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Ohio Northern University Endowment Fund

Name: Ohio Northern University Investment Office

Assets Under Management: $366.8 Million (Source: Ohio Northern University on 5/31/2014)

Annual Report: Ohio Northern University Auditor’s Report and Consolidated Financial Statements May 31, 2014 and 2013

Portfolio Insights: “Ohio Northern University (University) is a private, United Methodist Church-related university in Ada, Ohio, comprised of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law.

The University maintains pooled investment accounts for its endowments. Investment income and realized and unrealized gains and losses from securities in the pooled investment accounts are allocated monthly to the individual endowment accounts based on the relationship of the fair value of the interest of each endowment to the total fair value of the pooled investment accounts, as adjusted for additions to or deductions from those accounts.” (Source)

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Top Ohio Northern University Endowment Fund:

1)  The Ohio Northern University Endowment is seeking to recoup $10 million after the University learned its funds were part of an investment fraud run by two East Coast partners who owned and operated Westridge Capital Management, Inc.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Stephen Walsh and Paul Greenwood, owners of Westridge, with misappropriation of $553 million of investor’s assets on Feb. 25. The SEC alleges that the pair solicited a number of institutional investors, including educational institutions and public pensions and retirement plans, by promising to invest their money in an “enhanced equity index” strategy.

ONU President Dr. Kendall L. Baker said, “The University is diligently working with its investment advisors and attorneys to rectify this unfortunate situation and recover the money that was lost in the fraudulent investment.”

On May 15, 2007, ONU agreed to invest $10 million from its endowment with Westridge. In February 2009, the University learned of the government’s allegations against Westridge and sought full redemption of its investment. (Source)

2) Ohio Northern University (ONU) is a private, liberal arts institution founded in 1871. ONU enrols approximately 3,300 students in the following colleges: arts and sciences; business administration; engineering; pharmacy; and law. ONU’s endowment provides significant funding for the University’s programmes, facilities, and student aid. ONU is keen to build on its endowment viewing it as crucial for the future success of the institution. (Source)

3) Ohio Northern University’s master plan lists as one of its goals a commitment to construct new facilities with LEED certification. The university purchases environmentally preferable paper products such as envelopes, office paper, and paper towels. (Source)

4) Ohio Northern University, Ada, hired Hartland & Co. as the first full-time investment consultant to its $115 million endowment fund. Endowment officials wanted to use a consultant because they do not have time to conduct their own manager searches, said John W. Green, vice president-financial affairs. Further details were not available by press time. (Source)

5) Robert C. Smith, chairman and CEO of Spero-Smith Investment Adviser Inc., and emeritus chair and current member of the ONU Board of Trustees, has been appointed to the Police and Fire Retirement System’s Investment Committee for the City of Detroit.

Among other responsibilities, the investment committee will develop the retirement system’s investment goals, and is charged with the selection and removal of investment managers and the chief investment officer under the terms of the proposed Plan of Adjustment for the city of Detroit and the “Grand Bargain” legislation.

“These committees are an essential part of ensuring a brighter future for Detroit,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Each of these appointees has a wide variety of experience and brings a strong commitment to protecting the investments of Detroit retirees.”

Smith has worked as chief investment officer for the investment advisory firm he co-founded in 1988. In 2013, Smith was appointed to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System as an investment expert. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University and an MBA from Duquesne University. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the Cleveland CFA Society. Smith is appointed to a four-year term. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson