Americans woke to a stunning change in the land of geopolitics. In a surprising outcome to the referendum, Britain's citizens voted to leave the European Union ("Brexit" or British Exit). This largely unexpected outcome sent global equity markets reeling, and the British Pound plunged to levels not seen in 30 years. In light of this significant event, we would like to provide you with a few quick thoughts about the impact of this historic vote and its impact on our fund management program at MB Foundation:
I. Our portfolio strategies contain significant diversification and exposure to fixed income. In times of stress, conservative fixed income exposure provides downside protection and stability.
II. Relative to traditional benchmarks, our portfolio/investment allocation to international equity is low. This low allocation should provide some additional protection from volatility in equity and currency markets abroad.
III. Events like "Brexit" are inherently destabilizing in the short-term, but markets and economies learn to deal with them. In fact, at least two years will pass before Britain formally exits the E.U.
IV. We believe that in short periods of market uncertainty, drastic action often causes more harm than benefit. We utilize a number of defensive managers, and we do not expect to make any short-term changes to our fund management program.
V. We believe that the commodity trading account exposure used in our standard endowment strategy will benefit from the expected volatility.
VI. Finally, we remind clients that markets are volatile. Risk is ultimately what drives return.
In short, we appreciate the relationship that we have with each one of our clients and we wish to take this opportunity to encourage you to, as the Brits say, "Keep Calm and Carry On." We are actively monitoring this situation along with the managers in our fund management program.