"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy
Our mission is to assist Tribal Groups in their goal of creating and maintaining generational wealth and self-sufficiency.
To do this we seek to assist our clients in the creation of large institutional-sized capital bases which we would place at $1+ billion.
What is an institutional-sized capital base?
Institutions such as foundations, pension funds and endowments invest their resources or capital with the goal of creating a large enough capital base to use a portion of the investment return earned to pay for current needs and obligations while retaining the remainder to add to their principal for future generations.
Yale University and their endowment provide an excellent example.
Yale University is a perpetual entity and in similar fashion to Tribes, it has current needs as well as a desire to provide for future generations. To accomplish this Yale created an endowment that receives gifts from alumni and other donors with the aim of investing that money and holding on to the principal forever.
The annual return of the endowment is divided up with part of the return going into the current day-to-day operating budget and the remainder back into the principal for future growth.
The quick facts are that as of 1985 the endowment was approximately $1 billion and, under the stewardship of David Swensen, has grown to $23.89 billion as of yearend 2014. In 2014 the endowment earned $4.19 billion on its investments. Of that $4.19 billion, $1.04 billion was given to the university to add to its day-to-day operating budget and the remaining $3.15 billion was retained and added to the principal to allow the endowment to grow for future generations.
The amount the Yale endowment has given the university over the last 10 years has grown from $567 million in 2005 to $1.04 billion in 2014.
Here is a yearly breakdown of The Yale Endowment’s contribution to the university’s operating budget during that time period:
2005 – $567 million
2006 – $616 million
2007 – $684 million
2008 – $849.9 million
2009 – $1.17 billion
2010 – $1.10 billion (a reduction from the previous year due to the 2009 economic downturn)
2011 – $986.8 million
2012 – 994.2 million
2013 – $1.02 billion
2014 – $1.04 billion
Now go back over those numbers and during each year envision what it would have been like to add that much money into your Tribe’s operating budget. How would it have enhanced your government, land base and communities? As a leader you know the needs of your Tribe. You know the deficiencies in healthcare and education, in housing and all of the infrastructural needs of your Tribe to create healthy communities.
Deficiencies that the U.S. and Canadian governments are probably not going to provide for as every year their contribution is less and less. Long-term we must seek to provide for those deficiencies ourselves and seek solutions that create the prosperity that our peoples deserve.
From 2005 through 2014 the Yale Endowment put $9 billion into the Yale economy through its annual contribution while growing its principal from $15.2 billion to $23.89 billion.
The endowment run by the Yale Corporation, the university's asset management company, and a staff of approximately 25 people - Yale University has through its asset management company and endowment set itself up to serve, at the highest level, current students and those in generations to come.
The question we have then is...
Should a university have a larger capital base for it's students than you do for your Tribe?
We don't believe so and it is this path that we help our clients negotiate.
Using the best models and practices available for the creation of long-term wealth we give Tribes the tools and background to create over time large endowment style capital bases with the goal of creating generational wealth and self-sufficiency.