J. Abbott Byrd, III, MD
The big news since my last report in February of this year is that the stock market has bounced back from its low in December. Along with it, as of May 31, 2019, the total Assets of the SRS have risen to $15.0M compared to $13.4M as of December 31, 2018. As you probably know, the SRS investment portfolio is managed in two parts – The Legacy OREF Endowment is managed by Vanguard and the REO fund is managed by Rockefeller. The trailing 3-year comparison between Vanguard and Rockefeller ending April 2019 is:
Vanguard – 9.02% gross, 8.65% net of fees – composite benchmark – 8.73%
Rockefeller – 10.1% gross, 9.2% net of fees – composite benchmark – 8.0%
Rockefeller has outperformed Vanguard net of fees by about 60 basis points. Rockefeller has outperformed the benchmark by 1.2% net of fees.
Since most of the Vanguard portfolio is comprised of index funds, the performance is going to closely track the benchmark, so there really isn’t the opportunity to outperform the benchmark by design.
All in all, our money managers are doing well. Of course, the market has taken a little dip in July but we won’t have the quarter numbers until early October.
Total Research/ Endowment fund donations through May of this year are $160.5K with $88K coming from individuals and $72.5K in Research Grants from Corporations. Total donations in 2018 were $473K. Fortunately, much of the SRS donations come in the last half of the year as individuals do their tax planning and corporations fulfill their pledges so the SRS is anticipating a solid year in donations.
The Finance Council is made up not only of the Finance Committee which I head but also the following Committees (and their Chairs):
Translation – Dr. Berk
This Committee has translated or is translating much of the SRS patient information into 12 languages which tremendously benefits deformity patients around the world.
Website Committee – Dr. Pahys
This Committee continues to improve our website and is in the middle of a major overhaul intended to make the site more relevant and user friendly to patients. As part of this, the Committee monitors traffic and flow on the website to help direct these changes.
Development Committee – Dr. Sasso
As its name implies, this Committee deals with generating financial interest and commitments to the SRS from individuals and corporate donors. These efforts are crucial to the financial health of the organization.
Patient Education – Dr. Lee
The Committee has reorganized the “Common Questions and Glossary” tab on the patients and Families section of the SRS website. They have also proposed a “New and Emerging Technologies” section on the website. The Committee also presented two new webinars in 2019 – “Life after Surgery for AIS” and “Bracing for Spine Deformity.
Communications – Prof. Wang
This Committee worked with the BOD to select the new SRS logo.
I would like to thank all of the Committee members for their hard work which has done much to advance the mission of the SRS.
Lastly, this will be my final Finance Council newsletter report as my term as SRS Treasure ends after the Annual Meeting in Montréal. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving in this capacity and being part of the progress SRS continues to make worldwide as we strive to make the lives of spinal deformity patients better. I wish my successor, Dr. Serena Hu, the best of luck as she takes over the office of SRS Treasurer and am confident that she will do a terrific job. And as always, many thanks to Dan Nemec for his invaluable assistance without which this job would be many times more difficult.