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Endowments and Foundations Plan to Maintain Exposure to China Amid Trade Concerns

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— NEPC survey also reveals the majority of organizations do not believe a recession is likely within two years —

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NEPC, LLC one of the industry’s largest independent, research-driven investment consulting firms to endowments and foundations, today announced the results of their latest Endowments and Foundations Survey. NEPC’s Endowments & Foundations Practice Group conducted this survey to gauge non-profit organizations’ views on the U.S. economy, their current thinking about hedge funds, and their opinions about exposure to China amid heightened trade tensions.

“Endowments and foundations continue to be optimistic about the long-term potential for returns in China and the global economy at large, despite heightened volatility,” said Cathy Konicki, partner and leader of NEPC’s Endowments & Foundations practice. “While geopolitical tensions continue to drive conversations for thoughtful investors, alarm bells in the media aren’t translating into significant portfolio changes for organizations with a focus on the long-term.”

Top findings include:

Endowments and foundations will continue to invest in China: Nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) of endowments and foundations have investment exposure to China, largely through a broad emerging markets strategy. However, these organizations have several concerns about this exposure, including: U.S.-China trade tensions (27 percent), corporate governance issues and weak investor protections (22 percent), declining economic growth (19 percent) and growing debt levels in the country (18 percent). Despite these concerns, the survey indicates their outlook for investing in China remains high. In fact, 80 percent of endowments and foundations have no plans to change their exposure to China and no respondents plan to decrease their exposure.

Fears of an imminent recession are not widespread: Only 14 percent of respondents believe a recession is likely within the next two years. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of endowments and foundations believe the U.S. economy is in the late-cycle and that the market can still deliver sizeable returns in the short-term. About one in 10 (11 percent) indicated that recession fears are overhyped and have made no adjustments to their portfolio’s risk exposure.

Endowments and foundations still use hedge fund strategies to manage risk: More than one-third (37 percent) have decreased their exposure to hedge funds in the past year and 21 percent plan to do so in the next year. Still, the vast majority (86 percent) of respondents maintain some level of exposure to hedge funds and 48 percent have an exposure of greater than 10 percent. Three-quarters of respondents invest in hedge funds to address or mitigate their investment risk. Only 19 percent cite investing in hedge funds to deliver absolute returns.

With many organizations reevaluating their approach to investing in hedge funds, NEPC’s survey took a closer look at this activity. The greatest pain points are high fees (25 percent) along with limited liquidity and limited transparency (both 18 percent). Endowments and foundations are also indicating a shift in preference from generalist hedge funds to specialists. Currently, the top three hedge fund strategies are equity long-short generalist funds (16 percent), global macro discretionary funds (15 percent) and multi-strategy funds (15 percent). Among organizations that are planning to increase exposure, there is elevated interest in discretionary global macro strategies (25 percent), sector specialist equity long-short strategies (25 percent) and credit-linked strategies (20 percent).

This survey also revealed the greatest investment worries for endowments and foundations. Despite their limited concern about an imminent recession, almost half (46 percent) of respondents believe that a slowdown in economic growth poses the greatest threat to their short-term investment performance. Approximately one-quarter (23 percent) said political uncertainty. While Brexit continues to generate headlines around the world, zero respondents said it was a significant threat to their portfolio.

For more information, view the full survey and infographic.

About the Survey

This NEPC survey was conducted online by the Endowments & Foundations Practice Group in September 2019. The survey respondents represent a diverse array of endowments and foundations, including educational institutions, private foundations, public charities and other not-for-profit organizations. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents have an asset size in excess of $500 million. Copyright is held by NEPC.

About NEPC, LLC

NEPC® is an independent, full-service investment consulting firm, providing asset allocation, manager search, performance evaluation, and investment policy services. We work with discerning investors on both an advisory and discretionary basis. We service over 130 endowment and foundation relationships, representing over $82 billion in endowment/foundation assets, from our offices in Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Portland and San Francisco. We encourage your comments and feedback, as well as any inquiries you may have about our firm or our consulting services. Learn more at https://www.nepc.com/focus-areas/endowments-foundations.

Contacts

Media:
Corey Law

Email: nepc@fullyvested.com
Phone: (917) 765-8720

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Business Wire

Norwest Venture Partners Closes $2 Billion Fund, NVP XV

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Firm Raises Largest Fund to Date with a Focus on Early to Late-Stage Investments in Consumer, Healthcare, and Technology Sectors

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Norwest Venture Partners, a leading venture and growth equity investment firm, today announced it has closed its largest fund to date, Norwest Venture Partners XV, LP. The new $2 billion fund targets disruptive and market-leading companies from seed to late-stage across consumer, enterprise and healthcare sectors. The launch of Norwest Venture Partners XV, which brings the firm’s total capital commitments to more than $9.5 billion, closes on the heels of a record two years, as 23 of the firm’s portfolio companies achieved notable liquidity events.

