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Investment Philosophy

University Ownership

The University of Richmond was founded in 1830 and today is among the nation’s leading liberal arts universities. Its $3.3 billion endowment fosters academic innovation, provides opportunities to talented students of all backgrounds, and engages local and global communities. This strong foundation and history of outstanding stewardship is the bedrock upon which Spider is built.

As the investment office for the University, Spider’s goal is to preserve the assets we manage in perpetuity while generating investment returns for current spending needs. We also bring that expertise to bear for other endowments and foundations, partnering with them to deliver a particular type of investment philosophy. Unlike most of our competitors, we are not accountable to public shareholders or individual owners. Rather, we are investing for current and future generations. Given the important missions of the University and our clients, we have a lot to protect.

Distinctive Investment Strategy

We believe that significant allocations to alternative strategies — thoughtfully constructed with top-tier investment managers — are an integral part of achieving the long-term investment objectives of endowments and foundations.

That’s why Spider’s unique investment process seeks to capitalize on the return potential, diversifying power, and market inefficiencies in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, natural resources, and other alternative asset class investments.

Our investment strategy demands discipline, experience, appropriate scale, and deep networks. Put more simply, we invest in things that most others cannot. The unique benefits of the Spider approach include:

  • Proven track record of delivering top-tier investment performance*
  • Less volatility than a 70%/30% stock/bond blend approach*
  • Immediate investment in a mature, diversified portfolio
  • Access to many investments otherwise closed to new capital or that preclude smaller institutions
  • Flexibility to meet individual spending needs

Endowment & Foundation Focused

The objectives of endowments and foundations differ from other types of investors.

For that reason, Spider’s sole focus is on investing for endowments and foundations. Our approach is designed to provide governing boards more time to consider strategic matters and longer-term financial objectives. 

Prudent financial stewardship enabled the University of Richmond to take a $50 million gift in the late 1960s and turn it into a healthy endowment of more than $3 billion today.*

Spider’s investment expertise evolved from the University’s long history, and today it is shared with other nonprofits. At our core, we understand that future generations rely on these long-term assets. From gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ specific needs to seeking the best investments in the world, Spider provides a select group of endowments and foundations with the scale and resources to invest like large institutions.


*This material is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy interests in any investment fund managed by Spider Management Company, LLC (“Spider Management”) or its affiliates. This document is for informational purposes only. More information about Spider Management, its investment strategies, objectives and expenses can be found in Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.

There can be no assurance that the investment objectives of any account or fund managed by Spider Management will be achieved or that its historical performance is indicative of the performance it will achieve in the future. Spider Management does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, timeliness or availability of any information provided by non-Spider Management sources. All market outlooks, themes, strategies, allocations and holdings discussed herein are subject to change.

All information is as of 6/30/2021 unless otherwise noted. Historical performance has been audited through 6/30/2021. References to top-tier performance are based on Spider Management’s top quartile gross performance over the 10 year time period ending 6/30/2020 for the 2020 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. Gross returns do not include any applicable management or incentive fees. References to volatility are based on standard deviation, which is calculated using quarterly net returns for Spider Management and 70% MSCI AC World/30% Barclays Aggregate for the period from 2/1/2008 (inception date of the Fund) through 6/30/2021. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Spider Management Conpany, LLC

Mission Statement: We strive to provide superior investment performance and service, enabling our Partners and the University of Richmond to realize their valued missions. We believe success comes from working in a passionate, professional, collaborative environment that promotes ethical behaviors, excellence and continuous growth and improvement.