Verger Celebrates GIPS Compliance and Leaders

Verger Embraces Transparency with GIPS Compliance and Participation in GIPS OCIO Working Group

Verger Capital Management (Verger) is proud to announce that for the third consecutive year we can claim compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®)[1]. We are also pleased to shine a light on Tricia Walker, our Investment Reporting Manager, and her participation in the CFA Institute GIPS® Standards for OCIOs Working Group, which recently achieved the important milestone of developing a draft guidance statement. These actions demonstrate Verger’s commitment to upholding performance reporting transparency and helping peers in the OCIO industry do the same.

GIPS® compliance is recognized globally as the standard for industry best practices in investment performance reporting and presentation. As part of our dialogue with clients and industry peers around continued evolution and growth, Verger holds up GIPS® compliance as an important tool for helping clients and prospective clients effectively compare the performance of different OCIO providers.

Growth in the OCIO space has sharpened the focus on investment performance and made standardization of performance comparison even more essential. However, as of September 2023, only approximately one quarter of all OCIO firms can claim GIPS® compliance. A recent series of FundFire articles highlights how OCIO firms have historically struggled to comply with GIPS® reporting guidelines and how the CFA Institute’s OCIO Working Group was formed specifically to address these challenges.

Embracing Transparency – Verger GIPS® Compliance

Verger is pleased to claim GIPS® compliance and to confirm that we have received independent, firm-wide verification for the period from January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2023. Verger first announced compliance with GIPS® in 2020 – making this the third consecutive year that Verger has received firm-wide verification for the period from our inception to date.

In choosing a firm annually to verify Verger’s ability to claim compliance with the GIPS® standards, Verger values deep experience with this niche topic. Verger works with the Performance Division of ACA Group, which is the largest team of professionals in the world solely devoted to GIPS® standards verification and related services.

As Tricia has pointed out in the past, “it would be easy to engage the independent auditing firm we already work with for GIPS® standards verification. But we at Verger are proud to make what we feel is the right choice, not the easy one,” Tricia shared. “Having a separate, independent body verify our performance reporting adds an additional layer of checks and balances to our process.”

Leading Peers – GIPS® Standards OCIO Working Group

In the summer of 2022, Verger’s Tricia Walker was selected to join the CFA Institute’s team charged with developing universal GIPS® standards for OCIOs. Tricia has enjoyed her time volunteering with this unique Working Group. She notes, “this is meaningful work that will further industry transparency and benefit our current and prospective non-profit clients. I am honored to represent Verger in this collaborative setting and happy to help make the process of comparing performance across OCIO firms more accessible.”

After 12 months of collaboration, the OCIO Working Group recently issued a draft statement providing guidelines for OCIO Strategies when presenting a GIPS® report. The public comment period for the draft closed on November 20, 2023, and the Working Group is now finalizing the guidance for issue.

The depth of the guidance reflects the experience and acumen of the 15 person Working Group, which is Chaired by Thomas Peters of audit and accounting firm Kreischer Miller, and includes Bradley Alford, founder of search consultant Alpha Capital Management and creator of the Alpha Nasdaq OCIO Indices. Brad is often cited as an industry advocate for OCIO best practices and a champion of GIPS® compliance and third-party verification.

Additional Working Group members include representatives from Aon, Blackrock, Cambridge Associates, and Mercer. Amidst this peer group, Tricia notes, “I see my role as especially important, given Verger is a relatively small firm with exclusively non-profit clients. I aim to amplify Verger and our clients’ voices.”

Ongoing OCIO Industry Dialogue

Verger continues to explore best practices in performance reporting as part of our ongoing dialogue with clients and industry peers. Tricia and some of her OCIO Working Group colleagues recently gathered at the 27th Annual GIPS® Standards Conference, where performance and compliance professionals come together to explore the latest industry and regulatory trends and challenges as they relate to investment performance.

Fellow Working Group members Kelli Barkov and Travis Pruit participated in a panel discussion around GIPS® related challenges for OCIOs and how these are addressed in the proposed Guidance Statement for OCIO strategies. Panel topics of note included benchmark selection, along with fee transparency and comparability.

Please join us as we thank Tricia and all the volunteers on the OCIO Working Group for their contributions. We are proud of Verger’s leadership in this space, and we look forward to continuing to participate in industry dialogues and initiatives around best practices in performance reporting transparency for OCIOs.

[1] GIPS® is a registered trademark of CFA Institute. CFA Institute does not endorse or promote Verger, nor does it warrant the accuracy or quality of the content contained herein.

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