The Bellingrath-Morse Foundation. The College is in an unusual position in that the control of the investment of a substantial part of the College’s total endowment is held in trust by others. The largest and most significant amount is managed by the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation. For this reason, the College works closely with the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation to maximize the benefit to the College within the limits of the various agreements with the Foundation.
The investment strategy of the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation has an impact on the Subcommittee on Investments decisions on investment strategy. Therefore, every effort is made to communicate to the Board of Trustees Subcommittee on Investments shifts in the Bellingrath investment strategy.
Investment Objectives and Policies-Overall Endowment. The primary investment objective of the College is to maximize the financial return over the long term within an acceptable level of risk. Such a policy is mandated by prevailing law, tradition, and the legal concept of fiduciary responsibility for funds given to a college. To a substantial degree, the College’s ability to achieve its educational mission is dependent upon the performance of the investment portfolio.
Selection and Retention of Securities or Investments. Maximum financial return over the long run is the primary criterion underlying all decisions to “buy” or “sell.” A decision “not to buy” for other than financial reasons will be made only in cases where the Subcommittee on Investments determines that such investments would clearly contravene moral or social values. It is difficult to be specific about criteria for such a decision. However, in line with this policy, the Subcommittee on Investments would not invest in companies which, in their judgment, definitely cause social harm by violating existing laws relating to such basic human rights as health, safety or freedom. The Subcommittee on Investments would also not invest in companies whose basic policies do not subscribe to contemporary social values and responsibilities.
Consistent with the same criterion, the College will not buy securities for purposes which are not primarily financial. Securities, therefore, will not be bought primarily for the purpose of influencing a company’s attitude toward moral or social values, or solely to achieve an objective which seems socially desirable.
A decision to sell for other than financial reasons will be considered if, in the opinion of the Subcommittee on Investments, the exercise of rights of ownership, i.e., vote and petition to management, will not, within a reasonable period of time, succeed in changing a company’s attitude toward a moral or social problem which the Subcommittee on Investments believes requires a different policy by management.