Governance

University of Victoria Foundation Act

The University of Victoria Foundation Act was passed as Bill Pr401 – 2006 on March 9, 2005.

Endowment management policy

The Foundation Board's endowment management or spending policy has objectives to:

  • Protect the value of the fund against inflation over time so that the donor is assured that the donation will continue to work for the benefit of UVic for generations to come, and
  • Provide stability in the earnings distribution to allow both recipients and UVic to plan ahead by knowing what funds will be made available each year.

Investment objectives and guidelines

The board reviews a statement of investment objectives and guidelines that guides the implementation of investing the foundation's assets. This covers topics such as investment managers, performance management and monitoring, and other topics.

Investment beliefs

The summary of investment beliefs is updated regularly and codifies investment beliefs of the foundation.

Responsible investing

As long term investors, the Foundation Board believes responsible investing, taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into consideration, can have a positive effect on long-term financial performance and investment returns. The Foundation Board will apply the following measures:

  • In evaluating prospective investment managers, the Board considers how ESG issues are incorporated into the investment decision-making process;
  • In evaluating prospective investment managers, the Board considers how investment managers engage with management to improve ESG practices;
  • Existing equity investment managers are requested to provide proxy voting reports and to highlight exceptions to their proxy voting policy; and
  • Requests annual disclosure by investment managers regarding the processes by which ESG factors are incorporated into the investment decision-making process.

Fossil Fuel Free Fund – Pilot Project

The Foundation Board was pleased to introduce a Fossil Fuel Free Fund option for donors. This is an alternative investment from the Foundation’s Main Investment Fund that will not directly invest in investment instruments which are issued by companies that have proven and probable thermal coal, oil or natural gas reserves and will also not invest in any constituent that uses coal for power generation purposes. Due to few investment options, the Fossil Fuel Free Fund is not a typical balanced (equity and fixed income) fund. The Fossil Fuel Free Fund has higher investment risk since it is invested in Global Equities and is not as diversified as the Main Investment Fund.  The Fossil Fuel Free Fund's investment policy can be found here.

As this is a pilot project, the assets of the Fossil Fuel Free Fund may be transferred to the Foundation’s Main Investment Fund at the Foundation Board’s discretion.

UVic committed $25,000 to seed the new fund, which is the amount required to establish an endowment. This will allow smaller donations to be made by individuals or organizations. The distribution of the endowment will support Campus Sustainability Fund initiatives.  The sustainability fund provides one-time allocations, which focus on energy or water conservation or a sustainability awareness or learning opportunity. The fund also provides seed money for projects relating to the Sustainability Action Plan.

The development office will work with donors to create new endowments that can support an area of their selection and invest in the Fossil Fuel Free Fund.