Investments at VMI

Thanks to the exceptional generosity and vision of thousands of VMI alumni and friends, the Institute is supported by endowments that produce millions of dollars each year, the majority of which are earmarked for specific purposes, such as merit-based scholarships.

The importance of this money to the success of VMI over the long term cannot be overstated. Therefore, the VMI Foundation provides information below about how these critical funds are invested and managed.

Investments FAQs

 

First, it is important to understand that, although the VMI Foundation annually reports figures related to the endowments that support VMI, what could be called the VMI Endowment consists of funds donated to the VMI Alumni Agencies, the Institute itself and the George C. Marshall Foundation. In 2009, after enduring a decade and a half in which two major “bubbles” grew then burst, the VMI Alumni Agencies, VMI and the George C. Marshall Foundation decided that a new approach was needed to managing the VMI Endowment. That year, VMI Investment Holdings, LLC was established and charged with finding a management firm that would actively manage the endowment. After a lengthy and intensive search process, VMI Investment Holdings, LLC contracted with the nationally recognized investment-management firm Cliffwater LLC for the task.

With an eye toward long-term protection of the endowment against possible future market volatility, VMI Investment Holdings, LLC directed a change in asset allocation within the VMI Endowment. Previously weighted heavily toward equities and bonds, the new allocation entailed more fixed income and fixed income associated investments as well as what are termed “defensive alternative investments.” Recently, an allocation to private-equity investments was made in the full knowledge that they might not generate the returns currently being experienced in funds weighted toward, say, the S&P, but in accordance with the overall policy of protecting against major downturns.

At the end of the Fiscal Year 2009, the market value of the VMI Endowment was $234.7 million. At the end of the last seven fiscal years, its value has been:

Year Value (in millions)

FY 2015 $379.9
FY 2016 $381.9
FY 2017 $435.2
FY 2018 $491.8
FY 2019 $512.2
FY 2020 $503.2
FY 2021 $688.2

Thus, the value of the VMI Endowment from FY 2009 to FY 2021 has increased by $453.5 million or 193%.

Finally, the members of VMI Investment Holdings LLC, as well as the leaders of the Institute and the VMI Alumni Agencies, are mindful that the long-term health of the VMI Endowment is essential to the long-term success of the Institute. Therefore, they are committed to ensuring a growing pool of private money is available to VMI and to executing their responsibilities as stewards of these vital funds with care and diligence.

For more information, contact Crissy Elliott:

  • Crissy Elliott

    Crissy Elliott Chief Financial Officer

    The Chief Financial Officer serves as a true business partner to the CEO of the Alumni Agencies and well as to the other agency heads. The CFO is responsible for engaging the board finance, audit, and investment committees around issues, trends, and changes in the operating mode(s) and operational delivery. The CFO works to develop tools and systems that provide critical financial and operational information to the CEO and make actionable recommendations on both strategy and operations. The CFO is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Accounting Department, Switchboard and Mail Center. The CFO also manages personnel policies, the compensation committee and audit committee. The CFO reports directly to the CEO.