Private Capital Europe Resource efficiency and pollution control Sustainable Development
New Energy Capital Infrastructure Credit Fund II September 2018 $20,000,000 Private Capital United States Small and midsized clean energy infrastructure projects and companies Sustainable Development
ARCHFund X/Overage Fund X December 2018 $15,000,000 Private Capital North America Healthcare focused venture capital, with an emphasis on building companies around novel healthcare therapies and treatments Broad mission

Impact Investment Total: $166,500,000

◊ Reflects committed level; current market value approximates $13.78 million.

 

ESG Investments as of June 2019

Fund Name Commitment Date Current Value Asset Class Geographic Focus
Generation IM Global Equity Fund March 2014 $92,353,224 Global Equity Global
Agility Global Equity Impact Fund January 2016 $100,000,000 ‡ Global Equity Global
Stewart Investors Worldwide Sustainability Fund October 2016 $21,704,597 Global Equity Global
Ownership Capital Global Equity (USD) Fund March 2017 $52,090,712 Global Equity Global

ESG Investment Commitment Total: $266,148,533

‡ Reflects committed level; current market value approximates $59 million.

For the most current information about our endowment, divestment efforts, and commitment to mission-aligned investing, visit the Finance section of our website.

Spending

Total spending for 2018 was $48,219,000 in expenditures that count toward the minimum distribution requirement, plus $4 million1 for investment management expenses. This reflects a $2.4 million increase from total spending in 2017. Spending on grantmaking and administration at the Fund's headquarters, including operations in China and the Western Balkans, accounted for 89 percent of total spending; The Pocantico Center accounted for 11 percent.

* Includes grant payments and employee matching gifts.
◊ Includes consultancies and other expenses that advance the Fund’s mission but do not take the form of traditional grants.
‡ Includes direct charitable activity and program-related administrative costs; excludes investment-related expenses.

Despite portfolio fluctuations, the Fund’s annual charitable spending has periodically exceeded its five-percent payout requirement in recent years. Although these carry-forward credits can be applied against future IRS spending requirements over a five-year period, the Fund’s long-term philanthropic commitments compel us to minimize reductions in programmatic spending. At the end of 2018, the Fund carried a balance of $8 million in cumulative excess distributions.

Consistent with previous years, grants represented 75 percent of the RBF’s 2018 spending, excluding core operating costs of The Pocantico Center. In addition to the $32.4 million in grant payments, the Fund spent $345,000 to support conferences and public programs and $1 million on direct charitable activities.

The Fund also spent $381,000 on non-grant appropriations, which include consultancies and other activities that advance the Fund’s mission but do not take the form of grants. This figure has decreased substantially since 2016, when the Fund engaged significant external support for robust assessments of our program impact.


* Includes grant payments and employee matching gifts.
◊ Includes consultancies and other expenses that advance the Fund’s mission but do not take the form of traditional grants.
‡ Includes direct charitable activity and program-related administrative costs; excludes investment-related expenses.

The Fund’s 2018 administrative and capital expenses, net of investment-related expenses and excluding Pocantico core operations, totaled $9,823,000. Personnel costs (salaries and employee benefits) accounted for 67 percent of total administrative expenses.

A pie chart of the 2018 administrative and capital expenditures, with slices for salaries; employee benefits; legal, accounting and other professional services; travel; program-related administration and communications; occupancy; and general office expenses.

The Fund’s management remains vigilant in seeking measures to contain administrative costs while allowing the Fund to operate at current capacity. This restraint is evidenced by a two percent increase in administrative spending from 2017 to 2018.

1 This figure does not include all fees paid to investment managers. It excludes the Fund’s share of underlying management and incentive fees from alternative investment funds, private equity funds, and fund of funds, where investment fees are not directly invoiced but rather netted against investment performance.

 

2018 RBF Annual Review ​

President's Message

Grantmaking

The Pocantico Center

Staff & Trustees

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