M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Investments

Murdock Trust investments provide the financial resources to support and grow our mission.

Since our founding in 1975, Trust assets have grown steadily from $91 million to approximately $1.3 billion today, helping to fund over $1 billion of investment into nonprofits that serve the common good.

Our Chief Investment Officer, along with the investment and financial staff, employs a long-term, somewhat unusual, approach to investment program management, guided by three Trustees with a proven record of thinking innovatively.

While we consider all types of investment opportunities, what’s most important to us are the people who manage the products. The Murdock Trust is fortunate to have many long-term relationships with best-in-class investment managers, and we strive to be our managers’ best client. Our commitment to long-term planning and partnerships has served us well in the past — and we believe it will in the future.

Administration

The Trust is governed by a board of three Trustees, appointed for life. They make all major investment decisions based upon recommendations from and discussions with Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Elmer Huh, who has principal responsibility for developing investment recommendations. (The Trust does not retain an outside investment consultant.) Recommendations and decisions are recorded in the Board of Trustees meeting minutes.

All investment assets of the Trust are managed by outside investment managers. We greatly value our relationships with these best-in-class professionals and thus select our investment managers very carefully. Mandates given to managers are based on a thorough discussion of the Trust’s investment objectives. 

Objectives

The Murdock Trust divides all potential investments into either low, medium or high “risk buckets” and considers all types of investment products — without preconceived ideas or built-in biases — for all three categories. Our investment objectives follow directly from this “three-bucket” allocation strategy.

Selecting Managers

At the Murdock Trust, we place great importance on the people who manage our investments — even more than the individual products. We must trust them, and we must feel good about the possibility of a long-term relationship. When the Trust seeks new outside investment managers, we generally consider those who:

  • Are well known to and have interacted with the Trust over a long period of time
  • Are a good strategic fit within the Trust’s overall asset allocation structure
  • We have visited with in their offices and perhaps in ours
  • Have an established institutional client base
  • Have future performance and risk expectations within acceptable limits

Prior to hiring a new manager, we carefully consider the niche to be filled and the performance, quality and risk characteristics. At a minimum, managers should demonstrate that they’ve met those performance and risk criteria over an appropriate time period. Once the Trust enters into an investment relationship, the manager shall make investments with the care, skill, prudence and diligence we would expect of every other investment manager acting on our behalf. Investments shall be diversified, with the goals of minimizing the risk of loss and maximizing the rate of return, unless circumstances dictate a different approach. The Murdock Trust is not currently seeking new investment managers. For additional questions on this, please email info@murdocktrust.org with “Investments” in the subject line (no phone calls please).

Guidelines

Managing Murdock Trust investments prudently and professionally is critical. We have established thoughtful guidelines to keep our standards and expectations clear and consistent for both our inside advisors and outside investment managers. A full list of these guidelines is available upon request.

The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

Sectors the Trust is committed to enriching in the Pacific Northwest:

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.