Fiduciary Duties

The following summary provides a brief description of prudent investment practices:

Analyze Current Position

  • Investments are managed in accordance with applicable laws, trust documents, and written investment policy statements.
  • Fiduciaries are aware of their duties and responsibilities.
  • Fiduciaries and parties in interest are not involved in self dealing.
  • Service agreements and contracts are in writing and do not contain provisions that conflict with fiduciary standards of care.
  • There is documentation to show timing and distribution of cash flows and the payment of liabilities.
  • Assets are within the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and are protected from theft and embezzlement.

Diversify and Allocate Portfolio

  • A risk level has been identified.
  • An expected, modeled return to meet investment objectives has been identified.
  • An investment time horizon has been identified.
  • Selected asset classes are consistent with the identified risk, return, and time horizon.
  • The number of asset classes is consistent with the portfolio size.

Formalize Investment Policy

  • There is detail to implement a specific investment strategy.
  • The Investment Policy Statement (IPS) defines the duties and responsibilities of all parties involved.
  • The IPS defines diversification and rebalancing guidelines.
  • The IPS defines due-diligence criteria for selecting investment options.
  • The IPS defines the monitoring criteria for investment options and service vendors.
  • The IPS defines the procedures for controlling and accounting for investment expenses.
  • The IPS defines appropriately structured, socially responsible investment strategies (when applicable).

Implement Investment Policy

  • The investment strategy is implemented in compliance with the required level of prudence.
  • The fiduciary is following applicable safe harbor provisions (when elected).
  • Investment vehicles are appropriate for the portfolio size.
  • A due-diligence process is followed in selecting service providers, including the custodian.

Monitor and Supervise

  • Periodic reports compare investment performance against appropriate index, peer group, and IPS objectives.
  • Periodic reviews are made of qualitative and/or organizational changes of investment decision makers.
  • Control procedures are in place to periodically review policies for best execution, soft dollars, and proxy voting.
  • Fees for investment management are consistent with agreements and the law.
  • Finders fees, 12b-1 fees, or other forms of compensation that may have been paid for asset placement are appropriately applied, utilized, and documented.


The Game of Philanthropy

A background about our experience of forming and running a family foundation, as well as our views about the future direction of philanthropy is available below.


The Game of Philanthropy
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