The Western Washington University Foundation has selected Russell Investments to provide investment oversight for its $85 million endowment. Every five years, the Foundation engages in a robust process to review the performance of its current investment manager and to request proposals from other firms qualified to guide the investment decisions of the portfolio. This year, one of the main areas of evaluation was around sustainable investing using ESG criteria (environmental, social and governance). The Foundation made sustainable investing a main priority, and spent a great deal of time looking at each firm’s ability to provide sustainable investment solutions.
“Russell presented a great ESG solution that was clear, scalable and impactful,” said Stephanie Bowers, president and CEO for the Foundation. “Russell believes in the potential of ESG and we are pleased to be able to partner with them for the future.”
The Foundation was also pleased to include students from the WWU Students for Renewable Energy club in this year’s selection process. Student participation was the result of over two years of relationship building between members of SRE and the Foundation.
“Our students brought a thoughtfulness and professionalism to this process that was just outstanding,” said Mark Brovak, vice president and CFO for the Foundation. “We were really proud to have them participate in this process. They clearly did their homework and knew what aspects of each firm they preferred. We were also pleased that Russell was at the top of their list as well.”
Russell Investments, based in Seattle, Washington, has been managing investment portfolios for foundations, pensions and other institutions for over 80 years. They currently have over $260 billion under management, and have won many awards for their outstanding research and client service. The Foundation is looking forward to many opportunities for further partnership with Russell which is enhanced by their close proximity to Western.