Norwest Venture Partners XV follows Norwest Venture Partners XIV, a $1.5 billion fund, which closed in February 2018. Since then, Norwest has made nearly 50 new investments across a range of stages and industries, as well as hired and promoted several investment partners.

Proven Diversification Strategy

For over a decade, Norwest has expanded its growth equity practice to augment and diversify its strong record of venture investments. Both practices at Norwest invest out of a single, global fund and contribute significantly to the overall success of the firm. The investments are represented by leading portfolio companies across the consumer, healthcare and enterprise sectors in North America, India, and Israel.

Exits and Investments

Norwest’s exit success and investment pace reached new highs over the past 24 months. The firm saw nearly 50 new investments, 23 initial public offerings and portfolio company acquisitions across the firm’s investment sectors, including companies such as:

  • Consumer Exits – PCA Skin, Spotify, The Learning Experience, Turnitin, Uber
  • Enterprise Exits – 6 River Systems, Adaptive Insights, Avetta, Cority, Glint, Mist Systems, TRUSTID, Velostrata
  • Healthcare Exits – Health Catalyst, Silk Road Medical
  • India Exits Appnomic, Capillary, CRMNext, ElasticRun, Manthan, Zenoti

CEO Partnerships at the Heart of Norwest’s Success

Over the past 60 years, Norwest has partnered with hundreds of founders and CEOs, and believes that a combination of patience, courage, empathy, and conviction are essential when helping CEOs build their companies for the long term. This guiding principle uniquely positions Norwest as a strong partner for today’s leaders and their teams, working together to build great businesses in fast-evolving markets.

“We have had many high profile exits in the last two years,” said Jon Kossow, managing partner, Norwest. “As our portfolio continues to grow and deliver strong returns, we are looking forward to partnering with the next group of founders who will change the status quo in consumer, healthcare, and technology.”

“Our founders and CEOs are at the heart of everything we do,” said Jeff Crowe, managing partner at Norwest. “To us, that means not only investing capital, but also time and resources to help our leaders and their organizations grow. We’re proud of the founder community we’ve built at Norwest and look forward to partnering with strong innovators for years to come.”

Norwest is also a strong investing partner for companies founded and run by women across many diverse industries, and has invested in 28 female-founded companies to date. Notable female-founded or female-led investments include Birdies, HoneyBook, Madison Reed, Minted, Modsy, Policygenius, Ritual, Science Exchange, Senreve and Talkspace, among others.

New Partners and Promotions

Over the past 18 months, Norwest has invested in promoting and hiring key partners. On the growth equity team, Rob Arditi was promoted to general partner. On the venture consumer team, Ed Yip and Lisa Wu were promoted to partner. Two additional promotions on the growth equity team include Stew Campbell and Ran Ding to principal.

Norwest also made a new hire in mid-2018 with the addition of Priti Youssef Choksi, who joined the consumer team as a partner. She brings over 20 years of experience to the firm from strategic roles at Facebook and Google.

“We’re proud of the strong investment team we’ve built. From our leadership in the health technology space where we continue to deliver strong returns, to our growing portfolio of consumer enthusiast brands and enterprise companies, we are evolving with the market and have bright new talent to help our entrepreneurs lead their industries,” said Promod Haque, senior managing partner at Norwest.

About Norwest Venture Partners

Norwest is a leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $9.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies and partner with over 150 active companies currently in our venture and growth equity portfolio. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders scale their businesses. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel. For more information, please visit www.nvp.com. Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP.

All brands, names, or trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

Contacts

Ellie Javadi

Norwest Venture Partners

ejavadi@nvp.com
650-321-8000

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Defiance Launches NextGen Food & Sustainability ETF (DIET)

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The DIET ETF offers access to disruptive companies driving technological trends in food sustainability

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Defiance ETFs has announced the launch of The Defiance Next Gen Food and Agriculture ETF (NYSE: DIET), available for trading today, with an expense ratio of 0.30%.

The DIET ETF provides exposure to companies that are focused on technologies like alternative plant-based sources of meat, such as Beyond Meat (BYND), seed modification, sustainable farming and irrigation techniques.

One of the most important challenges facing the world right now is finding ways to massively increase global food supply in a way that also manages environmental impacts and meets the needs of an increasingly health-conscious consumer,” said Paul Dellaquila, President of Defiance ETFs.1

DIET offers investors liquid, transparent and low-cost access (0.30%) to globally-listed stocks, across all market capitalizations, and tracks the BlueStar Food and Agriculture Sustainability Index. DIET joins an ETF family that also includes FIVG, the first 5G ETF; and QTUM, focused on the quantum computing and machine learning space.

