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PUBLICATIONS

Our talented team of investment professionals regularly create and distribute educational materials delivering timely data, perspectives, and insight on the markets and related topics. You can review our most recent publications below.

Market Commentary: Third Quarter 2019

Mounting tensions between U.S. and China
Bucking the trend from the first two quarters of 2019, where positive returns were generated across most major global asset categories, third quarter market performance appeared less directional.
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Third Quarter 2019 FEG Research Review

There was more than enough action during the third quarter, including a worsening U.S.-China relationship, a record share of negative-yielding global debt, the first inversion of the Treasury 2/10 curve in the post-Global Financial Crisis era, and the first Federal Reserve rate cut in more than a decade among other events.
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August 2019 FEG Research Review

Until the second quarter, the U.S. appeared to be resilient against this troubling global backdrop; however, over the past few months, the U.S. economy’s buoyancy has come under pressure, with incoming data suggesting the domestic economy may be in the early stages of succumbing to international weakness.
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FEG Insight: China: Risk or Reward?

China is surrounded by a whirlwind of ongoing trade tensions, technology disputes with major players such as Huawei, and large-scale protests in Hong Kong, amid a backdrop of an aging population and slowing growth. These headlines appear at a time when China is not only the second largest economy in the world, but also playing a greater role in global stock markets through the inclusion of the Chinese A-share market in major indices.
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Second Quarter 2019 Private Capital Quarterly Review

We are constantly looking for signs that the markets are overheated. It remains unclear how far purchase price multiples can creep before a setback reprices risk. FEG remains focused on select opportunities with experienced management teams overseeing smaller, agile funds, and the private markets continue to offer access to many dynamic industry trends.
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Research Review: July 2019

Until the second quarter, the U.S. appeared to be resilient against this troubling global backdrop; however, over the past few months, the U.S. economy’s buoyancy has come under pressure, with incoming data suggesting the domestic economy may be in the early stages of succumbing to international weakness.
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Understanding Your Fiduciary Duties as a Board Member

FEG Governance Series
Why all the fuss around the duties of a fiduciary? Because the stakes involved are so high! For people to have confidence in nonprofits, they need to have confidence that their generous gifts are going to be handled with the utmost care. Likewise, for participants in retirement plans, they must have confidence the funds in their plan are being appropriately managed and monitored.
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Market Commentary: Second Quarter 2019

U.S. vs. China Trade Conflict Darkens
While global macro risks such as unsettling trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies, a lack of clarity around Brexit, and growing signs of an increasingly broad-based global slowdown captured market participants’ attention, investors embraced a backpedaling Federal Reserve (Fed) by supporting demand for asset classes and categories along the risk spectrum.
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Boom to Bust to Recovery: The Evolving U.S. Energy Landscape

FEG Insight
We face an interesting paradox in the U.S. energy sector, which has become a victim of its own success. Over the past decade, the adoption of new technologies led to record-levels of oil and gas production, making the U.S. one of the largest producers of hydrocarbons in the world. But this rapid growth led to massive distress, dislocations, and bankruptcies that created turmoil throughout the U.S. energy markets.
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Research Review: Second Quarter 2019

Recessionary Warning Signs Begin to Appear in the United States
Until the second quarter, the U.S. appeared to be resilient against this troubling global backdrop; however, over the past few months, the U.S. economy’s buoyancy has come under pressure, with incoming data suggesting the domestic economy may be in the early stages of succumbing to international weakness.
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FEG 2019 Community Foundation Survey Results

Executive Summary
FEG’s Community Foundation Survey collects data on financial and enterprise topics such as asset allocation, spending policy, responsive investing, and donor advised funds. In 2019, 112 community foundations participated in the survey with assets ranging from less than $25 million to greater than $1 billion.
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Investment Committees and Fiduciaries

2019 Governance Series
A governance structure is established to identify the specific roles and responsibilities of the fiduciaries entrusted to oversee and prudently manage an organization’s investment program. What does an investment program governance structure look like?
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Navigating the OCIO Landscape

