ACEF News for 2019
ACEF WELCOMES AMERKANIAN & KHATCHADOURIAN TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS; PAYS TRIBUTE TO KELESHIAN BONOMO
BY STEVE NIGOHOSIAN
The Armenian Church Endowment Fund (ACEF) recently welcomed Greg Amerkanian and Aline Khatchadourian to its Board of Directors, while acknowledging the close of an eight-year term by legacy Board member Alyssa Keleshian Bonomo. Amerkanian and Khatchadourian will attend the upcoming November 22nd Board of Directors meeting at the Diocesan Center in New York City.
“We are very appreciative of Alyssa’s outstanding contribution to ACEF during her tenure on our Board of Directors, and we look forward to her continued involvement as an ongoing member of the ACEF family,” says Chairman Charles A. Demirjian. “We are also very honored to have Greg and Aline join our Board, as their professional experience and financial acumen will be of the utmost value to the organization.”
Greg Amerkanian, a Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, has been a lifelong parishioner of St. Thomas Armenian Church in Tenafly, NJ, and joined the ACEF Board in January. His extensive experience in evaluating investments and their rate of return is the perfect fit for ACEF. “Investment policy statements are critical in that they indicate whether or not the funds, and their managers, are meeting the organization’s financial goals and expectations,” says Greg. “Serving on the ACEF Board gives me the opportunity to help oversee the performance of the funds, with the end goal of ensuring continued financial growth and longevity for the Armenian Church and its programs.”
Aline Khatchadourian, who also joined the ACEF Board in January, is a Certified Public Accountant, with previous positions as Director of Finance at both the Nassau (NY) County Legislature and the Town of North Hempstead, NY. “I am proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful organization,” says Khatchadourian. “Part of ACEF’s unique strength is its ability to bring together funds from many different resources, thereby benefiting churches right down to the local level.” Khatchadourian’s focus includes assisting with ACEF’s auditing process, as well as further tightening financial controls and increasing transparency.
After serving on the ACEF Board from 2010 – 2018, legacy Board member Alyssa Keleshian Bonomo continues to be actively involved in the organization she refers to as “vital to the Armenian community.” Her father, the late Harry Keleshian, served 15 years on the ACEF Board from 1993 – 2008, and his service had a tremendous impact on Alyssa. “I saw firsthand how seriously ACEF’s Board members take their fiduciary duties, and how their expertise represents the best in governance and business practices,” she said. Among some of the notable initiatives Alyssa reflects upon during her tenure are the launching of the 2017 Annual Report, and the creation of the organization’s new brand identity, including its website and logo. Yet, she is proudest of the ongoing creation of ACEF’s endowments and investment opportunities, which ensure long-term capital is available for Armenian cultural and education programs for the next generation. As a testament to their commitment and support of the Armenian Church, the Keleshian family recently pledged a lead-gift of $250,000 to the Eastern Diocese Our Church, Our Legacy Campaign, which is managed by ACEF. “Armenian youth like my own children will continue to have a church that they can call home. It gives me comfort to know that ACEF’s efforts make it possible for them to proudly carry on their Armenian heritage far into the future.”
# # #
The Armenian Church Endowment Fund is an independent, separately-incorporated, non-profit entity whose mission is to provide professional, highly disciplined, tightly controlled and cost effective asset management services to the various constituent parts of the Armenian Church, parishes and individuals who are creating a legacy through endowments.
The investment objective of ACEF is to earn sufficient returns through time to support stable and growing income distributions for each individual endowment fund to its designated beneficiary, while preserving and enhancing the principal balance of each such endowment fund. ACEF seeks to accomplish this objective by aggregating the individual endowment funds and investing them collectively in a broadly diversified portfolio managed by institutional quality investment managers.
ACEF – A BRILLIANT SUCCESS STORY
BY FLORENCE AVAKIAN
NEW YORK, NY—–The Armenian Church Endowment Fund (ACEF) “has outperformed our main benchmarks, despite market volatility during 2018,” said Greg Bedrosian, who serves as the Chairman of ACEF’s Investment Committee.
ACEF is an independent fund in which parishes and/or individuals create accounts to secure the legacy of a church or institution of higher learning. The non-profit has assets of more than $104 million, which include approximately 2000 different accounts for the benefit of account holders and beneficiaries around the world. The Eastern Armenian Diocese is the principal holder in the endowment.
Each year ACEF distributes 4 ½ percent of its average market value to each account’s beneficiary, which could typically be the Diocese, a local parish, or another organization benefitting the Armenian community that an individual or family wants to support.
TOP LEVEL MANAGEMENT
ACEF is run by an independent board of directors with members from around the Armenian community. ACEF funds are invested by experienced money managers in a variety of asset types. To select the managers, ACEF relies on its Investment Committee, headed by Greg Bedrosian, the co-founder and chief executive officer with Drake Star Partners, and assisted by Greg Faulkner, a Managing Director with the global consulting firm Cambridge Associates. Cambridge is widely recognized as a leader in endowment type investing and has worked with ACEF since 1999.
Faulkner enthusiastically reported that the 10-year return for ACEF was 7.3 percent, a rate which “outperformed the Manager Selection Benchmark return by 1.0 percent annualized net of manager fees.”
The reason for this success Faulkner explained has been the, “selection of excellent managers who in each asset class have been able to outperform their bench marks. Our approach is very diversified across the globe. Diversification reduces the risk.”
Greg Bedrosian who has lived and worked in Europe for 14 years, and came to New York ten years ago, found that ACEF is “a great way to get reconnected with the Armenian community.”
He praised the Board of Directors and his Investment Committee for selecting talented individuals with strong financial backgrounds. Bedrosian said, “Our job is to work for the strengthening and growth of the Armenian community.”
For more information, log onto acefinvest.org, or call Berjouhi Saladin in ACEF offices at (212) 686-0710, ext. 134.