About Defiance ETFs

Defiance ETFs is a low-cost* thematic ETF provider focusing on the Next Generation of investors.

The Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain this and other important information about the investment company. The prospectus can be obtained by calling 1-833-333-9383 Please read it carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. As an ETF, the fund may trade at a premium or discount to NAV. Shares of any ETF are bought and sold at market price (not NAV) and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. The Fund is not actively managed and would not sell a security due to current or projected under performance unless that security is removed from the Index or is required upon a reconstitution of the Index. A portfolio concentrated in a single industry or country, may be subject to a higher degree of risk. The Fund is considered to be non-diversified, so it may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or a smaller number of issuers. Investments in foreign securities involve certain risks including risk of loss due to foreign currency fluctuations or to political or economic instability. This risk is magnified in emerging markets. Small and mid-cap companies are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than securities of large-cap companies. The food industry and agriculture related companies can be significantly affected by factors including consumer trends, the environment, government regulation, economic conditions, commodity prices, consumer preferences and weather conditions.

A commission may apply when buying or selling an ETF.

DIET is distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC.

1Future Returns: Investing in the ‘Food Revolution’”, Abby Schultz, Barron’s, September 10, 2019.

https://www.barrons.com/articles/future-returns-investing-in-the-food-revolution-01568144158

Contacts

Julia Stoll

MacMillan Communications

(212) 473-4442

julia@macmillancom.com

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SAIC Wins U.S. Army Human Resources Command Cloud Contract

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Company will assess, modernize, and migrate 89 Army Human Resources applications to a commercial cloud solution.

RESTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. Army selected Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) to modernize its information technology (IT) infrastructure by migrating enterprise applications to a cloud environment. The Army Human Resources Command Cloud Computing Environment (HRC2E) contract is worth more than $41 million over three years and was competed under the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – 3 Services (ITES-3S) contract.

“We are excited and pleased to work with the Army/HRC to modernize their legacy systems and help steward their applications to a cloud environment. This initiative is a critical step towards the Army’s goal to capitalize on cost savings, agility, and innovations as they successfully transition into a commercial cloud environment,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Customer Group.

The contract calls for SAIC to assess, modernize, and migrate 89 Army Human Resource applications to a commercial cloud solution. By modernizing its IT, the Army will refactor, re-architect, rebuild and/or replace internal application components, which results in improved cybersecurity and application performance, lower total cost of ownership, and/or lower operations and maintenance costs.

“This new contract is another important step in SAIC’s efforts to deliver first-class IT modernization solutions to the U.S. government,” said Coby Holloway, SAIC vice president of IT Modernization. “By helping our customers on their digital transformation journey to make use of the best technology has to offer, we’re empowering the Army and others to focus on what matters most — delivering outstanding mission outcomes.”

About SAIC

SAIC® is a premier technology integrator solving our nation’s most complex modernization and readiness challenges. Our robust portfolio of offerings across the defense, space, civilian, and intelligence markets includes high-end solutions in engineering, IT, and mission solutions. Using our expertise and understanding of existing and emerging technologies, we integrate the best components from our own portfolio and our partner ecosystem to deliver innovative, effective, and efficient solutions.

We are 23,000 strong; driven by mission, united by purpose, and inspired by opportunities. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, SAIC has pro forma annual revenues of approximately $6.5 billion. For more information, visit saic.com. For ongoing news, please visit our newsroom.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this release contain or are based on “forward-looking” information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by words such as “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “guidance,” and similar words or phrases. Forward-looking statements in this release may include, among others, estimates of future revenues, operating income, earnings, earnings per share, charges, total contract value, backlog, outstanding shares and cash flows, as well as statements about future dividends, share repurchases and other capital deployment plans. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risk, uncertainties and assumptions, and actual results may differ materially from the guidance and other forward-looking statements made in this release as a result of various factors. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause or contribute to these material differences include those discussed in the “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Legal Proceedings” sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated in any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the SEC, which may be viewed or obtained through the Investor Relations section of our website at saic.com or on the SEC’s website at sec.gov. Due to such risks, uncertainties and assumptions you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. SAIC expressly disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statement provided in this release to reflect subsequent events, actual results or changes in SAIC’s expectations. SAIC also disclaims any duty to comment upon or correct information that may be contained in reports published by investment analysts or others.

Contacts

SAIC Media Contact:
Lauren Presti

703-676-8982

lauren.a.presti@saic.com

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