FEG Insight
Adoption of the outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) model has been on an upward trajectory over the last decade. Typically, with increased adoption, comes standardization—although the plethora of models, fee schedules, and value propositions remains confusing, leaving the OCIO landscape difficult to navigate for many asset owners. The following insights provide an overview of the evolution of the OCIO industry, explore common provider types and models, and discuss the typical client profile for an OCIO relationship.
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May 2019 Research Review

Throughout May, the U.S. government stepped up pressure on many of the country’s key trading partners. The market responded with a flight-to-quality rally that punished equities and helped send U.S. interest rates to the lowest level in two years.
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FEG Insight: Opportunity Zones

Cutting Through the Hype to Understand the Real Risks and Rewards of the Latest Investment Craze
Opportunity Zones have captured the attention of the investing world; even the name itself impels a sense of urgency and excitement, the potential to make a great investment. The hype surrounding substantial tax benefits, paired with the notion of doing good in underdeveloped and economically challenged areas, has unleashed a torrent of interest.
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The Importance of Investing for Nonprofit Organizations

2019 Governance Series
Trustees, or those who sit on investment committees or boards for nonprofit institutions have to guard not just against decisions that could adversely affect the organization’s funding for one, five, or 10 years from now, they have to be cognizant of making decisions that could impact the funding decades from now.
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First Quarter 2019 Private Capital Quarterly Review

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Research Review: April 2019

U.S. Economy Gathers Pace as the Labor Market Tightens Further
A major theme throughout 2018 and 2019 is the U.S. economy’s resilience amid a broader global slowdown. Not only has the U.S. economy weathered choppy waters — much of which has been driven by trade-related growth concerns — the economy also appears to be flourishing.
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Understanding Your Fiduciary Duties as a Board Member

Why all the fuss around the duties of a fiduciary? Because the stakes involved are so high! For people to have confidence in nonprofits, they need to have confidence that their generous gifts are going to be handled with the utmost care. Likewise, for participants in retirement plans, they must have confidence the funds in their plan are being appropriately managed and monitored.
READ NOW

Market Commentary: First Quarter 2019

Central Banks Stoke Market Rally with Dovish Moves
There was little follow-through into the first quarter after late-2018’s risk-off market environment, with strong returns generated across nearly every major asset class in the first three months of 2019. Underpinning the sharp performance reversal were expectations for Chinese-related tailwinds as well as an increasingly more accommodative global central bank policy path.
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Research Review: First Quarter 2019

Pivoting Fed and ECB Stimulus Measures Stoke Market Rally
The fourth quarter marked the reversal of optimistic sentiment and positive market returns. The return of volatility and substantial daily market declines brought risk aversion to the forefront of investors’ minds and spurred a flight-to-quality.
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Investing with the Head and the Heart

FEG INSIGHT
If an organization were a person, the head would be responsible for earning the dollars and the heart would be responsible giving them away. The two need not remain separate, however, as impact investing seeks to combine the desires and functions of both the heart and the head.
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Research Review: February 2019

U.S. Economic Growth Pulling Away from Rest of the World
Broad market performance in January was notably strong, following a dovish pivot by the Fed and expectations for fresh Chinese stimulus. However, excess reserves on the Fed’s balance sheet are in decline and may serve as a critical near-term headwind.
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Private Capital Quarterly Review: Fourth Quarter 2018

Blue Skies Ahead of Winter Turbulence
Most of the performance data in this report is through September 30, when "blue skies" prevailed. By year-end, however, sentiment had shifted dramatically. As such, private fund investors should anticipate some degradation in valuations in fourth quarter reports, particularly in holdings that are energy-related, credit-related, or valued based on public market comparisons—real estate and infrastructure generally excluded. There is a tricky balance between caution and opportunity, but if the general backdrop remains accommodative, more years of blue skies are possible.
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2019 Fixed Income Market Outlook: Three Big Things

