2019 Annual Review: Finance
Posted on: October 19, 2020
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.
September 22, 2019, marked five years since the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced its commitment to divest from fossil fuels. Financial results in this period have exceeded expectations. The RBF investment portfolio beat its performance targets, posting an average annual return of 7.76 percent over the five-year period that ended December 31, 2019. Over the same period, our benchmark investment portfolio, made up of 70 percent stocks and 30 percent bonds, returned only 6.71 percent annually.
|Investment Portfolio (12/31)||$ 938,480,000||$ 1,132,984,000||$ 1,132,984,000|
|Average Market Value of Portfolio||$ 880,524,000||$ 1,008,228,000||$ 1,208,734,000|
|Investment Performance (net of fees)||18.31%||-0.82%||17.86%|
|Investment Management Expenses||$ 4 million||$ 4 million||$ 5.7 million|
The Fund’s other mission-aligned investment efforts include impact investments; investing using ESG criteria; and leveraging shareholder voting rights.
Impact Investments as of December 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||$14,000,0003||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|
|Sustainable Water Infrastructure Fund (SWIF)||November 2019||$12,500,000||Real Assets||California, Australia, Chile||Sustainable water and agriculture||Sustainable
Impact Investment Total: $179,000,000
ESG Investments as of December 2019
|Fund Name||Commitment Date||Current Value||Asset Class||Geographic Focus|
|Generation IM Global Equity Fund||March 2014||$119,912,848||Global Equity||Developed Markets|
|Agility Global Equity Impact Fund||January 2016||$100,000,0004||Global Equity||Global|
|Stewart Investors Worldwide Sustainability Fund||October 2016||$25,239,855||Global Equity||Global|
|Ownership Capital Global Equity (USD) Fund||March 2017||$69,161,931||Global Equity||Global|
ESG Investment Commitment Total: $314,314,634
For the most current information about our endowment, divestment efforts, and commitment to mission-aligned investing, visit the Mission-Aligned Investing section of our website.
Total spending for 2019 was $53.5 million in expenditures that count toward the minimum distribution requirement, plus $5.7 million5 for investment management expenses. This reflects a $5.3 million increase from total spending in 2018, due in part to a generous gift from the estate of David Rockefeller in September 2018.
Spending on grantmaking and administration at the Fund’s headquarters, including operations in China and the Western Balkans, accounted for 91 percent of total spending; The Pocantico Center accounted for nine percent.
|Pocantico Conferences & Events||312,000||345,300||393,400|
|Subtotal||$ 41,077,000||$ 42,975,500||$ 49,208,400|
|Core Pocantico Operations||4,697,000||5,244,000||5,033,000|
|Grand Total||$ 45,774,000||$ 48,219,500||$ 54,241,400|
The Fund’s 2019 administrative and capital expenses, net of investment-related expenses and excluding Pocantico core operations, totaled $9,369,000. Personnel costs (salaries and employee benefits) accounted for 67 percent of total administrative expenses.
3 Reflects committed level; current market value approximates $13.5 million.
4 Reflects committed level; current market value approximates $72.7 million.
5 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.
6 Includes grant payments and employee matching gifts.
7 Includes consultancies and other expenses that advance the Fund’s mission but do not take the form of traditional grants.
8 Includes program-related administrative costs; excludes investment-related expenses.
2019 RBF Annual Review