Institutional Investor

Managing a foundation or endowment is an important yet challenging endeavor. It requires a balance of short and long term planning, daily operations and active investment oversight. To add greater complexity, all of the above must be done in a fiduciary compliant manner. No easy task, but that’s where hiring a fiduciary like Unified Trust can help. We have extensive knowledge of the issues facing nonprofit organizations today, as well as the critical importance of establishing effective procedures and prudent policies for investment management.


Your mission is our mission

At Unified Trust being a fiduciary is the very cornerstone of our foundation. What that means for your institution is that you will always receive the highest standard of care in the industry. It means you can count on us to put your organization first by always doing what’s in your best interest. We are here to help you on the journey to achieve your mission.

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Your Nonprofit Financial & Fiduciary Resource Center

Wondering how your board is handling its fiduciary responsibilities? Want to learn how a foundation saved over $200K annually and became certified for fiduciary best practices? Need help understanding what to look for when hiring a non-profit financial advisor? Check out our Nonprofit Financial & Fiduciary Resource Center for the tools you need to achieve your mission.

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Prudent Investment Process

Investment portfolios may change over time, but our core philosophies will always be present.

As a discretionary trustee, Unified Trust has a duty to be loyal and to always act in the best interest of the participants. For this reason, we’re fee-based and take a no-conflict-of-interest approach. We’re bound by revenue neutrality, which means that we cannot make any more or less money based on which investments are chosen.

  • At many other investment firms, each nonprofit financial advisor has their own investment philosophy. This can lead to inconsistent and less-than-desirable outcomes for institutions. At Unified Trust, we believe eight minds are better than one. Therefore, all investment strategies are established and overseen by our Trust Investment committee.

    This committee is comprised of senior leaders and highly credentialed investment professionals across the company. The committee is responsible for evaluating macroeconomic factors and market conditions that influence our strategic investment decisions. You can rest easy knowing your institution's portfolio is being managed by experts according to prudent investment standards.

  • Allocating your institution’s assets across many investment categories allows your organization to participate in a variety of areas – stocks, bonds and cash investments – within the global economy. This helps to spread risk and avoid being overly concentrated in one segment of the market.

  • We believe asset quality matters. We carefully screen investments on the basis of long-term performance, manager tenure, adherence to stated objectives and other factors which tend to drive outstanding results. Selecting investments with better historic track records can help the portfolio weather the ups and downs of the market.

  • Keeping costs under control can have a positive impact on long-term performance. We look for investment companies that work to keep expense ratios, management fees and other costs to a minimum, and investments with low turnover rates, stable management and other factors that serve your interests. After all, the lower the costs, the more return your organization retains to help achieve its mission.

  • We work with your institution to understand its risk tolerance and risk capacity as it relates to achieving short-term and long-term spending goals. Through our managerial oversight and disciplined investment review process, we help keep the portfolio on track during turbulent times.

  • Like any prudent decision, we take a balanced approach to selecting investments for our clients. Our investment process begins with a quantitative analysis using our Unified Fiduciary Monitoring Index (UFMI). This scoring system provides an evaluation of each investment relative to its peers.

Fiduciary Best Practices

Unified Trust uses the Global Standards and the Global Fiduciary Practices as the foundation for helping clients achieve their financial goals in a fiduciary compliant manner. Our fiduciary best practices includes a four-step process that we follow to provide clients with the highest level of fiduciary oversight.

A Prudent Process Can Help Your Mission Achieve It’s Mission

We're here to help your mission achieve it’s mission in just a few easy steps. Here’s how it works:

  • Unified Trust first works with you to understand your institution's short-term and long-term investment goals. From there, our team of experts organize the investment approach, while identifying and documenting the responsibilities of all parties.

  • Next, we formalize the process through creation of a detailed Investment Policy Statement (IPS). Organizations such as yours often face the trade-off between the competing goals of supporting short-term operations and preserving long-term assets. Therefore, economic issues such as interest rates and inflation are important to consider. The IPS is customized to the unique needs of your organization and will set the criteria for the prudent selection and retention of investments.

  • The investment approach is then implemented in accordance with the IPS, its stated risk level and diversification parameters, including consistency with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).

  • The final step is the prudent and continuous monitoring of the portfolio and its investments. To assist your organization in being prudent in monitoring us, we provide a quarterly Unified Fiduciary Monitoring Report.

Football coaches understand that planning to become state champions starts months before the 4th quarter of the final game.  Similarly, financial planners understand the importance of clients planning with a focus on their end.

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As we approach year end, the holiday season provides a time for us to reflect on our health and happiness and make charitable gifts for those less fortunate. On this Giving Tuesday, I could not think of a better time to do so! While personal financial situations vary, luckily there are several strategies we can use to give charitably that benefits both sides.

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To develop a financial plan that leads your organization down the path to success, there isn’t anywhere else to move, but forward.