Verger Investor Conference

Celebrating 10 Years of Verger: 2024 Investor Conference Highlights

To mark the exciting occasion of our 10-year anniversary, Verger was proud to host clients, investment managers, board members, industry peers, and community members for our 2024 Investor Conference. We were grateful for the opportunity to connect and celebrate this important milestone with so many of the people who have shaped Verger’s success over the last decade.

Throughout the conference, which took place in April at the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in Winston-Salem, the Verger team shared reflections on the past 10 years and thoughts about the next 10 (and beyond). A key theme of the sessions and collaborative discussions was gratitude – for everyone in the room and those supporting from afar, for Verger’s meaningful mission of investing in the lives of others, and for the unique and varied non-profit organizations Verger serves.

Engage, Integrate, Educate

Gary Sernovitz and Jim DunnThose familiar with Verger know that our commitment to act as an extension of our non-profit clients’ staff is at the core of our client service model. We seek to be a valued resource and connector, and our conferences and networking events are valuable forums towards this goal. In building this year’s Investor Conference program, we sought to highlight fresh insight into fundraising, governance, and investment management while providing space for collaborative and generative conversations. And, of course, we sought to weave the celebratory spirit throughout each day’s events.

The conference kicked off with a welcome reception and cocktail hour, followed by dinner where Gary Sernovitz (pictured to the left with Verger's CEO, Jim Dunn), author of the acclaimed 2023 book, The Counting House, set the tone with his keynote remarks. He mused that while, sometimes, the markets (and the inner workings of finance) can be unforgivingly difficult or absurdly funny, those of us who persevere, stay true to our core values and investment discipline, and are humble enough to adapt and change will come out on top. This sentiment is a great summary of what investing in the lives of others has come to mean for Verger over the past 10 years.

Protect, Perform, Provide

On day two, the morning began with opening remarks from our CEO, Jim Dunn, which highlighted key moments in Verger’s story to-date and excitement for the chapters to come. The day included unique opportunities to be part of interactive and candid conversations with Verger’s investment team and third-party investment managers working on behalf of Verger’s clients.

Continuing and building on themes from previous Verger investor conferences, investment managers stressed the importance of investing in people and taking the time to build resilient teams. Echoing the keynote remarks from the previous evening, the managers also stressed the dual importance of staying true to a rigorous investment discipline while being open to adjusting to the evolving structures of global markets.

Challenging the status quo

The conference also featured sessions exploring topics crucial to Verger’s clients’ operational success and mission advancement: effective governance and fundraising. A shared theme across these sessions was the accelerated pace of change in best practices during recent years. Speakers remarked that institutional relationship management expectations have shifted for board members and advancement officers alike, and forced them to be more creative, more collaborative, and more open to testing new ways to interact with stakeholders.

In line with Verger’s core value of challenge the status quo, Verger team members and featured speakers throughout the conference agreed that our shared commitment to continued evolution and growth is part of what brings us so effectively together as a community.

Members of the Verger team also shared stories of the philanthropic impact that Verger has had through our team’s community engagement, corporate partnerships, and highlights from the firm’s decade of service to non-profit institutions. As part of Verger's celebration, the team also hosted an evening focused on recognizing the impact of our interns and our team. Of note, Jim Dunn was acknowledged for his dedication to fostering talent through Verger's internship program, and team members Taylor Jackson and Tricia Walker received awards for their contributions and excellence. Highlights from these events are pictured above. 

Looking ahead, with gratitude

As Jim Dunn delivered the conference closing remarks, he noted that everyone in attendance, and many who were not there, had contributed to Verger’s journey over the past decade – whether it be shaping our culture, our approach to community engagement, or our outlook on global markets and the best way to Protect, Perform, and Provide for our clients. As we look ahead, we are grateful for the people and the community that will continue to shape our success. 

On behalf of all of us here at Verger, thank you for your partnership, insight, guidance, and support over the past 10 years. We look forward to the next decade and beyond.

We hope you enjoy the video we unveiled commemorating this milestone and reflecting on our journey!

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