JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees met for its regular annual meeting on Dec. 14. The Board received and approved its fiscal year 2018 audit showing $143.9 million in assets under management, welcomed a new trustee, a new staff member, heard reports from its Outsourced Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund and closed with a recognition of Foundation Corporate Secretary, Diane Reed.
MBF President, Dr. Neil Franks and Board Chair, Larry Shoaf, welcomed Jennifer Ross to the Missouri Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees. Jennifer was elected by the Missouri Baptist Convention at its recent meeting in Springfield, Missouri. “Jennifer is a breath of fresh air and going to strengthen the financial acumen of the Board”, said Chair Shoaf. Jennifer Ross resides in the Kansas City area with her husband, Dave. She is the VP of Operations for Miller Management in the Kansas City area. They have three children, Elizabeth, Jacob and Megan.
Rob Hawkins, Chair of the MBF Audit Committee, in his recommendation of the acceptance of the audit by CLA out of St. Louis, Missouri indicated, “This is the cleanest audit I have ever seen”. Assets under management are up 9.27% over prior year at $143.9 million. In additional noteworthy news, the Foundation, in accomplishing its mission, to advance the Gospel by developing, managing, and distributing resources for today, tomorrow, and ten thousand tomorrows, distributed $9.4 million to individuals, churches, and charitable entities during its 12 months ended September 30.
MBF affirmed its Investment Policy Statement and Information for Participants in consultation with Commonfund, Investment Consultant since October of 2012. Commonfund reported one-year performance results for its Balanced Fund and Diversified Fund of 8.4% and 9.3% respectively. The Outsourced Chief Investment Officer Relationship MBF has with Commonfund allows MBF to bring the strength, knowledge, and insight of an investment asset manager with $25 billion under management. “This means every charitable entity with investments in our Common Trust Funds has a 60 person investment team working for them,” reported Rob Hawkins.
In his presidential report, Franks reiterated his first year had a focus on people, product, and process. He affirmed that he has the right people in place and that the positioning of staff for the near future is complete with the recent hiring of an accountant, Charles Miller. Charles brings 30 years of financial, banking and internal auditing background to the team. Franks indicated, “Charles is going to be a great asset to the Foundation. He loves reconciling the numbers and looking for ways to bring greater efficiency to our processes, all while committed to our ministry mission.”
Franks reported that the 2018 new products, Term Investments and Church Loans, have been well received by Missouri Baptist churches. Neil was pleased to report that for 2019 MBF can now offer churches and charitable entities a daily liquid cash investment option that is now FDIC insured with highly competitive rates. “We are excited about this product and believe every single MBC church can capitalize on this opportunity”, said Franks. The president highlighted the staff’s commitment to offer products to meet the needs of the church and will continue to align their efforts to do so and looks forward to announcing new opportunities in the near future.
Finally, in his closing remarks Franks acknowledged the landmark tenure of Diane Reed and her 40 years of continuing service. Diane began with the Foundation on November 1, 1978. Dr. Tom Nelson, who served as Foundation Executive Director and has honorary naming of the Nelson Fellow Award, first hired her.