FEG INSIGHT
FEG’s Head of Global Fixed Income and Credit Keith Berlin has expanded his annual credit market review to tackle all of fixed income. Keith focuses on three big things that he thinks have the potential to impact portfolios: changes in core markets due to increased Treasury issuance, the growth of BBB-rated corporate issuance, and the evolution of private credit. Watch a short video and read the full article to learn more about the three big things facing fixed income investors.
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Research Review: January 2019

Continued Fed Dovishness Leads to Strong January Market Performance
Broad market performance in January was notably strong, following a dovish pivot by the Fed and expectations for fresh Chinese stimulus. However, excess reserves on the Fed’s balance sheet are in decline and may serve as a critical near-term headwind.
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2019 Investment Opportunities & Risks

Presentation by FEG's Alan Lenahan and Greg Dowling
Every year, FEG develops a look at market and asset classes for our clients. In this recorded presentation, Chief Investment Officer and Head of OCIO Alan Lenahan and Chief Investment Officer and Head of Research Greg Dowling hit the high points of this year's report.
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Market Commentary: Fourth Quarter 2018

An Economic Island in a Sea of Uncertainty
2018 was a challenging year for investors on many fronts with steep total return declines across the global investible universe. The fourth quarter punctuated a year that will go down in history as one that most investors would likely prefer to forget, with strong risk-off clouds darkening the markets, particularly in December. environment to navigate.
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Research Review: Fourth Quarter 2018

Portions of Treasury Yield Curve Invert and Fed Inches Closer to “Neutral”
The fourth quarter marked the reversal of optimistic sentiment and positive market returns. The return of volatility and substantial daily market declines brought risk aversion to the forefront of investors’ minds and spurred a flight-to-quality.
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Research Review: November 2018

Federal Reserve Softens Rate-Hike Stance
A potential thematic shift rounded out the month of November, as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks on interest rates during a speech to The Economic Club of New York represented a "dovish" reversal from previous hawkish sentiment in early-October. What could have sparked this unexpected dovish reversal?
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Brexit: A Certainty of Uncertainty

FEG Insight
In 2016 the British took to the polls, and in a close vote, elected to leave the European Union. More than two years later, the exit is looming, and the full breadth and scope of Brexit’s consequences are still unclear.
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Private Capital Quarterly Review: Third Quarter 2018

Private Investing in Uncertain Times
With broad market uncertainty rising and questions of an inevitable downturn looming, private equity investors should find comfort in a recent study by authors from Stanford, Harvard, and Northwestern Universities highlighting both the outperformance of and greater downside protection offered by private equity relative to public equity during a crisis.
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Research Review: October 2018

U.S. Treasury Interest Rates Ascend to Seven-Year Highs
Volatility defined the month of October for the global stock market. The S&P 500 rose or fell more than 1% in a single day on ten occasions during the month. To put this in perspective, the S&P 500 had eight 1% swings during the entire year of 2017.
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Market Commentary: Third Quarter 2018

U.S. Economy: As good as it gets?
After nine years in the current economic expansion—the second longest on record, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research—many investors have begun to question whether this upward trajectory can continue. Perhaps at the expense of key trading partners, domestic economic conditions further strengthened during the third quarter and likely supported recent increases in inflation, with incrementally tighter Fed policy serving as a partial counterbalance.
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Research Review: Third Quarter 2018

Robust Economy Pressuring Inflation, Interest Rates, & Rate-Hike Sentiment Higher
The U.S. economy enjoyed broad-based improvement across many key economic data points, the strength of which has helped apply upward pressure to interest rates, inflation levels, and near-term sentiment for tighter monetary policy.
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Research Review: August 2018

After briefly dipping into deflationary territory in 2015, U.S. inflation rates have since accelerated, with some measures reflecting the most robust inflationary backdrop since the economy was in the early recovery stages of the deflationary grips of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
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FEG Insight: Micro on Macro

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